Obama support driven by racism

October 25, 2011


At the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Sen. Barack Obama said, “There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there is the United States of America.”

Those were welcome and commendable words. Unfortunately, they appear to be only words. Since then, Obama has divided us along race and class lines more than any modern president.

Some of his strongest, high-profile supporters in the black community are now saying that Obama’s race, alone, should be enough for black voters to vote for his re-election.

Krissah Thompson of The Washington Post reports that on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” which has an estimated 8 million radio listeners, Joyner, who is black, said, “Stick together, black people.” The show reaches one in four African-American adults.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who also has a radio show and a gig on MSNBC, admonished blacks who have been critical of the president, “I’m not telling you to shut up. I’m telling you: Don’t make some of us have to speak up.”

The attempt at poetry is getting tiresome, Al. Why don’t you leave that to Jesse Jackson?

Joyner went even further on his blog, writes Thompson: “Let’s not deal with the facts right now,” he said. “Let’s deal with just our blackness and pride — and loyalty. We have the chance to re-elect the first African-American president, and that’s what we ought to be doing. And I’m not afraid or ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he’s a black man.”

Try that in football. Never mind that the black quarterback continues to throw interceptions or drop the ball, keep him in the game simply because he’s black. If that happened, he’d be booed until the coach pulled him off the field, and those boos wouldn’t just be coming from whites.

In the same week the memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was dedicated in Washington, Joyner and Sharpton are saying that Barack Obama should be judged not on the content of his character and policies, but rather on the color of his skin. How sad. How racist.

If a black president cannot be held accountable for his policies and must receive the votes of African-Americans solely because of his race, then all of the marching for equal rights has been for nothing. The question ought to be this: Are African-Americans, indeed, are all Americans, better off than they were when Barack Obama took office? By any objective standard, the answer must be “no.” How do black people expect their circumstances to improve if Obama is elected for another four years? If they conclude they will not, why not vote for someone who can create the conditions under which more of them might get a job, for example? Black unemployment is 16.7 percent, the highest it’s been in 27 years.

Recent Washington Post-ABC News polls reveal a decline in the number of blacks with “strongly favorable” views of the president and his efforts to improve the economy. What people like Joyner and Sharpton fear is a loss of a place at the political table, a table that has been set far more elegantly for them than for too many of the African-Americans for whom they claim to speak.

What the slide in Obama’s support in the African-American community demonstrates is that increasing numbers of black people are beginning to understand they have been played for suckers by the Democratic Party. They are right to feel this way. Their loyalty should not be to a party, but to themselves, their families and their best interests, which lie outside a welfare system that has locked too many of them into dependence and an addiction to a government check. What they need instead is a reality check.

Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. His email address is tmseditors@tribune.com.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

Translation: Cal hopes that black disenchantment with Obama means their turnout in the next election is low so that Republicans can gain even more power to screw black (and other poor) folks even more.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

Translation must be your new favorite word.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

Nah-- there are just too many columnists (and forum common taters) with a preference for verbose euphemisms.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 7 months ago

And the GOP will run Herman Cain to appease them. Not gonna happen.The GOP will not have a winning Presidential candidate until 2024 or later. That's how bad Bush screwed them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

It'll be interesting to see how long Herman can stay in the race. But given that only Huntsman and Paul, and to a lesser extent Romney and Gingrich, ever say anything that isn't dominated by pure idiocy, he has a very outside chance of winning the nomination.

devobrun 6 years, 7 months ago

bozo, it ain't working. President Obama used up all his political capital on health care legislation. It was a bad strategic decision because he was told that true liberal voters would love a government takeover of health care. Health care is great in America except when it comes to the bureaucracy. He could have spent billions on a competitive software development program. A Manhattan Project for electronic medical records (EMR). He spent the stimulus on crap that didn't move his health care agenda forward. Sorry bozo, that was stupid. Not ill-advised, stupid.

He had stimulus money to spend and he had a goal of French-style EMR and government control of health......and he spent the stimulus money on lobbyists. On solar panels. On subsidies.......Never spend stimulus money on a subsidy.......ever. It ain't black. It ain't Democrat. Everybody say it together: Never spend stimulus money on subsidies.

So what do you spend stimulus money on? Mortgages? Nope. Research? Nope. Concerts in the park?............The Cardinals baseball team?

There's thousands of possibilities.

You spend it on ideas that are already working, but need a boost. Proven technologies that work, but are hindered by capital investment limitations. The problem today in America is that we have no, repeat no, proven technologies that need a capital boost. Shale gas is a proven technology that has real possibilities. Does it need capital? Heck no. There is so much capital money on the sidelines that shale gas is overwhelmed by capital injection. No stimulus needed there. We have capital. We are bereft of ideas.

Obama is not a bad guy. He really wanted to do something. He was "advised". You wait, dems, that will be the excuse in 2 years in the book. "I was ill-advised." He was, and he listened to the advisors.

It isn't skin color, political party......it is listening to advisors that does the man in. Hans Christian Andersen is in full play here.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

It was a bad strategic decision.

There is no "government takeover of health care".

And, health care is not great in America, in my and family members' experiences. We pay a lot and don't receive a comparably high quality of care, and patients/families have to be much more assertive than they should have to be.

jaywalker 6 years, 7 months ago

It's disappointing that Sharpton and the like would call for re-election based on race, and it certainly can't help the overall cause that is racial equality. But Cal pointing it out leaves a bad taste in the mouth, doesn't it?

jaywalker 6 years, 7 months ago

Of course it should be reported, we can't have the double standard completely buried. But considering the tenor of many of Cal's columns and his extreme political stance, I don't know, seems the news might carry more weight if someone else would have written about it.

Now I'm wondering if Pitts will opine on the matter.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

Krissah Thompson, Tom Joyner, and Al Sharpton can alleviate all of their angst simply by voting for Herman Cain.

Fossick 6 years, 7 months ago

"...what does this white liberal word 'racist' mean exactly?"

It means the same as 'fascist': "Person with whom I disagree"

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

Racism is the belief that somebody of a certain race is inferior simply by virtue of belonging to that race.

Fossick 6 years, 7 months ago

Right-O. Asking people to vote for Obama because he's black is not necessarily racist. It's like one Catholic or Irishman supporting another: one method for helping one's own group advance in society. It's not saying that black is better or worse, it's blacks saying that we can accomplish x by voting a certain way.

Asking someone to vote for the white guy because black guys are stoopid or for the black guy because white guys are crooked is prejudicial and probably racist as well.

Fossick 6 years, 7 months ago

Of course the race card would be played - it's a political hammer that is brought to bear any time something looks like a nail. But it has very little to say about actual racism.

Fossick 6 years, 7 months ago

The liberals' use of 'racism' is effective against 'normal people' because racism is both a) historically real, and b) an undeniable stain on our national character.

That doesn't make it a made up white liberal word. It was actually a scientific word captured by progressives.

pace 6 years, 7 months ago

Cal seems to have slipped to a creepy new low. what a crock.

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

I will agree that many Blacks will indeed vote for Obama simply because of the color of his skin. After a string of 44 previous presidents all being White males, this is what happens when a group is denied entrance into a certain field for so long. Even one person achieving the goal helps lift all of that group up, even if it is only a psychological boost.

I'm also sure that many Whites voted for McCain and will vote for Romney (likely) because of the color of their skin. However, this isn't about lifting a race up, but about attempting to keep another race down. We see the fear when, because of the election of a single man, someone on these boards (since removed but apparently still around under a new name) wrote that "White people have lost all power." Fear of losing power is far scarier than the hope for equality.

Had there not been such a long line of presidents and presidential candidates who represented only one race (and one gender), maybe people wouldn't be voting to see one of their own in the White House. Thomas, like many others, conveniently ignores the racial history of our nation.

Should Cain pull the upset and get the Republican nomination, and most blacks still vote for Obama, what will Thomas have to say then?

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

Wouldn't it be nice if a female lesbian atheist had a chance of becoming president?

Maybe someday...

verity 6 years, 7 months ago

How about a black (or latina/middle eastern/oriental/native American) female lesbian athiest?

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

You mean, not rely on color or gender the way the past 44 presidents have?

Fossick 6 years, 7 months ago

For now, the Supreme Court will have to serve as a glass ceiling. That's a place no Pentecostal or Mormon has sat before.

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

To which, President Obama will say, "I'll use mine, thank you."

lunacydetector 6 years, 7 months ago

as an american who happens to be black, i feel herman cain is more black than barack obama. he's also a motivational speaker and would do more good for the black community than obama.

tomatogrower 6 years, 7 months ago

I'll tell you what, Cal. I won't listen to Joyner and Sharpton, if you stop listening to Beck and Rush.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

His ideas, especially 9-9-9, are flawed.

His experience running a successful business may or may not be helpful as president.

And, I think you're incorrect if you think his race isn't a factor.

Many people may vote for or against him because of that factor, regardless of others involved.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

People who tend to view things in racial terms are not being rational, much of the time.

Those who won't vote for Obama because he's black are equally unlikely to vote for Cain for the same reason.

Then, there are those who may feel that Cain is "blacker" than Obama - a phrase I've actually seen on these comments.

It's possible they'd vote for him on that basis as well.

Finally, a record as a successful businessman is praiseworthy, but not necessarily something that would make somebody a good president - the jobs are very different.

verity 6 years, 7 months ago

We might be able to do better, but not with any of the Republicans now running. Have we always had such abysmal choices (and I mean Ds and Rs) and I just didn't notice or has the atmosphere changed so much that nobody worthwhile even wants to run?

McCain was on Christiane Amanpour's show last Sunday. Sounded like he was still running for president. Same old negative rhetoric. Have we completely lost the loyal opposition?

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

I was going to answer, but verity pretty much did it for me.

There may be any number of better people to hold any number of elected positions, but they're not running for office.

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

Too bad the only Rs running are rubber mallets.

fancy80 6 years, 7 months ago

Actually, that is one of the many reasons that I like Cain. I'm sick of career politicians. And frankly, I don't think many people took into account Obama's work experience before they cast their vote. To say we should vote for this guy because he is black is equally as irrational as it would be to say vote for this guy because he is NOT black. And look it, I know there is that attitude out there (and it is in both parties) but it is not as prevalent as Maddow, Garafalo, and the rest of the commentators on MSNBC would have you believe. And how do these people get off by calling Cain an Uncle Tom, and that we (white republicans) like him because he "knows his place". That is so offensive on so many levels.

jonas_opines 6 years, 7 months ago

Ah, Cal Thomas. The yin to Leonard Pitts' yang.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 7 months ago

Jafs, I'm pretty sure that the term 'female lesbian' is redundant.

My dream ticket is beatrice/Gandalf in 2012.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago


You're right of course - I thought of that after I had posted.

classclown 6 years, 7 months ago

How is it any different from the last election?

Fossick 6 years, 7 months ago

This time, the world ends the next month.

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

So then why are we even bothering? Lets just give it to Obama and be done with it.

jayhawxrok 6 years, 7 months ago

What a retarded letter. Obama's done nothing to increase the racial divide. The GOP has not missed any opportunity, however, to display their archaic racist idiocy.

fancy80 6 years, 7 months ago

Obama hasn't contributed to the racial divide but the main stream media sure has. Now the GOP has a black man running and what do they report on MSNBC? That we like him because he knows his place. It's sad when this kind of crap is allowed. And you know that it is done solely to turn black democrats against Mr. Cain.

Mike Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

it's funny.....for the most part the Democrats let people of color represent everyone in office....whereas if a minority runs for the Republican party they have to espouse majority views and not present any threat to the mindset of majority Republican voters who wrap themselves in the their view of America. I once had a racist grandfather from Mississippi who statement to this subject was.....I don't care what color they are as long as they make as much money as I do. Not racist at all and it reminds me of some of my arguement flipping cohorts on here... example number one....US Vice President Charles Curtis of White, Kaw, Osage, and Potawatomi ancestry....Mr. Curtis' ancestors were French and Indian and were part of the group of Kaw Indians that the US Government played divide and conquer with in order to gain land in the 1825 Kaw Treaty. The Full Blood and Mixed Blood Kaw people disagreed to the United State's advantage over the fifty years until the Kaw people wound up in Indian Territory in 1873. Mr. Curtis stayed in Kansas as his relatives went south and showed up in 1902 as Kaw land was alloted and got his children land allotments. By that time he'd become a White approved politician who'd pushed the Dawes Allotment Act of 1887 on the Five Tribes with an 1898 amendment to the act and the furtherance of land theft allowed the Sooners to steal tribal lands for pennies on the dollar as Oklahoma became a State in 1907. He was always the good Indian at the expense of his own people. Gee, that doesn't at all sound like now. Even Governor Brownback has championed the sellout abilities of Mr. Curtis. Cal Thomas would approve of a sellout like Charles Curtis. As a Republican minority member one cannot offend the majority Caucasian people that would vote for them. If the Republicans ever publically support an un censored ethnic minority I will stop thinking that the racists in their party speak the loudest.

fancy80 6 years, 7 months ago

You don't. It's like Merrill. You just skip down to the next post. You can't argue or even attempt to have a civil conversation with this guy/girl. Can't be done...

Mike Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

better yet, President Obama....you won an election and your gutless opposition has done nothing but mount a "NO" campaign every since 2009. You are called clueless by clueless people afflected with amnesia and blinders who don't dare say the "B"....er Bush word. Acheived....Health Care Affordability Plan.... Wall Street and Bank Reform..... Cobell Settlement Act.....Auto Companies reduced badges took loans survived and paid loans back..... Don't Ask Don't Tell.....Got Osama Bin Laden.....practiced diplomacy with NATO and assisted the capture and death of Khadafi.....Republican idea of success.....disarm federal government....run everthing like a pta meeting....pass immigration laws that leave states like Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, with no one to work agriculture because white southerners won't do the back braking work (Actual quote heard on NPR from Alabama farmer can't find help because of new Alabama anti-immigrant law) roll back everything propose 999 trickery that aids no one but rich people and brings back the 1980's theme....I got mine I don't care about you... I got plenty for you Rush.... want more??????

Flap Doodle 6 years, 7 months ago

Tuschie... Tushchie... Tuschie... what... big... hate... you.... have.... (from a source)...

Mike Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

wow...you stepped into a big pile of ..... with your lack of knowledge.... William Penn's sons used the Walking Purchase Treaty of 1737 to defraud the Lenape, Munsee, and tribal refugees from the Delmarva Peninsula (Piscataway, Conoy, Tutelo, Susquahannock) of lands. Bunches of lower class emigrants from the coast invaded Lenape, Shawnee, and Wyandot lands and instigated the Paxton Boys Massacre of the Conestoga Peoples and the sacking of Lenape villages on the Pennsylvania Frontier between the Seven Years War and the Revolutionary War. I know of this because I do legal and historical work with Munsee people whose ancestors fled Pennsylvania in the late 1760's and went to the Muskingum and Tuscarawas River valleys in the early 1770's. These people's ancestors were massacred by Pennsylvania militia at the Gnadenhutten Massacre in 1782. You sound like a George Will/William F. Buckley reset button every time you talk. Better yet, why don't you explain the actions of Rhode Island towards the Narragansetts in the last 140 years. Rhode Island took their tribal lands in 1880 violating the Indian Non Intercourse Act of 1790. Rhode Island agreed to federal recognition for the Narragansett people after a claim settlement act in 1978 only after the tribe wasn't allowed soveriegnty on their own reservation lands with state jurisdiction due to the elder US Senator Chaffee inserting a rider into the recognition bill. Recently Governer Carcieri initiated a US Supreme Court Case against the Narragansetts that affected land into trust for tribes nationwide. Your statists are thieves just like the others. Know the whole history instead of your quasi patriot enlightenment mumbo jumbo.

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

44 White male presidents in a row, and the first non-White president comes along and it is because of racism. That takes some stretch of logic to reach that conclusion. Apparently to Cal Thomas, only White presidents can be elected without racism playing a part.

I'm sure the first time a woman is elected president, Thomas will think it is because of sexism -- if it is a Democrat.

fancy80 6 years, 7 months ago

And if the woman is a republican, the liberal mainstream media will run her in the ground and call her kids sluts and fat and anything else they can think of. Your side isn't any better Beatrice.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 7 months ago

Well said Cal: What the slide in Obama’s support in the African-American community demonstrates is that increasing numbers of black people are beginning to understand they have been played for suckers by the Democratic Party. They are right to feel this way. Their loyalty should not be to a party, but to themselves, their families and their best interests, which lie outside a welfare system that has locked too many of them into dependence and an addiction to a government check. What they need instead is a reality check.
Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. His email address is tmseditors@tribune.com.

---Blacks are leaving the democrat plantation. thank God.
democrat welfare policies, starting in the '60s, pushed men out of families. this hit hardest among black families and dramatically increased out of wedlock births over the decades.
that in turn caused far more, generational, poverty. and that empowered the democrats further.

herman cain 2012!

Mike Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

zzzz from a know nothing.......expected......

Mike Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

Really....You know about the King Phillip's War with Metacomet right? many of the Narragansetts, Pequots, and Wampanoags were sold off as slaves after that war to the West Indies and Bermuda in the 1670's....and land theft practices took off in the colonies....please leave out the bad stuff in your naivety so I can report it....you're smart right????

Kirk Larson 6 years, 7 months ago

Funny, that old saw about welfare considering that most welfare beneficiaries are white. Are they addicted dependents driven by racism, too?

tecuani 6 years, 7 months ago

What a load manure Cal.

Everyone knows the REAL racism in politics comes from the Tea Party. These self described freedom protectors were quiet during the Bush era. They were silent during the implementation of the Patriot Act. Quiet during the formation of the DHS. Quiet as wiretaps were issued without warrants. Quiet as American citizens were detained and taken away. Quiet as billions were given to Wall Street. Quiet as the United States loses thousands of soldiers and trillions of dollars in unnecessary wars.

When do they finally speak up? When do the tea partiers finally try to change Washington? When a black man is put in charge...

fancy80 6 years, 7 months ago

No different than all the dems yelling about their rights being infringed upon with the government being able to tap into cellphones...Now that Obama is still doing it, it must be okay because I don't hear you dems complaining about it. Only when Bush did it.

Just because MSNBC tells you the Tea Party is racist, doesn't make it so...

Flap Doodle 6 years, 7 months ago

Liberal guilt had a lot to do with the result of the 2008 election.

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