If Obama Loses, What’s Plan B for African Americans?

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Barack Obama is America's frist Black President

For more than three years, African Americans have dedicated their energies to supporting the First Black President, rather than their own interests. If Obama is defeated, will Blacks quickly relearn how to mobilize on their own behalf? “What will happen if African-Americans have to get away from the politics of personality and actually decide to deal with the politics of policy?”

“Under the Obama administration, African-Americans are worse off economically, but where’s the outrage?”

As the country moves into the full-scale presidential election process, a troubling pattern is developing within certain segments of the African-American community. There’s a concerted effort by some to silence those who are offering honest, valid, and well-thought-out analysis and criticism of the Obama administration.

I’ve written about individuals such as Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, Al Sharpton and others who have attempted to label honest policy debate as betrayal. Former Princeton Professor Melissa Harris-Perry referred to Professor Cornel West’s critique of the Obama administration as “a self-aggrandizing victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in the discourse of prophetic witness…”
Different election

The 2012 election will be much different than the 2008 election. President Obama is not running against a failed George W. Bush administration; he’s running on his own record. He’s running against subtle and sometimes obvious bigoted rhetoric as well as the usual voter suppression tactics.

As Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman recently stated, the same thieves who backed Bush are backing Romney. President Obama is running against 8.3 percent unemployment and a shaky economy. Hope and change will not carry him to victory in 2012.

Senator Obama received 96 percent of the African-American vote in 2008. It is expected that President Obama will receive close to the same percentage this time around, although the turnout may be lower.
What’s next?

The issue for the African-American community is “what’s the B-plan?” What will the African-American community do in the event that President Obama loses and they have to deal with a President Romney? What will happen if African-Americans have to get away from the politics of personality and actually decide to deal with the politics of policy?
Mitt Romney has endorsed House Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan. Various analyses show that budget plan cuts food stamps by $134 billion over 10 years and would remove 280,000 children from a free school lunch and breakfast program.

The Ryan budget and a President Romney would have a disproportionately devastating impact on the African-American community. According to Bread for the World, “African-Americans are 22.5 percent of the participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp Program…One in four African-Americans lives below the federal poverty line, compared to about one in eight Americans overall… More than a third (35.7 percent) of all African-American children live in poverty, compared to one in five children living in poverty in the country as a whole.”
Where’s the outrage?

If a President Romney tried to implement the Ryan budget in its current form, the African-American community would be outraged. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other leaders would be calling for marches. Talk show hosts Joyner, Harvey, and others would be begging their audiences to write, call, and petition their elected representatives to restore funding to social programs.
Under the Obama administration, African-Americans are worse off economically, but where’s the outrage? Too many in the community are silent or being attacked and summarily dismissed as traitors, haters, crazy, and misinformed for calling for targeted solutions and policy initiatives to address the suffering in the African-American community.

‘Permanent interests’

To paraphrase a popular quote from Dr. Claude Anderson, “the African-American community should not have permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” We should be focused on policy, not personality. It must be clearly understood that having an African-American in the Oval Office is not in and of itself a victory.

While I, too, celebrated the election of this country’s first African-American president, without substantive and measurable policy outputs that benefit the African-American community, the ethnic makeup of the president is irrelevant.
“It must be clearly understood that having an African-American in the Oval Office is not in and of itself a victory.”
Take notes

The community could take a page from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Their sole mission is to ensure that the foreign policy outputs of the US have a positive impact on the state of Israel. It matters not to AIPAC who is in the White House. Democrat or Republican, friend or foe, AIPAC is going to insure that its message is heard and interests are protected.

In 1857, Fredrick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” President Obama is the one in power and the African-American community has failed to demand from him the policy outputs it needs. If Romney wins, what’s Plan B?

 

By; Dr. Wilmer Leon

Mr. Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with WilmerLeon,” and a Teaching Associate in the Department of Political Science at Howard University.

  • https://www.facebook.com/100000332439596 Coniah Beidleman

    Vote for God and his Christ it should be plan A dont put your faith in a man or this government vote for the creator. We must unite, organization, and work togeither and depend only on ourselves and God. We must become a Indepentent and free people and go back to the land that God has gave us like are ancient ancestors like agriculture, to produce the products, food, and services that we need to survive and pull are resource and realize that we are in this togeither whether we like it or not. Love one another like God has commanded us. Ants work togeither to build a coloney Bees work togeither a hive. Unity

  • https://www.facebook.com/1204572254 Samora Machel Thamsanqa

    Do Africans living in America( the so called Black Americans) have to worry or care about Obama’s election outcome? The man didn’t do anything for them..

  • https://www.facebook.com/100000547985502 Cause Fx

    LOL, plan B…. blk ppl don’t even have a plan A. It’s a sad time when we think (hope) that our salvation will come from a system that it’s long history has shown it worked against us.I don’t care who’s the face of it.

    Once we grasp and understand that we have to take care of one another and cooperate functionally towards our collective ends, then we will be precisely were we always wanted. Until then we seem to be satisfied with begging others to like us so that we can get a paycheck.