By H. Lewis Smith ~
Upon Barack Obama's election to President of the United States, euphoria, jubilation and an aura of disbelief simultaneously enveloped the Black African-American community. Perhaps, it could even be said that many saw him as a Messiah and the primary power-holder to make life and living better for Blacks. Seemingly, Black African Americans became complacent and blinded by the historical, unprecedented election of America's first-recognized Black President, thinking him the cure to all the issues ailing the community. Needless to say, since that historical moment, President Obama and the rest of America now have to deal with reality.
America's powerful, prominent white ruling elites - the true rulers of the country, which are controllers of world banks and financiers of national elections - they that maintain true, constant power regardless of who is actually president - will not discontinue their greedy, exploitative and suppressive practices merely because of President Barack Obama's presence. Because many don't realize this truth or just need someone to blame for America's current condition, many Americans, regardless of ethnicity, now see President Obama as an ineffective leader.
His popularity, according to the polls, has suffered as a result. Can he rebound from the unfavorable opinions? Yes, he can. Will he rebound? Possibly! Although he has some overwhelming odds to overcome, it is premature to label the president as an ineffective leader. Obama finds himself in a situation unlike that of any preceding president. George Bush left the incoming president a gargantuan mess to clean up, and as a result, no matter the efforts Obama puts forth, he is damned.
For Obama to turn around the current state of America in his first four years serving in office is asking a great deal of anyone in his position and, honestly, it would be a miracle if he could somehow make all necessary fixes AND see the upward effects of the changes within his first term. Was his becoming president equivalent to taking on a mission impossible?
Obama still has a steady race-mix of black and white supporters. Yet, because people are unable to tangibly see his efforts result in positive, huge wins or improvements in society - as it takes power and momentum to turn around a huge ship in high-tide waters, it seems as though the ship is slowly sinking. Whimsical voter apathy comes with the territory of being president. However, when Obama was elected as president, Black America was sending praises up as far as the eye could see and the sense of hope or cultural confidence seemed to fill every breath of air.
Now that progress isn't occurring per the original plan or as quickly as most would like to see, Black America has become most disenchanted with the president. Before being "completely done" with the President, though, Black America should examine the validity of their dissatisfaction with the president.
To piggy-back on a phrase from JFK, ask not what President Obama can do for the black community, but what can the Black community can do for itself? The answer: PLENTY, if only it would. The community spends almost one trillion dollars a year of which only roughly 5% of the monies remain in the community. Black America seems to refuse to take control of its own destiny, but yet points an accusing finger at President Obama for not making all right within the Black community. It would help immensely if Black America ever learns to hold itself accountable for its own actions, and look to no one but SELF to promote and control its own destiny.
Mumblings that Obama is doing more for every other group or movement than for Black America have been made. To be candid, Black America no longer has any clout with that same sob song--even the Gay and Lesbian community have more clout today than Black America does because they are willing to be active for their rights and community. They actively take advantage of their right to freedom of speech (opportunity) to have their voices heard and laws passed in their name. The Gay and Lesbian community respects themselves, demands respect from others - and gets it, and wields enormous political clout.
Rather than waiting to be handed something, Black America must realize that nobody owes them anything. The only responsibility the president has is to ensure opportunity is available and a truly level playing field for all. It's up to each person to then take advantage of the opportunities presented and work just as hard as the next person to have their vision realized and obtain their piece of the American dream.
On another note, how can Obama or any other president take Black America seriously when Black America fails to take itself seriously? It seems as though Black America has evolved into a three-ring circus, displaying no self-respect or dignity whatsoever - for there is absolutely nothing respectful or dignified about being self-anointed n**gahs.
Black America's self-respect, dignity, honor and pride has been replaced with denigrating their women, disrespecting, demeaning and degrading their race with use of the vile, sinister and damnable term n**ga. The promotion and acceptance of violence, drugs or any self-destructive mannerisms are tolerant from within. Black rappers and hip- hop businessmen have the audacity to join the Jews in protecting their image against anti-Semitic assaults; yet, they still help to assault their own image with the use of the N-word.
People with such a tolerant or conflicted mindset are in effect saying that blacks are not to be held to civilized standards of conduct and principled expectations that might be enforced by others. The anesthetized, barely conscious people - along with our intelligentsia, will argue that there are greater things to worry about than use of the N-word.
However, it is safe to disagree. What is a greater concern than the self-inflicted demolition of a people's image on the world stage? As well, if it's not such a big deal to stop using the term, why not tackle this small issue and just stop using the term? PERIOD!
On August 22, Maxine Waters chided an Obama official for being timid in his reluctant use of the word "black" when she challenged him with, "Let me hear you say black." A similar challenge needs to be made to Black America: "Let me hear you STOP using the vile and vulgar n-word, n**ga."
The continued demise of Black America today is nothing less than a betrayal of Black ancestors' struggles paid with blood, sweat and tears. Previous generations gave their lives to make possible the so-long denied freedoms and opportunities that are being routinely squandered present day. Blacks absolutely refuse to hold one another accountable for anything. It seems as if the common consensus is "so what if we trash, demean and degrade ourselves?" Then naively wonder and vocally question why the community gets no respect.
It is abundantly clear that some parts of the country have been disproportionately impacted by the unemployment crisis - that part being Black America. This dismal statistic would be the case no matter who resides as president simply because the community continues to be apathetic, helpless, and hold victim mentalities.
In order for the black community to truly experience change, a precedent or standard is first going to have to be established from within to overcome adversity. Expecting change to occur in any other fashion will result in Black Americans still playing the victim or race card 100 years from now.
The Black community on a whole must discard the 18th century slave mentality, become self-sufficient, and regain control of its own destiny. It can be done, it's been proven: Blacks achieved this feat during the early 1920's (Tulsa City, Oklahoma) and in the 60's. And it can be done again. To affect change, Blacks must initiate and be the change that they seek. When Blacks think and act in a positive fashion - AS A GROUP - positive things happen exponentially.
H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (www.theunitedvoices.com); a writer for the New England Informer Online, Staff Writer for ThyBlackMan.com, and author of "Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word". Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thescoop1