Since President Barack Obama announced a D.R.E.A.M Act – esque measure, allowing children of so-called “illegal” immigrants to avoid deportation, some factions of the Black American community have been in an uproar with the same old cry of  “What has he done for Black people?” “He speaks out for everyone but us!” “That does it, I’m not voting for him!”

There are several reasons why that school of thought is insane.

No, it’s not stupid to expect more from our president concerning the specific ills that plague the black community; however, it is the height of insanity to expect more from him than he ever said he would be — all because he’s half black, sang a few notes of Al Green and has a mean jump shot. He has maintained that he is the president for “all” Americans.

Translation: Democrats can count on the majority of black folks like the first and fifteenth — regardless of policy — so don’t expect too much.

If you want to get upset because he’s behind the bombing of African babies, back-peddling on EPA standards and oil drilling, as well as backing away from legislation that protected children of farmers from dangerous equipment, then I’m all for it. But you can miss me completely with the “he’s not black enough” argument, because it’s not worth a penny with a hole in it.

Which leads me back to his stance on immigration. My position actually aligns with the president on this one. (GASP!) He is on the diplomatic and moral high ground for several reasons:

1.) Mexico is so inextricably tied to the United States — seeing as how Texas, California and some parts of Arizona once were Mexico — it makes perfect sense that an imperialistic (re: neo-conservative) government would fight harder to keep their hard-fought “win” intact. They arrogantly want Mexicans to “stay over there.”  Well, actually, “here” belonged to them first and it makes much more diplomatic sense to work with families than against them.

2.) The president’s stance is that it doesn’t make sense to provide immigrant children social and public services, sometimes even a college degree, then ship them somewhere to be a benefit to another country besides the U.S. In addition, of course, to securing votes for his re-election. It’s not just political capital, but national capital.

3.) The same conservatives who benefit the most from immigrants being here are the same ones calling for them to be deported…publicly. Not because they want them gone, but because they don’t want them recognized as humans deserving of public services and fair wages. The sad misconception is that they don’t work; when in fact, they work their asses off for pennies. I’ve seen entirely families in East Los Angeles live in studio apartments to make ends meet. The department of agriculture has stated said that without their “illegal” labor, the price of fruit and vegetables would rise dramatically in this country (Read here). Immigrants are not going anywhere, anytime soon — and Republicans know it. They are nothing but a political tool to them, as we all are. Political tools that should be treated humanely — as we all should — not like slaves.

To those opponents who claim that “illegal” immigrants broke the law, my answer would be that the children did not break the law — and the D.R.E.A.M. Act is for them. To those who use the “sins of the fathers” argument,  if that were the case, all Europeans (and their historical slaves) should pack up and leave the entire nation to Native Americans.

The point is that taking a diplomatic approach instead of herding children and young adults like chattel and removing them from the only country they’ve known is admirable. True, their parents may have “broken the law,” but when laws are unjust, they need to be re-evaluated. That has been the case throughout this nation’s history.

An even larger issue here is the apathy that many black Americans hold for the ballot. The Latino bloc has proven to be swing voters — and they should be respected for it — while many black people have not. And until that happens, blame and anger can not be directed at the Latino/Hispanic population, nor to politicians. That anger should strictly be reserved for the (wo)men in the mirror.

Until that happens, every other demographic will get legislation passed that is directly, openly and with no reservation geared toward their communities. And we’ll get the news — slow jammed.

  • Libby

    Kirsten West Savali, do you just dislike black people? It seems all your post are about scolding black people. What uproar do you speak of Kirsten West Savali? I have seen no such thing and I don’t think you have either.

  • mary mary

    umm, so in the beginning you say black people should not drop their vote for Obama, but in the end you then say black people should not always vote democrat. please make up your mind.

    i believe that Pres Obama should be doing more for the african-american demographic, one issue he should tackle is the failed the drug war that causes so many young non-violent offender african-americans to be introduced to the prison industrial complex early on. i think this precisely because he is the president of all americans, not because he is black.

    i think black people need to not always make excuses for President Obama, excuses they would not do otherwise, simply because he is a half black, Al Green singing basketball lover.

  • HowApropos

    name a recent president that has done anything for black people to which we were satisfied.

    i don’t care who black people vote in this election, however i seriously doubt that romney is gonna do a better job for black people.

    will there be any articles questioning his whiteness? nope.

    will there be all the blatant racist ads present? nope.

    will there be articles upon articles of what romney can do for black people? Hayell to naw! the same black folks dissatisfied with BO will be in a world of hurt when they find out that romney and his camp really don’t give a shid if black folks fall off the face of this earth.

    and black folks know this already.

    will you be ready to challenge him on ‘what he needs to do for the black community?

    i’ll hold my breath.

  • befree

    Black people showed up for Obama in record numbers.. I guess some people forgot that..Contrary to popular belief the vast majority of black people are good hard working law abiding citizens. Our vote counts just like everyone else. I could not even fix my mouth to scold black about Obama. It’s a lie that black people looked at him to be the “black president”.

    Black people have done a great deal in terms of trying to get issues on the table and for the past 3 1/2 years I have watched EVERYONE shout people down with this silly notion that Black people are asking for hand outs and special treatment. Now that it is a few months before the election folks want to ask people to vote. A closed mouth don’t get fed and for 3 1/2 years many in THIS community have done really good job silencing his critics and those who tried to lobby for attention for the black community.
    Let’s not play the games, Obama went his entire first term not having to lift one finger to his black consistency.

    In part, because his most VOCAL supporters scolded, maligned, belittled any Black person who would at least tried to challenge him on any issue.
    So now it’s “election time”. Again many want the Obama 2012 signs on our front lawns, our vote and our MOUTH CLOSED for the next four years. Besides the FACT the black people vote Democratic, all this whooping and hollering and slandering black folks is so unnecessary. We always had to fight like hell to get things done, but what folks are forgetting we did not have OTHER BLACK FOLKS fighting us back. We were free to lobby and push for empowerment. This overzealous protection… an ELECTED official has done damage as well.Guess what.. when ALL this is said and done Obama and his family will be eating good just like the Clintons and the Bushes.. Some of us are more worried about the rest of us..Also maybe folks thought that we may not deserve MORE attention, but got damn we don’t deserve any less.Regardless what folks say, they DON’T want us to treat him like we treat any other President because if we did there would be no way we would ignore him not meeting with the CBC for two years or his dismissive remarks about black unemployment. Actually Obama has enjoyed no push back from the black community at ALL.

    For example black businesses received a disproportionately small number of federal stimulus contracts. Why? What could the Obama Administration have done? They could have been more inclusive and closely track who receives government-financed work. This is critical in putting black folks back to work in their communities. Well-meaning federal programs and funding that never makes it to the our communities is not an accomplishment. You can’t point to “shovel ready jobs” if we never get a damn shovel.

    If the help ain’t reaching us, you can run off Bill, after Bill and it won’t make a damn bit of difference. There was a racial disparity in the disbursement of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the fruits of the stimulus bill did not reach groups who were suffering the most in the worst recession in decades. Tackling systemic inequality requires specific, concrete and targeted action and this is not “special treatment” it is responding to those who are hurting the most who HAPPEN to BE BLACK.

    Part of the Recovery Act attached the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise ( Act) program. DBE programs aim is to make sure disadvantaged contractors have a fair opportunity to compete in the public works bidding process. Under DBC the national goal is at least 10 percent of federal highway and transit funds go to persons who qualify as disadvantaged small business operators. All black businesses were asking was it be ENFORCED. Enforcing the law is the primary job of the executive branch, right? All the Administration did was make a suggestion and not enforce. What about withholding the stimulus money if DBE was not being enforced? The language in the stimulus bill stated it was supposed to go to disadvantaged communities hit hardest by the recession. That’s us.
    You can’t just mandate that money goes into disadvantaged communities and not follow up. This is a perfect example of people touting an empty accomplishment without actually seeing if it actually made it to our communities. These were REAL jobs that should have been putting black folks to work. When a black reporter asked him about Black unemployment and his response was “a rising tide lifts all boats” disgusted me. If the tide doesn’t come in, nothing is going to rise. Like I said, pass any bill you want, but if it’s NOT making to us…. It’s WORTHLESS. How is it unreasonable to ask an Administration to enforce a federal Act? It’s not.

  • LemonNLime

    “Mexico is so inextricably tied to the United States — seeing as how Texas, California and some parts of Arizona once were Mexico — it makes perfect sense that an imperialistic (re: neo-conservative) government would fight harder to keep their hard-fought “win” intact. They arrogantly want Mexicans to “stay over there.” Well, actually, “here” belonged to them first and it makes much more diplomatic sense to work with families than against them.”

    Seriously? Mexico didn’t belong to Mexicans, it belonged to the indigenous people that lived there thousand of years before the Spanish came and decimated their population. If that territory “belongs” to anyone, it is the indigenous people who were wiped out. And guess what? THEY LOST A WAR! As a result, they lost that territory. That isn’t imperialistic, that is fact.

  • MySister’sKeeper

    Careful befree. According to Kirsten West Savali you’re asking to much. Apparently you should sit down, shut up and vote blindly. Ridiculous.

  • MySister’sKeeper

    Amen Keep it Real. I especially love the part of the article where apparently people shoved in studio aparments in East LA are to be prasied. Are you kidding me? What about their neighbors. I just fled near downtown LA. Why? I lived in a one-bedroom apartment, just me and my dog. Above my one bedroom apartment was a family of 5 adults. You’re insane if you think they were these hard working illegals. They lived in a rent controlled apartment, receive food stamps and EACH one had a nice car. They never left the house, certainly not even for work. They made so much noise, it was hell. I especially loved the days when one couple would have sex in the living room forcing the others to camp out in the bedroom. When I complained to the manager, he begged me not to make him address it as they had threatened the neighbor before me when she complained. Well, they did it again. They threatened his life and then came downstairs to threaten mine. They learned the hard way that I am not the one.

    Always a good time living near those hard working illegals. What bs. And let’s not forget the freakin’ rooster another neighbor brought from Mexico. When neighbors complained they said “In Mexico it’s just like having a dog or a cat.” Are you kidding me. Where are we?

    I also volunteer at an organization that provides legal help and in the last 10 years the clients have been overwhelmingly illegal immigrants. And i’m not just assuming they’re illegal, i know their status as we are required to ask in order to gauge whether they qualify for additional government funded assistance. It’s ridiculous. As we help them prepare for their divorce, we hear stories of large hidden incomes, all received in cash, NO TAXES PAID. But when it comes time to collecting child support their pissed because our country can’t help them track down their husbands cash assets. I’m so over the few sob stories.

    It’s telling when a black person sees nothing but negative in their own but looks to others and sees hard working heros. Give me a break.

  • tia

    OMG!

    For once I agree with you.

    Why dont Black people talk about what the consequences are for them with so many Hispanics here in this country and more to come. It seems like their population increased tremendously in just 20 years. Do Blacks know what happened in Miami and what is happening in California? It is crazy and only going to get worse in my opinion and it seems Blacks only want to sing kumbaya.

    This isnt about racism but Black survival and thriving.

    Well, if Blacks, as a whole, wont think about these issues, then BLACK WOMEN, should. This is a more important issue than BBW, or most of the topics talked about on this board, etc and it seems Blacks never pay enough attention and then are always caught out with their mouths open.

  • Misty_Moonsilver

    Black people fail to realize that WE DON”T HAVE TO VOTE AS A GROUP!!! Its okay for you to vote for Obama while I vote for Romney. We have to get over this whole collective thing. I personally think Obama NEVER had the black community’s best interest at heart from the beginning. And seeing that he is only HALF black and raised by wealthy white people, I didn’t expect him too. Wake up people.

  • Chrissy

    So Obama never had the black community’s best interest at heart? Okay. No problem with that assertion.

    OTOH, Romney does?

    So Barack was raised by wealthy parents, isn’t Romney also wealthy?

    I just dont understand.

    You say black people dont have to vote as a group. I agree, but then later you put black people in a group by saying the “black community”.

  • Chrissy

    I agree with this 100%

  • mary mary

    Just want to be clear that the last part of my final sentence: “half black, Al Green singing basketball lover”, is a paraphrase from Kirsten’s article, not intended to question President Obama’s “blackness”, which is not of concern to me. His policies, however, are my concern.

  • carla campbell

    I didn’t see my comment.

  • Lady P

    My comments are not going thru today. I’ll try back later. :(

  • Dalili

    +1 to the 100th power!

  • MySister’sKeeper

    I think most comments aren’t going through. Maybe it’s because I didn’t throw rose petals at Obama like the author.

  • MySister’sKeeper

    +1

  • http://method2hermadness.blogspot.com girlformerlyknownasgrace

    I just know that Romney is not a better alternative.

  • http://changecomesslow.com/2012/06/18/whose-vote-matters-most/ Nikesha

    the arguments for and against the executive order and who it does or does not benefit are moot.

    this is simply good politics.

    he’s playing to win.

    no DREAM act leaves the Hispanic vote in the swing. This executive vote locks up the crys from the bloc who will soon become the largest minority.

    Black issues can’t be dealt with under this president. that’s not good politics because he’s the first black president. Having a black agenda would be seen as pandering and discriminatory and the president would be ripped apart more than he is now.

    this is an election year. if he wants to win he’s got to play politics like he wants to win.

    this is what this is.

    if he secures a second term he can go after passion projects like a black agenda because he will never have to face a re-election firing squad. just congress.

    though i don’t know which is worse.

  • LemonNLime

    Thank you!! Sometimes I just can’t with her writing.

    “The Latino bloc has proven to be swing voters”… not really. Latinos overwhelmingly vote Democrat. This, of course, excludes Cubans who tend to vote Republican because many are the descendents of those that fled Cuba during the revolution so they have a bad taste in their mouth regarding anything seemingly left.

    “The point is that taking a diplomatic approach instead of herding children and young adults like chattel and removing them from the only country they’ve known is admirable.”
    “it is the height of insanity to expect more from him than he ever said he would be — all because he’s half black, sang a few notes of Al Green and has a mean jump shot.”

    Really, so it is insanity for us to expect equal enforcement of the law…that is until it has to do with getting votes from Latinos, then we’ll do whatever we have to under the auspices of diplomacy. Right. Let’s see if that would have happened if it was a large majority of Haitians sneaking in. I’m betting once again we’ll see an unequal enforcement of the law.

    But considering she started off with the “this used to be their land” “argument” I really don’t expect much.

  • LemonNLime

    LOL right

  • LemonNLime

    Oh so THAT went through…

  • LemonNLime

    @befree

    Thank you! Sometimes I just can’t with her writing.

    “The Latino bloc has proven to be swing voters”… not really. Latinos overwhelmingly vote Democrat. This, of course, excludes Cubans who tend to vote Republican because many are the descendents of those that fled Cuba during the revolution so they have a bad taste in their mouth regarding anything seemingly left.

    “The point is that taking a diplomatic approach instead of herding children and young adults like chattel and removing them from the only country they’ve known is admirable.”
    “it is the height of insanity to expect more from him than he ever said he would be — all because he’s half black, sang a few notes of Al Green and has a mean jump shot.”

    Really, so it is insanity for us to expect equal enforcement of the law…that is until it has to do with getting votes from Latinos, then we’ll do whatever we have to under the auspices of diplomacy. Right. Let’s see if that would have happened if it was a large majority of Haitians sneaking in. I’m betting once again we’ll see an unequal enforcement of the law.

    But considering she started off with the “this used to be their land” “argument” I really don’t expect much.

  • secret6

    I happened to be cruising through Clutch, saw this article, read some of the comments, and decided to post mine. First of all, why are Black people, in the 21st century, still waiting around for ANYONE to DO SOMETHING FOR US? With a spending power of nearly $1 TRILLION dollars, somebody please tell me why a large majority of what some of us have to show for it are a bunch of tricked out cars, fancy and expensive sneakers, expensive hairstyles and acrylic nails, but no viable businesses that could be creating jobs and opprtunities we’re still begging the government to do instead? Why oh why are we not more involved with our children and their education? Please explain to me why people who have no business being together to begin with are somehow creating children together, and producing a bunch of drama and the continuation of a destructive cycle of children growing up without fathers? How is it that with the amount of money we spend in this country, we’re still leaning on the gov’t to financially take care of HBCU’s? You can call my comments what you want, but at the end of the day, until more of us start acting like we mean business (financial responsibilty, demanding more from our children, being repsonsible with our ability to reproduce, taking care of one another and our communities) then we really cannot sit back and complain how other groups/ethnicities are being ‘helped’ more than we are. If we cannot demand excellence of ourselves and one another, then how can we demand anything from anyone else?

  • Kirsten West Savali

    I would suggest that anyone who “just can’t” with my writing…please don’t. I won’t mind at all, seriously.

    The point some of you seem to be missing is that many black Americans are waiting on President Obama to move mountains when we aren’t even demanding anthills.

    But, instead of fighting that fight in our own communities, we want to talk about what President Obama should be doing. What about what we should be doing?

    And for the person who thinks calling the president a hypocritical politician who shifts and follows the vote is “throwing rose petals.” Really? I’ll just let you think on that for a moment.

    And yes, @LemonNLime, it’s insanity to expect legislation that we don’t demand. Latino/Hispanic voting bloc demanded D.R.E.A.M. Act based legislation — guess what? They got it. LGBT demanded repeal of DADT and support of marriage equality — guess what? They got it. Women demanded legislation enforcing equal pay — guess what? They got it. Everyone else is demanding, while many of us are still rocking Obama ’08 shirts. But considering that your criticism stems from the “this used to be their land” argument, I don’t expect much.

    Thanks for reading all, :-)

    K

  • apple

    i guess my comment is never coming

  • MySister’sKeeper

    While blacks demand jobs and education and get nothing. How is the fight of the LGBT community and Latino community any greater? We are just ignored. Maybe because we have too many black apologists who make basic statements regarding fighting in own communities while failing to recognize that many of us are doing so but are still not being heard.

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