Obama: Reflections and resolutions

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 11/29/2012, 3:35 p.m.
Obama: Reflections and resolutions

Obama has said in his own defense that he is the president of all of the United States of America, not the president of Black America. So there.

"Black people believe it was our vote and our power that put him into office. Politicians tend to the needs and desires of the group(s) that put them into power. President Obama's neglect of the Black community during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy should be proof positive that it's the white power structure that put him in power," said Bomani Ikemba Mayasa, one half of activist rap group United Front. "Obama has never been concerned with the Black community. Sad thing is that our people will love him anyway."

Observers the world over have spoken and written ad nauseam on the need of folks to participate in their own lives, be that in the political, spiritual, economic or cultural sense. Be present. One such person is Ilyasah Shabazz, author of "Growing Up X" and daughter of Malcolm and Betty Shabazz. She told the Amsterdam News that her organization, Ilyasah Shabazz Enterprises, encourages a threefold community action: "Register to vote. This is an imperative for all eligible citizens; become knowledgeable about elected officials and community issues; and vote in every election.

"By doing so, we demonstrate to any and all elected officials that we take responsibility for what happens in our communities, and further that each and every one of them is accountable to us for their actions and omissions. It's through the power of the vote that we express our concerns and make our voices heard."

Documentary filmmaker Edward Harris said the analysis should not be that complicated. He told the paper that folk should look to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to evaluate what is on the horizon. "I believe the shabby response by the city, state and the Feds is an indication that communities must change how they organize themselves. We cannot look for any help from the government, so everything from food co-ops to community response teams must be developed.

"The president has shown no connection with or concern for the 93 percent of Black voters that voted for him. New York has more in common with New Orleans than ever before--disenfranchisement is the new policy .... and Americans of all colors will feel it more and more. And since the Civil Rights Movement has been compromised ... folks are on their own."

As personal participation in the electoral process relates to the hurricane aftermath, for which federal, state and city government has come under fire for an initial lackadaisical response, Shabazz added, "Hopefully all constituents and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy are lobbying their elected representatives to ensure that all available aid from each level of government is effectively channeled to them. We at ISE also invite community residents to participate with us to collectively strategize a Forward agenda in the interest of we the people at www.ilyasahshabazz.com."