Yvette Carnell: What Black America's Addiction to Obama is Costing
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Gonna be an Itchy Weekend: Black Recession vs. White Recession, and the Cost of Black America’s Addiction to Obama


Gonna be an Itchy Weekend: Black Recession vs. White Recession, and the Cost of Black America’s Addiction to Obama

by Yvette Carnell

One of the problems with assimilation is that it caused black people to discuss life’s events, and stumbles, in concert with white people. The assimilated narrative is that there is no white or black, only – American. In that sense, we were led to believe, wrongly, that we are one people.   President Obama even advanced  this  hollow idea with the  analogy that one wave lifts all boats, not allowing for the truism that life’s circumstances are not nature’s waves, but man’s creations.  They can be uncreated just as easily as they were created.

When people, like Obama, evoke this sense of sameness, what they’re really saying is that black people must mute their added burdens in order to exalt a false notion of patriotism. American patriotism proclaims that you should substitute discussions of degrees of impact for platitudes about how we are “all in this together.” Shocker: We’re not. We never were. We’re in this recession, this fight for our lives, alone. Obama isn’t here with us, and neither are any of the economists you see muttering on about how a course correction is due just around the corner.

Counterpunch reports:

The White Recession was sharp and painful, but soon over. White America is slowly returning to normal. It’s a shade poorer normal to be sure, but normal all the same.

For white men, October 2009 brought the highest unemployment rate of the past sixty years. White male unemployment maxed out at 9.7 percent. It’s now stable at 6.9 percent.

This rate is still too high, but it’s not catastrophic – unless you’re one of the 6.9 percent.

The white female unemployment rate is now even lower: just 6.8 percent. Throughout the recession, it never rose above 7.3 percent.

The White Economy is weak, but it’s been weak for a long time. It’s been dragged down by long-term wage stagnation, cuts in government professional employment and declining union membership.

The Black Economy, on the other hand, is still in full-blown recession.

The Black Recession has now dragged on for four years, if not forty. Black male unemployment is 14.8 percent, and the current trend is up.

The Black Recession isn’t going anywhere, and President Obama has already made his position crystal clear:

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“I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means, who have been in the past locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody. So, I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African American businesses.”

We’re at double the unemployment rate of whites, so obviously, these programs (remind me, what are they again?) that Obama has put in place have failed – at least for us. Although most of us are too sheepish to say it, Obama’s track record, in terms of helping black people wade through this recession, is shitty. So how do we come out of it?

As with any addiction, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Once black America accepts its addiction to everything Obama, then we can see clearly that today looks a lot more like the day before the election of 2008 than the change Obama promised. Only then can we truly grapple with the Black Recession, its impact, and its potential solutions. Right now, however, we’re like cracksheads on the floor scrambling for that last rock that fell under the rug. We’re still deep in the throws of our addiction.

If you want to recover you can, but emotional addictions are the worst, so  it’s gonna be an itchy weekend…


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  1. Rod

    August 11, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Another great, thought-provoking article Yvette. You are not afraid to say what needs to be said. You’re preaching the gospel.

  2. Ms. Miller

    August 12, 2012 at 5:02 am

    It is true that the Unemployment rate for Black Americans is extremely high, but it always has been at least double that of the national average…even before we had Pres. Obama. The root cause is not our “addiction to Obama”…but rather our ineffectiveness in creating and sustaining our own systems, safety nets, and the like. It is not fair to BLAME Pres. Obama for what other Presidents have created. Under G.W. Bush’s policies…the U.S. lost millions of jobs….and suffered the ECONOMIC CRASH. And Black folks were certainly NOT addicted to G.W. Bush at all. And since Pres. Obama took office…he has had the OBSTRUCTION of the GOP and the Tea-Publicans ….who fought off the passage of bills that would help workers, students, women, etc.

  3. Mmmmm Hmm

    August 12, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I couldn’t have said it better myself Ms. Miller.

  4. Donnell

    August 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    As an African American male, blaming someone else for our plight is getting old and tired. If we continue to look for a savior then we will continue to lose. We have enough educated minds to control our situation. I use an analogy to what Farrakhan has preached for many years. It is time to own and stop being consumers. If we own than we can employ OUR own. This can be achieved through education, financial discipline, and partnering up with like minded minorities. The root cause of our issues is NOT President Obama! It is time that we look at the mirror then find the solution to our ugly state of affairs. Get a clue people!

  5. Rod

    August 13, 2012 at 2:06 am

    You are right Donnell. We black folks have been on our own for a long time now. We’ve been patiently waiting, debating, paying taxes and voting in hopes of this system working for us but it doesn’t. Some of us were silly enough to think that Obama was going to be a turning point for us, but he just told black folks we could kiss his half-black ass. So now more than ever we have to rely completely on ourselves for our own existance. Just know that on election day I will be too busy doing for self to waste a minute of my time voting for Obama or anyone else who means me no good. We would be fools to think the elephant or the jackass cares about our problems.

  6. Donnell

    August 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Rod. President Obama has to be president of the USA. If we would have had policies specifically tailored toward minorities, they would not pass the conservative SOTUS and he would be charged with reverse discrimination which these republicans have been anxiouslly waiting an excuse to pin him with. We have plenty of opportunity to compete. Those opportunites were made possible by those who fought for our freedom. There isn’t any excuse not to take advantage of these opportunies as they already exist without Obama’s input. I was raised in a poor single family home. I made the mature and necessary decision to get an education and not waste that education in areas where job availability is scarce and security is weak. Our issues start in our homes and need to be address through proper parenting and mentoring. Those of us who are educated need to reach back help the next one. Let’s start there. The only thing symbolic about Obama is the fact that he is the first black president and his strong representation of a strong black family. I will vote for him again because the thought of republican presidency, conservative congress, SOTUS and the fact that the next president will most likley pick 1 or 2 more supreme court justices makes the choice very clear.

  7. Rod

    August 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    The only thing that’s clear is that neither of these guys trying to get elected (or re-elected) has nothing planned for us but to pretend as if we don’t exist and to make us the boogy man to scare other whites in their corner. Why would I be attracted to either one? So the only benefit I get for my Obama vote is the representation of a strong black family in the White House? What the hell good does that do when we are slipping deeper and deeper into the abyss. We need substance over symbolism and Obama doesn’t offer that. And don’t tell me that as a taxpayer and citizen of this nation that my concerns aren’t as valuable as anyone elses. You are right to advocate for a strong family unit as the foundation for self-reliance. But I don’t live in a bubble. I can’t keep my family safe if the community and infrastructure around me is falling apart. No one can tell me that I don’t have the right to demand change from the government I help fund. If being black means that I can’t demand anything from the government that would make life easier for me and other black folks, then I want all of my tax money back. Don’t expect me to be comfortable with taxation without representation. And don’t expect me to support your candidates every 4 years when the concerns of black people is not anywhere on your agenda.

  8. Donnell

    August 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    My question to you is what are you specifically looking for, an opportunity for an education, aid in setting up a small business, a job? I’m puzzled. I saw a pole recently that showed the wealth disparity between whites, asians, hispanics, and african americans. We were in last place. Explain why we were behind to immigrant populations? Asians were in second place by large margin. Do they have a better opportunity than us to build wealth? Do hispanics? I don’t think so. They’re taxed just like us. Part of the problem lies in the fact that a large percentage of us work in the public sector thus when state and federal money dries up, we suffer the most. Why are we not building businesses and diversifying our portfolios? Obama is not the answer, We are the answer. The only thing government can do for me personally is lower taxes. I’ll take of the rest.

  9. Nyoka Pedist-Tibideaux

    August 14, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Well then, it be best to cast your vote for Mitt Romney, right. I mean, the man can obvious bring about all the much need chages for the better of any community of color, right? I fail to see what the problem is here.

  10. Eric Wright

    August 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    @Nyoka Pedist-Tibideaux & others
    The problem is that it is utterly ridiculous to believe that every constituency can benefit from the same governmental activity. Surprisingly African Americans are settling for an illogical approach to governing all in the name of supporting president Obama. Why are we settling for this B.S. excuse that Obama is giving when it comes to the needs of African Americans. How many of you would settle for a Doctor that prescribes the same medication regardless of his/her patients ailment. Penicillin for everybody whether you’re diabetic, have cancer, aids, or just a headache!!! That is such a Quackery way of being a doctor but it is akin to this bullshit that the incoming tide will raise all boats. Furthermore, Obama responded to Women’s issue by putting them in center of the NATO summit. Obama responded to Latinos by stopping the deportation of young illegal immigrants. Obama responded to the gays by lifting the ban on gay marriage. Obama responded to African Americans by saying he is not the President of Black America!!! And most black americans just accepted this without challenge. Some are even making excuses for this response saying why are we looking for a savior, or why are we blaming Obama for our plight, or ignorantly saying that we are responsible for own demise. This is all illogical, non-analytical babble. Everyone expects for their government to intervene within their affairs, but only black people settle for either luke warm responses or no responses at all. Again, nobody is suggesting for blacks to vote for racist ass Romney, but we need to hold the highest elected official who received unwavering support from black people to task. Bottom-line.

  11. Nyoka Pedist-Tibideaux

    August 15, 2012 at 1:25 am

    With much respect Eric Wright, you got quite a few words here dude. No doub quite a few of them mirror Ms Carnell’s, (which I personally enjoy reading) only in a different order and I got five on them not being something that hasn’t already been written. I’ve noticed the post-Civil Rights Movement generation(s) are strangers when it comes to patience and strategy. Look; it took the Israelites what, 40 years of wandering before they reached Canaan. It took the African well over 100 years to be given his freedom and Another 100 years for the African-American to be given the rights to be treated like anyother citizen in America, “the home of the free”. Hell, it took 13 YEARS for our great nation to recover from the ‘Great Depression (1929-1942). But somehow president Obama’s CHANGES should have materialized within a mere four years. (LOL) WoW. I understand it is frustrating, I get it. However, sitting around gripping about how bad things are without offering a solution will not change ANYTHING, noticed? Verbalizing your anger with someone that has very little control over the situation changes NOTHING. However, you do have choices:

    •You can continue your current activities of expecting him (President Obama) to make good on all his promises or else don’t cast your vote for him. Vote for someone you feel can do a much better job.

    •You can Throw yourself into the political arena and make ALL them changes yourself.

    •You can get pissed and refuse to engage in ANYTHING.

    •Or, you can make the best of the current situation and look for ways you can stay busy by being helpful.

    It’s all up to you. Best to get use to it because this is what ‘LIFE’ is all about.

    Be Still and know that I am God ~Psalm 46:10

  12. Reggie Wade

    August 15, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Good points and counter-points being expressed here about this article. I’d like to interject with another theory, how about we pay more attention to what is going on “locally.” Our Mayors, town councils, state representatives and who we vote to send to Congress. You have more “power” to persuade these people to do the right thing than you ever will with the president. These people can do a very effective job of making your lives “miserable” faster than the president. They can also be persuaded to seek solutions to our problems, be it employment or our personal safety.

  13. Donnell

    August 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Very good points Nyoka and Reggie. Eric, those policies put in place for Woman, Gays, and Latinos are easy. I’m still looking the answer to “What can Obama specifically do for the African America Community that could target every issue that ails us?” I gaurantee that your answer will not touch the root of the real problem.

  14. donnell

    August 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    “Some are even making excuses for this response saying why are we looking for a savior, or why are we blaming Obama for our plight, or ignorantly saying that we are responsible for own demise. This is all illogical, non-analytical babble.” Non-analytical babble? Hmmm. Explain to me why the majority of our children are raised in single parented homes, why many of us continue to under perform in school when compare to whites and asians, why the high school dropout rate and college drop out rate ranks high among us, why <50% of African American men don't even go on to college or trade school, why we own minimal in regards to businesses, land, and any other entity that brings in income, why we rank the highestest in HIV, Cardiovascular disease, Obesity, Why we are the largest consumers, billions of african american money spent annually on items we do not have any stake in. I can go on and on. Do any or all of these issues contribute to our economic well being? Are these issues a matter of personal responsibility or lack of presidential or government intervention? If we continue to look to government to solve our issues then nothing will ever happen. We have what we need to turn it around. The question is how can we do it?

    • Eric Wright

      August 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      With all due respect Donnell, quoting a bunch of statistics about the disparities between blacks and other groups isn’t sufficient substantiation for “personal responsibility” assertion. First of all, the argument was about what an elected official, Obama, is are is not doing for his constituents. The American Government has historically and currently failed African Americans, but Obama’s election reversed some of the thoughts that the American Government could finally work for us–at least at minimal level. But we saw was a president that was Obfuscating issues that African Americans face that have structural sources.

      Which brings me to this nonsense of “personal responsibility.”

      You asked why single parent homes are persistent in African American households. This is not a matter of personal responsibility per see when the American Government created a welfare system that pushed men out the home in order to receive the subsidy. There are irresponsibility in all cultures, but the disparity that exist within the black community is certainly not self-imposed.

      You asked why we underperform in schools when compared to others. Why don’t use ask why are schools are underperforming for us. It is irrefutable that schools filled with predominantly African Americans are grossly underfunded when compared to schools of White Americans.

      You asked why aren’t there more African American businesses and land ownership in comparison to others. Why don’t you ask why this society allowed banks to redline African American Communities when it came to mortgages and business loans? This is a systematic issue that went on for decades creating the disparities in land and business ownership.

      You ask why the disparities in health statistics. There are a myriad of reason, and none of these reason are rooted in African American sources. There are food deserts in the African American communities. There are covert population control activities that have contributed to the spread of HIV.

      Now there is only one are two ways to conclude and I afraid to inform you that personal responsibility crap is deeply rooted in white supremacist ideology. Either blacks are experiencing something that is hindering us from progress at the level of other groups, or we are inferior. The whole personal responsibility thing tends to support the latter. And I bet you don’t realize that this is the same nonsense pushed by the neo cons like Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Bill Oreilly, and Glenn Beck. This personal responsibility fallacy completely removes the white supremacist social structure from the argument. And guess what, you are pushing something that the white supremacist oligarchy champions on a day to day basis.

      Of course there are things that African Americans can do to make their situation better. Hell if someone dumps trash in your back yard, and then denies responsibility for it, you can make an effort to rid your yard of that trash. But it doesn’t make you the source of the problem.

  15. Rod

    August 16, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Great points Eric. One of the tactics of the die hard Obama supporter when someone says something critical of the president is to first immediately discredit the legitimacy of the person making the assertion. In other words, if I have something critical to say about Obama, no matter how relevant, there must be something wrong with me. The next step is to always find a crafty way to divert the negative attention away from the man in the White House and blame someone/something else for the issue at hand. The message is always that Obama can’t be concerned with my issues so I need to holla at my mayor about my concerns or better yet, get up off my lazy black azz to solve my own problems and stop complaining about what my tax dollars aren’t doing for me.

    The inference with both these “solutions” is that I don’t have the common sense to direct my argument in the right place. It also suggests that I don’t have the right to be critical of what goes on in Washington. But my biggest problem is that it’s somehow understood that black folks can’t be citizens concerned about the way Obama governs, we have to be perceived as beggars looking for a handout from Obama. It’s incredibly racist to assume that black folks are just demanding welfare for the problems we’ve heaped on themselves. It diminishes the rightful fights we still have to continue to push for a more just society.

    This thread started by talking about the effects of the recession on black America and how the president has responded. Now the conversation has detoured into an admonishment of fat people and AIDS just to remove any accountability for the recession from Barack Obama. But we’re told we should take our concerns to the official elected dog catcher to complain. But I know what a ballot looks like. I have to judge whether I’ll vote for Obama just like I have to decide if I’ll vote for my local city council member. They all have to be accountable.

  16. Wayne Burrows

    August 21, 2012 at 2:03 am

    You know – It would be GREAT if we had the resources to “do our own thang” like many suggest, but quite frankly, how many of “us” are in position to do so? Our dilemma HAS been… Being virtually ignored by the powers that be for 30+ yrs before Obama. And now, essentially being ignored BY Obama! I am voting for him again but it WILL be with me holding my nose because like Dr. Boyce said – He’s stood up for the LGBT community (which I DO support) and he’s backed illegal aliens. Key word being (Illegal). Which STILL – I don’t have a problem with. But some kind of way, what… It would look politically incorrect to hand us a “much needed” fiscal bone?

    And for all of those folks out there that’s talkin about “we shouldn’t be dependent on the government” and to hell with handouts!! Well have they forgotten, if it wasn’t FOR government, we wouldn’t even be in the situations that we find ourselves in right now. So the way I see it – WE are owed! MY bootstraps are SHORT.

    All of our woes don’t solely fall onto Obama’s shoulders, just as MANY of our present woes are self-inflicted, but I agree with Ms. Carnell for the most part – We are unfortunately hooked on the least harmful fix available. & currently, we have nowhere to run… Nowhere to hide.

  17. Ronald

    August 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    i agree wholehearted with this article concerning Obama. Also it is very disappointing to me where I hear black people say Obama should not specifically target help to black people issues. However, its alright if Obama specifically helps the Latinos, Gays and Jewish issues. I don’t hear that “he’s not the President of them statement” that is often used when it relates to issues specifically relating to black issues (i.e, higher unemployment, mass incarceration, HIV etc etc). My personal opinion is if a candidate gets 90 percent of the vote from a certain ethnic group then that group has every right to make demands on that candidate. Your vote means very little if you just give it away and get very little in return.

  18. donald goings

    September 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm


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