McWhorter endorses Obama for what his policies mean to the black community while lambasting Obama critics to the left of the President:
Meanwhile, we have a President who has touted extra billions of dollars to community colleges; has states competing for Race To The Top funds to improve public schools where No Child Left Behind failed; has barnstormed the country pushing a jobs bill, and created the beginnings of a national health care system after 70 years of failed attempts. On what basis is this not a pro-black President? Have the results been dramatic? No—but a Republican establishment bent on keeping Obama from accomplishing a single thing has played a certain role in that. How Obama was supposed to have “blacked” his way past this obstructionism is decidedly unclear.
I think black people, for the most part, get this, but they wouldn’t agree with McWhorter’s position. It’s curious Cornel West is pictured with McWhorter’s article, however dramatic, leftist and erudite in his criticism of Obama: he’s pretty much voting for Obama too. Folks who really wanted Obama to blackity black gangsta lean his way past obstructionism were Michael Moore and Bill Maher. Both, as renouned visual geneologist Scott Brown would attest are definitely not black.
I’m cool with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West critiquing the President. (I’m even cool with Jesse Jackson saying he would mutilate Obama. Rev. Jesse Jackson was crying at Obama’s victory rally. He’s never wavered in his support of Obama holding the office or being re-elected.) Smiley and West felt he didn’t build an agenda to directly address black Americans. I disagree with their argument that any black president would be effective if one of his planks for election or re-election was: I’ve got this legislative agenda for 12 to 13% of the American people who look like me. In that regard, McWhorter’s critique is dead on.
But by all means, they should present their case to the American people as often and as much as they can. Black politicians should be criticized by black constituents when those constituents are under served. What McWhorter doesn’t address is the black religious leaders who are encouraging other people not to vote for Obama in 2012 because of his support for Marriage Equality is a threat to the black christian family. Many of them probably encouraged their flocks to vote for Bush in 2004 for the same reason. McWhorter’s right: black critics to the left of Obama are off base with their governing advice, but not with their policy concerns. Even then, they are still pragmatic enough to understand how bad a Romney Presidency would be for Americans.
These pastors are not pragmatic, they are delusional demagogues who prioritize fighting against gay people getting married over any of the real problems in cities and neighborhoods where black people live and they preach. They are the ones who deserve ridicule.