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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/9/11

Family Feud: Blacks Battle Blacks over Criticism of Obama

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Message Linn Washington

Yes, mass unemployment during this recession ravages Americans of all races. However, this dire malady is peculiarly pronounced in the black community.

While the national unemployment rate in June 2011 registered 8.6 percent among whites, the rate for blacks was nearly double at 16.2%, according to federal figures--figures that curiously under-count actual levels of unemployment.

Obama selected the CEO of GE to be his "Jobs Czar." That's the same GE that has cut jobs and closed factories in the US over recent decades, off-shoring them. And, this is the same GE that rakes in billions of dollars in profits, while avoiding all federal tax payments by adroitly exploiting tax code loopholes"loopholes unavailable to middle and low-income wage earners struggling with their tax burdens.

Given the soaring joblessness among Americans of all races, Obama's Job's Czar is not doing a bang-up job.

Obama's jobs creation emphasis through public works infrastructure renovations using federal stimulus money largely bypasses blacks thanks to historic discrimination in the trade unions that perform such work.

"If a White House had been as dismissive of African-American's interest as Obama has been, Blacks would have been ready to march on the White House," wrote respected journalist George Curry, who recently moderated a discussion between Rev. Sharpton and Prof. West about their differences on Obama.

Many blacks are touchy about criticisms directed toward Obama, who still enjoys high popularity in black communities. Blacks feel -- with solid factual basis -- that Obama receives unfair criticisms, particularly from right-wing conservatives.

For example Michelle Bachmann, the extremist right-wing congresswoman and GOP presidential aspirant, recently bashed Obama blaming him for the high levels of black unemployment.

Of course Bachmann's partisan slam was silent on the fact that she and her Republican confederates on Capitol Hill have persistently opposed efforts by congressional progressives to pass legislation creating public service jobs that would significantly increase employment among all jobless Americans, including blacks.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, conservatives and some liberals banged Obama around for his association with his long-time Christian pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Those critics tarred Obama for Wright's alleged "radical' theology -- a theology ironically based on social justice, the care-for-the-poor principles advocated by Jesus.

Less than a year after mauling Obama as a misguided Christian, his conservative critics shamelessly shifted direction castigating Obama for allegedly being a closet Muslim. They absurdly claimed he covertly seeks to impose Islamic Sharia Law across America, despite the fact that such an act is legally and practically impossible to accomplish, even if desired by Obama -- which it is not!

Often divorced from critiques of Obama is the fact that he faces an unprecedented dilemma beyond strident obstructionism from Republicans who are willing the sacrifice the well-being of whites to undermine this Black President.

Obama is caught on the horns of America's legacy of individual and institutional racism.

He will receive criticism from many whites if a programmatic initiative appears to them to specifically or disproportionately benefit blacks.

Some conservatives blasted Obama's health care reforms, calling them reparations for blacks despite Obama's publicly stated opposition to the concept of reparations for slavery (a stance that riles some blacks).

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Linn Washington is a weekly columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune and This Can't Be Happening. Washington writes frequently on inequities in the criminal justice system, ills in society and failings of the news media. He teaches multi-media urban (more...)
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