Updated: August 26, 2011 8:45PM
Recently, a black U.S. congresswoman from California and member of the Congressional Black Caucus stated to a predominantly black audience in Detroit, “We are getting tired, when you unleash us (on the president) we will let go.”
In this short, ill-timed statement, this former president of the Congressional Black Caucus, and congressional lifer Maxine Waters, is asking the permission of the black community to hold President Obama’s feet to the fire for “not doing enough for the black community.” She supposes that blacks are protective of the president regarding this sort of criticism and needs permission to attack.
In Waters’ world, President Obama has an ethnic duty to seek the success and welfare of black people. After all, he is one of us; should not we expect him to carry the water for black people? She complains he is not doing enough to address the persistent unemployment through the black community, specifically with, according to her, 40 percent of young black men under the age of 30 do not have a job.
I would be tempted to write this absurd line of reasoning off as the winds of nothingness emanating from the mouth of a person so deeply tainted by the cultural stain of being a perpetual victim if her song of ignorance was a solo. However, Maxine sings this tune with a fairly distinguished list of choir members. In fact, the names of those holding this view reads like a list of “Who’s Who” among so-called black leaders today.
For example, noted professor Cornel West, and his “Robin” PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley, are vocal in the criticism of President Obama and what they perceive as his lack of effort to help poor people, specifically poor blacks. This dynamic duo recently embarked on a nationwide Poverty Bus Tour in a luxury bus. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.
In addition, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is also a member of this less than heavenly choir of criticism regarding the president’s effort to relieve poverty. No surprise there, poverty relief has been a profitable business for the good reverend.
‘Culture of dependency’
These comments by Waters, the Congressional Black Caucus and others indicate the very nature of what is actually wrong in the black community. A culture of dependency that results in a drained motivation to assume responsibility for oneself; a work ethic that teeters on nonexistent and perhaps most importantly the educational malaise left by generations of anti-intellectualism.
Waters and those of her supporters in this asinine and frankly degrading manner of thinking are crying like a child whose mother says that it is time to wean you off the breast. Imagine if we saw a 10-year-old still nursing from its mother; we would think that crazy at best.
The current mantra of a person like Waters who even in the reality of President Obama being the president of all, still holds to the belief that in spite of the failure of the Great Society, government is the great hope of black people. These self-anointed leaders of blackness want us to believe that we are still victims and the least the government could do is give us reparation. In my opinion, this is an insult to the intelligence and value of any people.
Let me challenge these leaders and all who believe any president, especially President Obama, is responsible for black people, to take the considerable energy spent on these nationwide tours and use it to encourage people to lay the foundation for success by simply parenting your children, staying in school, leaving the snare of illegal drug use and sales, and invoking the power of God for blessing and protection. They should encourage people to take control of their own lives and by default, their future by applying these simple steps. Sure it is tough to do so, but not impossible.
End victim thinking
It is a sin and a shame that persons with the platform and profile of leadership within the black community would use such to perpetuate a state of constant victimhood for those who they say they love and represent. It is incredulous that someone like me on a much smaller platform has to risk being an outcast to convey the message that blacks must end the victim thinking.
President Obama is not the enemy to black people, nor is government, or white people. The real enemy for some, regardless of color, is a negative, dependent view of the world that does nothing more than to enslave one in the morass of self-pity and sentences one to a life dependent upon what others may do for them or to them.
Confronting this enemy means that we all, black, white or brown must look into the mirror of our hearts and ask the hard questions concerning our predicament, “Is it me?” Ask yourself, no matter your ethnic background, family circumstance or what others think of you: If a rising tide lifts all boats, then why am I standing on the shore? Get in a boat.