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v45_jboneyI often hear Black people ask the question, “What has President Obama done for Black America?”

I can’t recall ever hearing this question asked of any other president, as much and as often as Black people have asked about President Obama.

I mean, is it because President Obama is Black, and because he is Black he should be expected to provide more resources, attention and concern to Black people?

Was Obama supposed to finally be our “hook-up” on whatever we wanted and whatever we asked for?

Black people, I have some questions for you:

What is the Black agenda that will help us gauge what President Obama has done for us?

How can we answer the question of what President Obama has done for Black people if we never specifically asked him for anything?

If we asked President Obama for something, what actually was it?

What has he done for White people? Asian? Indian? Latino? Etc?

If you say that Black people have asked President Obama for jobs, would that really be “doing something for Black people?” Wouldn’t that be doing something for everybody in America that is unemployed or has been seeking a job?

Honestly, I firmly believe that most Black folks don’t know what they want or what to ask for from their elected officials.

It’s as if many folks in Black America are looking more for a “sugar daddy” than they are looking to come together in unity and develop an agenda that elected officials will respect. As with a “sugar daddy,” many Black folks treat elected officials and the government like the rich, older man; seeking to have their needs regularly provided for them. And, if you look close enough and venture further down the rabbit hole, you will find that many Blacks receive certain favors, incentives and handouts in exchange for their votes and other forms of support and dependency. Now if that ain’t the truth, I don’t know what is.

The mere question about what President Obama has done for Black people is an example of cultural dependency that has crippled Black America and is a major reason why we are in the state we are in.

Is it the government’s fault that Black unemployment is higher than any other group with a Black man in office? NO!

Is it the government’s fault that the wealth gap has widened under a Black President? NO!

Is it Obama’s fault that we are at or near the top in all the major health disparity issues in this country? NO!

Was it President Obama that told Black people to spend all of their dollars with non-black businesses and institutions? NO!

What have WE done “for” US?

A better question is; what have WE done “to” US?

Why we always looking for a Savior?

If you think about it for just a minute, and look at things holistically, maybe the question has some relevance and teeth to it.

Some tough issues require real talk and can easily offend at times. All politics is local.

Instead of asking about what President Obama has done for Black America, we need to develop an agenda that starts with demanding more from our local elected officials, pastors and leaders.

This thing is bigger than President Obama. He is just a man occupying the White House right now. Now if we can only get everyone to see that President Obama is not just the president for Black America, he is the president for all Americans.

Black people need to get back to the lifestyle of doing for self and not looking for an elected official to come and save the day.


Jeffrey L. Boney is Associate Editor for the Houston Forward Times newspaper, a Next Generation Project Fellow and a dynamic, international speaker. Jeffrey is the Founder and CEO of the Texas Business Alliance and is an experienced entrepreneur and business development strategist. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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