Let’s face it, all presidents fall under criticism. Some of the criticism is fair and some of the criticism is not. There is nothing new in expressing dissatisfaction with any given U.S. President. Balance is found in the individual being able to determine what criticisms are fair and unfair by being able to decipher fact from fiction. And then there are the scathing criticisms of President Obama that are so profoundly unfair in their defiance of all logic and reason that they undermine the intent of even those most displeased with him.
Lately there has been a trend of criticism that transcends the very essence of what Obama represents to so many. “Black America mistakenly traded the future of its young black men for a black president.” This criticism on the part of Phillip Jackson would be quite true if it had the right intent.
Mr. Jackson goes forward to detail statistics that are equally well known as they are horrid. Detailed statistics that were reported inaccurately. Jackson reports that blacks comprise “less than 7% of the U.S. population.” This of course is untrue; 12.85% of the U.S. population is “Black or African American Alone” according to the US Census Bureau. He further used a statistic claiming the blacks “make up 50% to 80% of the jail and prison population…” It is important to understand how crucial these statistics are and how they are reported. First, prison statistics generally show a trend of a national average of about 50% of those imprisoned in the U.S. are black. Second, in regions and communities that are predominately black, the incarceration rate of blacks is far higher. Third, in areas where the black population is higher than the white population, up to 90% of those incarcerated on drug charges are black males. The national average however, is 50%. More critical is a report that was generated ten years ago that demonstrated one in ten black males was currently imprisoned. These statistics are then translated into how blacks are targeted to serve longer sentences and have a higher incarceration rate; not the behavior or personal choices made that put the individual in front of a judge who then had the choice of leniency. In “leniency,” only incarceration is reported, not issues of probation violations and repeat offenses which immediately skews the data.
[This is not to say that the judicial system does not discriminate against blacks, but demands attention be given to the choices our people are making that allows the judicial system to inflict such damage upon our people].
The young black male in America faces challenges that no other demographic does. We represent anywhere from 1% to 3% of the population on an average American college campus while only 35% of black males complete a degree in six years. Current unemployment rates among blacks are as high as 50% in cities like New York. Complicating the matter is the fact that more than 70% of our children are born to single and often severely disadvantaged mothers. The plight of the black male in America is of tale of peril and imminent doom when you consider abortion and HIV rates among our women.
Correcting this has been placed on the shoulders, or “laid at the feet of” Obama because he is America’s first “black” president. When repeatedly challenged to select this specific group and direct aid designed to help the black community above all other communities in America, he retorted with the ideology that it is his job to help all communities equally. The response from many in the black community has been of the nature of Phillip Jackson’s where the president is ridiculed for articulating the need for “fairness.”
Where we have gone wrong as a community is allowing for the expectation of the unreasonable. We have been lured into a false sense of security by a group of politicians that has sought to economically oppress by establishing a theory of entitlement. Obama is no different is his desire to oppress through economic dependency on government.
Abandoned have been values and laws both Divine and constitutional as the black family unit eroded ahead of the nation’s moral decline. We more readily accelerated away from the values of the Traditional Generation which are much in need today to combat the ever declining moral standards of acceptability of Generation’s X and Y. No president can correct this, nor should a given president be expected to. The death of the black family in America can only be saved by re-establishing the importance of family in the black community and the return to respectable morals and values.
In supporting Obama, many failed to understand the dichotomy between values and politics. Simple background research would have told the “would be Obama voter” that Obama would be everything except what they set their expectations for him to be. The sudden growth of government was thought to be the panacea for all that ails an ill nation and a troubled black sub-culture. Silently it was determined that because Obama was “black” he would deliver blacks from the very perils we have chose to ignore as we opted to follow a political belief that without the help of others, we could not help ourselves. Obama is representative of the epitome of such political agendas, not a savior from it. His aid will be further economic oppression through impoverishment of the masses as dependency on government grows America into true welfare state. The black community has gotten a head start in dependency by believing politicians and government provided support was more important than embracing the values instilled by previous generations. In reliance on Obama, we fail to acknowledge the responsibility we have to ourselves.
For this, Obama cannot be blamed or faulted. In doing so we seek to rationalize and justify failure through the absolution of accountability while embracing entitlement over strong morals and values. The black community is not a political agenda piece; it is an issue that can only be corrected by embracing the black family unit. Obama is simply not to blame, we are.