benchmarks in which we in America seek to establish “acceptance”
in the labor force generally comes without much fanfare. New hires
commonly have 90 day, sometimes-six month, probation periods that
affirm ones competency and synergetic fit in the workplace. Now,
we’ve seen probation periods before. We generally see them come
and go. But never has there been such a pronounced announcement
of a new President’s first 100 days as that of President Barack
Obama. The funny thing about America, is that anything that we know
is racial, if we were to state it, would be met with adamant denial.
But this first 100 day thing is one of those things. It started
at day two. Never has 100 days meant so much.
I swear, I ain’t never seen a President on probation before—but
Obama definitely was. It was like some people (like maybe some disillusioned
party that controls most of the airwaves) expected to wake up and
find the country gone, or something. For previous Presidents, it
was like a simple benchmark. For President Obama, it’s an evaluation—a
report card, a formal grade on not just how he’s done but if he’s
won (over the American public). Like the first time he won was a
fluke or something. Surely, after 100 days on the job—once the American
people found out he was all talk—Obama-mania would certainly be
over, we could let Joe Biden take over and government could get
back to duping the public.
was almost this expectation that President Obama wouldn’t be up
to the task of leading the nation and the world. He’s exceeded their
expectations, if fairly judged. The 100 days was an artificial benchmark
to wage early criticism.
so let’s just pretend that he wasn’t up to task. It’s only 100 days,
in a depressed economy. Most of America spend their first 90 days
learning their new positions. What’s the big deal? The last President
served eight years on training wheels having stole an election,
botched two wars, a natural disaster and buried the economy. He
never “got it” and still didn’t get as much “is he in over his head”
critique as Barack has gotten. The Obama administration is proven
much more apt from the start. Certainly much more transparent. Obama
couldn’t have been as clandestine as Bush because then that wouldn’t
be “change.” And they’d be afraid he was giving the country away
(as some of them have said). It doesn’t matter how high a brotha’s
position is, he still has someone looking over his shoulder on a
right regular basis.
Obama did make a lot of promises (242 by Tavis Smiley’s count).
He had to. People were looking for a reason not to vote for him.
Hope and change wasn’t enough. But did they really expect him to
get it done in 100 days? I mean, really? President Obama probably
hasn’t been in every room in the White House in 100 days. He’s probably
still trying to learn the names of every one of the 600 people that
work at the White House. Doesn’t matter. Probation is probation.
You either know or you don’t.
Obama has proven he knows his job. He’s passed an economic stimulus
package, a budget, closed Guantanamo Bay, redeployed troops to Afghanistan,
announced a withdraw time table for Iraq, got the dog—let’s not
forget about the dog, as the press acted like the dog was for them
and then they criticized for not adopting one. When the brotha turned
left, they said he should have turned right. When the brotha tried
to be positive and upbeat, they said he smiled too much during these
tough economic times—he should be more somber. When he want to meet
world leaders, he shouldn’t meet with this one or shake that one’s
hand. Hell, they all wanted to meet him. They still can’t believe
media was worried about the Obamas touching the Queen. The Queen
wanted to touch them to see if this wasn’t a dream. They know American
and this new episode of American history is still a little shocking
to everybody. Watching CNN or MSNBC (I confess, I don’t watch
Fox) everyday, you just shake your head at how President Obama calmly
deals with all that coming at him. Yet, each news service has that
little “First 100 Days” in the corner of their screen, a subliminal
message that infers Obama’s “probation period,” and a persistent
reminder that “we watching you, Negro,” so don’t make any friends
with rogue leaders, suspected terrorists, communists, civil rights
activists, labor leaders, same sex marriage proponents, socialists,
environmentalists and of course, integrationists.
suggestion is that he just be a caretakers for the office, get the
economy on track and get the nation over this change thing. Plus
make good on all those promises you made, without spending any money…
in the first 100 days. Then, maybe President Obama, those who want
you to fail let you off probation. What’s next, the first 200 days?
300 days? 400 days?
know they will extend a probation period on a brotha. Let’s just
say what others won’t. Great first three months, President Obama.
Now, on to the first 1,000 days.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, is a national columnist, managing
director of the Urban Issues Forum and author of Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom. His Website is AnthonySamad.com.
to contact Dr. Samad.