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Nightmares Of My Father: Has Barack Obama Really Helped African Americans? April 9, 2009

"Power Grab" courtesy of <i>American Thinker</i> image by Big Fur Hat of iOwnTheWorld.com

(sigh)

Last Sunday I had my dad over for dinner. My father and I have only known each other for 5 years. Our relationship is a work in progress with many false starts. My mother who passed away 2 years ago was his maid and she had an affair with him and became pregnant with yours truly. At first she considered an abortion (they were not legal at the time). The morning of the abortion, she said she looked at herself in the mirror and asked God to promise her it would be a girl (she had a son already) and that she would grow to be as successful as her father’s family. My father’s family owned a chain of barbecue joints and at the time they were successful in the sense that they were not on government assistance like many of the African American’s in my mom’s circle of friends.

The rest is history or herstory ;-).

(Looks at chest) I am a woman and I am successful as far as being an educated woman and self sufficient. On Sunday after dinner, I helped my father look for a way to get medical assistance. He has no health insurance. Has been in jail for a felony including murder. He is now 62 and must worry about his health. So yes mom, I guess you can say I grew to be as successful as my father’s family. She never would have foreseen my sitting with him navigating the Social Security.gov pages with him, 39 years after my birth.

My dad voted for Obama. I did not. Sunday, I felt the need to reveal that to him. There have been too many lies between us already. I did not want him to think I was a liberal because I feel as his daughter, he should accept me unconditionally.

We were eating pizza and he was going on about how Obama is being set up by “da man” and handed a bad economy because he is a black president and people are “out to get him”. Through his rant I was silent.

Finally I put my fork down and said “Dad I did not vote for Obama. I am a Republican- a conservative. I did not feel that he was the best person for the job. I hope you are not disappointed in me but over the last two years or so I have changed my political leanings towards the right.”

Dad was quiet for a bit but said “Afrocity Look. I cannot vote first of all (due to convictions) but if I could have Obama would have been the only one. It is a step in the right direction for our people.”

I said, “But is he really ‘our people’ ? I would rather have seen an African American that I believed in and had the proper experience and leadership skills. Not this way. Not race baiting and silent affirmative action.”

Dad said “We have to start somewhere.

I said “Okay. So how exactly has your life changed as a Black man since the election?”

He mentioned the stimulus and how it will give more aid (welfare IMHO) to black communities. I told him that I would like to see Blacks excel on their own merits and stop being victims. He said “Who Afrocity? Like me?”

We stopped the conversation as a buzzer went off because I had a pie in the oven.

The next day I was on the Green Line subway and almost every person of color had an Obama skull cap on. The women had Obama tote bags. One had three disheveled kids with her. She had to be 22 at the most. I did not see hope in her eyes only frustration as she dealt with her small brood.

Has Obama helped her? Will his election help all of those African American kids in the Chicago neighborhoods like the southside’s Englewood community where Jennifer Hudson’s family was murdered? Incidentally Jennifer said this week she no longer considers herself a Chicagoan. I can’t say that I blame her.

My mother raised me on welfare and foodstamps. When those ran out we went to local food pantries to receive boxes of expired canned goods and powdered milk.  I cannot change that. What I could change was my future. I did that by seeing my potential and completing my education. No drugs, I practiced abstinence, hard work. I saw welfare as a deterrent to the success of the African American community and watched for decades as it made my mother slip deeper into complacency. Now to watch my father wonder and hope that he will get medical care and more public assistance because Barack Obama is POTUS disturbs me.

Have we gone forward as African Americans or back?

My mother and I in 1984. Yes we were on welfare even then.

My mother and I in 1984. Yes we were on welfare even then.

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13 Responses to “Nightmares Of My Father: Has Barack Obama Really Helped African Americans?”

  1. HoosierHoops Says:

    Hi Afrocity.. Nice job on the blog..I bookmarked it.
    Will visit you often.
    Kind Regards

  2. Bellamags Says:

    I think it takes a lot of guts for someone to stand up to their family and realize their political views differ. I am assuming is is especially difficult for republican blacks, now that Obama is president. They get it from both sides. Prejudice whites and blacks. However, I will say, the most prejudice people I know are democrats.

    Loved the story.

    • afrocity Says:

      Bellamags, this past election cycle I saw quite a lot of REVERSE RACISM from African Americans who were Democrats. Many were very public people such as Donna Brazil. Racism is racism no matter how you slice it. Many Caucasians who voted for Obama at least the ones I know openly admitted that they were “tired of seeing the same ol’ white faces in the White House”

      To me that statement is racist.

      If you were open about being a McCain supporter you were called a racist by the Obamabots. Anyone who criticized Obama was called a racist. This included myself when I was on blogs. I was called a self-loathing black person.

  3. dakinikat Says:

    Very heart wrenching thread! You’ve got me all wet-eyed. I’ve always thought the best way out of bad situations is to be your own beacon of life and then you can shine the way out for others when you succeed. Your children are very luck to have your example and its the strength you bring. My dad is completely a self made man that came from a poor but emotionally strong family. He’s been my strength and example all my life. I only hope I do that for my two daughters.

  4. Sharku Says:

    It makes no difference what your color, religion or any grouping you chose is, Handouts can only stave off hunger, to truely break the cycle of poverty takes hard work, sacrifice and determination on the part of the individual. Groups can never be successful, however there certainly can be groups of successful individuals. That old adage “give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” is as true today as when it was first spoken.

  5. boldandbald Says:

    “Have we gone forward as African Americans or back?”

    I would say that in many cases the answer is that the AA community has stood still, which amounts to the same thing as going backwards. The thing that concerns me is that the problem seems to persist in the younger generation. In most cases, whether you talk about immigrants or any group that has outdated ideas and misconceptions, you generally find that the younger generation puts that sort of thing behind them and joins the rest of society. That doesn’t seem to be happening with the AA community, or at least it is happening very slowly. And, unfortunately, you have an entire political party that has staked it’s success on the reliance of entire groups of people on the government. As long as such a large portion of the AA community continues to be reliant I think we are likely to see this problem persist. Hopefully, given time, there will be more and more people like yourself, Afrocity, who see the light and learn self reliance. That will lead to an improvement for the long term.

  6. UberInfidel67 Says:

    YOU GO GIRL! We need more people who vote with their heads and not their hearts. I keep telling you this!!!!It’s your country too…you can vote whichever way you think is best for your country. Exercise that right and the h8ters be damned.

    PS: I told you I would come here. lol I see some Lizard friends have shown up too : )

  7. LJSNAustin Says:

    I think we have definitely gone BACKWARDS in this country. OK, so we now have an “African American” prez…yet I feel more tension than ever between myself and many of my AA friends. Mostly because I just want to scream at them “How could you be so stupid??!? How could you vote for someone solely because of their skin color? How could you believe that it will really make your day to day life better? Do you really feel that much vindication now? So just how much have you really despised me all these years just because I’m white?” As a gay person, I try to imagine what if it had been the first openly gay/lesbian candidate for prez…would I have voted for them just because. Just to prove a point somehow. I think the temptation to do so would be pretty great, but not if they were a dumbass like TOTUS. You are right, AfroCity, there was a LOT of reverse racism going on with this election. I’m afraid that the damage is extensive.

    BTW, god bless you for helping your father with his health care/social security stuff. It must have been a difficult few hours.

  8. doppelganglander Says:

    What a great post, Afrocity. You are very emotionally honest about some difficult issues. I think you said some things a lot of people need to hear. I hope your relationship with your dad continues to grow in a positive direction.

  9. MelMaguire Says:

    Excellent post. The black friends I have who think the way you do and approach life with your view are few and far between. That’s sad. Unfortunately, most of the black kids I went to school with back home in Texas are still in the homes their parents have owned for generations and are living off the government because to them, it’s easier than getting a job and actually earning their living. Even when I was a kid, some of those classmates used to call everything that a white kid said to them “racism.”

    I’m glad to have found you, Afrocity. 🙂

    • afrocity Says:

      I went to college in Texas. Houston actually and the African American community there was pretty downtrodden. What they need is someone to inspire them to do better. Possibly a minority leader. It will not be Barack Obama who perpetuates the legacy of black martyrdom.

      I am glad I found you too Mel. I will put Gay Conservative on my blogroll when I figure out how to.

  10. deuce Says:

    I did not get this blog. IF Obama-Mania will impact blacks to do better is life is an illogical question, and one need not to be ask or answered. Please folks read, read.

    • afrocity Says:

      What are you talking about? Who said that Obama mania wll impact blacks to do better? Why? Because African Africans can buy a Barack Obama malt liquor beer warmer?

      We do read. It depends on what you are reading and if you feel that there is nothing to ask or answer, feel free to move on.


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