The only Americans permitted to discuss black/white relations these days are its media-designated spokespersons like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. When the NAACP spoke up recently, it was to condemn Tea Party members as racists. Rather than advance the condition of blacks in America, Obama has done almost nothing. Indeed, one of his administration’s first acts was to defund charter schools in Washington, D.C. where, like most major urban centers, the schools that young blacks attend are universally dismal.
It is, however, Obama’s policies, not his skin color, that have created resistance. In a recent statement, Earl G. Graves Sr., chairman and publisher of Black Enterprise, said, “The distress is real and legitimate. First, people of all races and economic backgrounds are continuing to suffer as the result of an economy that continues to struggle.” Graves, however, gave Obama a pass with the now familiar assertion that Obama “inherited this mess”, but the fact is that Obama sought the presidency and all presidents inherit whatever issues preceded their term in office or occur on their watch. It is the manner in which they address those issues by which we judge their competency. Graves lamented that, despite Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president, “there are still people who just cannot get past the issue of race. They still can’t bring themselves to respect a black man, even if he is the President of the United States, regardless of his policies and actions.”
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