All Articles Tagged "Black President"
Last Friday night a meteor swept across the skies of the East Coast, spawning sightings from Boston all the way down to Florida and leaving many folks pondering in what ways was this President Barack Obama’s fault.
Just last month in Russia, a meteor crossed the threshold into the atmosphere and landed in the city of Chelyabinsk. While nobody was killed, the impact of the meteor created powerful shock waves, which caused over one thousand injuries and millions in property damage. And just last Tuesday – three days before the East Coast meteor – NASA’s chief Charles Bolden made an appearance on the Hill before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and told lawmakers that they need to make “priority” adequate funding for detecting and characterizing near-Earth objects. And according to the Washington Post, at a House Committee meeting on asteroids, when NASA administrator Charles Bolden was asked if there was anything we could do if a meteor were to hit New York City in three weeks, he said, “Pray.” Clearly, this is just a sign of what is to come. We had our warnings about the type of calamity, which was bound to happen upon the election of the black guy as president of the United States including the GOP, who told us two years ago that the passage of Obamacare would bring the fire and brimstone down on our asses.
But who was listening outside of the Tea Party, the Republicans and those with memberships to Alex Jones radio? Hollywood, that’s who. According to Shadow and Act:
“You saw the first poster this morning; now here’s the first trailer for Roland Emmerich’s thriller “White House Down,” which stars Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum. In the film, Tatum stars as a Secret Service agent who tries to save the president when the White House is attacked. Jamie Foxx plays the President of the USA. Garcelle Beauvais, who co-starred with Jamie Foxx on his hit TV sitcom in the late 1990s (The Jamie Foxx Show), reunites with him here, playing his wife, the First Lady. Lance Reddick, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins and Joey King round out the cast for “White House Down,” a film that Tatum’s Iron Horse Entertainment company is executive producing.
If you recall, Emmerich is also the man behind other disaster films such as Independence Day, 2012 and the Day After Tomorrow. This will make his second disaster film starring a black president; the first being Danny Glover as president Thomas Wilson in 2012 – coincidentally is the same year Obama won his second term as president. Sure that is just one director and there are plenty of films starring white presidents, which end in some sort cataclysm. However, a quick and mostly unscientific review of all the Hollywood productions starring a black POTUS reveals an unequal ratio of black presidents in films where the world is experiencing some major, sometimes intergalactic disaster and black presidents in films where the world, while pretty much jacked up, isn’t expected to end in some global doom.
Think I am exaggerating? Let’s consider the plots to the films The Fifth Element, 2012 and Deep Impact. Now let’s think about who was presiding at the helm as commander-in-Chief? That’s right a black man. Even when the world isn’t physically ending in a film, humanity as we know usually devolves into social ruin, perhaps even into slight retardation, when the black guy is in charge, as with the case of Terry Crews, who starred as President Camacho in the early-2000 cult classic Idiocracy.
And maybe Hollywood has a point: There certainly has been lots of suspicious stuff happening in the world since the reelection of Obama: Venezuela president Hugo Chavez passes away after a long battle with cancer; The pope quit his job, which is the first time this has happened in six centuries; coded reports of the dead rising back to life overseas began showing up on news stations across the Southwest; North Korea missile test and threats against the U.S.; the acceleration of global warming and its impact on the melting of the polar ice caps; and Showtime has announced that they are canceling “Dexter.” That’s my damn show! Whether it is coincidental or an intentioned prophecy, we can’t deny that they have been pretty consistent about what will ultimately befall the world for our disobedience of the natural order by letting people of color assume roles of political power. Or it could just be that Steve Harvey – for once in his life – had a point and Hollywood is pretty racist. And all of this catastrophic doom and gloom we see in movies could be just another example of how the industry refuses to take the idea of black leadership seriously.
I feel like I’ve heard this at least once before but it never hurts to repeat it when you’re constantly criticized for not doing enough for your people. In a recent interview with Black Enterprise, President Barack Obama was asked how he feels about criticism that his administration hasn’t done enough to support black businesses, and he said this:
“My general view has been consistent throughout, which is that I want all businesses to succeed. I want all Americans to have opportunity. I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means, who have been in the past locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody. So, I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African American businesses.”
The president definitely does have an entire nation to worry about, and theoretically a positive policy for American business should improve Black American business under that umbrella, but that doesn’t mean that certain segments of the population don’t need or even receive more attention than others when it comes to various issues. Not long ago, the president openly supported gay marriage, and though it’s not as though he could create a policy to legalize same-sex marriage across the country, the move was a serious head nod to the gay community—albeit a political one.
A comment on BE’s interview summarizes well the frustration some black people feel with the president. One reader wrote:
“He’s not the president of black america, yet he needs the black vote!! When other groups holler they get his attention, when we do we’re told to stop complaining and put on our marching boots. We defend him the most and get s***ted on by him in the process. Black unemployment is through the roof and we have no right to complain?”
When asked about the 14% black unemployment rate, the president offered this:
“Most economists will tell you that there is no doubt the economy has gotten stronger, but we are digging ourselves out a deep hole. There are a lot more things we could be doing. To get them done, we need cooperation of Congress. We got the payroll tax portion of [my American Jobs Act] done, but what we didn’t get done is the assistance I was proposing to the states to help them hire back teachers, firefighters, and first responders, because one of the weakest parts of this recovery has been state and local government hiring.
“Given the weaknesses of the construction industry, the American Jobs Act proposed that we rebuild schools, roads, bridges, airport, and ports. That would provide small businesses with opportunities as contractors and vendors in this rebuilding process. Again, Congress needs to act.”
And when it comes to housing, he said:
“Something that has disproportionally affected a lot of minority communities around the country, both African American and Hispanic, [is that] they were preyed upon when it came to predatory lending. What we have been able to do is to help those who have mortgages held by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We have been able to help them refinance at historically low rates, which saves somebody as much as $2,500 a year. And that’s money in their pockets that they can either be spending at your local small business or [to] help them rebuild equity in their homes.
“My goal, not just leading up to the election but as long as I’m president of the United States, where we have the capacity to act on our own through the executive branch to widen opportunity or to give small businesses a fair shot, we are going to do it.”
It’s possible we’ll have the next four years to see how that pans out.
Do you agree with the president’s take on helping black businesses during the economic recovery?
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