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.


  • 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?

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  • 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

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    • 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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  • apple

    i guess my comment is never coming

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