President Barack Obama has attracted a number of high profile Black detractors. As insane and self-hating as it might in truth be, there are certain Black politicians who can be expected to beat-up on the President as he seeks re-election.
Mr. "Nine-nine-nine," the pizza mogul, Herman Cain has nothing good to say about the White House incumbent.
Cain is joined by Reps. Allen West [R-Fla.] and Tim Scott [R-S.C.], and by former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who was in fact himself thrown under the bus by the GOP after he planned their recent convention in Tampa, and then was not even credentialed to attend.
What is amusing is the fact that a boatload of so-called "progressives" are all on the President like "white on rice," bashing the man up and down, without offering anyone in the way of an alternative should we heed their anti-Obama messages.
The most prominent Black critics are media personality Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor and "public intellectual" Cornel West. The sad part about these two is that their own objections are rooted in the most trifling and petty personal reasons imaginable.
My friend Tavis – for whom I won multiple national "Salute to Excellence" awards from the National Association of Black Journalists when he had his show on National Public Radio – was first miffed back in 2008 when the President declined his invitation to appear at one of his vaunted town hall meetings during that year's campaign. Then Senator Obama sent his wife Michelle to represent him. Tavis felt that he had been "dissed" [disrespected] because the President did not show up in person. Classic symptoms of an ego trip by someone who is a legend in his own mind.
Tavis, get over it. Obama did not attend the NAACP convention this year. You don't see N-Double-A President Ben Jealous sucker-punching the President because he didn't fit in an appearance before the nation's oldest and largest Civil Rights organization, do you?
Dr. West's beef is just as petty. He got "the jaws" when he could not get a VIP invitation to the Inauguration at the last minute for his "Auntee" or some other member of his family. West then remembered that the President loud talked him once in public at some event, walking up to him, asking him why was he [West] speaking against him [the President].
West's former Princeton U. colleague Melissa Harris-Perry however, is unforgiving of West's intellectual basis for hatin' on the President. "... In a self-aggrandizing, victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in the discourse of prophetic witness, Professor West offers thin criticism of President Obama and stunning insight into the delicate ego of the self-appointed black leadership class that has been largely supplanted in recent years," she wrote in a scathing article for The Nation. Ouch. That hurts.
Let me be clear. I am not carrying one drop of water for the President's re-election. On the other hand, I confess, I have not had anything good to say about any of this year's Republican candidates, and will continue to think about them just about the same way they think about me, but I am not a partisan. I say what Brother Malcolm X once said: "I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. I don't even know if I'm an American."
What's more ironic is that now, Black folks are arguing among ourselves again about who is the "blackest," defined by whether or not we support a man everyone knows was not elected to be our "Moses" to deliver us from "bondage," but rather to be the POTUS – President of the United States.
The last time I checked the job description was not rewritten when President Obama took office, in order for him to be our "savior." Instead – to complete the biblical metaphor – the 44th President sits in the seat occupied by the "Pharaoh" in our past. And at least four or five of the previous 43 presidents actually owned Black people as slaves. And of course Willard Mitt Romney says he can relate to Black folks if he's elected because his ancestors once owned slaves.
Mind you, Tavis and Cornel have to stand in line alongside folks from the Tea Party when they want to bash Barack. But at least the Tea Party is hoping their criticism leads to their White GOP candidate winning the presidency Nov. 6.
Meanwhile, we have these Black "West" guys – both Republican Allen West and self-described progressive Cornel West – taking swings at the Black President. Allen says Black voters are on the Democrat "plantation" and that he [Allen] is our liberator who will lead us to freedom if Romney is elected, while Cornel says we're on the plantation all right, but he doesn't have any electoral alternative.