How come we can’t criticize, or even question, the president of the United States? I had the last straw today. I’m listening to one of my fave talk guys; a man who, whether y’all know it or not, was integral to the election of Barack Obama. The talk guy is a staunch Progressive, always on the right side of every issue; disseminating knowledge we can all use. A talk-show host, doing a talk-show that appeals to our intellect and deals in facts, not the usual emotion and hyperbole and flat-out lies. In short, he’s on our side. And every time he questions “Barack policy,” some black person makes it their business to call in and chastise the host for “blasphemin’.” Today it was some yahoo from Texas: (insert country accent here) “It seem like y’all tryin’ to turn the peoples’ against the president!” All the talk-show host did was, legitimately, question why President Obama wasn’t more forceful in advocating single-payer health care; it’s what the people want. Single-payer/public option is the only way to go if the poor are to survive which, last time I checked, many black people were (poor, that is). We wanna know why the White House went “soft” on this. And I’ve heard this “rush to defend” on other progressive talk-shows, too. Anytime someone criticizes the president you can bet, within a half hour, some black person will call in and criticize you for having the temerity to even question President Obama. Most are pretty vehement in their defense, although there are a few who simply advise the critical caller or host to be patient. This, too, has legitimacy, for the Bush mess was a monumental one, and it will take time to correct. But please, black people, don’t get all riled up every time people who are on our side question certain actions by the president.
Let me ask you this, Black Folk. Are you satisfied or pleased about the moves Barack has made on every issue? Did you like the fact that he was fully “on board” for the Wall Street bailout? Are you pleased that President Obama did all he could to make sure it happened? How has that affected you? Did it help you keep your house, your job? Do you sleep better knowing that Goldman Sachs will survive and prosper? What would you do if he bailed ’em out again? How’s your employment situation? How’s your neighbor’s? What about your son, your brother, your nephew? I specifically mentioned males because we black people know all about the high rates of unemployment among black men. What I’m asking is, has it changed any? I know, I know: “It’s early, he just got there, he cain’t change thangs overnight, give him a chance.” Yeah, that’s all well and good. But I figure, with all that stimulus money and bailout money floatin’ around, something would have changed by now. I mean, it wasn’t too early for the Wall Street boys. He damn sho’ changed it overnight, for them! Bankers and brokers survive and thrive. Wage earners and workers, middle class and poor, it’s a different story for you, ain’t it? Or maybe I should say, the same old story.
And Black Folk, how did y’all feel when President Obama said (essentially) he wasn’t going to pursue any possible crimes that may have been committed by the Bush Gang? Forgive and forget, huh? Every one of y’all know that Bush and them lied us into a war and did all kinds of unscrupulous stuff when he was runnin’ the show. Tell the truth – you’d like to see him, Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld in jail and it just hit me – this cain’t be no “black thang” ’cause y’all ain’t got no love for Condoleezza Rice. Y’all ain’t had no problem criticizing her, so whas up y’all cain’t talk about the Pres’?
I voted for President Obama but I am not “dazzled” by him, or anyone else. I don’t see how we can continue to engage in this fawning adulation of the president while unemployment rises, foreclosures continue and affordable health care continues to be an illusion for many Americans. Perhaps I’m making much ado about nothing. Maybe the Pres’ will enact, or help to enact, the legislation and programs that will bring us the change for which we voted; and when all is said and done, we’ll walk, hand-in-hand toward the golden rays of sunshine, while angels sing heavenly harmonies in the background. Maybe everything will turn out just fine. I’m just sayin’, until that happens we have a right, and a duty, to criticize the President of the United States. And don’t worry, “Barackites.” The president is a big boy; he can handle himself. Besides, criticizing our elected officials is part of how democracy works.