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Why Do Some Black Leaders ‘Hate’ President Obama - page 4

Written by Cash Michaels on 05 March 2009.


Immediately realizing how off-color his remark was, Young quipped, "I'm clowning."

During that same interview, Young said, "I want Barack Obama to be president in 2016. It's not a matter of being inexperienced. It's a matter of being young."

Even though no one from the traditional Democratic or civil rights leadership publicly came to Andrew Young's defense, even after he later apologized, it was common knowledge that there was a resentment on the part of some of the old guard like Rev. Jesse Jackson, Young and others towards Obama because he didn't come to them to ask for either their blessing or guidance.

That resentment was especially apparent with Rev. Jackson, who, even though he publicly supported Obama, openly criticized the Democratic candidate if he didn't speak out on an issue of Black concern, like the Jena 6 controversy.

Jackson's angst, and some say jealousy over the fact that Obama had clearly gone much further in his presidential aspirations than Jackson's two unsuccessful tries in the late 1980's, apparently boiled over when he was secretly taped in a Fox News studio last July telling a fellow guest that he would like cut Obama's privates off because he was "talking down to Black people about parenting.

'You are hurting Black America and Senator Obama, Los Angeles community activist Najee Ali angrily wrote in an open letter to Jackson afterwards. "Your continued verbal attacks (see Jena 6 drama) are unwarranted. It is as if you're jealous that he has eclipsed you and both of your campaigns for the Democratic nomination."

Rev. Jackson, who apologized even before the tape became public, has been kept at considerable distance from Obama ever since.

For many Black Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton last year, it took well into the general election before many of them finally accepted that Barack Obama could be, and should be the next president.

For many Black conservatives and religious figures, however, their opposition to Obama, and what they believed he stands for, only increased after he won election.

"It is fair game to challenge President Obama on ideological or political grounds," Prof. Irving Joyner told The Carolinian. "That is a principled position, even if the position opposes policies of the Obama administration...It is despicable to attack the President based on his race, and the fact that Obama has succeeded where others, like Keyes, have failed. This is especially true when the attacks come from someone with the hue of an African-American. Keyes and other "haters of color" diminish our entire race and cheapens the historic struggles and political progress which African-Americans have made."

 Joyner continued, "Keyes" attacks are unprincipled in every respect and he, and others like him, should be condemned by every African-American in this country. It is to be remembered that success needs no explanation or justification, and failures, like Alan Keyes, have none."

Joyner concluded, "We all should pray for Alan Keyes ... because he is truly one of the very few lost sheep."

Other defenders of Pres. Obama agree that where there is truly constructive criticism of the president and his policies from political adversaries, that should be both respected, and debated.

"I believe we have to take seriously the actions of [GOP Chair] Michael Steele and other sincere Republicans who have different but legitimate views of President Obama's agenda," Stella Adams, NCDP First Vice Chair, said. "We must agree to disagree with their arguments and look for common ground where we can work together for the benefit of the African American community. I am eager in my position as 1st Vice Chair of the Democratic Party to explain to our community why President Obama has provided a clear path to the future for our community and our country."