MUST READ: “Stop waiting for and start paying attention to our first black president”

Amazing piece from Jonathan Capehart:

Over the last three and a half years, there have been three silly political storylines that have driven me absolutely nuts because it was plainly apparent that they were not true. One was that author, reality television star and former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin was going to run for president in 2012. Another was that President Obama would swap out Vice President Biden in favor of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And the most irksome of all is the complaint from African Americans that Obama ignores their concerns.

The latest manifestation of the Obama-doesn’t-care-about-black-people whine comes from Fredrick Harris. In a piece for The Post’s Outlook section headlined “Still waiting for our first black president,”which was adapted from his new book, the Columbia University professor makes a stunningly false argument.

Obama has pursued a racially defused electoral and governing strategy, keeping issues of specific interest to African Americans — such as disparities in the criminal justice system; the disproportionate impact of the foreclosure crisis on communities of color; black unemployment; and the persistence of HIV/AIDS — off the national agenda. Far from giving black America greater influence in U.S. politics, Obama’s ascent to the White House has signaled the decline of a politics aimed at challenging racial inequality head-on.Those are all important issues. They must be addressed. The problem for Harris is that they are being addressed by the president. Not in the theatrical way Harris would like. But in the actions-speak-louder-than-words way of Obama.

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By searching for marquis moments, Harris and others appear not to care about the myriad actions Obama has undertaken that affect the lives of all Americans, yes, but also of African Americans more directly. And I certainly don’t advocate for Obama to burst into the East Room clad in Kente cloth and brandishing a definable “black agenda”or whatever else so many blacks seem to want from him to prove that he cares.

Someone who started his career on the south side of Chicago, whose wife is also from Chicago and who also has two young black daughters, doesn’t wake up one day and say, I don’t care about African Americans. That’s why it bothers me to no end that those who are “still waiting for our first black president” seem unwilling to pay attention to what the first black president is actually doing.

// much much more and true must read.