I’m a middle-aged white guy with a white beard and mostly gray hair(at least I still have hair). Put me in a Confederate uniform and I’m the spitting image of my great x2 grandfather who was an artillerymen in armies that lost to Curtis at Pea Ridge, Grant at Shiloh and Vicksburg, and to Sherman at Atlanta. I know this because he kept a diary, and towards the end wondered why he fought for people who thought blacks weren’t even human. He at least knew they were good soldiers because he fought them and felt lucky to have survived the experience.
And I live in a predominantly black neighborhood in Euclid, Ohio. Because of my appearance, lots of white folks who are racist assume I must be that way, too. Interestingly enough, most of my African-American neighbors presume I’m not racist because I live among them, and they’re right.
Anyway, lots of white people say things to me like “Obama only cares about the blacks; everything he does onlyhelps the blacks.” When I ask them just exactly what Obama’s done for black people, I just get puzzled looks as they think about it and can’t come up with anything.
Neither can I.
Most of my African-American neighbors think Obama’s trying to do good things, but is prevented from doing so by the evil Republicans. When I ask them just exactly what he’s really tried to do to help them, I get much the same reaction as I do from the kneejerk white racists: puzzlement, then something like “Well, he would, but he knows he can’t get it through Congress,” or some such weak response.
Today I drove past an African-American church. There was a sign in front of it which read, “Rich Whites Don’t Want To Give the Money for a Black Messiah’s Dream.”
Maybe I’ll have to go to that church tomorrow to be sure, but it seems to me that the black messiah to which the sign refers is Barack Obama, unless there’s been some miracle around here of which I am unaware.
So, just what has Obama done for African-Americans? From where I sit, squat, unless they’re Wall Street speculators. He sure hasn’t done anything for the ones in my community. If he had, I’m sure I would have noticed because, after all, I live here.
Yes, I know that not all African-Americans support Obama. I do read the Black Agenda Report from time to time, and there are certainly some here on FDL who don’t think very highly of him for what I consider to be very good reasons. But most still do.
So I have two questions for those kind enough to read this post. One, why DO most African-Americans still support this corporatist fraud? Two, the title question, just what has Obama done for African-Americans? Obama cheerleaders, here’s your chance.