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President Obama Completely Ignores Black Issues in Final State of the Union Address. Will It Hurt His Legacy with His Most Loyal Supporters?

January 13, 2016 | Posted by

 

On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. And by all accounts, it was a well-delivered, well executed speech that rallied the Democratic Party against their Republican rivals in a pivotal election year.  And yet, there was no mention of the Black community — the president’s most loyal constituency and the heart of his base.  He did not directly address some of the subject matter that Black voters would have expected, the things they wanted to hear, while touching on other matters in a more subtle form.

 

On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. And by all accounts, it was a well-delivered, well executed speech that rallied the Democratic Party against their Republican rivals in a pivotal election year.  And yet, there was no mention of the Black community — the president’s most loyal constituency and the heart of his base.  He did not directly address some of the subject matter that Black voters would have expected, the things they wanted to hear, while touching on other matters in a more subtle form.

In his State of the Union preview on Twitter and Facebook, there was an indication, perhaps misread, that the more “Black” Obama was coming out—the one who cared little about the haters.  The organ playing in the background hinted that the president was about to go to church—Black church, that is:

Straight from the Oval Office: Watch @POTUS reflect on his final State of the Union. http://go.wh.gov/SOTU 

 

America, particularly the Black community, saw President Obama go to church when he delivered the eulogy for South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney, pastor of the historic Emanuel AME Church.  Pinckney was one of nine Black church members gunned down by Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, during a Bible study.  There is a place for symbolism, and through his rendition of “Amazing Grace,” he was signaling in his second term in office a common cause with Black folks that was hard to come by in the earlier days of his presidency.

From the beginning, Barack Obama faced what is known as the “Jackie Robinson syndrome.”  It is the phenomenon that Black firsts experience when entering a white space, or a space that was really intended only for whites to occupy, such as the White House.  There were the double standards and the insistence that he not become the angry Black man.  Don’t associate yourself too closely with Black folks, for fear of being accused of favoritism and being labeled “too Black.”  There were expectations of the man by white detractors, the attempts to derail and compromise everything he attempted to do, and the refusal by white nationalists to participate or cooperate in anything he accomplished — no policies, no Obamacare, no stimulus, nothing that would make the Black man look good and help his legacy, even if it meant improving the lives of their own constituencies.

In the 2008 election, we previewed the Jackie Robinson syndrome at work, when then-Senator Obama gave a speech about race. He was allowed to speak some truths about the issue but was closely monitored to ensure he sufficiently threw his pastor and mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, under the bus.  In his first term, when voices of leadership from the Black community urged and pleaded with President Obama to address the high Black unemployment, poverty and other matters of concern to them, he was criticized for placing too much faith in a circle of white neoliberal Wall Street advisers who did not have the interests of Black America in mind.  Meanwhile, the opportunities to address race — including the “beer summit” arising from the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates for breaking into his own home — resulted in a superficial treatment of institutional racism and police abuse.  And even when he attempted to hold a larger conversation on the mistreatment Black people face, he backed down and backtracked.

Meanwhile, in the second term of the Obama administration, there were considerable changes in tone and tenor when it came to matters of grave concern to Black people.  At the same time, there was a confluence of events, as calls for criminal justice reform, an end to the war on drugs and the dismantling of America’s system of mass incarceration took center stage.  Moreover, the #BlackLivesMatter movement emerged, an outgrowth of audacious Black outrage and determination to change a system built on violence against Black bodies.

Last year, the president expressed a hope that his successor would pick up where he left off on issues of racial justice.  President Obama made calls for reform of the criminal justice system, sentencing and support for re-entry, with executive orders to that effect.  Further, he spoke up and spoke out on the gun violence facing America, particularly facing the Black community in cities such as his native Chicago.  And he offered a stable of executive actions that, while by no means a panacea for the systemic issues and challenges of institutional racism and white supremacy, was at least a means of getting the ball rolling.

On his way out the door, did President Obama appear to leave Black people behind?  What will his legacy be with Black America? Black Lives Matter has emerged as the preeminent civil rights movement of our time.  The president has the largest bully pulpit in the nation, if not the world, and his final State of the Union address was arguably the largest stage he will ever have.  Certainly, his administration will prove to be the most important stage Black people will ever have again in years, because it is doubtful there will be another Black president for quite some time.  And the president did not mention the emerging movement to make America honest and make it come to terms with an unresolved legacy of racism in America.  Further, the chief executive failed to mention the strides his own administration has made in the areas of racial justice. Was it a missed opportunity?

In his State of the Union preview on Twitter and Facebook, there was an indication, perhaps misread, that the more “Black” Obama was coming out—the one who cared little about the haters.  The organ playing in the background hinted that the president was about to go to church—Black church, that is:

America, particularly the Black community, saw President Obama go to church when he delivered the eulogy for South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney, pastor of the historic Emanuel AME Church.  Pinckney was one of nine Black church members gunned down by Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, during a Bible study.  There is a place for symbolism, and through his rendition of “Amazing Grace,” he was signaling in his second term in office a common cause with Black folks that was hard to come by in the earlier days of his presidency.

From the beginning, Barack Obama faced what is known as the “Jackie Robinson syndrome.”  It is the phenomenon that Black firsts experience when entering a white space, or a space that was really intended only for whites to occupy, such as the White House.  There were the double standards and the insistence that he not become the angry Black man.  Don’t associate yourself too closely with Black folks, for fear of being accused of favoritism and being labeled “too Black.”  There were expectations of the man by white detractors, the attempts to derail and compromise everything he attempted to do, and the refusal by white nationalists to participate or cooperate in anything he accomplished — no policies, no Obamacare, no stimulus, nothing that would make the Black man look good and help his legacy, even if it meant improving the lives of their own constituencies.

In the 2008 election, we previewed the Jackie Robinson syndrome at work, when then-Senator Obama gave a speech about race. He was allowed to speak some truths about the issue but was closely monitored to ensure he sufficiently threw his pastor and mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, under the bus.  In his first term, when voices of leadership from the Black community urged and pleaded with President Obama to address the high Black unemployment, poverty and other matters of concern to them, he was criticized for placing too much faith in a circle of white neoliberal Wall Street advisers who did not have the interests of Black America in mind.  Meanwhile, the opportunities to address race — including the “beer summit” arising from the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates for breaking into his own home — resulted in a superficial treatment of institutional racism and police abuse.  And even when he attempted to hold a larger conversation on the mistreatment Black people face, he backed down and backtracked.

Meanwhile, in the second term of the Obama administration, there were considerable changes in tone and tenor when it came to matters of grave concern to Black people.  At the same time, there was a confluence of events, as calls for criminal justice reform, an end to the war on drugs and the dismantling of America’s system of mass incarceration took center stage.  Moreover, the #BlackLivesMatter movement emerged, an outgrowth of audacious Black outrage and determination to change a system built on violence against Black bodies.

Last year, the president expressed a hope that his successor would pick up where he left off on issues of racial justice.  President Obama made calls for reform of the criminal justice system, sentencing and support for re-entry, with executive orders to that effect.  Further, he spoke up and spoke out on the gun violence facing America, particularly facing the Black community in cities such as his native Chicago.  And he offered a stable of executive actions that, while by no means a panacea for the systemic issues and challenges of institutional racism and white supremacy, was at least a means of getting the ball rolling.

On his way out the door, did President Obama appear to leave Black people behind?  What will his legacy be with Black America? Black Lives Matter has emerged as the preeminent civil rights movement of our time.  The president has the largest bully pulpit in the nation, if not the world, and his final State of the Union address was arguably the largest stage he will ever have.  Certainly, his administration will prove to be the most important stage Black people will ever have again in years, because it is doubtful there will be another Black president for quite some time.  And the president did not mention the emerging movement to make America honest and make it come to terms with an unresolved legacy of racism in America.  Further, the chief executive failed to mention the strides his own administration has made in the areas of racial justice. Was it a missed opportunity?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

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I smiled when his wife entered and took her seat in the chamber, I smiled as he made his way to the podium. I love the optics of a Democratic Black president but unfortunately that's all we get, nice images but that's it. He could have been one of the great ones, his views should have been more like Bernie Sanders but he said her wanted to be similar to Ronald Reagan, as Black people that statement should have been an insult and let us know he had nothing for us.  

If Bernie becomes president, Blacks well get more out of him than Barack who had no intentions to represent us from the jump. And he did not represent all, he did what he thought made white people happy. 

Last edited by Momentum

One more point, he used the phrase "The New Economy" as if this is how its going to be and should be and made the point on what needs to be done so more Americans can fit into it. In other words he is fine with New Economy, that was created by free market policies and a system rigged to widen profit margins at the expense of the middle class and the poor, money being concentrated at the top 1%. He also said that middle age people will have to keep getting training to keep up with the New Economy. In other words corporations should not be viewed as having any loyalty to the well being of Americans. And his statements about income inequality fell flat because he is pushing for more inequality with that gaddam TPP. Every economic policy move he made favored the rich. 

What USA needs is a CAPTURED ECONOMY that serves the well being of workers and the country! One that keeps jobs here in the US and does not make bigger profits as the only goal for a business to be concerned with. 

You can't speak against the widening wealth inequality and then basically say we need to embrace the New Economy meanwhile pushing economic policies that lowers wages and sends jobs abroad to cheaper labor markets. That is forked tongue BS. 

He had nothing to say about racial profiling,  job discrimination but he'll stick up for gays, Muslims and white women. OK, I leave it there cus thinking about it gets me throwed. 

Last edited by Momentum

There's probably an unwritten rule/law NOT TO HELP Africans in America too much. If it appears our attention might go completely to an individual, because of our betterment in some way, that person's executed/assassinated. If  we want to stand up and walk proudly, we're going to have to leave this country. Whites will have NO AFRICANS walking side-by-side with them in equality. For 8 years they've been giving President Obama hell. We're America's muppets. If you don't have a heap of wealth, you're/we're fucked. There's no way to sugarcoat this mess we're in with the white people, through no fault of our own. 500 years and counting.....


We all understand what was unsaid. No one’s uplifted by that omission. Aside from that . . . I thought he looked manly. He carried himself well. He was the commander. He was sincere and included the required political bullshit too. I want to take a moment to admire his sober temper and his even gaze. The man knows how to laugh too. Maybe I can learn from him? Maybe I can figure out how I can contribute too and earn at the same time? That’s there too, wouldn’t want to miss it. He’s a man. White people, to different degrees, blacken Obama, systemically ni663rize him. He’s standing there in a manly way and its gets through. Isn’t he a warrior? Nobody managed to slap down 'Uppity '. Obama is far beyond that repulsive characterization. M-A-N.

Last edited by DennisKalita

I'm going to miss him and his classy family plus Bo and Sunny when they leave the White's House. The style, the Kennedy Center Honors, Black artists at the White's House. There's no one else I'll watch as closely and enjoy like I did President Barack Obama. I'm saddened that his mother didn't live to see what he accomplished. She and I have much in common. She would have been so proud. I know I am. He's a wonderful son. God bless President Obama and his family. He's definitely the M-A-N; a handsome African M-A-N.

I'm NOT looking forward to what's coming in 2017, not one damn bit. 

When Hitleresque Yellow Head gets in office he'll be recalling the Slave Ship Jesus; waiting for all of us to Get On Board.

Last edited by Norland

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