Why Blacks are so Hard on Other Blacks, and a Call to Arms to the NABJ
by Chris Stevenson
Before the debt ceiling debate and the May 1st payback on Osama bin Laden, we were discussing-once again to the conservatives great consternation-the US Government’s involvement in facilitating the events that made 9/11 a bad date.
Much of this debate has been headed off by numerous varied rumors of bin Laden’s death over the years since 2001. Now a relatively quieter segment of critics boiling beneath the white-hot anti-Obama vilification from the usual suspects; conservatives and the Tea Party, seem to be behind the steering wheel during the hot summer. Most of these critics come from within the 96% of blacks that voted for the nation’s first black President, they are members of the black intelligentsia.
Are Cornel West’s rants against Obama valid or vindictive?
They seem to be taking their que from someone who’s own racial loyalties come under scrutiny; Dr. Cornel West. Our Afro-wearing broke neck brother from Princeton University. Wild West was recently heard in an interview with Chris Hedges complaining about how he never had his calls returned after working 65 events during the ’08 campaign, and checking in with Obama every two weeks: “I said wow, this is kind of strange. He doesn’t have time, even two seconds, to say thank you or I’m glad you’re pulling for me and praying for me.” To be honest with you this is serious stuff. And would be more serious… were Dr. West the only person out there campaigning for Obama. But we all know that thousands upon thousands of people were working on that campaign to get that brother in the Oval Office.
These weren’t just working class or all poor people and just Cornel, there were even more educators, plus celebrities, students, politicians. I doubt if Obama personally called them either, yet I hear no other complaints. Maybe this is a case of ‘I’m Cornel West Bitch!’
West continues with a personal story of his trip to DC on or around the Eve of Obama’s inauguration. He brings along his mother and his brother, the Ivy League educated West made a hotel reservation, but didn’t have any game-day tickets. The self-proclaimed hardest-working man in the Obama campaign business, didn’t have any inauguration tickets… unlike the guy who took his bags. There is no mention as to whether or not that brother asked West the obvious question, ‘So why did you come, were you invited to something else?’
West tells Hedges-a white journalist-his fantasy about wanting to slap the President on the side of the head, while literally shaking his hand. Apparently Obama was upset over some statements West made about him not being a progressive and Barack went street on him: “cussed me out,” as West calls it. LOL! This is part of the problem, some blacks seem to feel that just because the President is, black, that we can be mad at him like he owes us five dollars. As if he’s Leroy McDuffy from the projects. And it’s the African Americans with college degrees who are leading the pack. Most brothers from the projects have a clearer perspective of Obama whether they like him or not.
West goes on to cast aspersions and unproven motives toward Barack, spraying along the way the gratuitous sell-out tags of “black mascot,” and black “puppet of Wall Street (to the Russian media and MSNBC of all people).”
Then comes his hating on Obama’s choice of economic advisers, Larry Summers in particular. “Larry Summers blows his mind because he’s so smart… It is this smartness, this truncated brilliance, that titillates and stimulates brother Barack and makes him feel at home. That is very sad for me.” This may be the most revealing statement of Hedges interview. What’s the world coming to when a president of anything actually takes the liberty to hire smart people. It seems West may be concurrently admitting that Summers is very smart and “titillating” for Obama, and expressing regret at his own lack of titular skills. Whatever. It’s important to add that Summers-a former President of Harvard-and West have history.
What really is sad is the state of mind from some highly renowned black intellectuals suddenly manifesting interesting to disturbing behaviors over the mere presence of Obama’s tenure. From Jeremiah Wright, to Tavis Smiley, to his buddy Dr. West. He may not have figured this out yet, but the ticket for the bag-man wins points with me. This is troubling because I expect more from the Cornels. The Jesses wanting to cut Obama’s balls off, to Farrakhan’s “who the hell do you think you are” or calling Obama an “assassin” is soundbite artistry to be expected from them. The scholars I thought, were different, even if they were critical it would be from the high ground. Based on analysis, not what I been suspecting in my gut; jealousy. Yes this I have always felt is part of the real motive with the white right, call it racial jealousy in their case, towards both Barack and Michelle.
Both seem unflappable, both have ideas and concepts that are pivoted against the norm of most First Couples. Both have a cool elegance about them. This has made more whites than I expected feel inadequate about themselves. Their emotions have clouded their vision to where they are pitting white trash against him instead of white stability.
Blacks, well, that’s a different story that sinks right into our culture. It’s no secret, blacks are hard on each other, oftentimes beyond reason. This goes back to slavery. Since some of this scathing criticism towards the President comes from much of the nation’s major newspapers, it stands to reason that any counterpoints should come from black journalists. This leaves it to the one organization with enough hard-bitten writers to defend any marginalization or inaccuracies against Obama’s accomplishments without fear; the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). After all, “fairness” is their reason for existing. Since they were founded by 44 (men and women), who better than to defend 44? Fortunately today they number over 3,000. It would be a good idea for them to make this an important agenda to address at their upcoming 8/3-8/7 Convention in Philadelphia. I’m not suggesting that anyone not critique Obama, so don’t sue me. I’m saying to know and understand how to spot and correct underlining racism in conservative, liberal and even black opinions of him and/or his policies. The members of the NABJ can take advantage of this chance to organize in the city of one of it’s founders; Mumia abu-Jamal.
We live in times both historic and dangerous. Dr. Cornel West has been saying he wants Obama to be more like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. I have lost Facebook followers over a year ago because they spouted the same comparisons and got angry when I told them that it was their job to be Malcolm and Martin, Obama is a politician, those brothers were activists. People seem to be making themselves into one-person-cults at a higher rate than normal, black and white. This is not just about President Obama, but making it easier for any deserving future black presidential candidate or President to get the respect he or she deserves.
Chris Stevenson is a regular columnist for blackcommentator, Political Affairs Magazine, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice and The Network for clbTV. Respond to him on the link below.