headlines are awash with the temperament of the nation:
Voter frustration has led to “the most turbulent Republican
presidential race in a generation” according to a February
13 Washington Post article. Nationwide polls are
analytically demonstrating this newfound voter frustration
with economic, social and political policies. However,
I beg to differ.
have been frustrated for years - decades - with this nation’s
policies and direction. You just don’t hear them…because
they’re Black voters. I get disturbed - no, perturbed
- when I read about Americans upset with and very anxious
about unemployment rates above 7%. I know that Blacks
always suffer higher unemployment rates than whites
- often double that of whites, actually. Last June 2011,
the reported national unemployment rate was 16% for Black
America, which was double that of whites at that time.
This anxiety and uneasiness lead me to dare label white
Americans as no less than crybabies.
see Occupy Wall Streeters across the country as the only
people willing to martyr themselves, and they’ve always
had it better than the mass of Black voters although they,
too, like Blacks, fall within the 99%. It is well documented
history that Blacks have been “occupying” economic, social
and political venues since the movement to abolish slavery
began over two centuries ago, but white Americans tend
to believe that their hurt is the sole measure of pain.
this politics of anger. Are we to give legitimacy to conservative-minded
Americans who use anger as a political tool only when
it’s convenient? These same conservative-minded people
oppose any program unless it’s one that benefits
them, and yet we read repeated press narratives
that take them seriously. Does that mean that we should?
leading candidates for the Republican nomination have
played the anger card like Kenny Rogers in a Gambler video.
The very people who’ve fared the best, expect us to believe
they are angry? Just recently, candidate Rick Santorum
referred to President Obama as a snob, stating “President
Obama has said he wants everybody in America to go to
college. What a snob.” Santorum holds a bachelors degree,
an M.B.A. and a law degree, and he is out of step with
most Americans on this belief - white and Black
America. Though many Americans view academia with suspicion,
they overwhelmingly agree that higher education is important
and aspire to it for themselves and their children.
only Santorum but Romney, Gingrich and white, conservative
Americans have had unfettered access to the nation’s best
education systems, community resources, government subsidies
and more importantly, jobs. This group, so indignant,
has enjoyed the heavy side of the scale of wealth inequality
since the country’s birth (hence, the mantra “Take our
country back”). There is no way we progressives or other
fair-minded people should mistake this anger as anything
more than theater. Don’t buy these tickets!
of the House John Boehner continues to blame the President
for our stalled economic recovery. He remarked that “job
creators in America
are essentially on strike” and proposes a single-track
solution of spending cuts and entitlement reform. Boehner
adamantly refuses to consider tax increases on the wealthy,
citing such increases as job destroyers. Pity the Billionaire
(the title of liberal Thomas Frank’s new book).
anyone in this country has dibs on anger, it’s Black America.
The very people most adversely affected by sub-prime home
loans, mass incarceration, massive student loan debt,
and record unemployment are the ones who deserve the headlines.
Misplaced anger only makes for an uninformed populace.
Even if anger is merely political, it needs to
be genuine. With that said, I have but a single and visceral
response to compassion for the billionaire. Absolutely
Redd, is the former Executive Director of
the workers rights advocacy, Sincere Seven, and author
of the on-line commentary, “The
Other Side of the Tracks.” He is the host of the internet-based
talk radio show, Socially Speaking in
here to contact Mr.