Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On Obama’s “Failed Celebrity” and Accountability

I have a new post up at global comment

During the election of 2008, the McCain campaign portrayed Barack Obama as a celebrity with very little substance. The liberal left fought against this stereotype. Now that he has been elected, the various groups that threw their support directly behind him have arrived at the White House door, hat in hand, demanding that the debt be repaid.

When Obama was sworn in he was charged to rectify the worst Depression since the Great Depression. Banks and entire industries were and are failing. The infrastructure is in need of a complete overhaul and American children are increasingly falling behind in education. No national health care plan exists, causing many Americans to die an early death. Proving that no lessons were learned from Katrina, racism and violence continues to escalate. Obama inherited a country that’s a shadow of its former self, due to the efforts of the Bush administration.

In the words of Tavis Smiley, members of the Black Intelligentsia have become quick to hold Barack Obama “accountable.” Dr. Michael Eric Dyson has already been vocal about not being invited to the White House despite being one of the first to publicly support Barack in the election. Dr. Cornel West has stated emphatically that he would rather “visit a crack house than the White House.” According to the self-appointed leaders of the Black community, Barack is failing in his efforts to advance the issues of African Americans.

The GLBT community has been very vocal about the fact that Obama has failed to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Iraq war vet LT. Dan Choi was dismissed from the military after coming out on the Rachel Maddow show. He, along with several other members of the GLBT community have taken the step of publicly declaring their sexuality as a means of challenging Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. At a time when troop levels are a state of concern, the military can scarcely afford to lose experienced and educated members due to homophobia. The continuation of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is also the legalization of overt homophobia, as it clearly positions GLBT members as less valuable. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell literally forces them to live a lie.

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