‘I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” a particularly hopped-up-looking President Obama shouted to the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday night. “You wanna gimme a good sendoff? Go vote!”
First, just imagine the national burning and looting that would erupt, starting inside America’s newsrooms, if Donald J. Trump said he would consider it a “personal insult” if white people did not vote for him.
Second, how insulting!
Obama speaks about black people as if we were his servants, and he our master.
Black people owe Obama nothing. Au contraire, he owes black people plenty. Black voters turned out and backed him by 95 percent in 2008, according to the Roper Center. And then, in 2012, black support plunged — all the way down to 93 percent.
And in exchange for this blind loyalty, black folks got what from Obama? Very little. The promised land that many expected never arrived. In most cities, black neighborhoods still tend to be the go-to places for economic hardship, educational disadvantage, and crime.
Obama’s economic performance among black Americans has been highly mixed, at best, with recent bright spots overshadowed by years of abundant bad news. Since he became president, according to the latest-available data, here is how black Americans have fared on selected economic indicators:
Obama’s economic performance among black Americans has been highly mixed, at best.
‐ Unemployment rate: Down 36.2 percent
‐ Labor-force-participation rate: Down 2.1 percent
‐ Proportion below the poverty line: Down 6.6 percent
‐ Real median household income: Up 2.5 percent
‐ Food Stamp participants: Up 58.2 percent
‐ Home ownership: Down 9.5 percent
(For further details, please click here.)
Perhaps worst of all was Obama’s attack on the Washington, D.C., school-voucher program. He has worked tirelessly to defund one of the few glimmers of hope available to overwhelmingly black students in America’s simultaneously most expensive and worst-performing school district. Meanwhile, to their tremendous advantage, Obama sends his daughters to Sidwell Friends, Washington’s most elite, exclusive, and expensive private school.
Rather than fresh insults, what Obama owes black Americans is an apology.