Black people must rally for Obama more than ever
By Charles Brown
We still hear some Black Detroiters saying things like “Obama isn’t doing anything for Black people,” “When is Obama coming to Detroit himself?” and “Why hasn’t the Obama administration helped Detroit fight off takeover by Lansing?”
The answer to these questions, as stated in a column in the Aug. 26 issue of the Michigan Citizen, “It’s race, stupid.”
The giant step forward that so many white Americans took four years ago in being the majority of voters who elected a Black President was followed by a giant step backward in 2010 with the rise of the tea Republicans essentially motivated by white supremacist disdain for the
African American chief executive. In Michigan this resulted in Tea Republican dominance of state government, and their dictatorial takeover and looting of majority Black cities, especially Detroit. Romney just made a joke here in Michigan pandering to the racist “birther” slander that the president was not born in the United States. Anybody honest will say that Romney’s campaign still relies critically on racist discomfort with Obama. However, most white supremacy today is not of the extremist Ku Klux Klan variety, but rather unconscious racism among people who think of themselves as not prejudice and would resent the accusation that they are racially prejudice. Most of them buy into the idea that racism is a thing of the past, and that there is a level playing field now. It follows from this false premise that the new “racism” is policies that favor Black people. Affirmative action is “racist,” all kidding aside.
For these white voters, for Obama to do something for Black people or for majority Black Detroit is “reverse discrimination” and a sort of racial nepotism, taking care of his own race to the detriment of white people. Some might even be persuaded that Obama is caving in to, as
Romney said in racist insult and slander to the NAACP, Black people’s appetite for “free stuff.”
The upshot is that Black people must be sophisticated enough to see that what Obama “does for Black people” is contained in what he does for all of the 99 percent in such achievements as the Affordable Care Act, liberal Supreme Court appointments, pro-union National Labor Relations Board appointments, the pay equity for women law, the economic stimulus, extensions of unemployment benefits, ending the war in Iraq, winding down the war in Afghanistan; and the potential actions of a second term, if we can elect a supportive Congress. Furthermore, his holding the office and status of president and, more importantly, succeeding at that, is further repudiation of the American prejudice that Black people are inferior to white people.
If he is not re-elected because he “failed” at the duties and responsibilities of president, the big
American lie of Black inferiority will be reinforced. Not only that, the majority of Black people will suffer more than most of the 99 percent by the anti-working class, anti-women policies that Romney and Ryan are indicating clearly they will institute. What Obama has done and will do “for Black people” is in large part what he won’t do that the Republicans, dominated by the tea partiers and right-wingers, have and will do.
In summary, Black people must reach down deep and rally, build enthusiasm, turn out and vote in bigger numbers than in most elections to re-elect President Barack Obama. It is in our self interests to do so.