Let’s have a politically incorrect moment, shall we?

There are many Black voters who couldn’t have cared less about politics before President Barack Obama moved Mama Marian, Michelle, the girls and Bo into the White House.

From the 2004 to the 2008 presidential election, Black voter turnout rate increased 4.9 percentage points, from 60.3% in 2004 to 65.2% in 2008. Approximately 2,000,000 more Black people rocked the vote, and it was not — no matter how often and loudly the suddenly politically astute would say otherwise — because they took a sudden, passionate interest in debt reduction, or corporate tax loopholes, or “tweaks” to Social Security, or any of the other pivotal issues that have always existed. We, as a voting bloc, should have never been apathetic in the first place, but the emergence of a brother from the Chi, with not only a wicked jump shot, but the political and educational pedigree that allowed us to dare White America to find fault, electrified our communities in a way that hadn’t been seen since the Civil Rights Movement.

It’s okay, no one’s looking. Have an “I’m Black and I’m Proud” moment.

President Obama coverage appeared front page on Hip-Hop sites and in rap songs.  Shirts with Obama, MLK and Malcolm popped up in swap meets in Every Hood, USA. Suddenly, barbershops and beauty salons were alive with spirited debates about racism and liberalism. From street corners to corporate buildings, there was, for a brief time, a sense of unity brokered by cultural identification and political affiliation in a way never seen before.

Then Wilie Lynch happened.

The less politically engaged couldn’t admit to the Beltway bourgeoisie that,*gasp*, they only became interested in the state of the union because a brother was at the wheel. These are the voters who not only have his back, but wish a sucker would criticize him. If they do, they must be Sambos and sellouts. Then we have the Black folks — I like to call them reverse band-wagon jumpers — who overly-criticize the president because it’s the fringe intelligentsia thing to do. If he said 2+2=4, they’d find a way to call him a liar. And we can’t forget about the smug “mis-educated” Negros who shook their heads at the passionate frustration of those overly-vested in the president, for better or worse. They’re the ones who pretend that his blackness was never a factor and only the politically naive actually thought he would address specific ills plaguing the Black community. Because, really, what can a sitting president do about weapons flooding low-income areas, police brutality and stifling unemployment, right?

And we can’t forget about the faction that became extremely angry at the president for continuing the imperialistic foreign policies of his predecessors, even circumventing congress to attack an African nation. Then there are those who really, honestly believe that he’s a moderate Democrat like any other, nothing to write home about. The Civil War amongst ourselves escalated as we battled such issues as racial loyalty and solidarity, civic power, socio-political ideology and autonomy — and the fight rages on.

But what happens when President Obama is no longer in office?

Will the happenings at the Democratic National Convention be a trending topic on Twitter, right next to the Video Music Awards? Will the Hip-Hop community endorse a candidate with the same fervor as they did ‘Barack’? Will artists discuss the importance of voting at the BET Awards?

Will  Black evangelicals compromise on issues that were previously non-negotiable, according to their doctrines, to support a political candidate that doesn’t look like them?

The Obama presidency, thus far, has been a magnifying glass exposing how deep apathy runs within our communities. It has also created an opportunity. It has been Politics 101 for many Black Americans who would have honestly not given the ins and outs of the process much thought. Now they are paying attention. They want to know about the deficit. They want to know about Libya and Yemen and Syria, and where America stands. They want to know about environmental standards, and green energy. They’re paying attention to districting disparities that work against equality for people pf color. From 6- to 60-years old, more Black people are engaged in politics and are aware of their places in the scheme of it all than ever before.

For that alone, President Barack Obama will go down in history as the man who awakened a sleeping Black America.

What we do now is entirely up to us. It’s always been up to us — regardless of who lives in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

  • http://gravatar.com/thisismyoyster Valsays

    It behooves us to still care since policies will continue to come up that disproportionately impacts the community.

  • African Mami

    I am the foreign policy faction! I am very vocal about my disdain with his administration’s foreign policy! I’d be a fool to pretend otherwise! When it’s all said and done, I want him in office again, on the precept mitt deluded does not have ANY of my interests at heart!! President Obama has only one that I care for!

  • hmmmmm

    “….only the politically naive actually thought he would address specific ills plaguing the Black community. Because, really, what can a sitting president do about weapons flooding low-income areas, police brutality and stifling unemployment, right?”

    Hello. my name is Naive.

  • Nesheaholic

    The larger issue is all people staying engaged in politics outside of the presidential election. The president is just one position that is voted for and one portion of the political puzzle that runs our lives.

  • African Mami

    forgot to add, this was a dope post!! YES MAMA!

  • Downsouth Transplant

    @ Art, “high enthusiasm low on specifics” unfortunately does not only apply to blacks, especially since whats his face Mormon dude seems to Major in confabulations. now that that is out of the way.

    1. Voting Obama does not make anyone hip it is saying voting Mitt makes me Mormon or white if you want (you either are or are not, got it or you ain’t got it)

    3.” Blacks cannot understand how the chess game is played” i will take it you meant do not understand & not cannot understand.
    understanding the rules of a game does NOT equate to your whole racial group intelligence, passions or their souls as a people.we are not any lesser in fact if all things are held constant we can blow any competition away by mere showing up! (look up the 1936 Olympics)

    2. “Blacks do not know what is politics” and what are you doing to change that, information is power. other than stereotyping be the change you want to see happen not the sideline QB.

    3. “President Obama has no power,” true to a point but let as judge him when he has no distraction in office like campaigning & fundraising for the reelection. One work’s differentially when your job or even evaluation is not on the line

    4. Black people say they want Obama for a second term, to do what – He can do anything he want play BBall with the boys watch movies, have a cook out, write books fund raise for the PTA, join the PTA, as long as he stick to his job description it is ok by me.

    5. “We do not know why Obama has to be President again” I do why freaking not, do not judge him with a different yardstick than the rest of them. If a C college grade president can be reelected into office why NOT President Obama.

    Black people are not a monolithic group.We are individuals who can read write & comprehend things, and if after all that we still choose President Obama because he is black so be it .
    It is a democracy for that one reason.

    Folks talking down to others or critiquing their position on anything they do not agree with does the opposite of the very same thing you are trying to do. Awaken critical discourse & thinking of our choices of elected official.

  • Rue

    “Now they are paying attention. They want to know about the deficit. They want to know about Libya and Yemen and Syria, and where America stands. They want to know about environmental standards, and green energy. They’re paying attention to districting disparities that work against equality for people pf color. From 6- to 60-years old, more Black people are engaged in politics and are aware of their places in the scheme of it all than ever before.”\

    Where? Where is this happening, outside of buppies?

  • RJ

    @nesheaholic you hit the nail right on the head here. If Black people (and others groups to be fair) had remained engaged in the election of 2010, we would not have the tea party contigent in the House of Representatives.

    A civics class would be good for many people. heck at this point I would settle for a mandatory viewing of School House Rock.

  • Nicole

    Probably not. Their not even into politics now. I look at twitter and a lot of blacks especially young black males are saying bullshxt like “Obama is my nigga”

  • Joy

    art: Speak for yourself because you most certainly can’t speak for an entire race of people. How dare you put ALL black people into one category. Your comment that “Blacks don’t know what politics is” is soooooooo over the top ridiculous. Please Stop with the hype. I never take anyone seriously that speaks of entire groups as though all groups are monolithic

  • Joy

    hmmmmmmm: that’s because the issues you mentioned are best addressed on a local level. Most people don’t actively hold their local politicians accountable.

  • Joy

    art: Why don’t you move to Africa? I’m not being sarcastic; I’m serious. If you think this country, and it’s politiccs is so bad….why not move to another country? Every country has their problems, and the USA is no different

  • Joy

    Nicole: What’s your point? It’s not really clear what you are trying to say. My point is that just because a few hoodrats say BS on twitter doesn’t mean that lots of (intelligent) people aren’t concerned about politics. If the truth be told MOST people black, white, yellow, or brown weren’t that engaged in politics before Obama, and won’t be engaged afterwards. For example…..Most people don’t vote in local elections. The turn out in most cities is usually very very low. So we shouldn’t make this out to be a black issue (if anything it’s a country issue

  • Downsouth Transplant

    @ Art, you are correct in that, i can go on & on & on of his administration’s direct injurious policies to the Africa continent. If they were so concerned on humanity as in Libya so why is Syria going up in smoke block by block with countless deaths of the same human beings?Democracy & free speech his admin toot’s the same smoke screen BS as before & yet support the very same powers/regimes/neighborhood goons by selling arms to them.
    Not saying a peak at any detentions of American citizens arrested in Africa (Gambia) for being editors in of a local paper. Shout out to Rev Jesse Jackson, he still got some-peoples back even when he sometimes seems to be wandering in the wilderness. where was i , however i am not sure if the other dude has anything better to offer, this is the reason we need a third party candidate, can we agree at least on that?

  • Courtney**

    I wish I could give this more thumbs up. As a very politically aware and involved black woman in her 20s, it frustrates me to no end to hear people (especially liberals) blaming Obama for everything under the sun, when we don’t get out in the numbers that conservatives do for the mid-term elections to get people in Congress who will actually support his ideas and not just block anything and everything with his name on it. And not even on a national or state level – why don’t we care about who is on our city council or the local level of government, approving or rejecting grants from the national level for local projects?

  • Nicole

    Joy: The article is not about white yellow, or brown people. Its about black people and from what I see most black people do not care about politics unless it has something to do with their “nigga” Obama. They don’t care about their local and state elections for mayor, governor, treasurer,city clerk and stuff like that.

  • ?!?

    Completely agree.

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    Hopefully, more Blacks will run for and win political offices. Thus, we will always have a reason to care.

  • Mademoiselle

    Sorry, but if 60% voter turnout is apathetic, so is 65%. Not only that, but black voter turnout has been climbing since the 1996 election (53%, 57%, 60%, 65% turnouts in the last 4 presidential elections, respectively). Based on this, I’d say our momentum is headed in the right direction and has the potential to keep climbing. Then again, I also believe a large number of the politcally conscious black population are disgruntled enough not to vote this year, so we may see the trend flinch.

  • http://clutchmagazine blcknnblv

    I’m voting for Obama because, he’s honest, the smartest of the bunch, his policies are good for the middle class and black people,on top of that he’s black.I’m not voting for the republican party,because they’re a bunch of racists,extremists whose their policies are bad for black people.if Obama is not relected and the democrat party choose to work with those racists republicans, I will boycott the democrat party and go with the green party .and last thing I’m very proud that Obama is black he’s my mitts

  • http://clutchmagazine blcknnblv

    Sorry he’s my nigga

  • Misty_Moonsilver

    Nope. A lot of blacks are going to either not vote, or keep voting democratic regardless of who it is.

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