Does President Obama have Black folks' backs?
Roger Caldwell | 6/28/2012, 2:06 p.m.
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign will launch its first radio ad targeting the African-American community this week. The 60-second ad is focused on getting the African-American community to stand with the president and get engaged in the election process.
The ad has a funky beat, and as the president is speaking, there is a group of singers singing, "We've got your back." There have been many different opinions on the ad, and many scholarly Blacks are extremely disappointed because the ad's message is focused on urban Blacks. Many "bougie Blacks" are offended by the simple level the ad is on and don't find it compelling or acceptable.
But Blacks who listen to Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden and other radio personalities will listen to the ad and get motivated about the election in November. The ad will help start a conversation in our community about politics--we like catchy phrases, and we like feel good music.
"Four years ago, we made history," a male announcer says, "Now it's time to move forward and finish what we started together. We have to show the president we have his back." The spot is cut with audio from Obama's speeches, touching on familiar campaign themes.
"I refuse to pay for another millionaire's tax cut by kicking children off Head Start programs, asking students to pay more for college or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled Americans on Medicaid," says the president in the ad.
Many times we criticize Obama for everything he does, but with this ad, he is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars with many different African-American advertising companies. REACH Media, which handles advertising for "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," confirms the ad is national. The ad is being placed nationally by Fuse Advertising, an African-American-owned agency based in St. Louis, Mo.
Obama is showing on a daily basis that he is spending money in the African-American community with many of the initiatives and programs that his administration has launched. My company last year worked with a woman-minority advertising company and a White House program where we both received compensation. Obama is making a difference because I am learning about new initiatives every week that will be launched in Black communities across the country during the election cycle.
The perception that the president is not helping our community is not accurate because the president does have our back. There are two choices for president of the United States, and the choice is very clear. If Blacks, minorities, Democrats and independents decide not to vote, Obama will lose and Mitt Romney will win.
We can all sit around and talk about what we don't like about the ad, but once we finish criticizing, it is time to focus on helping the president win the election. To get more information on the tangible programs that the president has initiated to help our community, go to the "President Obama and the African-American Community" website.
The president has worked to protect African-Americans from financial abuses and make health care and college education more affordable and available. He has also reinvigorated the Office of Civil Rights and is making combating racial discrimination a focus in the Department of Justice.
The president has our back, and we need to get behind him and let him know that he has our back. We all need to remember that if we don't vote, Romney and the Republicans are the alternative, and they don't have our back.