The Washington Post

Obama, the DNC and African Americans: Talking Loud and Saying Nothing

Raynard Jackson, a registered Republican and political consultant, is president and chief executive of Raynard Jackson & Associates, a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.

Tuesday night, as I watched the Democratic convention, I was totally mesmerized. But not for the reasons you might think.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama waves before addressing the first session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (ERIC THAYER/REUTERS)

The opening night of the Democrat’s convention was everything the Republican’s was not:staged wonderfully, exciting, thematic, and was great TV.

But what mesmerized me more than the production value was how oblivious the Democrats are to the state of things on planet Earth. I am tired of all the problems facing this country being put at the feet of George W. Bush and the Republicans.

Obama has had three years to apply his remedies to all the problems facing our country and the best he and the Democrats can do is continue to blame the GOP and a president who left office nearly four years ago? Have they forgotten that the Democrats had a veto-proof Senate and a majority in the House during Obama’s first two years in office? Republicans took over the House as a direct result of the voter’s disaffection with the President’s first two years in office.

Bush left us with about $4 trillion in debt. Under Obama, that debt is now $16 trillion. When Obama became President, the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent. Now it’s 8.3 percent. These are facts.

So, are Bush and the Republicans responsible for the quadrupling of the national debt or the White House’s inability to lower the unemployment rate?

Obama has proven to be a much better candidate than president. He would give Bill Clinton a run for the money when it comes to raw politics. Obama and his campaign team know how to pull on your emotions to the point that you become irrational.

But as an African American, I’m confounded as to why we continue to have blind loyalty to a president that has overseen an economy that is mired in a 15 percent black unemployment rate.How can you vote for this president when there is no public record of him meeting with any prominent black businessmen? How can you vote for Obama after news broke in Politco this past spring that his campaign was so short on black campaign workers that his field staff had to scramble to find “qualified blacks” for their get-out the vote effort? How can you vote for Obama when he supports an immigrant guest worker program- that amounts to amnesty in my book- to over one million illegal immigrants? This very well might create competition with low and under-skilled black workers who are unemployed or under-employed. How can you vote for Obama when he has failed to spend as much as he said he would on HIV and AIDS abroad (specifically in Africa) and cut the spending from the federal budget to fight the disease?

The electorate, especially blacks, are suffering from cognitive dissonance. In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the inability to see what you don’t believe.

I’m sure there are some who will say: Obama cares about us, but he can’t do anything specifically for blacks because whites will think he is trying to be president of Black America. But there are other core Democrat constituencies that have benefited from the president’s attention: the gay community received a repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” and a presidential endorsement of gay marriage. (and Time Magazine went so far as to label Obama the first gay president). And another core constituency, Hispanics, have received similar presidential attention: he has given them back-door amnesty. But for African Americans? He’s given us speeches.

So, let me make sure I understand this psychosis: if Obama ignores blacks in his first term because he doesn’t want to be viewed as a black President (though he is); that’s ok because if there is a second term, he will then pay attention to black voters because he then won’t mind being viewed as a black President?

I have a headache.

More from The Root DC

A letter to Mitt Romney

A warning from Al Sharpton

Sister Circle program draws wellness-minded black women

Attending DNC: How to enjoy Charlotte

Nicki Minaj’s ode to Mitt Romney

‘Love & Hip-Hop Reunion Special’ Part 2




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