Black people haven’t demanded much from Obama, and they have been incredibly forgiving of his neglect. But they aren’t blind.The evidence continues to mount. Under Obama, African Americans’ concerns have gone begging, including stifling unemployment; poor housing; unsafe neighborhoods; gun violence; a widening wealth gap; poor, segregated underperforming schools; a high dropout rate; health care disparities; low pay; racial profiling; high incarceration rates; and a high infant mortality.Obama has said his directive was to benefit all Americans and watch the rising tide lift all boats. That sounds good. But racism and discrimination anchor black communities under a deep sludge, where opportunity dies. Everyone else’s rising tide only leaves blacks more frustrated and under water.
Now, really, Mr. Diugiud, is all of that the President's responsibility? Do you really think that any one occupying the White House can or is the right one to take on these problems? Because it seems to me that the solution to a number of these problems lies right within the very community that has them. That plans to work on these problems are best to come from right inside the group of people who are suffering with the effects of these difficulties and concerns. In addition, while I would never be foolish enough to say that all racism and discrimination has ended, can we have the Black community take some responsibility for their own actions and the results of those actions rather than so frequently pointing the finger back at racism?
I stopped writing this post, and took a walk, because I am almost afraid to write the rest of it. I don't want to appear to blame the Black community for the situation today. The immigrant story of Black Africans to the United States is very different then any other group. While all groups were misunderstood and discriminated against when they first arrived here, no other group was owned as property in the way that Blacks were. That legacy is what we are still fighting against today. It continues to have an influence on Black family structure, power in the Black community, and Black "self esteem." Somehow, instead of taking pride in how they have endured and how they have even prospered, especially once government and systemic discrimination were remedied, Blacks have consented to "play the victim" instead of walking in the power of their achievements. Certainly not all Blacks have voted to play life this way, but it seems as if many have chosen this manner of living. And to me, many Black leaders have chosen to play to this choice. Instead of calling for excellence and achievement, Black leaders have looked for someone to blame. Instead of advocating for opportunity, Black leaders have looked around for give aways.
So, Mr. Diuguid, it is the President's job to lead this country in a direction that lets all groups have an opportunity to prosper. The President, along with the Congress, sets economic policy, sets the tone and helps with resources for local strategies for housing, education, and health care. Government on the local level continues the work to solve problems in these and other areas. However, no president, congressperson, governor, state legislator, mayor or city council person can cause a community to decide that families will be valued and remain intact; that babies will be born to mothers who are prepared to take care of them; that education will be valued and dropping out will not be tolerated; that criminals and their behavior will be shunned rather than glorified; that people will learn to step away from conflict rather than reacting with violence out of a misguided attempt to build themselves up as being tough and "respected"; that people will chose to discipline themselves with regard to lifestyle choices that influence their future health status and that people will understand the need to delay gratification--to say "no" to the wants of today, for the possibilities that rest in the future.
Mr. Diuguid, the Black community needs to stop looking primarily to others to solve its problems and improve its living situation. The Black community needs to start looking within, to see what its resources are, to see what its weaknesses are, what its strengths are. The Black community needs to start becoming intolerant of repeated failures. The Black community needs to see that the Black on Black crime is a form of slow death for itself, especially its young men. The Black community will need help from the culture at large, in the form of resources and of support, and the assurance that systemic discrimination will continued to be pulled out by its sorry roots, but the hand from the greater culture needs to be seen as a hand up, rather than a hand out.
In short, Lewis Diuguid, many of the issues you list should not be on President Obama's agenda at all. I do believe that really he has enough to do without doing things that others should be attending to.