For Harry Belafonte and other progressive blacks, the reality of the Obama Presidency is bitter pill to swallow, as he detailed his ongoing unhappiness with the administration.
In a recent radio interview, Belafonte took the President to task and asked what his legacy would be in the wake of the opportunities he has been given. Mr. Belafonte’s criticism comes at a time when President Obama finds himself under increasing pressure for the far left wing of his Party, as they feel he has failed to deliver on his promises of hope and change.
For months now, President Obama has been under pressure from members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and other black activists to start addressing those problems facing the most loyal voting bloc of the Democrat Party, yet the President and his advisers have pushed back against this, claiming they are concerned about the problems facing all Americans.
Belafonte’s criticism and anger are understandable, as he and many like him thought that the Obama Presidency was going to lead to the fulfillment of all the progressive promises of the last 60 years, especially those promises made by Democrats and their sock puppet leaders such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Belafonte and other black Democrat activists know full well that they will have a harder time turning out record numbers of black voters in any effort to reelect President Obama this time. In 2008, the narrative in the black community was that the election of Barack Obama was in part way the fulfillment of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream, but with more than 3 years under his belt, Belafonte and others would be hard pressed to find anyone in the black community who could claim they are better off today than they were 3 years ago.
Even members of the Congressional Black Caucus are starting to feel the heat at the grassroots level as black activists, who are normal allies at election time, are threatening to challenge certain members of the caucus. Senior members of the caucus such as Maxine Waters have tried to blame the Tea Party for President Obama’s failures, but many blacks still remember that President Obama entered office with massive majorities in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate, and that narrative simply does not add up. President Obama, for his part, has felt the heat from other black elected officials and activists and lashed out against them this past summer at the Congressional Black Caucus annual gala when he stated that blacks need to "stop complainin'," "put on your marching shoes," and follow him into the battle for jobs and opportunity.
Conservative blacks like myself and others have endured years of name calling from progressives such as Belafonte, the Congressional Black Caucus, and other black activists who have sold their souls to the Democrat Party, but now that one of their own is calling the shots, they still are complaining about the same issues and problems and it is all too clear now what we have been saying. Progressive ideas may look good on paper, but in the real world they simply don’t work. The only redeeming thing that President Obama can count on is that the Republican establishment might seem hell-bent on making former Governor Mitt Romney their nominee in 2012 and thus, it will make President Obama’s reelection effort that much easier as Governor Romney will find himself the victim of a unabated smear campaign from which he will not be able to defend himself from because he is a Mormon and black Democrat activists will play up the fact that blacks were not allowed to join the Mormon Church until the 1980s.
The most redeeming quality about Belafonte’s comments for conservatives such as myself are that we knew all along that the Obama Presidency was going to be one mired in complete failure and chaos.