(NNPA)—“Fake the funk and your nose will grow.”. Those words by American poet George Clinton weren’t exactly correct. We have been faking the funk but our noses aren’t growing. However, our noses are certainly “wide open”. Collectively, we have had this big love affair with our current President. Why all this love? It is simply because we have proclaimed him Black. Yes, Black like us but the fact is he is not Black like us—far from it. His father was a Black Kenyan, who he hardly knew. His mother was absolutely White and for the most part she raised him along with her Indonesian husband in Indonesia. After that he was given to his White grandparents. These were his formative years and there was no Blackness in any of the aura.
It shouldn’t matter what race our president is but we have made it very important all of a sudden. We blindly voted for him despite signs a social agenda and anti-capitalistic philosophy. These indicators turned out to be true and, yet, we still support him simply because we proclaimed him to be Black. If this is Black then we should go for orange, green or something different. Don’t worry, it is not Black. We should start regarding him for his actions. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wisely proclaimed “Judge on the content of one’s character not the color of one’s skin” but however we have violated that admonition.
There are not many Blacks advising him either. The two highest ranking Blacks in the White House are of a similar ilk. One was born in Iran where she was partially raised and then went to England. The other is biologically Black but was raised by White adoptive parents. Listen, they look at us and see a group of people who they don’t understand. There is a rub here and it is taking its toll on us. We must mature and stop giving a pass to people whom we assume think like us when it is clear they don’t.
Oh how it hurts. It is like a failed marriage. The more we try to make it work; the worst it becomes. Even the Congressional Black Caucus is starting to become very frustrated. It is getting real bad when Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman John Conyers start calling the President out. But they have no choice. America, as a whole, is in a recession but Black America is in a depression. Our unemployment rate is the worst it has been in our life time. There seems to be no plan. I remember the late Adam Clayton Powell once stated, “Vote for the man with the plan”. There is no plan y’all.
Will there be a plan soon? There had better be one and it should be brilliant at a minimum. Our nation is starting to economically wither and Americans must hold our leaders accountable regardless of their race. If this failure continues we must consider upgrading. We cannot let race get in our way. As the late Thurgood Marshall once stated, “Show me a white snake and then show me a black snake and I will show you two snakes.” I do hope my point is getting through. There is no time to put our heads in the “sand” and hope things will get better.
One day we will have a Black president. Some of us thought President Bill Clinton was Black. He was probably the closest thing to it. Let’s be patient and vote wisely as our future and our children/grand children lives are on the line here. It is a matter of national security and our legacy that we choose wise and committed leaders. There have been great presidents, average presidents and poor presidents. Our constitution and love of individual freedom has gotten us through the bad times and wrong decisions. Let’s remember that it is our democracy that makes us free. Big government and bias decision making are not the ingredients to that greatness.
African-Americans are the pride of the world. People everywhere admire our resilience and determination. From that lineage we will produce more great leaders. Some will become entrepreneurs, corporate executives and, yes, great politicians. We must study each and every person before we decide who should lead us. He or she may not be Black but there is nothing wrong with that as true leaders can be of any color. Be non partial in your decision making. Each elected official must further America with greatness and that means progress for all Americans regardless of color. We should never accept defeat or poor performance because of race. Let us stop faking the funk and address our economic predicament.
(Harry Alford is co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)