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President Obama sets Black America straight

August 9, 2012

President Obama is not the president of black America

President Obama is not the president of black America

In this month’s issue of Black Enterprise when asked of the criticism he’s received for allegedly not doing enough to support black-owned businesses, President Obama said “My general view has been consistent throughout, which is that I want all businesses to succeed. I want all Americans to have opportunity. I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means, who have been in the past locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody. So, I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African American businesses.”

Here’s my issue. Why do blacks always have to slide under someone else’s umbrella in order to not get wet? Why can’t we have our own umbrella? Immigrants don’t get programs that ultimately benefit them and neither does the LGBT community, or the disabled, or veterans or seniors. So why must blacks settle? I think our president is hitting the snooze button on the history of blacks in this country. Blacks are not owed anything more than anyone else, but we are owed a reset if we don’t get extra. Let me explain.

Special interests are groups with special issues. Blacks are a group that were oppressed, raped, killed and hindered legally in America. The issues we face aren’t because we are black, it’s because what America did to Africans, and continues to do to its descendants over the past 500 years. Our issues are not genetic, they are conditioned. I guess we are a special interest group; the corrupted class. So to finally get into this powerful office and ignore the issues we inherited from our ancestors that were unnaturally instilled into them by government is criminal.

The government cannot hand out stimulus or contract opportunities that are available to all businesses and expect black business to excel. It’s just not realistic. It is like offering the opportunity to write an essay to win a trip to anyone who knows how to spell and expect a 3rd grader to have a fighting chance against a college student; someone with much more resources and acquired knowledge. If you want more 3rd graders to win a trip, then you have to make programs available for 3rd graders only unless you really aren’t that interested in 3rd graders getting the trip but only make it seem like you care. Call it what you want. But to me, in the end, it’s giving every entrepreneur a fair shot. Throwing the meat to all the wolves in the pack is not fair to the wolves that are old or sick. Follow me on this.

One thing, I immensely respect him for saying this before his reelection and to a black publication, not somewhere in the Aficionado or Newsweek magazines, but saying it directly to black business owners. However, now the charge is ours. What do we do about it? He is saying you are on your own. Expect nothing special from me. Fight with all of the conglomerates even if you guns are much smaller.

I’ve always said that Barack Obama is not the first black president. He is the first mixed raced president. Just as black he is, is just as white he is. And to be quite honest, we have no right to be upset at his stance. He is showing loyalty to both lineages he came from without bias.

But to have this opportunity and not cease it is culturally irresponsible for all of America. To sign an educational bill for blacks two years after a similar one was signed for Hispanics only underscores that blacks are to remain at the back of the bus and expect to only get our relief after everyone else has been fed.

I sit in amazement as the president is surrounded by so-called black leaders who spin the setbacks blacks receive to their poor uneducated followers as a good thing. What a grave miscarriage of social justice. They chase stories and TV cameras. They’ve become celebrities, where poor blacks forget how they’ve abandoned the real mission and yet run to them just to get an autograph or photo.

Let’s not pretend that black people are as equally educated and equally stable as everyone else. This means that throwing, what others can recognize as, equally opportunities makes no impact. Many blacks can’t see it. Not to their fault either. To American history’s fault! The pain and anguish from the Middle Passage straight up to Jim Crow has become their familial heritage and culture. Therefore, what we see an opportunity means nothing to them until others have ran off with it and capitalized on it. Of course, at that point, it’s too late. They can’t see raw land as a future mixed-use development. They can’t see voting as better schools. They can’t see saving as future homeownership. They can’t see none of it! If we want to help the group that lags behind the most, we must exclusively target them with opportunities.

Black America economically hurts more than any other group in America, yet we are consistently overlooked. The government kicked us down 500 years ago and for the multi-cultured leader of the free world to not recognize that special focus on blacks is really an American agenda only sets everyone back another 5 centuries.

I raised my voice, now raise yours!

Devin Robinson is the author of Power M.O.V.E.: How to Transition from Employee to Employer. Visit him at

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 11, 2012 4:12 pm

    Unfortunately there are various sections within our beloved family who have yet to realize the reality. We have some who will always be waiting for the next “Martin Luther King Jr.” We have those “well let’s just pray and wait on Jesus”. We have those that are conditioned to accept whatever comes their way. We have those who love to pretend they aren’t who they really are. We have those that will always expect someone else to do the work and we have those who’ve gotten theirs but fail to pay it forward.

    We also have the various institutions designed to assist us but yet play the game to justify existence. We have a Black Congressional Caucus that has gotten old and tired but yet refuse to take a seat back to allow fresh blood. That’s what we have. Now what we don’t have is compassion for one another collectively as a people. What we don’t have is an unspoken but communally shared set of values and standards. What we don’t have is our brothas back.

    It would be great if all Black Congressional Caucus members and black million and billionaires club rally together for an economical infrastructure building across the country. Most of the hard work is done through LBJ getting the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the Act included several social programs to promote the health, education, and general welfare of the impoverished. Most of the Initiatives of the program were abandoned. They could introduce a bill allowing federal funds be allocated specifically for the economic up building of African Americans based off of the historical and present disparities that African Americans. I mean it’s not as if you need to do a lot of researching. Don’t get me wrong I don’t for one second think that it will be all that easy by no means. However with the combined funds from black millionaires that money could be leveraged as collateral. Then with a strategic plan go in one city at a time. This will single handedly wipe out a few of our issues at one time. It addresses the employment crisis, less people collecting unemployment…

    The fact that Obama signed a bill “for us” at this hour is because he and his people realized they made a mistake in calculating the importance of his base. They had to throw us a bone. You see not all of us have our face in the sand just more than what should be. And the ones who do made the same mistake our people have been doing for years “settle”.

    All in all at the end of the day if we can’t rally together enough people for committed, united organized structure with the sole purpose of economically empower people, we’ll never be able to have a seat at the table with the same bargaining power representing us for our continued survival and respect.

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