© Copyright 2012
January 24, 2012
African Americans’ frustration and disappointment on President Barack Obama’s performance toward the black community raise tension, as the Presidential Election is not far away. Since he is the President, especially an African American, most Blacks think their long time hardship would ameliorate during his presidency. In fact, Obama’s presidency performance has brought them lots of disappointments since the Economic Recession hits the black community the most. Three factors, therefore, need to be thoroughly analyzed, i.e., (1) most African Americans view President Obama’s performance and duties narrowly, (2) racial discrimination is still a matter in the American society, (3) most young African Americans have failed to embrace conformity and opportunities that could have led them to success.
Most African Americans View President Obama’s Performance and Duties Narrowly
African Americans should regard President Obama’s duties in a wide perspective rather than in a narrow aspect. President Obama is the President of the United States. Meaning, he is the President of all Americans: Black, White, Yellow, Brown etc. He can not portray himself as a President for only black people. Most African Americans expect from him a special attention. As the President of a nation, his outlook must be widened concerning each single American. This is the part a lot of African Americans have misunderstood.
In the mind of most African Americans, Obama has failed to respond rightfully to the hardship they are enduring. In fact, he has done his best to improve Caucasian and African Americans’ living conditions. It is clearly evident (since the beginning of his presidency to the time being) to see how he has been struggling with the House of Congress and the Senate to pass his Bills that are in the interests of white and black Americans. Despite all difficult adversaries, however, he has been facing, somehow he has managed his agenda to have most of his Bills passed.
The problems are the politicians to Washington DC, especially the Republicans, that have been playing hard balls and blocking his Bills, which could have stimulated the economic in order to put the high percentage of unemployed Americans back to work. Most politicians to Washington DC, especially members of the Republican Party, unfavorably, have shown any compassion for hardship. They choose to be at war with the President instead of working as a team with him so as a mean to create jobs for white and black Americans.
The shift in the labor force is one of the most important factors that causes high unemployment rate in the black community and most Blacks have failed to understand this fact. For the last two decades, the American society has enormously changed. Most manufactured jobs were shipped overseas and continuously are shipped for cheap labors. These are the jobs most African Americans used to do and depend on. Now, the job market is very competitive, in terms of certain academic requirements and skills. And the percentage of Blacks who earn college/univerty degrees are very minimal, which make it very difficult for them to be employed in the job market. This is why President Obama had and has always been saying to the African Americans to take education seriously.
White and black Americans should hold the politicians to Washington DC, Democrats and Republicans, especially Republicans, accountable for the Economic Recession. They are the ones who have always been great supporters for American jobs shipped overseas. Most of them are close friends with the owners of the manufactures, co-owners or owners of those companies that are being shipped overseas. For instance, former President Georges W. Bush Jr. was a huge supporter of U.S. jobs shipped overseas. In 2004, he even reported to Congress that jobs shipped offshore, even though it might seem difficult for now, overtime will be in the interests of American people. How could this be possible?
Since 2000 to present over 5 million U.S. jobs are outsourced, and continuously being moved offshore. And from that same period of 2000 to present, big corporations such as General Electric, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Chevron, Cisco, Intel, Stanley Works, Merck, United Technologies, and Oracle had laid off 2.9 million employees over the last decades, meantime hired 2.4 million people overseas. Based on logical analyses and viewpoints, should President Barack Obama be held accountable for this?
This is a President who’s been doing his best in order to put the U.S. economic back on track. It is unfortunate he is President in one of the most difficult times in American history. Thus he is being caught amid corrupt politicians and fabricated media, which cause his presidency’s performance blurs in the eyes and mind of most Caucasian and African Americans. So far, he has gradually delivered all of his promises, despite all the adversaries he has been encountering.
The media conceals most of his accomplishments during his presidency. Here is a list of few of his accomplishments:
1. CBO found 3.7 Million jobs created by stimulus (May 2010).
2. 682,370 jobs created under the Recovery Act Between January 1 — March 31,2010.
3. Jobless rates dropped in 34 states and DC (AP).
4. U.S. economy added 90000 jobs in April 2011.
5. Enacted largest reform of student aid in 40 years.
6. Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010
7. Expanded Pell grants for low-income students.
8. Provided means for students struggling to make college loan payments to refinance
9. Pushing through settlement in the black farmers lawsuit against USDA.
10. Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring.
11. Provided $12.2 billion in new funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act though the American Recovery and investment Act.
12. U.S. Economy: Manufacturing grew by most since 2004.
13. Extended unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspended taxes on these benefits.
14. Increased minority access to capital.
15. $26 billion aid to states package (Aug 2010)
16. Established “Opening Doors” – a federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.
17. Unveiled $275 billion dollar housing plan.
18. Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009.
19. Appointed first Latina to the Supreme Court and first black Attorney General, Eric Holder.
20. Required large employers to contribute to a national health plan.
There are much, much, much more accomplishments of his presidency. Visit this website to see more: Obama’s Achievements Center
Be mindful, this has to be taken in consideration, i.e., in the United States, African Americans have always been the underdogs. President Obama does not create Blacks’ hardship. This is something he is inherited and has been in existence for decades. He alone can not solve the social problems African Americans are enduring. As everyone knows, African Americans only make 14.3% or almost 15% of the U.S. population. And the Whites have always monopolized mostly all institutions and controlled the Political Circle and the Economic Market in the country.
Racial Discrimination Is Still a Matter in the American Society
Even the President Has Been Racially discriminated
Racial discrimination is still a matter in the American society. Although with time it has been ameliorated and progress has been made, without the making of progress, Obama would never be President of the United States and also other Blacks who successfully achieve in the circles of sports, entertainments, politics, sciences and academics would never accomplish their dreams. However, one could not be a fool enough to believe that racism is over in the American society. Racism is still at large in the American society. In such a manner it is still a socially dominant problem, even the President, as the First Citizen in the nation and in the world, he has been racially discriminated sometimes.
Few instances of how President Barack Obama has been racially discriminated are going to be thoroughly analyzed. It is clearly evident, during professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.’ scandal, in July 2009, how the Media, the Cambridge, Massachussetts Police Precinct, where the two Police Officers who arrested Professor Gates assigned, and some Americans disrespected the President. When logically analyzing the source of the arrest of Professor Gates Jr., the way he was arrested based purely on the Police Officers’ stupidities, which could be interpreted as an arrest based on racism.
The Police Officers responded to the call on the nature of robbery: two black men were about to break through a house. When the Officers arrived at the scene, Professor Gates Jr. was already inside his home, and showed his Harvard’s Professor identification and Massachusetts valid driver’s license to the two Police Officers. Both identifications have his photos and his address written in the driver’s license. There was no way, consequently, he shouldn’t be arrested. Especially, Professor Gates is a public figure. There’s a possibility the Police Officers could have recognized him.
And when the Media asked President Obama his opinion on the scandal, he reasonably and logically gave his opinion on the situation: ‘the Police acted stupidly.’ (this is true the Police Officers acted ridiculously). What the Media did, it paraphrased his given opinion in a very controversial way. As a result, a high percentage of Americans converted the President’s opinion into take sides of Professor Gates Jr. And the Chief of the Police Precinct requested the President to apologize—while the President didn’t do anything wrong.
How dare a Chief of a Police Precinct arrogantly demanded the first citizen in a country to apologize on something he didn’t create and was not at fault. He solely gave his opinion on it in a very logical manner. If the President were a white President, the Chief of the Police Precinct would think 1000 times before expressing his arrogant manner toward the President. He acted arrogantly because he knew he would gain lots of supports from racist Americans and wouldn’t pay any consequences for being so disrespectful to the first person in the country.
And when the South Carolina, Republican Congressman, Joe Wilson, shouted at the President during a Health Care Speech, ‘you’re a liar,’ this was purely a racist remark. Again, if the President were a white President, Congressman Wilson would think 1000 times before acting ridiculously stupid in such manner. He acted this way because he knew the people he represents and conservative Americans would back him up 200 percent. Therefore, he would not lose his Congressional seat. After this incident, his followers/supporters even called him a hero. This is not a surprising… This is the spirit of the South.
In addition, during a party at the White House, a couple got to a point they invaded the White House and were hanging out with the President. The White House is the most secure building in the country. How come this couple got to a point to be at the first family’s party in the White House without being invited? If this couple were the President’s enemy, anything could have happened to the President in the White House. Something was definitely wrong on the parts of the President’s security agents and the White House’s security agents.
And this slogan: ‘let’s take our country back’ is now very common in the American society. It is being said from the mouths of conservative politicians and ordinary American citizens. When analyzing such slogan, it is purely based on the term of racism. This means, traditionally, for over 200 years, it has always been a white President in the White House. Therefore, let’s go back to our old custom. All of these examples thus demonstrate how the President himself is also a victim of racial discrimination and how racism still exists in the American society.
If the President of the United States, as the most powerful citizen in the country and in the world, is a victim of racial discrimination due to the fact he is black, needless to say the rest African Americans. To ameliorate or to put an end in the Blacks’ social problems, racism must be eased and, more importantly, most young African Americans should apply conformity in their lives and orient themselves toward roads that can lead them to success.
How Ordinary African Americans are Still Racially discriminated
Although today there are more black college/university graduates and also more Blacks who successfully achieve in the circles of sports, entertainments, sciences and politics than past decades ago, nonetheless, this is not to justify they are free from experiencing racial discrimination.
According to U.S. Census Bureau, federally, 3,215,000 Blacks have Bachelor Degrees and 1,078,000 have Master’s Degrees. The number that earns college/university degrees is still minimal when comparing to the number that forms African-American population: close to 40,000,000. However, in this Economic Recession, Blacks’ unemployment rate is 16.1 percent and Whites’ unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.
Unemployment percentage among Blacks with high school diplomas, without post secondary education, is 15.9 percent and for Whites it is 8.4percent. Among African Americans with college/university degrees it is 6.9 percent and for Caucasian Americans it is 3.9 percent. 70 percent of Blacks with PhD’s Degrees are not employed in full time position. They have been employed part time as adjunct and half-time position. Many of them don’t have pensions and medical benefits.
Some unemployed African Americans who earn Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and PhD’s/Doctorate’s Degree have been sending their resumes out for about almost three years and have never been called for job interviews. When they realize something is not normal, and then create new strategies by adding Irish middle names in their original names and change their addresses in their resumes, some of them begin to be called for interviews. The matter is, an individual’s race (ethnicity) can be detected or identified by his/her name and address.
The ravage of the Economic Recession in the black community should not be a shock for white and black Americans. Since most Blacks have always been the underdog citizens in American society, therefore, any social downturn would always affect them the most (in any society, the unfortunate groups would always affect the most when it comes to period of social or economic downfall). Despite there are more Blacks today who earn college/university degrees than past decades ago, most African Americans are still at the bottom in the American societal ladder.
For example, high percentage of felony records is one of the factors that causes high unemployment rate in the African Americans’ community. The inmate population in the United States is over 2 millions. African Americans make almost half of the population or a bit over half, and most of them are incarcerated due to drug offenses, such as abusers or dealers/sellers. And meantime, there are more Caucasian American drug abusers and dealers than African Americans. However, the American Criminal Justice System severely punishes most African Americans than Caucasian Americans for drug offenses. It is thus this way because the American Criminal Justice System sympathizes with Caucasian American drug abusers and dealers/sellers to prevent them from getting felony records.
Most of the time, when Caucasian American drug abusers and dealers are caught by Police officers, their criminal acts are always passed as violations of misdemeanors in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. They are just ordered by the court to do community services. Sometimes, when the young White drug abusers or dealers/sellers are caught, the Police Precincts call their parents to come to pick them up. They are just penalized based on statutory violations to present at a later date with their parents before a judge. Therefore, all these sympathies avoid them from having felony records in the American Justice System.
Meanwhile, African American drug abusers or dealers/sellers who are caught by Police officers found guilty in the Criminal Justice System and sentenced for so many years in prison and jail. Currently, there are more male African American inmates than male African American college/university students. Consequently, this is how 1 in every 10 African Americans is in prison and jail, without counting the percentage that is on probation.
For instance, 2 years ago, in the state of Florida, a judge sentenced a 17-year guy to life in prison due to a robbery he was involved. Isn’t this insane and unjust? So, this is how a huge percentage of African Americans end up in prison and having felony records. In fact, in the American society, individuals who are felons, they are indirectly eliminated in the society and considered as ghosts. They can not vote, rent houses on their names and most employers won’t hire them.
Be mindful! It is in no way to tolerate or make excuses for African Americans who commit crimes. African Americans who commit crimes and found guilty in the court of law must be punished. But, when justice is not served fairly, it becomes a two-faced Criminal Justice System.
Most Young African Americans have failed to embrace conformity and opportunities that could have led them to success.
President Barack Obama is not responsible for African Americans’ lack of conformity, failing to embrace opportunities that can lead them to success and perpetrating criminal acts that cause a high percentage of young Blacks being incarcerated. These problems had always been there long before Obama became President. He is being criticized a lot for the failures of Blacks by left-wing and right-wing Caucasian and African Americans. Within these scenarios, hypocrisy and opportunism are the key factors. They refuse to address and confront with deep heart the real problems of African Americans. It is only a few conscious, courageous and honest African Americans, Bill Cosby, the actor, is one among the few, who profoundly concerns and addresses the source of the problems as they are.
Those who are putting all African Americans’ failures on President Obama, why don’t they address and confront compassionately young-black kid gang members that are killing one another in the inner cities all over the United States for no reason, in order for them to live a constructive life? Why don’t they address and confront compassionately the disproportionate high school dropout among young African Americans, in order to encourage them to go to college/university to have a bright future? Why don’t they address and confront compassionately the young African Americans that are having children at early ages and are financially and morally unprepared to be responsible for their children, so as a mean to wait for the right times to have kids? Why don’t they address and confront compassionately the lack of conformity among young black kids, in order to lead them on the right tracks?
Conformity is amiss among most young African Americans. They most likely prefer to identify themselves with negative things that won’t lead them anywhere. E.g., the fashion of wearing pants and pulling them down under their butts until their underwears are exposed (some of the underwears are even dirty), calling one another ‘nigger’, walking in the streets and looking at people with a bandit attitude in order to look tough before eyes… and cursing out loud in front of adults, old people and young kids are unacceptable. Usually, young Blacks who adopt and embrace these unacceptably social conducts are the ones who always find themselves in trouble with the laws.
Although racism is still a matter in the American society, but African Americans should not take racism as a scapegoat for their failures. Indeed, racism is also a part of their failures, but meantime they are more at faults for their own failures by choosing the wrong paths. There are opportunities in this country. To grab these opportunities, they may not be as easy as they are for Whites, nevertheless, with discipline, courage, ambition and determination anyone can achieve his/her goals.
Some black immigrants are from all over the world, grab these opportunities and make it to the American mainstream. It is not impossible, consequently, for African Americans making it to the American mainstream. After all, in reality, those who choose to live their lives with lack of conformity, guns, knives and by breaking the laws always have three destinations, i.e., long time jail sentence, faced death penalty execution or premature death.
African Americans must not focus too much on racial issue they seem to believe that is a barrier to them. Of course, they should acknowledge its existence. However, they should see it as a social dilemma that can be gradually dissipated only with time. And many examples have shown that in the American society. They must embrace the existing opportunities thereafter exploit them all the ways. All African Americans that become productive and successful in the American mainstream, at one point in their lives, when opportunities were given to them they didn’t waste and ignore them, they grabbed and exploited them. This is why today they are successful individuals in the American society.
Responsibility and thinking critically in many aspects must be relevance among young African Americans. Young kids must stop having children at early ages where they are financially and morally unprepared to be responsible for their children. They must wait for the right time to have children. Children that have been raised by financially and morally unprepared parents have more chance to disorient, while growing up. They must stop dropping out of high schools and stop joining gangs.
Academic education must be the primary goals of young African Americans. If they don’t change their ways of beliefs, thinkings and behaviors, they will always find themselves blaming any U.S. President for their hardships, find themselves at the bottom of the societal ladder and hit hardly whenever a social downturn presents…