September 9, 2011

Anyone Can Criticize President Barack Obama -- Just Do It With Respect

One of my blogging colleagues -- Aaron Laramore (A Political Season) -- recently said on his blog, "Tavis and Cornel Have One Thing Right...Black People Can & Should Criticize Obama". In the blog post Bro. Laramore noted,
"I voted for Obama, gave money, canvassed my neighborhood. I want him to be a successful president. But he is not the leader we expected him to be. His walk vastly underperforms his talk, routinely. I routinely encounter Blacks online and off who contend that as Blacks we should support him no matter what because he is Black, irrespective of whether he is doing a good job or not. My brothers and sisters, is that really what you mean? I don't think Rosa and King and Malcolm and Medgar and all the other civil rights heroes sacrificed so that we could live in an America where we have to support a Brother no matter how he performs. They fought for an America where we CAN be judged on our merits, on our results..."
I didn't have any problem with Aaron's message. He was able to express his disapproval of the President without using provacative and unwarranted language the way that Tavis and Cornel have been doing in recent months.

Tavis and Cornel try to raise their own profile in the media and in the white community by attacking Obama in a way that sounds similiar to the rantings of Tea Party activists around the nation. That is the issue that I hear most often in my discussions with other Black folks online and offline.

In fact, I don't hear many Blacks blindly supporting the president. Many Blacks that I talk to are disappointed in the unemployment numbers in the Black community ... they are disappointed in the fact that America is still in two major wars ... they are disappointed in the fact that the so-called 'post-racial' era that everyone saw on the horizon when Barack Obama was elected in 2008 hasn't taken hold. In fact, it seems quite the opposite. You don't have to be a racism-chaser to see racism in both words and deeds on a daily basis in America. 

However, elections are all about context. Barack Obama won't be running against our expectations. He will be running against a man (or woman) from the Republican Party ... likely Mitt Romney or Sheriff Perry from Texas. I suspect that an overwhelming number of Black folks who go to the polls in 2012 will compare the idea of having Barack Obama (and his family) in the White House from 2013-2016 against the idea of having a man (Romney) who doesn't appear to have ever hired or worked with a Black person in his life *or* a man (Sheriff Perry) who takes pride in approving the death penalty against 260+ people (mostly Black). When they make that comparison they will vote for the re-election of a decent and highly intelligent Barack Obama for another four years as President of the United States.

I don't begrudge anyone ... including the Black community ... from criticizing Barack Obama. It would be nice if they could do so in a respectful manner and if they could do so in a fair and balanced manner.


PatriciaW said...

Wholeheartedly agree. Your friend should forward his blog to West and Smiley.

Unknown said...

Patricia - I suspect that Tavis and Cornel have already been trolling cyberspace and found his blog post already! :)

Daddy Squeeze Me! said...

Tavis and Cornel make me sick! Like SNOOPY AND BOO BOO DA CLOWN....going around on a bullshit circus tour where they do such acts as KISS THE TEA PARTY'S ASS WITH GLEE and the most famous one, RUNNIN' OFF AT THE THE THROAT AND EXPECTING NO CRITICISM IN RETURN. I hear its a good show for you and your family if you are all about TOMFOOLERY.

msladyDeborah said...

It is our right and our duty to keep a watchful eye on those who govern. This would include Obama.

I believe that we need to show some political maturity and exercise our rights. I listened to Smiley and West prior to their bus tour. I found myself turned off by many of their remarks because they were personal to them.

Unknown said...

Tormaline, Amber & Lady D - I appreciate your response to the blog post. I wonder if Tavis and Cornel recognize that they are losing their audience in the Black community by their words and petty jealousy?

Unknown said...

Well said and I agree. I am so thankful we live in a country where we can freely express our opinions but I tire of the petty, disrespectful attacks on President Obama. What happened to debating on the facts without resulting to cheap shots and personal insults? Tavis and Cornel have lost my attention and they definitely do not speak for me.

Carolyn Moon said...

It's a shame with all the brilliant scholarly work Dr. West has done in the past that he's allowed this issue and his behavior to diminish it!! Egos have gone amok and yes at ONE time I did respect Dr. West.

Unknown said...

Karen & Carolyn - I appreciate you both for sharing your comments on this topic. I agree with you both!