By Raynard Jackson
I was having a discussion with this friend about the latest goings on in D.C. This person is a very prominent White political operative and he was asking me to help him understand what he called “the peculiarity of Black leadership.”
He could not understand that with all the issues going on within the Black community, why were members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) busy getting arrested last week in an act of civil disobedience over the issue of amnesty for illegals. Four members of the CBC were arrested at a pro-amnesty rally in support of citizenship for illegals. The four were Congressmen John Lewis (D-Ga.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Al Green (D-Texas), and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).
I, like my friend, can’t understand why these Black politicians are spending their time on issues that have no relevance to the Black community. These same members of Congress are unwilling to be arrested in front of the White House in protest of Obama ignoring the unemployment rate in the Black community. They are unwilling to be arrested for protesting in front of the Department of Justice to bring attention to the high number of murders taking place in Chicago.
President Obama is equally guilty of misplaced priorities. Last week, we had the continued shut down of the federal government, the impending debt ceiling crises, and the total failure of the implementation of Obamacare. Yet, the president spent his time trying to force the Washington Redskins to change the name of their team.
During an interview last week with the Associated Press, Obama said, “I would think about changing the Washington Redskins name if I owned the football team…team names such as the Redskins offend a sizable group of people…I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things.”
Note that the reporter did not press Obama to quantify “sizable group of people.” Is he talking about one, two, three or thousands of people? Where did he get his information from? What is the “legitimate concern” he was referring to? What does that mean? This is horrible reporting.
There is a small group of people who feel that the name is offensive to Native Americans. This charge is being led by the Oneida Tribe. The Oneida Tribe no more represents the Native American community as a whole, no more so, than Al Sharpton represents the whole of the Black community. This tribe does not speak for the whole. They speak only for themselves. The government, especially the president of the United States, has absolutely no right to interject itself into the affairs of a private entity (the Washington Redskins) when they are in no violation of any laws.
Obama spent more time talking about this issue than having conversation with Republicans to reopen the government.
This is the same president who is unwilling to change Obama care, even it “offends a sizeable group of people.” Why is he unwilling to ask his rapper friend Jay-Z to stop using the N word since it “offends a sizable group of people?” Why is he unwilling to ask Beyoncé to put some clothes on when she is on stage since she “offends a sizable group of people?”
The point is, democracy can only work when it is allowed to flourish among those you disagree with. You can’t only call out those with whom you disagree.
So, let me make sure I understand. Of all the issues affecting our country last week—government shutdown, debt ceiling—Obama and these members of the CBC are wasting their time talking about the Washington Redskins and citizenship for illegals?
If the market place, i.e., the people were so repulsed by the usage of the name Redskins, then they would no longer buy tickets to the game. Since the opponents know they can’t win through the freedom of the marketplace; they now want the government to force their beliefs onto a private run entity. This is the essence of liberalism.
If they can’t win in the marketplace of ideas, then they want the government, i.e. the courts to give them the desired outcome, i.e. homosexual entitlements.
Can you name me the last time some illegals were arrested for joining in solidarity with a protest regarding an issue of specific interest to the Black community (like Trayvon Martin, the murders in Chicago, the wet foot, dry foot policy in Miami)?
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.