To criticize or not to criticize the administration, that is the question. Is it better to keep quiet about their policies or give voice to any concerns that you may have in the hope they will correct them? Conversations like this are going on all over Black America.
What is wrong with you?
…. Nothing’s wrong with me. What’s wrong with him?
Can’t you see that by attacking the president you’re just adding fuel to the fire, helping the very people who are out to destroy him?
…. I am not attacking the president, only his policies.
And what’s the difference?
…. Plenty! I respect Obama tremendously for what he accomplished just by being elected. But-
But don’t you want him to get him re-elected?
…. Yes. But why on earth should I bite my tongue when I don’t agree with him?
Don’t you know those Tea Party people hate him? They are fit to be tied. They just can’t stand being under a Black president.
…. I don’t know care about that? What I care about is all these wars? How many wars are we going to get into?
Come on now! This country was built on war. Why do you think this president should be any different? ‘Cause he’s Black?
…. No. Because he said he’d bring the troops home, not double down! Now we in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Uganda, you name it!
Bush got us into this shit, not Obama!
…. But he said he was going to get us out.
Politicians lie. They all lie. You know that.
…. And they always hear it from their constituents. Why shouldn’t we take him to task? The man’s the president. He’s not a king!
So go ahead. Keep it up. You just keep it up. And when you see another Good Old Boy sitting up there in the White House with his big old cowboy boots on the desk, you think we’ll have it any better?
…. Don’t see how we could have it any worse.
You will though. Believe me. You will!
…. Look at the economy, man! Look at the unemployment rate! Look at all them brothers in jail!
What are you talking about? Obama’s not president of the Black people! He’s president of the American people.
…. Aren’t we Americans too! Just because a Black man is sitting in the White House so what? All of a sudden we suppose to be quiet? What’s up with that?
They been locking up brothers. And as for the economy? It’s them damn Republicans holding things up. They won’t pass the Jobs Bill. They won’t pass the Jobs Bill!
…. Hmmph! Jobs Bill? Been there. Done that.
So what you want the man to do? What do you want him to do?
…. Do something! For God’s sakes! Don’t you see the people in the streets all up and down the country? Where is the president? Where…is…our…president?
He supports the protests. He supports the Wall Street protests. Didn’t he say that?
…. Yeah. With a word here and a word there. Who does he represent? The 1% or the 99%?
Listen! He’s the president. He can’t be out there rabble rousing! Then when the people start rioting, who do you think they’re going to blame?
…. Come on. Come on. He’s so timid. He’s so cautious. If he’s the leader then why the hell don’t he lead?
He will. He will. It’s going to take two terms. Wait until that second term, man, when he’s got nothing to lose.
…. I don’t know if the country can wait. I don’t know if Black people can wait. I know I can’t wait!
Yeah. Yeah. So you go ahead and pull the man down with the rest of them.
…. No. I’m not! I’m using my right of free speech to respectfully disagree now! Now before the election when we at least got some leverage. I’m not going to wait until it’s too late.
I don’t know what’s wrong with Black people!
…. Neither do I. Instead of debating the president’s policies, look at what we’re doing! We’re having a debate over whether or not to have a debate. Now does that make any sense to you?
by Dr. Arthur Lewin, author of Africa Is Not A Country: It’s A Continent, www.AfricaUnlimited.com