Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion, Politics

Yeah, Obama did ‘dat’!

13th November 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Edmund W. Lewis
The Louisiana Weekly Editor

He said he would do it and he did it not once, but twice. While some doubted that they would live long enough to see America a Black man or woman twice to the highest office in the land and others who simply wanted a very contentious presidential race to finally complete its course, “someday” came last week.

Say whatever you want about President Barack Obama, but the brother is bad. Super bad.

The collective sigh of relief from Black folks last week reflected the joy that comes with knowing things will at least begin to calm down politically and socially. But it may also arise from a false sense that we have “overcome.” Simply put, we have not.

Our job as members of the Black Press is to remind our constituency that we haven’t reached “happily ever after” quite yet. While we may have President Obama for four more years, we must also contend with chronic unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and homelessness. We in New Orleans still have to deal with efforts to rob the public school system of scarce funds, contaminated seafood, blight, excessive police force and an egomaniacal, controlling mayor who throws a hissy fit whenever he can’t get his way.

Just so you know, there’s no bat signal that we can light up the sky with to summon President Obama every time danger arises. There’s no bat phone or other device to get word to him quickly that we need help.

We’ve got to get out there and fight for ourselves, our families and our communities the way we fought for the president to get a fair shot at re-election. We need to be every bit as animated, innovative, enthusiastic and vigilant in fighting for justice, recognition as free human beings in this society and equal protection under the law as we did when we saw Obama’s political opponents were stacking the deck.

We need to take conscious, deliberate action every day to make things better.

Let’s keep talking about the things we want and need for our communities and make sure that we hold everyone from the lowest elected public official to the president accountable when he or she fails to do right by us.

Let’s jump right in with a few questions that have been rolling of the tongues of some in the community who are keeping their eyes on the prize in New Orleans and beyond:
• How do you think the firemen in Florida who were discovered with President Obama’s image on their toilet tissue really feel about themselves, their families and their relationship with the Most High?
• Why does anyone think that someone who places their hopes in the likes of a Mitt Romney could believe in climate change or evolution?
• Why hasn’t the sister who allegedly dated GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan had anything to say about his character?
• What is up with Donald Trump?
• Was the irony of having longtime rock legend Ted Nugent call President Barack Obama “subhuman” lost on anyone?
• How much dinero is conservative talk-show Rush Limbaugh going to rake in now that his supporters are forced to admit that America is no longer “their country” to take back?
• How do you think Stacey Dash and Nicki Minaj spent Election Night?
• Is there anything that says the city of New Orleans is preparing to host another major sporting event better than the “herding of the homeless” from their makeshift homes under various bridges in the Central Business District?
• So, let me get this straight — the City of New Orleans is telling NOPD officers to replace pepper spray with Taser guns as part of the federal consent decree, which all started because cops were killing Black people like they were going out of style?
• With higher-ed mercenaries tearing down and undermining historically Black colleges and universitites, Blacks being systematically locked out of opportunities at mainstream universities and elected officials and profiteers in the form of charter schools and voucher proponents siphoning funds out of public education, what kind of chance do young Black people have to get a decent education in Louisiana, particularly in New Orleans, in 2012?
• Is there anyone who knows the history of Africa and its inhabitants surprised by the modern-day racial posturing and rhetoric that have taken place since the U.S. elected its first Black president?
• Did GOP leader Newt Gingrich really say that Ohio voters can “go to hell” after Tuesday’s hotly contested presidential election?
• Now that the latest round of elections is over, what are you going to do NOW to make your community safer, better and cleaner.
• Now that President Barack Obama has been re-elected, can we finally get a straight answer from the Justice Department about why the NOPD and the City of New Orleans are being let off the hook with regard to the NOPD consent-decree proposal?
• And, it it’s not too much trouble, can we get an Attorney General who is not beholden to anyone in Louisiana or Congress and has no problem whatsoever with holding the NOPD’s feet to the fire after its decades-long reign or terror, use of deadly force and outright murder?
• If U.S. Sen. Ma­ry Landrieu decides to give the thumbs-up to George W. Bush ap­pointee U.S. Attor­ney Jim Letten keeping his post in New Orleans, does she de­serve the support of the Black Press and the Black community, particiularly since she was called to task for that very reason after Presi­dent Barack Oba­ma was elected the first time?

This article originally published in the November 12, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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