Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We Must Continue to Confront the 21st Century Realities of Race and Class in the 'Age of Obama'

'Let me hear you say 'black', Maxine Waters said. | AP Photo


YES!!! Now we're talking! I knew I could ultimately count on Representative Maxine Waters and other responsible and genuinely concerned liberal/progressive black politicians and activists to finally confront the President on the vital question of the ugly crisis of national black unemployment and the massive racist campaign against African Americans generally led by the Tea Party and the Republican right. FINALLY someone in the Democratic Party is trying to hold Obama ACCOUNTABLE for addressing crucial issues that should have been seriously addressed from Day One of the Obama Administration. IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!! I was beginning to think that large numbers of black folks had simply lost their minds and their common sense as well and were stumbling around in some fantasy ridden dreamlike state merely because the President is black. As millions of other progressive black, white, Latino, and Asian Americans (who BTW--we should never forget-- actually supported and VOTED FOR the President in 2008!) have been saying for nearly three years now: WE MUST ALL FIGHT FOR A TRULY PROGRESSIVE AGENDA ACROSS THE BOARD AND STAND UP AND DEFEAT OUR BRAZEN RACIST RIGHTWING ENEMIES IN THE NATIONAL POLITICAL SPHERE AS WELL AS IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES. Time is running out and we CAN'T WAIT any longer. When the President makes his highly anticipated speech about a national jobs bill after Labor Day he had better come clean no matter what the Republicans and the Tea Party think and no matter what kind of intolerant political bullying and pathological lying they will most certainly attempt to engage in. HE AND WE MUST STAND UP AND TELL THEM AS MAXINE SAID TO "GO STRAIGHT TO HELL!" The needs, desires, and aspirations of all poor, working, and middle class American citizens who comprise the great majority of the country (and that most emphatically INCLUDES BLACK PEOPLE) must be attended to first and foremost and if the reactionary wealthy oppose us we must do everything in our massive collective power to push them aside as well. As always what we most need to know is this: WHOSE SIDE IS THE PRESIDENT ON? Only he and he alone can answer that paramount question but it had better be the RIGHT ANSWER...The stakes are far too high for anymore rhetorical bullshit coming from either the White House OR Congress...Time for us all to "get busy or get lost"...


Waters to Obama aide: Say 'black'
By: Jennifer Epstein
August 23, 2011

Rep. Maxine Waters and other black leaders lobbed heated questions at one of President Barack Obama’s top jobs advisers Monday, pressing him to confirm the White House is focusing on creating jobs in struggling African-American communities — and to say the word “black.”

Don Graves, the executive director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, said at a nighttime forum at a black church in Miami that the president is “focused on every community across the country,” The Miami Herald reported.

But when he added that “certain communities have been hit harder than other communities,” Waters pushed him. “Let me hear you say ‘black,’” the California Democrat said.

As the crowd cheered, The Washington Post said in its report on the Congressional Black Caucus-sponsored event, Graves quietly said: “black, African-American, Latino — we’re going to focus on getting people back to work.”

The approach that assisting all communities helps African-Americans get jobs is “a bunch of bull,” Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) said, according to the Post. Later, she asked Graves whether he would help shuttle dozens of pieces of jobs legislation authored by CBC members to the president so he could enact them using executive authority.

“You all don’t need to go through me to get to the president,” Graves said.

But Richardson disagreed. “Let’s be honest. We have met with the president. We are asking you in the capacity of your position [at the council on] jobs, are you willing to review our bills, to work with us?”

“You may not feel like the president is listening to you, but he hears you loud and clear,” Graves said, referring to the growing frustration from African-Americans that was on view last week as Waters spoke at a much-covered CBC town hall in Detroit.

Graves said that one obstacle to job creation are “folks who are going to stand in the way and block the legislation that the Congressional Black Caucus has proposed.”

Waters interrupted him. “What people are you talking about?” she said, according to the Herald. “Say tea party. Say it!”

Graves did, though the Post described him as doing so “reluctantly.” “It was tea party Republicans,” he said.

Waters hasn’t been shy about her criticism of the tea party movement. At the event over the weekend, after being attacked by tea party-affiliated Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) as an “overseer” of the “21st century plantation” of blacks in the Democratic Party, Waters said “the tea party can go straight to hell.”

The day after West criticized Waters and other black Democrats, his younger brother was at a job fair that Waters and other CBC members had organized in Atlanta. (West is the only Republican member of the CBC.)

But Waters wasn’t the only person on the dais Monday night who was attacking the tea party movement. Rev. Jesse Jackson, who West also described as an “overseer” said that the movement should be called the “Fort Sumter tea party that sought to maintain states’ rights and slavery,” the Herald reported.

“The tea party is a new name on an old game,” he said. “Dr. King fought a ‘tea party’ in Alabama. … He had no weapons, but he confronted the tea party.”


Freeman to POTUS: 'Get pissed off'


'If I could vote for him 1,000 times, I would,' Freeman said of Obama. AP Photo

When President Obama jumped on the back nine of the celebrity-clogged Vineyard Golf Club course on Sunday, he ran into none other than Morgan Freeman, Oscar winner and Obama backer.

Freeman, it turns out, was as free with advice for Obama as he was for Tim Robbins in “The Shawshank Redemption.” (POLITICO was holding outside the course in the pool van, told only that Obama was playing with his usual island foursome.)

But the deeply wired Boston Globe, invaluable for Vineyard gossip, caught up with Freeman at an event later in the day.

“What I wanted to tell him is to get pissed off, get fighting mad,” the actor told the paper. “But I know he won’t because he doesn’t think it’s politically smart.”

On Obama’s chances for reelection, Freeman added, “If I could vote for him 1,000 times, I would.”

“I think he’s been horribly sandbagged, and it makes me so angry,” he said.