Saturday, August 6, 2011

Obama Bus Tour Not The Only One

As you probably already know, President Obama will soon be taking a bus tour to shake hands and kiss babies and pretend to be an actual live human being. Not to be outdone, certain celebrity poverty pimps, black academics, and Conbressional Black Caucus members are organizing their own bus tour. They're calling it the "Poverty Tour."

The two chief organizers are Princeton University professor Cornel West, and PBS host Tavis Smiley. You may remember that West famously exited Harvard when the university president told him he had to spend more time on academics and less time on recording hip-hop CDs. You may not know that Smiley ended up at PBS after double-crossing his former employer Black Entertainment Television (BET) by selling an exclusive interview with Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist Sara Jane Olson to ABC. West and Smiley also share a radio talk show entitled, appropriately, Smiley & West.

The tour is not intended to be a counter-tour to Obama's. After all, West and Smiley both fully supported Obama in the last presidential election, and are unlikely to do any different in the next one. But both have been critical of Obama for "not doing enough for poor black people." In fact, that is the impetus behind the Poverty Tour. So there will probably be some rough language about Obama during the tour.

Columnist Annette John-Hall at the Philadelphia Inquirer (who looks almost old enough to drink in a public establishment legally) believes that despite possible criticism of Obama, the Poverty Tour is a good thing because "the Civil Rights movement taught us to always present a united front--with unity, we could overcome." She failed to notice that a whole lot of those civil rights workers were white. But why let facts get in the way of a good racial rant? Still, she muses "some African-Americans are starting to wonder out loud if blind support for the president is going against their own interests." And thus, the Poverty Tour which will bring awareness to the President without abandoning him.

John-Hall believes the Poverty Tour is necessary to raise Obama's awareness of how racist America still is. "When members of Congress call the first black president of the United States a liar, send racist images of him in e-mails and depict his as a tar-baby, the most recent slur, our natural reaction is to try to support him through all the vitriol." Well, Obama is a liar (proven), and John-Hall cleverly runs the "liar" comment together with Congress critters to give the impression that a lot of white House and Senate members are sending racist e-mails and calling the President a tar-baby. I'd like to see the list.

Several thousand black media representatives met at the Philadelphia convention of the National Association of Black Journalists last week. In a session debate entitled "Black Out or Black In," writer Sophia Nelson, former RNC Chair Michael Steele, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the ubiquitous Professor Cornel West argued over whether Obama is paying enough attention to black issues, particularly black poverty. West offered that "[The president] is a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. When 40% of our children are going hungry, I'm going to get morally outraged at that. I'm an angry brother. Barack Obama is not angry. He's a different kind of brother." Well, at least he didn't call Obama "Uncle Tom."

Mayor Reed said that the president's race precluded him from implementing policies directed at African-Americans. I think that Eric Holder and the New Black Panthers might disagree. Given the margin of victory Obama achieved in 2008, it seems that the nation was more than ready to resolve its remaining racial issues once and for all.

Steele added that African-Americans are "always eating at the margins." In context, he was making a point about blacks needing to take individual responsibility for their own economic conditions, but John-Hall saw his words as an opportunity to indicate that Steele is "coming around" because of the treatment he received at the RNC. Black writers and activists believe that Steele was run out of the RNC chairmanship because of his color. They can't explain how he got elected in the first place, considering he was black at that time too, wasn't he? So they latch onto anything Steele might say as indicating that he is saying mea culpas for having joined the white oppressors in keeping black folks poor.

The Poverty Tour will visit soup kitchens, public housing projects, farms and low-income families. Mayor Reed was particularly concerned that what they learn on the tour should not harm Obama's chances for re-election. He is sure that the tour will find that Obama is simply not doing enough for poor blacks. So he performed a little rhetorical trick to deflect any negative impact their findings might have on Obama's next campaign. Says Reed: "What some of us haven't learned is that support and criticism don't have to be mutually exclusive. I hope we don't miss the point that we can do both."

In many respects, I agree with the organizers. Obama hasn't done enough for the black poor. Or the white poor, or the yellow poor, or the brown poor. He also hasn't done enough for the middle-class of any color. In fact, everything he has done has worsened the economy, and those already at the bottom levels are inevitably going to suffer more than others.

Even without taking strong public stands on black poverty being an issue of its own, Obama has continued the liberal mantra of oppression of blacks by the white power structure. He continues to treat blacks as victims of racism. In doing so, he makes black poverty worse and strengthens the racist argument that nothing blacks do for themselves can assist in relieving their own plight.


StanH said...

Great read Hawk. This will never, ever be solved until the policies that have done this are reversed, “The Great Society.” In LBJ’s landmark accomplishment - -cough-cough- - has enslaved generations of poor black/white/ or any other color in an unending institutional slavery with no end in site. Sadly our downgrade from AAA to AA+ could be the beginning of a real vetting of our nations truly needy, if not it might have to be a collapse, that wouldn’t be good, on so many levels, but I digress. Cornell West and Tavis Smiley are race pimps if they lose that issue what then, a real job…I think not. Kaseem Reed has been a decent mayor of Atlanta, cutting many jobs, from the jobs program that is the City of Atlanta, he’s playing to his constituency. Michael Steele he’s an okay guy, but he was so yesterday. This is a festering sore in this country, created by Washington, you want different results do things differently.

LL said...

I don't know what good a "poverty tour" will do for Obama's re-election hopes. The black vote will go to him due to the color of his skin irrespective. Driving a bus around showing unhappy negroes on television won't make blacks change their mind as a voting block.

And I doubt that it will tug at the heart strings of other-than-black people who are suffering at the hands of Obama, who are likely inclined to vote for his (loyal) opposition in the upcoming election.

(*Caveat: The Republicans have to find a candidate that THEIR OWN people can vote for without holding their nose)

Unknown said...

Stan: I agree on all points. It took no time at all for the Great Society to become the Dependent Society and then the Entitlement Society. Half of Americans pay taxes to support the other half who don't pay. And now the giveaways have brought us to the edge of financial ruin. Ain't social welfare democracy great?

Unknown said...

LL: The black vote might slip from 90% for Obama to 89% for Obama. It's not the percentages they're after--it's the numbers. The Poverty Tour is designed both to "make the black poor feel good about themselves," and convince them that they can get Obama to do more, if only they will make their voices heard by going to the polls. The entire left wing base of the Democratic Party is becoming lethargic about Obama, and they need to be energized for hope and change. The Poverty Tour is designed to provide that energy. If the black population were 200% for Obama, it wouldn't matter if they don't go to the polls. It's pure racial politics.

Joel Farnham said...


I didn't know we had people who are so poor that their stomachs are against their backbones. Indeed, I have seen people who are overweight on welfare. How can that be?

All this poverty tour will highlight is the FACT that this nation is less richer and produces much less since this BO got into office.

And LL,

I don't know think the blacks are all that enamored with Obama. It is just a feeling.

Unknown said...

Joel: I keep thinking what a great piece this would make for South Park. I also think you're right that blacks are not that enamored with Obama right now, but that's what the Poverty Tour is for. You should also remember that a very large percentage of black voters believe that the CIA brought crack into the ghettoes and that AIDS is a racist plot to destroy the black population. Convincing that same group that Obama is not responsible for the current wretched state of the economy and their continued poverty would be easy.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Race had dwindled as the fore front topic in this country until our current president made it one of the main topics that he and his wife spouted on. As for black people all supporting this failure the smart ones do not. In fact of the more erudite self supporting members of the black community stand against this race baiter.
If any of the politicians in DC were truly interested in improving the lot of the poor they would be implementing programs that encourage self support and fulfillment instead of the destructive methods currently employed.
Among my friends, the black ones are self sufficient and agree that this president has not been what they had hoped for.
Bo is the first president of this country to have pushed our credit rating below AAA. That will be in the history of the USA forever as his accomplishment.
This regime is so bad that we must get rid of it, however it is not bad enough,YET, to call for overthrow by force. Lets hope it doesn't get that bad, not for my sake but for the sake of my children and grand children.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: People should have recognized the hidden agenda behind the post-racial President when he did his "I don't look like the other Presidents" schtick (wink, wink). His legacy will include kowtowing to foreign dictators, insulting our Western allies, borrowing huge sums of money from our enemies, calling America one of the largest Muslim nations in the world, crippling our military capabilities in eastern Europe, revitalizing Russia, and the first-ever reduced credit rating. The race thing almost pales by comparison (pun intended).

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