By Lurita Doan
Monday, July 16, 2012
Barack Obama was a no-show at the recent 103rd NAACP conference, but, clearly, he is being given a pass by the NAACP leadership. Checking the president's schedule, apparently there was nothing so pressing that he should have been unable to attend the meeting in Texas, but instead, he relegated responsibilities of the annual NAACP meeting to the vice president.
If Barack Obama cannot attend the annual NAACP meeting, in an election year, on a day when he has no other pressing duties, when he has the opportunity to address almost 10,000 attendees, then how can it be a surprise to anyone that during the Obama Administration, Black Americans have experienced more set-backs than at any time in the past 30 years?
Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, showed up, spoke, and was booed.
Three reason come to mind regarding the president's absence. Perhaps President Obama didn't attend because there was no significant, multi-million dollar fundraiser attached to the convention—after all, it seems that in recent months, most of Obama's appearances are in connection with fundraising for his presidential campaign. Perhaps Mr. Obama doesn't have time for any activity that doesn't have a direct bearing on the bottom line of his campaign war chest.
Another possible reason for the Obama no-show leads one to think that George Bush may have been correct back in 2004 when he asserted that Democrats seem to be taking the Black vote for granted. Democrats assume that Black Americans will vote Democrat without Democrat leaders having to make any effort. So Team Obama may have figured that there was no reason to appeal to the black vote, when it is assumed that blacks will always, reliably vote for them, regardless of an endless string of domestic, economic, and foreign policy failures. After all, elite Black leaders long ago ensured that any Black Americans who does not endorse the Democrat's ideology are promptly demonized or called a traitor to their race.
But perhaps the most telling reason for Obama's absence can be found in the government statistics concerning the Black American experience in the United States after three and a half years of his presidency. Unemployment for Black Americans is at 14.4% while unemployment among teenagers is at 24%. 72% of children in the Black community are born to unwed mothers. The Black American drop-out rate from high school is at 40%, and incarceration among Black American males is at almost 10%. Median household income declined 2.3% and home ownership is down too.
Put bluntly, no other ethnic group in America has suffered more than Black Americans during the Obama Administration. Another four years of Obama leadership doesn't promise anything different and existing trend lines marking the deterioration of Black civil society will likely continue. Of course, Obama didn't show.
The NAACP should not give the president a pass. They should not give themselves one either.
W.E.B DuBois was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Dr. DuBois was the first African-American (DuBois advocated hyphenation-" the destiny of the race could be conceived as leading neither to assimilation nor separatism but to proud, enduring hyphenation.") to earn a doctorate from Harvard, and advocated for advanced education as a means for the Black community to achieve advancement. Consider how far the NAACP has distanced itself from that vision. Black students have a 40% high school dropout rate, while the NAACP shamefully and blindly hitches itself to preserving the status quo of poor schools and the teachers unions.
Dr. DuBois fought hard for interracial marriages, supporting miscegenation laws in every state, not because he advocated for interracial marriages but because he believed that allowing the marriages prevented rendering "colored girls absolutely helpless for the lust of white men" who might seduce and impregnate Black women, and then not marry them. I feel sure that Dr. Dubois did not imagine that the Black community would turn on itself, with generations of unwed mothers and 70% of Black children born to them.
Democrat leaders, pandering to the Black community, bribing them with promises of ever-increasing entitlements and hand-outs is not a good thing, and it is not what NAACP founders envisioned. This path of endless entitlements is, as F.A. Hayek explained, the road to serfdom.
Any honest assessment of the impact caused by these handouts and misguided government programs will show that they have cut terribly into the fabric of the Black community , and are dooming subsequent generations of Black Americans to a future filled with poverty, squalor and ignorance.
The NAACP audience booed Mitt Romney when he promised school vouchers. But that seems to be influenced more by the powerful public school teachers' union lobby rather by a desire to do what is best for Black children. Having more education choices available to Black children is an opportunity that Dr. Dubois would have applauded, since he believed strongly that the "Talented Tenth", an educated elite in the Black community would be needed to create Black leaders.
In 2004, George W. Bush was attacked when he talked about the "soft bigotry of low expectations", and Democrat-led cries of racism abounded.
It seems that whenever anyone, without pandering and without promising handouts, attempts to address the terrible issues facing the Black community, then Democrats and Black leaders levy charges of racism. But, at some point, individuals in the Black community needs to be told some hard truths and must be held accountable for their actions without playing the race card or the blame game.
I don't know-- perhaps that kind of objectivity is no longer possible in this county--though I truly hope it is not.
But, 24.4% unemployment among any identity group is unacceptable in a great nation. 70% of children being born to unwed mothers is also unacceptable, no matter what color your skin is. 10% incarceration of any identity group is unacceptable in a country with a legitimate civil contract.
When taken together, the grim reality is that these facts show a societal breakdown on a massive scale.
But the power and the strength to change these statistics, to change these lifestyle choices and to changes the sad outcomes of those choices must come from within the Black community and cannot be dependent upon hand-outs from Democrat plantation masters.
The National Urban League's annual convention, which Barack Obama will attend in two weeks, has as its theme, "Employment and Education Empower the Nation". One can only imagine the two-stepping, the bald lies and the verbal bribes that will be required to smother the reality of the cold, hard facts about how badly the Black community has fared under the presidency of Barack Obama.
No doubt that's why he didn't show at the NAACP--there are only so many uphill marathons a man can run in a month.