By Raynard Jackson (NNPA News Wire Columnist)
During the past seven plus years, I have been extremely critical of President Obama’s willful neglect and callous disregard for the Black community. Blacks have been the single, largest voting block for Obama; giving him 96 percent and 94 percent of their vote in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
Unfortunately, Obama has refused to reward this nearly universal support from the Black community by way of any specific policies that addresses the Black unemployment rate, the high crime rate, drug sentencing disparities, etc.; nor has he adequately rewarded Blacks to key political appointments.
This continued disdain reared its ugly head yet again when Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. Garland, by all accounts, is a very respected jurist and a very decent person. But does the Court really need another White, Anglo-Saxton, Protestant (WASP)? Obama seems incapable of surrounding himself with anyone who is not from a Harvard/Yale pedigree.
The president has had three picks to the court (including Garland) during his two terms and thinks so little of Blacks, especially Black women, that he has never as so much interviewed a Black female jurist to be put on his short list of potential nominees.
Typically a president will put people on his short list to satisfy specific constituent groups, even if he has no intention of nominating the person; it’s done for the optics.
Obama has nominated two females, Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic; Elena Kagan and now a White male.
According to the U.S. Election Project, in 2008 and 2012, Black women voted at a higher rate than any other group. Four years ago, 74 percent of eligible black women went to the polls — and 96 percent voted for President Obama.
The reason Obama so disregards Black voters is because he knows no matter what he does, Blacks will never criticize him for his actions because they are so enamored with him being a Black president.
Maybe some of this blind loyalty within the Black community is beginning to wear off, albeit rather late in the game; afterall, Obama will be out of office in less than a year.
To my stunning amazement, some Black women, for once, are publically criticizing Obama’s choice of Garland to the Supreme Court, unlike their male counterpoints in the Congressional Black Caucus who have decided to accept the president’s continued disdain.
Two weeks ago the Associated Press (AP) interviewed several prominent Black females about this very issue and I was pleasantly surprised at what they said.
Avis Jones-DeWeever, founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, told the AP, “The fact that he would once again look over Black women for this specific appointment is an absolute slap in the face to his top supporters…I’m not motivated to lift one finger to get his [Garland] nomination through.”
Barbara Arnwine, executive director at the Transformative Justice Coalition stated, [by selecting Garland, Obama], “does not give the respect to his most ardent supporters…the passion you saw around Sotomayor you will not see around this pick.”
Finally, a couple of liberal, Black Democratic supporters of Obama who are willing to publically call him and his administration out for their continued disrespect of the Black community.
DeWeever and Arnwine are both friends and I have called them out in the past for their sycophantic support of all things Obama. I can finally say that I am proud of them for taking a principled stand.
As a Republican, I find it quite amazing that I seem to be more irate about Obama’s treatment of the Black community than the very people who practically worship at the feet of the God called Obama.
In 2016, we have the first Black president who has put the first Latina on the Supreme Court; but yet, has refused to even put a Black female on the short list for consideration.
What Obama is doing to the Black community is political malpractice.
The bigger question is why does the Black community continue to accept Obama’s constant slights? I have never seen a group of people that is so loyal for so long with so little to show for it.
Raynard Jackson is the founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org.