I happened to catch Erik Todd Dellums this morning on Fox & Friends and I’m glad that I did. The well-known actor was discussing his recent post called Black Sheep. In it he criticizes the actions of Barack Obama with regards to the African-American community. This community is suffering mightily during the current recession and it appears that President Obama has not reached out to aid them. You have to wonder why.
I am impressed with Mr. Dellums courage to speak out on such a sensitive subject. After all, Barack Obama is America’s first African-American President. His election inspired a deal of pride and hope in the black community. I recall a story from the Civil War in which an African-American former slave who had joined the Union Army passed his former master along a road in North Carolina. The former slave and his former master locked eyes and the soldier said, “Bottom rail’s on top now, massa.” The African-American community probably felt that way on election night 2008.
Reality has changed that. Many in this community live at the bottom of the economic ladder with 1 in 3 living in poverty as Mr. Dellums points out. Yet, the President has not done anything to alleviate their condition. I disagree with the Rev. Al Sharpton on almost everything but on one thing I agree with him. Obama has no experience as a true African-American. His African and European ancestors were always free. They never had to struggle up the long ladder of American Dream.
Barack Obama may look like an African-American but he certainly doesn’t act or even speak like one. He is the product of a white upbringing by his mother and her parents. He went to the best schools in Hawaii. He went to schools in the Ivy League, not exactly a bastion of diversity. He joined the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church at the suggestion of his wife and used his membership to raise his own profile on the South Side of Chicago.
During his Presidential campaign he said very little about the African-American predicament and his actions during the 2 1/2 years of his Presidency bear that out. In a nutshell, he doesn’t really care about this community that is suffering tremendously during the prolonged recession that Obama cannot solve. And yet the African-American community still supports him almost unanimously. Why?
As I said above, I understand the African-American community’s pride in the election of Barack Obama as President. Yet, he espouses beliefs that in some cases are directly opposed by the very same community. Barack Obama supports unlimited abortions and has gone as far as advocating late term abortions. Here’s a list of facts on this subject. The African-American community’s support for abortions is at 50% with 40% opposed and 10% don’t know. Among black Protestants the approval rating narrows to 48%, 42%, 10%. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
A recent Gallup poll shows Obama’s once near unanimous approval rating among Blacks and Hispanics is beginning to slip. High unemployment, rising prices and economic stagnation are starting to make those on the bottom begin to question the Democratic Party’s goals. Obama’s stimulus policies and proposals are targeted more for other Democratic constituencies: teachers, public employees and union members. Blacks and Hispanics have been marginalized by Obama and the Democrats in the mistaken belief that they have no where else to go.
The Republicans bear a closer look for these groups. We know that the once near hammer-lock that the Democrats had on the Hispanic vote is starting to melt away. Apparently, the mainstream media’s near bombardment of this community with anti-immigration propaganda is having the opposite effect on legal Hispanic immigrants and Hispanic-Americans in general. They are asking why illegals should get favored treatment that they haven’t earned while they and their children have to pay full price.
The African-American community should be asking similar questions of the Democrats. Why can’t they get some help from the party that they have supported for many years? Perhaps, it’s time for a little dose of history. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, freed the slaves in the Confederate States with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862.
The Republican administration of the same man enlisted 180,000 black soldiers in the Army of the Union over many objections by white commanders. The objections died down after they saw that African-American soldiers were just as brave at places like Battery Wagner where the famed 54th Massachusetts charged headlong into Confederate guns or the Battle of New Market Heights where 14 African-American soldiers earned their country’s supreme accolade: the Medal of Honor.
It’s an often overlooked fact that without the votes of Republican Senators the 1964 Civil Rights Act would not have been passed. A compromise bill put forward by two Republicans and two Senators cut off a filibuster that was being conducted by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Strom Thurmond (D-SC). Norther Republican Senators voted 27-5 in favor while Southern Democrats voted 1 for, 20 against.
The American economy is not a zero sum game as the Democrat would have all Americans believe. They think of it as a pie with only so much for all. If you get this, I lose it. What a lie! The American economy is an ever-expanding ocean of opportunity for all. As long as we handle it properly we will benefit from it like the goose that laid the Golden Egg.
Richard Billies is the purveyor of All Things Political Today and a frequent SNSPost contributor. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Billies.