By Raynard Jackson
I have been extremely critical of President Obama for using the Black community as his personal political pawn. I have been just as critical of the Black community’s acceptance of that treatment. There are so many other issues I would like to write about—Africa, economics, international trade, etc. – but I feel compelled to speak out when there is an injustice being perpetrated against my community, especially from within.
Last week, Obama did a drive by meeting with the usual cast of Black, media appointed leaders—Al Sharpton, Ben Jealous, etc. Nothing unusual about that. But, what I did find unusual was the stated purpose of the meeting. According to the White House, the purpose was to discuss Obama’s “plan to strengthen the economy for the middle class and continue to build ladders of opportunity for those striving to get there.”
Once again there was not one businessman at the table, even though the stated purpose of the meeting was to discuss the economy.
The Black apologists that Obama met with last week often criticize me for being too hard on Obama. They say he can’t do anything overtly targeting Blacks because Whites will think he is being partial. But it’s OK for Whites to think Obama is being partial to Hispanics and homosexuals when he pushes legislation that they are interested in.
So, I bring to your attention two statements issued by the White House, one after meeting with Blacks last week and the other after meeting with Hispanics last month.
The statement that was released by the White House said after the president met with Black leaders:
“The President met with African American leaders yesterday in the Roosevelt Room at the White House to continue their dialogue on his plan to strengthen the economy for the middle class and continue to build ladders of opportunity for those striving to get there.
“The President reiterated his commitment to supporting policies that will directly impact those hardest hit by the economic crisis by making sure that America is a magnet for jobs, increasing access to job training programs, partnering with high-poverty communities to help them rebuild, and encouraging companies to invest in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The president also reiterated his call to reform education by expanding universal pre-K for every child as a way to significantly decrease the achievement gap.
“The president and the leaders expressed a shared concern about the need to implement common-sense improvements to the voting process because our democracy works best when every American eligible to vote has the opportunity to cast their ballot and make their voices heard.
“The President called on the leaders to continue the national dialogue on the need for a balanced approach to deficit reduction. He stressed the harm that the automatic cuts known as the sequester will have on thousands of jobs while cutting services to children, seniors, mental wellness programs, small businesses, and those in our military.
“The President praised the participants for their steadfast leadership on a broad range of issues critical to improving the economy and strengthening our country. The leaders in attendance also highlighted their goals to continue to build momentum for Congress to act in the best interests of the American people by supporting policies that help move our country forward.”
Hardly sounds like a Black Agenda.
Now examine the statement released by the White House after the meeting last month with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:
“The President and Senior Administration Officials met this morning with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the need to make things fairer for and grow the middle class by fixing our broken immigration system so everyone plays by the same rules. The President thanked the Members for their long standing leadership on the issue, and reiterated that this is a top legislative priority.
“The President was pleased to hear from CHC members and noted that they share the same vision, including that any legislation must include a path to earned citizenship. The President further noted that there is no excuse for stalling or delay. The President made it clear he will continue to lead on this issue, and that he looks forward to working with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other key Members of Congress in a bipartisan process to move this debate forward at the earliest possible opportunity.
“The President will be traveling to Nevada on Tuesday to redouble the Administration’s efforts to work with Congress to fix the broken immigration system this year.”
There you have it: President Obama is stuck on his rising tide lifts all boats when he speaks with Blacks. Yet, when he talks to Hispanics, he says the “I”-word –immigration. He then talks about creating a path to citizenship and says it will be one of his top legislative priorities.
I rest my case.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.