Obama says, ‘He is President of America not Black America’
By Roger Caldwell
Last week President Obama was criticized for acknowledging clearly during an interview with Black Enterprise, that he is not the President of Black America.
This would appear to be a factual statement, which would not be considered controversial or debatable. But the Black academic and Black media community was angered with this statement and feel that the President has not done enough for the Black Community.
Many Blacks in the media feel that President Obama has ignored the Black Media, and the president’s administration has not addressed the special needs in our community. A large number of Blacks thought that once the President won the election, it would radically change the dynamics and problems of where we live. Basically, many in our community felt that miraculously our community would be transformed in four years.
Instead of developing a strategic plan to move our community forward collectively, we split up into splinter groups and worked against each other. Many of the out-spoken critics of the President, including Dr. Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Dr. Boyce Watkins, and members of the Black Caucus have consistently slammed the President’s policies and agenda.
When the President was asked about the vocal criticism of his administration for the perceived lack of action on behalf of the Black community, and more specifically Black owned businesses, President Obama said: “My general view has been consistent throughout, which is that I want all businesses to succeed. I want all Americans to have opportunity. I’m not the President of Black America. I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means.”
Without a doubt the President is focused on leveling the playing field, but he has a responsibility to all Americans. As the election is only two and a-half months away, it becomes important to stop criticizing everything the President says, and get engaged and supportive in his campaign.
When the President took his oath to be president of the United States, I didn’t hear any-thing in that oath that stated President Obama would be the president of Black America.
Romney has picked his vice President running mate, Congressman Ryan, and I have not heard them talk about running for just one race or demographic in the presidential election. It is ridiculous that the Black Media, (including myself) is trying to resolve a statement that is correct, straightforward, an accurate. In a political climate where Republicans are calling Obama the “food stamp President” and claiming he is giving too much “free government” to Africa Americans, it would be suicidal for him to say he is the President for Black Americans.
The President’s historic win in 2008 was a win for the African American community, and all Americans. For the next two and a-half months the President will make a case for why he should remain President for all Americans. This will be a close race and the President must address all the citizens regardless of race, creed or color.
The African American community in the next two months must collectively come together and deliver a larger percentage and bloc of votes to the President.
Many African Americans are undecided and many are talking about not voting and staying home. One vote is a contributing factor to whether a candidate wins or losses.
Each time anyone votes they help change their community, state, and country. All Americans and specifically African Americans are voting to impact and improve the future. President Obama is moving the country forward, and he has not for-gotten or ignored the African American community. Get out and vote.