Comparison of President Obama with Dr. King

Alton H.Maddox | 4/12/2011, 4:39 p.m.

The assassination of Dr. Martin L. King Jr. on April 4,1968,in Memphis will always be seared in my mind and the collective minds of the Black community. From the assassinations of Malcolm X and Dr. King, I have learned that no one goes past his or her 39th birthday without suffering an irreversible hardship, if not an assassination, for simply trying to enforce civil and human rights.

The Atlanta Daily World featured a front-page article recently describing our new Black leaders as including President Barack Hussein Obama, Gov. Duval Patrick, Cong. Auturo Davis and Mayor Corey Booker. They have been sheltered from the horrific experiences of Black oppression. This lack of experience to naked racism explains their moderate views. These new Black leaders share another experience. They have all enjoyed an Ivy League education. President Obama, for example, was awarded an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Harvard University.

I am reminded of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who said, "It took me over 30 years to get over my Harvard education." Afterwards, he would pen "Miseducation of the Negro." Malcolm X attended the "School of Hard Knocks" and Dr. King graduated from Morehouse College.

President Obama's Ivy League education showed during his March 24 primetime news conference. Ed Chappell of Ebony magazine asked him about homeless children in America. Homeless and hungry children fall outside the purview of No Child Left Behind. While he promised "to make sure their parents have a job," he emphasized that his job plan was mainly focused on preventing "layoffs for teachers and police officers." There is a disconnect between jobs and homeless children.

Clearly, President Obama was employing a red herring and a non sequitur to mask his lack of an agenda for the poor. What does the possibility of laid-off teachers and police officers have to do with the actual homelessness of Black children in America?

This is a public relations gimmick.

Ann Compton of ABC News upped the ante when she asked him about any discussion he has entertained of race during his ephemeral tenure in the White House. He answered, "I think that the last 64 days has been dominated by me trying to figure out how we're going to fix the economy, and that's--affects Black, brown and white." Will it bail out poor Blacks? Suggesting that Blacks are a part of the U.S. economy is like suggesting that we were a part of the Big House. The Kerner Commission report, released in 1967, said, "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, one white--separate and unequal."

Browns and whites were never enslaved in this country. Until Justice Joseph Bradley of the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Civil Rights Cases, Blacks were supposed to be made the "special favorite of the laws." He wrote in his opinion that he intended to end the status of Blacks as the "special favorite of the laws" after he had cast the deciding vote for the Tilden-Hayes Compromise.

Before President Obama again lumps Blacks with browns and whites, I would suggest that he read a recent Federal Reserve report, "Currents and Undercurrents: Changes in the Distribution of Wealth, 1989-2004."It would help if he also read the National Urban League's "State of Black America 2009." The National Urban League report concludes, "Blacks remain twice as likely to be unemployed, three times more likely to live in poverty and more than six times as likely to be imprisoned compared with whites." Mixing Blacks with whites, economically, is like mixing foxes with chickens.