Would a White President Better Serve Black America?

Donald Roscoe Brown, New Jersey On-Line, January 25, 2010


{snip} I’m writing today to posit the question of whether–through the first year of the Obama presidential term–black Americans would have been more effectively served by having an individual in the Oval Office who was white. {snip}

Before I am accused of any black-on-black “crime” for even raising such a question (I am black), consider that in a Jan. 15 New York Times op-ed by Clyde Haberman, “For These Three, the Audacity of Nope,” the focus was on President Obama’s reticence in supporting three black men who are/were contemplating their candidacies for mayor of New York City, governor of New York State, and U.S. senator from New York. (Those candidates are, respectively, William Thompson, who lost his bid in the November 2009 election; David Paterson, who was encouraged by the Obama administration not to run again; and Harold Ford Jr., who was also urged not to run.) {snip}


{snip} It’s my postulation that black Americans are unjustifiably (perhaps even irreparably) compromised by not being able to politely engage the White House in public conversations about problems sometimes unique to Black America, because the top dog there is a black guy who seemingly thinks it would be impolitic to discuss such matters. Among those issues would be the unabated national epidemic of racial profiling of black men by law-enforcement personnel. The publicity attached to, for example, the unwarranted stops of black drivers by the New Jersey State Police and, most recently, the baseless arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates have brought additional focus on a practice that continues to unnerve black communities throughout America.

Next for consideration by the president could be the phenomenon by which, for example, black New Yorkers are seven times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession notwithstanding surveys that have demonstrated whites to be heavier users. Equally troubling is that in New Jersey, almost 80 percent of incarcerated men are black even though blacks don’t commit that large a percentage of New Jersey’s crimes.


Problems such as these [including unemployment and economic vitality] could require substantial governmental response. And if prospective governmental response can’t even get to the drawing board because the head man won’t publicly discuss the underlying problems, why support having him in office?



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