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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Are Black Americans Stupified by Barack Obama?

Stupified: Confused and stupid at the same time.

AAPP: There seems to be a new sense of racial optimism. Very few
newspapers or bloggers are talking about "The black-white divide in Obama's popularity. For many, including Obama, silence is golden regarding color and racial matters. Most newspapers and bloggers are talking about how African-Americans are optimistic about Obama. While some blogs dare to ponder The Obama effect: Have blacks in general suddenly become smarter?

I guess black America is going Post Racial or just stupified by post racial madness - like Jay-Z . Soon Obama like Jay Z will say "There Is No Such Thing As Black Music"

Speaking of Stupified and Post Racial - There is a great article in The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates. regarding The Essental Americanness of African Americans. Ta-Nehisi Coates notes that a CBS News polling data has some interesting results on race. Matt was surprised that a significant number (44 percent) of African-Americans believe that blacks and whites have the same shot at success in this country:

I'm surprised that as many as forty-four percent of blacks say that both races have equal opportunity. I think the evidence is unambiguously clear that they do not. African-American children have parents with lower levels of income and education. Their families, even when they have above-average incomes, tend to have less wealth than white families. And even controlling for parental income and educational attainment, black kids do worse in schools than white kids. Then beyond all that, there's clear evidence of discrimination against job applicants with "black" names that tends to suggest a broader pattern of employment discrimination. There are inequities in the criminal justice system both in terms of more punishment being meted out to black offenders, and the police and the courts doing less to protect black victims.

I'm not surprised that most white people prefer to ignore this sort of evidence and believe in the existence of equal opportunities, but it's surprising to me how many African-Americans have adopted an unrealistically optimistic view.

Ta-Nehisi Coates says: I obviously agree with Matt's assessment of the socioeconomic plight of black folks. But I don't share his surprise. First there is this--If you're black, a quick way to go insane is to think about how much racism has altered your life. But beyond that, I spent a lot of time in my youth as a left-black nationalist arguing with friends and family about race. One thing that became clear is that while a large number of black people recognize the ugly history of racism in this country, many have a hard time seeing themselves as victims of that racism.

This makes sense if you think about it from a human perspective. Black people have to compete, and their kids have to compete. In order to wake up every morning, work your ass off, and pay taxes, then tell your to do the same, it helps to buy in to the idea that "you can win." Perhaps more important than that, African-Americans are Americans, and "you can win" is a part of our ethos. I suspect that overestimating the extent to which "individual effort" matters is an American trait. Maybe even a human one, I'm not sure. More HERE

AAPP: Let me be very clear, I'm no Obama hater. President Obama is hands down, better than George W Bush any day. There are Obama haters who criticize his every move.

There are also some people that are looking at Barack Obama's policies for urban America. At this point Obama is getting an F from a number of Chicago activists. Candidly, I'm hoping that Black Americans are not becoming stupified by President Barack Obama.

President Obama does not want to be called the "Black American - President," and he shouldn't be. He is the President of all the United States, including Black citizens of America. We should hold him accountable like any President and forget about his blackness.

I'm not stupified by Barack Obama. Are you?


  1. While I agree 100 percent with your assertion, are you aware of two of the latest trends? Both are returns to a survivalist mentality and both are predominantly Anglo-Saxon in origin. The first trend is that of "Economic Survivalist." Economic Survivalist are folks who are giving up all things technical or expensive in an effort to be more self sufficient. I actually like this one. Examples are raising your own crops, fixing your own cars, doing your own repair work on your home, etc. Now the next is a little disconcerting. Right now, did you know that there is a nationwide shortage of ammunition? It is all being bought by freighted white people who fear civil disorder: this being fueled by the NRA, white supremacy groups, and conservative talk radio. By the way, this all started with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

    So, I'm not so sure African-Americans are stupefied...just hopeful of better things to come. But I do believe whites are.

  2. I’m certainly not stupefied by Barack Obama! In fact, I am very critical of him because absolutely none of his policies have worked and the condition of the country has worsened. Oh, I know it is heresy to have a negative opinion of Barack Obama – especially from a black man.

    But before you totally discount my opinion and attack me, carefully look at his policy proposals and examine his agenda. Can you honestly say they are best for America? For example, when has unprecedented debt and over-spending ever brought about economic prosperity? When has increasing the tax burden on producers ever increased revenues to the government? What incentive does a business have to create jobs in the United States when it continues increase taxes on them? What record of success can the government cite to justify their bid to take-over of the healthcare system? – Which is today the best in the world. You can check this for yourself but government has failed miserably each time and so will Barack Obama if his continues to push government as the solution to all problems.

    Additionally, he has already broken several of his very specific campaign promises. Each of these campaign promises he has broken: 1. He said he would end income tax for seniors making less than $50,000; 2. He said he would allow five days of public comment before signing bills; 3. He said he would have tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials; 4. He said he would create a $3,000 tax credit for companies that add jobs; etc.

    I know what you are saying and I hear this a lot, “we need to just give him a chance.” Look, he has already socialized automobile companies, financial institutions and banks. He is also bidding to take-over our healthcare which will be a disaster. Ok, he has had a chance – when do question these actions?

    This is very important and I urge you to forget about his color, his supposed coolness and his supposed charm and critically look and what he is doing. It is vital that you critically think about the outcomes from his actions. Ask yourself, why do we always have to move so “quickly” as he says. We moved quickly with the stimulus bills and nothing has gotten any better. In fact, unemployment has reached double digits and the economy has tanked under his leadership.

    Look, I know he is black and you are all proud of him, but the honeymoon is over and we all need to examine his actions and motives like any other politician and hold him accountable. Otherwise you will be nothing more than an Obama-zombie – incapable of questioning your Obama-master. And if that proves to be the case black Americans are just hopelessly aw-struck and completely stupefied by Barack Obama.