by Chris Stevenson
Earlier I was at a local wholesale store debating with an old Italian guy about President Obama. Actually I made a remark about the current President-elect the man responded how Obama did nothing for blacks, in fact he stated he didn’t feel Obama did anything. I had to remind him the first thing Obama did was save the auto industry, otherwise the whole country would be bankrupt by now. He just shook his head, it’s wasn’t really that he didn’t believe me, he was riding the Trump momentum. The blue collar white man’s fantasy president. Little mundane things like creating 14 million jobs in 70 months, or reducing the deficit by a trillion dollars is only notable if Trump accomplished those, not our first black president. On the old man’s charge that Obama did nothing for blacks I reminded him that much of the bills he tried to pass were shot down by Congress and Senate.
Yes, President has written several pieces of legislation for women and gays. There are no laws he passed specifically for African Americans. Doubtless if there were the old Italian would be calling Obama a racist, or too biased toward the black community. I am once again reminded of the old Italian construction worker from Philadelphia who told a reporter for the Inquirer during his first campaign that all Obama was looking to do was give the blacks jobs. As if that was a bad thing… but that’s Philly for you. While Obama did increase jobs as well as healthcare under his umbrella, there is one black dilemma he has thus far only given lip service to; the police problem. There’s a commercial out right now that reminds me of some black politicians I know. The LifeLock ad is the perfect comparison:
“David you have one of the worst cavities I’ve ever seen.”
“Aren’t you going to fix it?” responds the man whose seat is tilted back with tons of dentist-paraphernalia framed around his mouth.
“Oh I’m not a dentist, I’m a dental monitor. I just tell you when you have a bad cavity.”
Many blacks hoped Obama was going to be a transformative president, as opposed to transactional president, but it seems like after the midterm elections Obama transformed himself into a Presidential Monitor. He began to finally open up his dialogue about race, and our “bad cavity”; the police attacks on blacks-including even black women and children-without doing anything about these situations. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to non-black specific matters he is very presidential. In fact he’s a whip, last year he passed 39 Executive Orders alone in spite of fake-news rumors and/or wishful thinking republican reports to the contrary.
Everytime ugly messy situations develop between police and blacks, the black elected-official only thinks about tip-toeing past the blood and corruption without being noticed as best as possible. How niggardly is that? It’s almost like an in-thing with black officials. In President Obama’s case he claims he only criticizes police based upon the rule of law, it’s never personal (kind of like an executive branch Mr. Spock). In other words he really thinks all the hostile and heated reactions from blacks after an unarmed black has been gunned down, strangled, or beaten to death by police is just a tad bit much. His embarrassment toward your uncouth behavior is more important than the life that was lost and the way it was lost.
‘If you people just wait and hold off on your spraying your slogans on protest signs or tossing your bricks through some storefront windows, I was gonna write a nasty speech about their rule of law.’ This is what he seems to have been saying to us the past couple years.
EO 112214 indicates the date Tamir Rice was shot by a Cleveland, OH cop-cs
If the President truly wants to enhance community-policing then he has three days to Executive Order a measure I wrote over 2 months ago (Executive Order 112214 Tamir Rice Law), and put a Life-Lock on it that even Trump can’t tamper with. What he may have a problem with is my idea just being a law. This is really a collection of ideas from past anti-racial profiling laws, things I have thought up based on incidents over the past few years, and some suggestions from others I have presented this petition to over the past several weeks, a couple of lines from something called “Marvin’s Law” we tried to pass around a decade ago, and ideas from former and current police officers like Cariol Horne and outgoing-Dallas Chief Dave Brown. Obama was a real President when it came time to sign bills for gays and women, when it comes to blacks he demotes himself to dental or presidential monitor.
Some of this is simply their over-anticipating what whites or their white constituency don’t like.
Did Obama do anything for blacks? Many may be quick to forget the dozens of of pardons and commutations the President has pushed through between 2009-2016, most of whom are African American. In late December he signed the Emmett Till bill to reopen old cold case murder cases. NewsOne.com recently reported:
The legislation, titled the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes bill, was initially introduced by activist Alvin Sykes in 2005. He named the proposed bill after Till because he vowed to his mother, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, he would fight to reopen the case. The Department of Justice did reopen the case in 2004; it was closed three years later after a jury decided not to indict Carolyn Bryant, the woman who accused Till of whistling at her. Two years after the case was reopened, the FBI started to look into over 100 civil rights cases. In 2008, the bill was placed into law.
The upgraded legislation, which President Obama signed on December 16, will now get rid of the limitations on cases that occurred prior to 1970 and will allow ongoing investigations conducted by the FBI surrounding civil rights cases. This will create an avenue for cases that occurred during the height of the Jim Crow Era to be reopened. Under the revised bill, dubbed Till Bill 2, groups including Emory University’s Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project and the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University would receive funding to help solve civil rights cases.
Now of course you know what I’m thinking, if he can name a Bill after Emmett, he can sign an executive order and name it after Tamir. The easy part for him is he doesn’t have to sit down and think about what laws would be appropriate, you’re pointman has done the core of it for him.
On 11/3/15 Jeremy Mardis (6) was killed by two Marksville, LA police while recklessly shooting at his father-Wikipedia
On the same day as the Till Bill he signed a Whistleblower protection bill for FBI agents. This is important because there’s an ex-Buffalo Police Officer in my city who has an idea for a whistleblower law named after her, and portions of it are in the Tamir Law. The thing about the Till law is… well, 1-How many of the people from those days are still alive? 2-It’s not getting a lot of hate or pressure against it because the right will say those were acts committed in a bygone era. Tamir is today, an era where many whites are literally claiming racism is over or minimal it would be seen as an epic piece of “race-baiting” were he to sign such a set of rules into law. It’s not like his 1/10 farewell address endeared him more to the wingnuts than before, I don’t know if that old geezer at the wholesale store counts my next example as “doing for the blacks,” but in mid-December he pissed-off tons of American law enforcement by appointing the former attorney for the hated political prisoner Mumia abu-Jamal to the Commission on Civil Rights:
In a move sure to fray his relations with law enforcement, President Obama on Thursday appointed Debo Adegbile, a former attorney for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, to a six-year post on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Mr. Adegbile worked at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund when he represented Abu-Jamal in the appeal of his conviction and death sentence for the notorious 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal’s sentence was reduced to life in prison.
The case prompted the Senate to reject Mr. Adegbile’s nomination in 2014 when Mr. Obama appointed him to lead the Justice Department’s office on civil rights. Some Democrats joined Republicans in voting down the selection at that time.
What the President did this time around was appoint Adegbile to a post that required no Senate approval. Of course no news of a move like this is complete without the reaction from the frat-like Fraternal Order of Police. A story by the 12/16/16 Washington Free Beacon quotes their grand wizard:
John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police’s chapter in Philadelphia, lashed out at the Obama administration over the appointment, calling it “Obama’s goodbye present to police across the nation.”
“That’s just the old kick in the teeth to the cops,” McNesby said during an appearance on the Dom Giordano Show on Friday morning. “I guess it’s Obama’s goodbye present to police across the nation.”
McNesby said that he saw the appointment as “payback to the FOP” and vowed that he would push the incoming Trump administration to fight it.
“This was definitely payback to the FOP through the appointment,” McNesby said. “This guy was Mumia’s sugar daddy through the appeal process—he did everything and financed the whole thing.”
“Sugar daddy.” Really? Where do they learn this type of language from? The Mumia arrest and prosecution took place during the same time as the 39th District Corruption Scandal, the demonic Frank Rizzo’s police force, the case where initial investigation found 1,400 cases tainted by just six officers of the PPD during the ‘80’s and ‘90’s which lead to an overturn of hundreds of convictions, except for Mumia. His was the face they attached to a dead cop
“It’s not a coincidence that every known victim so far is black,” said Nutter, who represents part of the 39th. He said the officers didn’t prey on white residents because “they’d have reason to believe the person would complain and that they’d be believed.” One person who’s been around for decades, paid his dues and still can’t get a sitting president to believe him is former John F. Kennedy-appointed Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden. Bolden is still alive and doing relatively well for his age. He was the first African American Secret Service agent, and had he not been framed so blatantly, JFK would have at least lived longer. His story is an intense and lengthy one but after reading his book and meeting and interviewing him several times on my Blogtalkradio show you’ll be more upset at White America’s penchant for keeping these matters a secret almost more than the southern and northern racism he was forced to endure. There are a couple of Facebook pages devoted to his story aside from his own personal page. Doubtless he feels a pardon for Bolden, Mumia, Leonard Peltier etc., would be viewed as more of an affront to white right decency than lifting the Cuban embargo, but he really should care less.
Finally I have to mention Obama’s “Task Force on 21st Century Policing” and question whether this addresses all the Troubling issues between Blacks and Police? This is not to be confused as any type of anti-profiling measure or even consent decree, this is a collaborative effort between police representatives and some community activists based on joint recommendations on how to best improve police/community relations “especially in light of recent events around the country that have underscored the need for and importance of lasting collaborative relationships between local police and the public.” I get it, he means well, this is well-intentioned. It hasn’t sunk into President Obama yet that many of these officers think he’s a communist Muslim Kenyan, therefore he needs to stop trying to teach a rattle-snake how to recite poetry, and come down with some hard legislation that improves overall public safety, at least along the line of what the Department of Transportation did to semi-truck drivers a few years ago. You can only fight fire with fire.
Chris Stevenson is author of “The MAO Syndrome: A Timeline of Newspaper columns Tracking Hate, Fear, Loathing, Obstinacy, and Stubbornness of many on the right & some on the left who are simply Mad At Obama.” He is also a regular columnist for blackcommentator, and a contributor to the Hampton Institute, his own blog www.thebuffalobullet.com, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video interviews for Griot Nation (GNN). Sign his change.org/DTL petition for an Anti-Racial Profiling law. Follow his Blogtalkradio interviews on 36OOseconds. Respond to him by email; email@example.com