Today Americans are remembering a great leader of our past, while at the same time thinking about how poorly our current President’s leadership compares. President Obama has done a great many things to undermine our nation and his failed policies have only deepened our economic troubles, expanded our debt, coarsened our dialogue and divided our citizens. Obama's policies have been especially damaging and painful to the Black American community, for no modern President has served the Black community as poorly as Barack Obama.
Obama's historic presidential victory provided him with a splendid opportunity. He had the bully pulpit and the opportunity to use it to talk about important matters. Obama could have advanced an important message to the Black American community about education, independence and initiative. Instead, Obama chose to reinforce the ties of dependency and, to quote Margaret Thatcher, "to entrap, to demoralise and then ignore" the plight of Black Americans in the United States.
During his term as President, Obama has produced a woeful record of poorly conceived policies combined with equal parts of failing to lead. Obama has made a mockery of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision of race relations.
Reverend King urged advancement based on "content of character" rather than "color of our skin". Americans, and especially blacks, once had hoped that Obama's historic rise to the Presidency would signal a new rebirth of effort and interest in the “content of our character’’ but that hope is now lost.
Obama is uninterested in the "content of character" issue. What a pity, for there is nothing more urgent. Consider that today, despite the fact that Obama has run up impossible debts with borrowed money to spend on pet projects, the unemployment rate for Black Americans is stuck at nearly twice the national average at approximately 16 percent, rates not seen since the Great Depression.
For younger Black Americans, in cities such as New York, the unemployment rate is a shocking 34 percent. But the misery continues. Far too many Black Americans are idle in prisons and jails. Obama once lamented that there are more Black men in prison and jail than in college. And perhaps saddest of all, nearly 70% of all Black American babies are born to single mothers.
Ironically, years ago, as a candidate, Obama seemed more determined to address the "character content" issue and received widespread praise for a speech when he said "if we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that too many fathers are missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it."
But sadly, once elected, Obama never again has taken up the issue.
Obama has pushed a mishmash of policies and ill-considered schemes that are making the problems with the Black American community much worse. Take for example the urgent need to reform schools and the specific need to give minority kids an honest chance at a decent education, instead of being forced into a failed public school system that is widely recognized as a dead end.
Obama, could have taken the side of thoughtful reformers (such as Michele Rhee), many of whom are members of his own Democratic party but Obama choose not to do so. Instead, with eyes focused only on the next election, Obama has been unwilling to confront the politically powerful teachers' unions.
Unlike Martin Luther King, Jr. who, in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, argued against Black Americans being, " completely drained of self-respect and a sense of "somebodyness", Obama encourages the "hatred and despair of the black nationalist", advocating dependency and class warfare, creating expectations that only government entitlements can create wealth, and that government has the right to redistribute wealth.
Martin Luther King, Jr. called for " normal and healthy discontent" to be "channeled through the creative outlet", but Obama does not believe in free enterprise, or the American Dream or the ability of entrepreneurship to improve one's lot in life. Nor does Obama believe, as did Dr. King, that in the Black Community, " our destiny is tied up with the destiny of America"--and when Obama espouses policies of dependency, he dooms another generation of Black Americans to the "soft bigotry of low expectations."
Obama has never been a man of ideas. Even the title of his autobiography (The Audacity of Hope) was first coined by Rev, Jeremiah Wright in a sermon. Americans can see that Obama doesn't believe in free enterprise, and he doesn't believe in American exceptionalism. Obama is the "wooden ventriloquist" of the Democrat Party apparatchik, interested only in herding Black Americans, like sheep, to the polls, certain that despite his destructive policies, Black Americans, somehow, will vote for him again.
And so, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s bold vision for Black Americans, a vision of hope, a vision of equality and occupying an equal place in the execution of the American Dream must await a new generation of Black leaders because one thing is clear, Obama ain't it.