‘Now that we have what we wanted’
‘Now that we have what we wanted’
By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith
“For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.” (Psalm 9:18)
There is no question that President Barack Obama was a better qualified candidate for President than Mitt Romney will ever be. That was the perspective not only in America but in most of the world. And right now there are groups and people calling the White House to seek reward for their respective efforts in the successful reelection of President Obama.
These groups and these folk understand that politics are transactional: I’ve done something for you in the expectation you will do something for me. It seems everyone understands how the process should work but us. Not only that, but to even voice a political or policy expectation geared toward President Obama is deemed by many in our community as unreasonable and selfish.
Everybody is allowed to have an agenda for the President and an expectation of the President but us.
Since his reelection, the Latino leadership in this country has wasted no time in telling the world that they expect the President to reward their support of him by addressing issues specific to the needs of their community. So has the gay community and everyone else who did all they could to insure Romney’s dream of living in the White House would remain just a dream.
Everybody has but us. How can it be wrong to ask the President to speak to the necessities of the very people who have supported him more than anyone else? If it’s cool for the Hispanics to make demands of him and it’s cool for the gays to make demands of him and if it’s cool for others to make demands of him based on their political support of him, then it’s cool for us. No other group of folk has given him the unquestioning support Black people have.
As to that lie that there is no “Black Agenda,” the items on that agenda are what they have always been. And he has known about them since his days as a communityorganizer in Chicago. They remain unchanged because we allow politicians, including this President, to ignore them. We’ve not had important legislation directed toward our community and led by the White House since the Civil Rights era. And the Supreme Court will attack and attempt to overturn important rudiments of that legislation the new court term.
So what is on the agenda? Black unemployment is because our unemployment rate is twice that of whites, 7 percent vs. 14 percent. Compound that with the lie that Black people don’t want to work and we see why the problem is what is. Poverty remains on the agenda, it’s rising and not just for us. However, 40 percent of our children are born into poverty and poverty impacts women and children most.
Also on the agenda is urban violence which can be linked to the growing prison industrial complex. We see both are contributing factors of the breakdown of the Black family.
We need to take a serious look around and understand that if we don’t lift our voices to demand a priority listing among the President’s policy initiatives, we will not get one. Some of us have said that once the President is re-elected and he doesn’t have to worry about political repercussions, he’ll not hide his concern for Black people. Hope so.
Because if he doesn’t, these eight years of historical significance will pass on by and all we’ll have are just memories and photos.