President Obama needs the support of the Black elite: A foetus that fears criticism will never be born

Filed in Current affairs, Justice by on June 6, 2011 0 Comments

It is hard to be President of the United States. It is doubly hard to be President and a person of color.

President Obama has been under a lot of criticism from the “Black elite” for not doing enough for Black people. The latest comment from Mr. Cornel West, a well known and respected black intellectual, suggests that President Obama is the “Black mascot of Wall Street”.

Many Black people believed that a Black President would solve all the problems of Black people. The excitement of Barack Obama’s election in the US gave hope to people of color. In a naive way, many believed that his election would close the gap between Black and White.

The truth is that President Obama is neither a Messiah nor God. The reality of Black people is still the same. It is hard to be a man of color in a society that judges people based on their skin color. President Obama must prove to White racists that he’s capable of running the country, prove to Black people that he cares about their issues (people of color are the first to pay the price in a bad economy), and also reassure everyone else that he is the President of all Americans.

I do not believe those who accuse President Obama of turning his back on “his people.” We shouldn’t forget that the President was a community organizer, and therefore someone close to the poor. It does not make sense to suspect him of being insensitive to Black issues.

The President alone cannot solve the problems of Black people in America. He needs the support of the Black elite and ideas to lift many from poverty. President Obama should do his very best to lift the American economy, not focus on the frustrations of the Black elite. As the Bambara of  Mali say, “A foetus that fears criticism will never be born.”

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