Black America’s Gains and Losses
By Alan Caruba
August 29, 2011
You know that Barack Obama is in trouble when even the Congressional Black Caucus begins to criticize him.
Maxine Waters (D-CA) recently told a gathering that the CBC is “frustrated” with regard to unemployment, a problem that has hit blacks harder than whites. The only thing holding the CBC back from being more vocal, said Waters, was its fear they will lose the support of the black community.
It says something about Congress and politics in America that the only race-based caucus is the Black Caucus.
Like many Americans, I watched the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s unfold with the feeling that, a century passed the Civil War, it was long overdue.
The movement had a leader of remarkable talent, Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., plus others from the ministry and labor movement. It was a time of turmoil that ended with the assassinations of Dr. King, President John F. Kennedy, and of Bobby Kennedy.
Others died too in the struggle but they have become relegated to being minor historic players. When the dust settled President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The changes in American life since then have been extraordinary when Afro-Americans were assured their voting rights, equal housing, and other opportunities that had been routinely denied.
Whites accommodated themselves to the changes, having already accepted 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that separate, but equal schools, a widespread practice in the southern and border States, was unconstitutional.
While many blacks have achieved middle class status and risen to levels of real achievement, the vast bulk has not. These comments acknowledge individual success stories, but address the larger black community.
As a general observation, blacks in America have chosen to ignore the gains in legally protected civil rights equality.
By most indices the black community has not changed. In U.S. cities they remain ghettoized, as much from choice, as external circumstances. Instead of moving forward, integrating and assimilating into the larger white population; blacks have emotionally remained apart, nurturing a sense of being victims, holding onto an animus for whites.
Social failures are so rampant among blacks that it is appalling to contemplate how many are born into single-parent families, often raised by a mother or grandparents because the men are absent. They drop out of school. Unskilled and often illiterate, employment opportunities are limited. Blacks and crime have become synonymous to the point where they fill the nation’s prisons far in excess of whites and Hispanics. Drug use ravages black communities.
To say whites are disappointed is an understatement. It is a source of resentment that is rarely expressed aloud to avoid being deemed a racist or engaging in hate speech.
So how does one explain the phenomenon of the first black President?
Observers attribute it to a large turnout of younger voters, born well after the 1960s, to union members, many of whom were government workers, to liberals, to 98% of the Afro-American community, and, of course, Democrats in general. Many white voters who wanted to affirm their belief that equality was an American value pulled the lever for Obama.
Barack Obama has exacerbated white disappointment and it is likely that many blacks, too, are experiencing buyer’s lament.
Among whites, there’s a feeling that scores were being settled with incidents like Obama’s condemnation of a white Boston police officer, the appointment of Eric Holder as the first black Attorney General, and of others like Van Jones as the “Green Jobs Czar.” Jones is a self-identified Communist and a radical environmentalist who resigned and is now safe in the bosom of progressive organizations.
When whites became aware of Obama’s preacher, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, saying “God damn America”, they had to actively ignore the fact that Obama had spent many years in his church, that Wright had married him and Michelle, and baptized their children. Theirs was no casual relationship, nor were others from any earlier point in his life such as the Communist Party member, Frank Marshall Davis, who advised young Barack that his white grandmother had a right to be scared of blacks because “She understands that black people have a reason to hate.”
It will be a long time before the majority white and Hispanic populations forget or forgive the legacy of Barack Obama.
Obama has wreaked economic havoc on America since taking office and this time people—black, white, Asian and Hispanic—have taken notice.
Alan Caruba is an American public relations counselor and freelance writer who is a frequent critic of environmentalism, Islam and research on global warming. In the late 1970s Caruba founded the PR firm The Caruba Organization, and in 1990, the National Anxiety Center, which identifies itself as "a clearinghouse for information about 'scare campaigns' designed to influence public policy and opinion" on such subjects as global warming, ozone depletion and DDT.