Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Call I Received from The White House

To join the Your Black World Coalition, please visit www.YourBlackWorld.com.

Dr. Boyce Watkins
Hey peeps,

I wanted to share something with the YBW family. As you know, I've said quite a bit in my writing about President Obama's policies, both good and bad. Much of what I do as a Black Public Scholar is driven by what I read in the emails that you send to me (I apologize for not always being able to reply, but I always appreciate them). For example, last year when we went after Bill O'Reilly in response to his attacks on Michelle Obama, I did it because I got the sense that Black folks were frustrated by O'Reilly's underhanded activities and that I could use my media access to help give a voice to those I love (yes, I love you and I am not afraid to say it!).

Well, there are times when I've praised President Obama when his decisions serve the interests of our community, but I also try to engage in just enough critical analysis to never give a blank check to any politician. Perhaps as a result of all this, I received a call last week from someone within the Obama Administration. I should probably not say his name in public, but I have made it clear that I represent the people, so I want to share the spirit of our correspondence with you.
In light of the fact that many Black newspapers and magazines across the country are unfortunately going bankrupt (due to the decline of print media), he and others are looking to the Internet to see what the Black community is thinking. AOL Black Voices is the largest Black news website in America (Essence.com is number 2, according to his calculations and my own), so its natural that this be one of the places that the administration looks to see what African Americans are happy and not so happy about.

You know that I don't typically hang out with politicians (I'm not interested in being a politician, since I am addicted to telling the truth), but I listen when people talk. After listening to this official for an hour (who was very respectful and informative), I got the sense that he really wants our feedback. Now obviously, there is a difference between listening and acting, but Barack is in a very tough position right now, and I think we should at least make sure that his administration hears from us when they make critical decisions. The last thing they want to do is roll something out and then find out that it has made us angry.

The Obama Administration official has offered to run ideas by me before releasing them to the public (which I am fine with him doing), but the truth is that I don't want to be any kind of "public voice" that mutes the individual voices in our community. So, I let him know that while I would certainly be happy to share my own opinions, it is most important that I help facilitate the sharing of opinions from those within our coalition.

So, I will start by asking you to submit your opinion of the president's performance over the first 100 days in office. I have set up a link on my blog for this (which you can get to by clicking here), and after the comments have been made, I will make sure that the link is forwarded to our contact in the White House. I am hopeful that they will listen and it is my greatest hope that we can help the president succeed by telling him how we truly feel. While I certainly can't force the president do anything, we should at least supplement their information set by letting them know what matters to us and then holding them accountable in their reactions.
Here is a link to the blog. Here is a link to a video I put together breaking it all down in case you want to hear it "straight from the Boyce's mouth."

Take care and God bless,
Dr Boyce

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

My Dr. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to engage.I think that Barack is in a difficult time. I think he has chosen to make his 3 top issues. The Economy, Foreign Policy and Healthcare. THey are all important! He has though failed to have an Urban Policy and to even address Urban issues. I don't expect him to be the Black President, but he is all of our president. He can not neglect Urban America nor the poor. I will not give him a pass either. Everyone else has put their issues on the table and so must Urban and Black America, He has not shown that their issue is on his plate. Rev. Mike Pfleger

Rev. Mike Pfleger said...

My Dr. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to engage.I think that Barack is in a difficult time. I think he has chosen to make his 3 top issues. The Economy, Foreign Policy and Healthcare. THey are all important! He has though failed to have an Urban Policy and to even address Urban issues. I don't expect him to be the Black President, but he is all of our president. He can not neglect Urban America nor the poor. I will not give him a pass either. Everyone else has put their issues on the table and so must Urban and Black America, He has not shown that their issue is on his plate. Rev. Mike Pfleger

TiredOfThePhonies said...

"AOL Black Voices is the largest Black news website in America (Essence.com is number 2, so its natural that this be one of the places that the administration looks to see what African Americans are happy and not so happy about."

You must be kidding.

I stopped visiting AOL Black Voices because it offers nothing, I repeat, nothing in the way of "news". I have no interest in rap or hip-hop or whatever the lates craze is. I don't care about the latest hair fashion or who is fooling around on whom. Surely, this couldn't be the best we have to offer.

I seriously doubt that anyone in the WH, especially the President is visiting AOL Black Voices or Essence. What does Essence offer besides fashion, makeovers, hair styles and gossip? Name one news item that has appeared in the last six months. And I don't mean non-stop Michael Jackson. AOL Black Voices is not much better.

What about the shooting of seven junior high school students waiting for a bus in Detroit? What about all of the other shooting by black people of other black people taking place all over the country? Any of this type of news?

Here is a suggestion: why don't you and all of the other pontificating black scholars and intellectuals pool your knowledge and make some concrete efforts to benefit the black community? Like tutoring or job training programs? Like teaching standard english? Like trying the get people like Desmond Hatchett, who fathered 21 children by eleven different women, to keep it in his pants?

P.S. I don't need you to speak for me with the President or anyone else. I did not spend my life sitting around on my behind waiting for a handout. The best thing you can do is to get some of these lazy black people of get off of their butts and do something, anything for themselves. Like clean up their neighborhoods and the street in front of their houses? Or try to get them to STOP destroying their neighborhoods? Or robbing the little old lady next door of her meager social security check? Or shooting into a crowd of junior high school students standing a the bus stop?

And spread the word that if the local hospital won't hire you as a brain surgeon, the go work at the nearest burger joint, save some money for tuition, learn english and get training so that you can get that job a brain surgeon.

And stop whinning.

Anonymous said...

I am glad the president doesn't let the repbulicans say whatever they want without addressing them. I appreciate the ads that counter the negativity of the other party. I also love that he reminds them who got us in this mess. I do wish he would have left his remarks about Michael Jackson to what he knew about MJ, not what he heard or read...the same that many of us gave him.

Anonymous said...

LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!

goodlistener said...

I think that Pres. Obama is doing a good job for the most part. And most of black America does not want special favors. But we do want him to stand up for us and to help us get what we have rightfully earned. Also communicate better with Black America to let us know how policies which are not geared specifically toward us will nonetheless benefit us. That way, Blacks will still know that he is with us as well as with the rest of America. I hope he stands strong and keeps up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I see the same ridiculous white man is coming back to Dr. Boyce's blog. He always seems to get here before I do. It's interesting that black folks can't have a conversation among ourselves without having interference from ignorant white people. But then, it does show that people are paying attention to what he says, which is a good thing.

lecroix said...

Dear Sir;
Thank you for this opportunity. you are correct that President Obama is in a tough position. It seems that the biggest complaint right now is the reaction of the bailouts. People are worried that the inflation is going to have a negative effect on the dollar amongst other things that effects our daily lives. Furthermore, It seems that nobody is talking about urban self sufficiency or preventative health. For example, implementing urban gardening (so that it would be cheaper for individuals to buy vegetables rather than junk food(, entrepreneurship (to increase skill sets and develop urban areas), or bringing alternative energy into underdeveloped areas. I dont hear any of that. I would suggest that the president look for ways to bring government spending under control and to put the United States first before we worry about things going on overseas. In terms of preventative health, its cheaper to put fourth initiatives to get people to eat healthy, take vitamins and supplements after working out in a community center/gym than to buy prescription drugs and undergo operations, etc. do you know what i mean?

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed in his choice in Education due to the mess this gentleman left in Chicago. I think our educational system is being destroyed by corporate like minded people who have taken the human connection out of the success equation. We want our children to immulate Asian countries in academics who have the highest sucide rates. If we want successful schools why are we following full inclusion without the tools and extra teachers. It is very sad to see schools destroyed with full inclusion. A regular classroom has been destroyed with austic children screaming and yelling. What happens to the average and below average students who the aid used to work with. Nothing! The aid is now walking around babysitting one austic student vs, assisting with ten students. This is ridiculous. Then you ask why didn't this school make AYP. Well, does it take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

A special education student in a room with others can achieve skills on their level to work in a trade. It is not fair for these students to disrupt the learning environment and force teachers who have no desire to teach special needs be dumped with them. I ahve heard of classrooms with 15 IEP's and 5 or 504's and no special education teacher or resource teacher. That's a zoo and the teacher needs a pill just to be in the room with them.

I am fed up with the NCLB that passes every kid and then high school they drop out. I thought he would make positive changes when he went in but the same old mess. Now, there is a shortage of teachers and the teachers who know how to teach you create ways to get them to retire or other means with testing.

Highly qualified has caused the Teaching profession to loose some of the best teachers and given the profession some of the worst nonteaching good test taking teachers. Teachers who pass a test does not mean you can teach. It means you know your content or can memorize material. Teaching students is a God given talent and everyone can not do it. I don't care how many course and workshops you give a person, if you don't love kids you can not go to work everyday and give the kids your best. Kids know when you don't like your job and those teachers leave within the first one to three years. I sincerely wanted a positive change from this administration and I will keep praying he gets it together.

I do not like the attitude this administration has displayed towards Israel. I believe that the time Obama spent in Rev. Wright's church he obviously was not listening. When the U.S. turns their back on Israel and we patronize the Islamic sec its over for us.

The last and most important issue is my view on the President's religious statements. He has stated several times that this was a country of many religions and somehow I think he and the others forgot if it had not been for the grace of God they would not have the opportunity to make these comments. When Obama was running around to all the black preachers and and churches he was not rattling this agenda. Now with him in office we have same sex marriages in certain states, the borders are just a joke, and the illegal immigrants have more right then Americans. Does illegal mean deportation or welcome to America. Please get your free healthcare, food stamps a place to live and by all means we take money from Americans to educate your kids with a bilingual teacher.

Explain to me why America is the only place in the world that does not require English as the language. If we visit another country we must learn their language to survive but in America illegal immigrants feel we must cater to them. Why?

I thought a vote for Obama would be a positive new beginning. What happen?

Anonymous said...

I just want him to be safe and continue to be the person he already is. My efforts in the city are making some headway but only a minor impact at best. But I am trying to do the best I can with my own funds and time in and around my job as a school security guard. The administration at my local school has trusted to work with the students who have made mistakes or bad choices. I stay afterschool with them and we clean graffiti and windows and we talk constantly about doing something good and the way it makes you feel. I teach them to do three good things for every wrong thing they do. Some have cought on and are no longer getting in trouble. I know it's small but we need to make the small changes in our neighborhoods first before we ask for money that will be misspent or mismanaged. The way I see it real change costs no money at all. What I'm trying to change is the minds of young people, that doing good is good for the soul and gives reason to smile to those who think they have no reason to. All the well meaning government programs will do us not much good if it does not include education of the rights and wrongs of human nature and what it's done to us. I've watched former drug dealers feed crack babys at a local hospital and cry after seeing what they've done. The last guy is now a nurse at the local general hospital in san francisco. If you want to help Black people and I mean really help we need to screen people to teach our children and people to do for others and become givers on a mass scale by any means nessasary. Mr. Jefferson James Denman Mid School

Patrice Rowan said...

I think President Obama is doing an excellent job. He's exactly what our country needs.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Watkins,

I would like President Obama to ge onboard with the House and Senate as they attempt to remove the NSPS that many DOD federal employees are under. I can assure you that once again, people of color (mainly Afro-americans) are not being treated fairly under this so-called, "pay for performance" system. It is just another unjust tool that is used to ensure that many of us are continued to be treated unfairly as the biggest bonuses are handed out to others. Thank you, this is so important to Federal employees.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chance to comment and potential to be heard. I do think that Pres. Obama faces many major challenges and in view of that, he has basically done a good job. However, I do think that at times Mr. Obama tries to hard to "find middle ground" with the horrible positions of the Republicans.

I want to see more ideas on how we can fund FREE HEALTH CLINICS and other alternatives, including the "public option" on the insurance.

The people don't need more MANDATES either. Mandate the big corporations to pay for some of this with their big BAIL OUT BONUSES.

You could help a lot more of us if you get the money for jobs out faster and maybe create ways to fund small businesses other than via those crooked banks.

The REPUBLICANS say "no" to almost everything he proposes. So, Pres. Obama-- I say-- quit trying to be so nice and "bi-partisan." I think he needs to set up a group or committee to help him deal with issues concerning BLACKS...as we have some very unique problems.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to be at least heard. After eight plus years of ruinous policies, the same republicans appear to be still wanting to follow the path of kill off the middle class and blame it on President Obama. Also put the crash of 1929 on him as well. That is a tough position to work from. The past 8 years will not be overturned in 100 days, and most do not hear the president saying the same because we all want instant gratification. Now with that said, I do wonder what time frame the so called stimulus package is to be following and what jobs are really to be created. So far, as I can understand, the stimulus has helped states keep some budget cuts for education, and has extended unemployment benefits. That is helpful, but not "new jobs". So if the Obama administration could help with some transparency in this regard, it would be appreciated.

Dr. R

SISTA42 said...

Thank you Dr. Boyce for keeping the urban community connected in ways that modern techology enables so many to be in the know. Having a venue such as this one makes it feasible to identify rather than compare what we in the urban areas share.

My biggest concern is college education cost. Do forgive me if this was already mentioned, as I did not read all comments beforehand. As a single mother who raised two daughters alone meant sacrificing my needs to support theirs. Starting with my 1st in my senior year of high school put that hope of college on the back burner for me, which was a decision I had to make given my choices. She was able to attend college, even with a low gpa she was eligible for the EEO program.

Now, my 2nd daughter just completed her 1st yr at The College of NJ and ended up with unmet need just under 10,000 for which I set up a payment plan to make it happen. She has always been the scholar of the two academically maintaining honors studies throughout. By 11th grade she had 113 credits whereas in NJ you only need 120 to graduate. Well, I was told and given the impression that scholarships would surface and she'd definitely be able to attend college without too much of a financial strain, NOT. I planned, prepared for her to the best of my ability but
unfortunately life happens and emergencies come up and there goes that nest egg grandparents spoke about. She was on the waiting list for Carnegie Mellon which was her 1st choice, however I knew the cost would be tremendous being out of state. Well the package they offered ran circles around TCNJ and I pleaded with her to stay in NJ where I paid taxes and she should receive better financial aid options, NOT?

So, having said all of the above, my concern is education and what Mr. President plans to do about the cost he spoke much about throughout his campaign. While I realize it's the parents responsibility ultimately and believe me from 10th grade she applied, applied for all types of scholarships I came across and she did receive a few? She's one year in and I'm thinking she made need to pull out and attend a community college which can is less expensive. She's not really supportive of that option and I feel bad as a parent watching her make the best grades, disciplined and focused always. Having to make her choose because I can't afford another debt like the one I took on this past year. It frustrates me how difficult this experience has been for the both of us.

Cybersam said...

Dear Doctor Watkins:

I am pleased to have the opportunity to address my concerns for black folks in this country. To know that someone in the White House is at least interested is also encouraging but not promising based on what I have seen from this administration in the first one hundred plus day of this presidency.

Let me begin by suggesting that officials take a look at the demographics for black folks: We have the highest rates of fatal medical disease, school dropout, incarceration, unemployment, poverty, obesity, unwed pregnancies, violent crime, drug abuse and other social maladies. We also have one of the lowest rates of financial stability, school achievement scores, medical access, home ownership, higher education, two-parent families, literacy, technological entrée, and other critical quality of life standards.

If as the President proclaimed during his candidacy that “a rising tide lifts all boats” we in effect are in a very leaky vessel. Our inner-city communities have been neglected for decades and are decaying at a staggering rate. Our infrastructure is in shambles. Our mental and physical health is being assaulted through deceptive environmental terrorism. Our schools are under staffed and over populated with deferred maintenance as the accepted practice.

This administration is confronted with many critical and pressing issues of national and international concern. However, if some of our darker citizens are ignored to their detriment while other lighter –skinned individuals are attended to their benefit then we will not be the democratic society that we present to others who would strive to emulate us.

Bell well & be strong

jpie said...

Overall I am pleased with President Obama's efforts but there are some major areas of concern that I have and other people I have discussed these issues who have voted for him. There is a growing restlessness that it is time for the Obama administration to start making the difficult decisions of what areas in government to cut. With the ballooning deficit, it is time to Demonstrate that a Democrat can also be financially responsible. Second on healthcare the administration has to fight the big business of the health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry. Third, there has to be some sort of aggressive urban agenda. Without an aggressive urban agenda, I am afraid the administration will lose its strong support in the Black community. Apathy will once again set in for the simple fact the question will be asked how is President Obama different from any other president. He also did not do anything to help our situation. Lastly, as an African-American business owner it would go a long way if the administration could continue to level the playing field so that we all could have an equal chance. Contrary to any thoughts otherwise, I can vouch for the fact it is far from a level playing field in this business world. Minority businesses still have a difficult time no matter how accomplished their past performance shows.

DJPHOENIX said...

Hello Dr. Boyce: It was very smart for Obama to set up this venting mechanism. I suspect that he has heard that folks have been talking about him, and it has not been kind. I worked hard during the campaign to get Barack elected. I praise him for his progress in foreign affairs and for stepping into the economic crisis and moving the country forward. I have some things to vent about also. I am frustrated by the continual lack of deferance given to the African American community by Obama. I know that he is everybody's president, but his lack of a substantive response regarding his plan to address high African American unemployment (approaching 20%) and his treatment of the Black female journalist who humbly raised the question regarding his plan at his June 22nd press conference disapointed me greatly. Obama cited the Year Up program and addressing African American's lack of work ethic and attitudes as the solution. He stated that African Americans are taken care of in his general policies. He then went on to say and I am paraphrasing: When America gets a cold, Black folks get the flu with a chuckle like that would suffice for his lack of cogent policy. If one follows Obama's logic about the flu to conclusion they know that general policies do not suffice. There is a disconnect between stimulus funds promised to underwrite higher education and its actual urban presence on the ground. I don't see many people aware of it, or who know how to access it. Those who are accessing it are enrolling in lower-level job training programs (i.e. medical or office assistant), rather than pursuing college degrees as intended. In the past the government really got the word out about college funds and other resources. I would like to see the current system work better so that more folk, including African American young, are able to take advantage of it. Obama's weak stance on the public option (Health Care) concerns me, as well as the lack of Black twenty-somethings working in the White House as staffers and interns. Tell Obama that 1)Some were offended by him passing his remarks about Micheal Jackson's death through Gibbs, followed by his statement that he would send the family a letter, followed by news of his having Micheal's music on his Ipod. Obama needs to pay us a bit more deference by getting things right the first time, as roughly 95%of Blacks supported him. Unlike some groups who solidly supported Hilliary then jumped on board when they had no where else to go we continue to support him. 2) African Americans, just like other ethnic groups have particular needs that dictate policies specific to our needs -- we don't have to share a different race for him to act. Afterall, we too sing America, and as such would like to see a cogent agenda for African American uplift across the board, as well as visible government offices and staffers dedicated to implement the agenda. I thought initially that Obama's platforms alone would work for African Americans;I do not now. I see the Dream Bill (illegal immigrants pick up their green cards along with their college diplomas-- paid for by American tax-payers)and tons of set-aside funding for bilingual and Latino/Latina education -- intended for uplift for these groups. Where is the equivalent for African Americans? Not less for others, but more for us -- the people that made it possible for Americans to be recognized under the 14th Amendment. I would also like Mr. Obama to think about providing some type of federal student loan pay-back/ forgiveness not only to teachers, but also to adnministrators and other professionals who work in education and youth-development,in inner-city & rural communities, for lower comparative salaries, particularly those who attended college during the 1980s -- mid-1990s. I pray for the president and his family's continued well-being. Peace.

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand WHY the Obama administration would want to protect the Bush adm from being exposed? Mr. President, if you guys are not just playing a game, and the same people that told Bush what to do, are not telling you as well, why would you not allow the freedom of information requests to go through? Why are you having secret meetings, that you are willing to not show us, the people, who is visiting the White House? With the laws that have been broken and proven by the Bush administration, why are you not calling for prosecution of ANY laws that have been broken? I cannot use the same argument, and walk away free. Why are you allowing Bush and Cheney to? It is pretty much looking like you guys have the same agenda, just a black face has been sold to us.

Elrancho78 said...

Dr Boyce - consulting you was what I hoped would happen. It was only a matter of time.
I have faith that you will say and do what is needed.

regmon00 said...

I must say that before the housing bubble popped I lived an average middle class life with wife, two kids, mortgage, and a dog. Slowly, I began to received notices that my credit was revoked, balances were reduced, and interest rates raised. To make a long story short, I had to obtain a second job to make ends meet. I live in Florida where underemployment thrives. I attempted to refinance just to lower my interest rate. ditech said sure, just bring $60,000.00 to the table. Right now, as a man, head of household, something has to give. If something were to happen to me my family would be wiped out financially. I was lead to believe like most that our home would be a secure investment. We bought out home in 2005. I had $75,000.00 equity going in. Today, I am upside down. I just want go home from work at a regular time and enjoy my family rather than conduct family time over the phone in between customers. I miss my family. I remain hopeful that Obama will regulate the housing industry and credit card companies. Imagine, if I can just reduce my interest rate 2% I could bring home an additional $300 a month. It may not seem like much but it would mean daddy would be home. Daddy would not be so tired when coaching on his off days.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all you do Dr. Watkins. My comment to the President Obama administration is I applaud the effort Mr. President Obama is trying, I can not recall any previous President who has actually taken this much interest in the people. Although, I am not expecting the second coming of Jesus, I think just being in politics automatically keep the politician to a binding contract, there are so many issues that everyone has to be heard, so a select few are chosen to act upon. I also feel that President Obama should not sweat the small stuff, as meaning, reacting to and responding for what the previous administration has done and is still doing, however the residual effects are very deep, this country needs to keep looking in a positive and forward direction, which I think President Obama is doing surely but steady.

Vannessa said...

I was a little dismayed at the inclusion of other stars mentioned by President Obama when referring to the death of Michael Jackson. When other stars died they received "all the press" all of the people he named, never did anything for Humanitarian Aide around the world. When it is time to recognize blacks somebody else always has to be on the plate. Who were just rich and nothing more. Blacks in America will never receive the notoriety that is due them without their characther being assassinated. I was saddened by our Presidents remarks.
Every outlet in this country, has plenty of venues for the culture they serve except blacks. Black Media is pressed until they are sold and watered down. Issues such as gay rights take center stage over the needs of Black people. It is a sin for anyone to speak of the travesties that take place in America against blacks, we are still dealing with the KKK. Hate of Black people has to be Biblical, every nationality has come and continue to come to America and carve out the American dream, blacks are not allowed this right. Rural minority communities are the step child when need vs want. We are the hardest working people in the world, love the most, care the most, have more compassions, understanding and forgiveness, yet we are hated in this country and until the Lord intervenes we can count on no one.

Anonymous said...

I had such high hopes not only for blacks but for this country as a whole. When Obama was running for President I was first so proud that a black person, especially a man would make it as far as he had come. I felt it was finally a chance for Blacks especially a black man to really stand out from the crowd of corporate white America and show that Black men have a positive strong voice and are very capable of running this country! Now that Obama is in office I think that he is doing the best he can with the mess that was left for him to clean up! I know his job is hard and he is fighting and learning about things he may not have known. Meaning I'm sure the Bush administration and a few administrations before the Bushes have made agreements and promises that Obama may find himself fighting to change. I think we need to continue supporting our President and being honest about how we feel he is doing thus far. I like the fact that health care is one of his main topics however I'm not sure that I like his proposed plan.

I'm sick of America bending over for illegals and spending so much money changing documents into Spanish and not making people step up and learn the English. It's real simple if you bring your ass over here learn the language or go home! We need better control of our boarders. We also need to establish a procedure once an undocumented person is here and they are applying for Welfare and health care. Being a DPSS employee we often give cash aid, food stamps and medical benefits to them. It needs to stop!!

We need more jobs and we MUST give more to EDUCATION! I did not like that Obama cut education money! I was very angry about that.

I'm sick of our military fighting this war. I think that Military families need additional help and support! Our military is in need of more troops and better trained troops. We can't fight a war and have military units being deployed for 12 or 15 month tour. Come home and be deployed 8 months later! The military rotation needs to be looked at and revised it's not only stressful on the troops but their families as well. I know because I'm a military wife. My husband is a Medic E-7. and trust when I say Michelle Obama is on point with wanting to help Military families because we need it! Our troops need to receive better medical care and attention when they come home from deployment. PTSD is at an all time HIGH and many of the service people are suffering from this disorder!

Anonymous said...

Right or Wrong Mr. Obama has tried to make good on his campaign promises. I appreciate that with all of the Washington politics, he has tried to stay "even" and in the middle of the road.

Anonymous said...

THE PRESIDENT, IN MY OPINION, IS DOING A FAIR JOB. HE HAS A WHOLE LOT ON HIS PLATE...AND HAS DONE AS GOOD A JOB AS ANYONE, I BELIEVE, DECIPHERING THROUGH THE MESS UP TO THIS POINT. I DONT LOOK AT HIM AS A "BLACK" PRESIDENT, ONLY AS OUR PRESIDENT, SO I CRITIQUE HIM AS I HAVE DONE PAST PRESIDENTS. I DO BELIEVE HE STRADDLES THE FENCE ON MANY,MANY DIFFERENT AGENDAS, AND I DO BELIEVE THAT HE IS MUCH MORE LIBERAL THAN I ONCE THOUGHT. I ALSO BELIEVE HE IS A MAN OF GREAT INTELLIGENCE AND CONFIDENCE IN HIS IDEAS, AND WHEN HE NEEDS TO, CAN AND WILL TAKE A FIRM APPROACH. ALL THAT BEING SAID, I BELIEVE HE HAS DONE AS WELL AS HE COULD DO UP TO THIS POINT..NOT GREAT..NOT BAD, JUST GETTTING THE JOB DONE...AS FOR US BLACK FOLK, OBAMA CANT DO ANYTHING FOR US THAT WE DONT WANT TO DO FOR OURSELVES...PEACE

Natasha said...

While I think we need health-care reform, I think we should wait to implement it after the economy is healthy (stable), from a practical standpoint. Planning and designing it, now, is important given the time it takes. The Obama admin should make it clear to the public that is what it is doing and I think there will be less opposition to a well thought-out plan.

LUMP said...

Dr. Boyce, thank you for being our communication network to the President. You have never minced your words on any topic, therefore, some of our views are expressed. I don't ever agree fully with whats going on in the capitol and address the issues as needed. We do need the President to get a handle on interest rates on college loans, and health care for the elderly.

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that President Obama has done what he said he would do...try to bring about some changes we can believe in. One hundred days does not a presidency make, so I think we need to check back in at least 265 more to see if the changes are positive ones or whether they need to be "treaked" a bit to be more successful. The fact that they are not well received by the former power structure should not shock nor even offend us. Sour grapes, spilled milk...I still believe in what we may regain and recoup as a Nation in the hands of our new leadership.

merwordup said...

Thank you Dr. Watkins for this blog. Well I will just like to let out my frustration with his obvious pandering to other groups other than black people. I mean, the man says that he is "The Champion of Gay Rights" but stays quiet on black issues and reverts our complaints that "all Americans are suffering". As I recalled Black Americans are doing the worst in education, business, single parent homes and just a host of other things. Even George W. Bush verbally said that blacks do suffer disproportionally but because President Obama is black (biracial) he gets a passed. He is really alienated his larger base of Christian believers who are dissatisfied with his pandering of a special protected group, gays.

Gays are not an oppressed group and are a very large, influential special interest group who has the ears of the president. Illegal immigrates just monstrous and obvious attempts to get a brand new constituency. It is too bad that too many black people voted for history instead of Obama's policies because they are not working to help our community. What good is a (black) president if he doesn't even speak to or for black people. Remember people, he boycotted the anti-racism UN conference. I am tired of people saying that he must not upset white folks in order to get another term. Hogwash. The change is within us but we must collectively help ourselves.

Barbara said...

For me personally, I think the Obama adminstration is doing the best they can despite all of the events that are happening in the world. I hope black people across America didn't expect that just because we have a black president, doesn't neccessarily mean that every issue in Black America is going to be taken care of. We in Black America need to address our issues ourselves. However, the Obama adminstration could do more to help bridge the gap between the White House and Black America. I personally think his first 100 days have been stressful but he has tackled them the best he can at the moment. I just hope once the economy rebounds that he'll focus more time on more domestic policies.

charlie h. said...

I see the man travelling the world but no matter who you are, you can't change or control the people of the world via politics. Hope begins at home.

1. Education, Health and Civil Rights at home are what is most important.
2. G/L/T/B rights are a priority. Rights for them is freedom for everyone. Everyone has the right to be treated equally.
3. Stop bringing in the christian preachers to formal occasions. We are not all christians and not all christians agree. Obama is creating division not unity.
4. Wasn't happy with Obama's comments on Michael Jackson. MJ spoke to the world of change, acceptance and hope. If ever there was a true follower of Martin Luther King it was MJ not the posers whom in respect to MJ I will not name. Obama needs to take family time and watch MJ's musvids. He was the MAN who we all should listen to. Its not too late. Let his life and the eventual tragedy be a lesson to us all and especially those with the power to make a difference so that the MJs of the world are no longer vilified and victimised.
5. EDUCATION-special needs children need special education services and special teachers. Normal children need the focus of their teachers on them. Too many good teachers are leaving because they are caught up in a failing system where they are blamed for the failures not the powerholders who underfund and criticize and fail to listen to experienced teachers.

Broteacher said...

What I find interesting and disturbing at the same time is that Mr. President does not want to be only the “Black President” in the eyes of white America. He does parade this image as being Black when it serves him. It is like the old folks say, “Everybody wants to be Black, but nobody wants to be Black”. I would love for the President to acknowledge that the issues if America are overrepresented in the Black community. Education is crucial moving forward into the next century. The necessity of adequate education is going to have a bigger need than in previous generations. For this reason America needs to focus on pulling itself up by the bootstraps. The last time I checked people wore boots on their feet, which happens to be at the bottom. America can only pull itself up by rising up the bottom. I am sure most everyone will agree that the minorities in this country are at the bottom, in other words, the feet (heel) of America. Minorities have been stepped on and forgotten. I hope the president does more than pay lip service to this fact. Education is crucial to the progress of those who want to and need to progress. For this to happen, teachers should be rewarded as if they play a crucial role in the development of this Great Country. Presidents usually pick people who either don’t have a connection with the community or lost their connection with the community. This is especially true with education. I can never understand how a person who attended the best schools in America is going to understand the problems of someone who is raised in generational poverty. All I am saying is if the President and America wants the country to reach its full potential we need to stop looking at how to make the rich richer. We need to find the problems and find people who can identify with the problems to come up with solutions that fit the problem. It is time to roll up our sleeves and help those who actually need the help.

abundidi said...

I am surprised that the number one site for Black people is AOL Black voices. Maybe it's improved since you have been associated with it, but most of what I see is banal. Obama has done a lot since January, most of what I like some of what I don't like. I think his administration should be about prosecuting Bush's minions, who lied to the American people for 8 years, and left this country in a mess. Of course he has a lot on his plate, but that should be on Eric Holder's agenda as Attorney General.

Tasha said...

Healthcare reform is a critical concern for most Americans and I want to thank President Obama for his commitment to this.

However, I must admit my disappointment and dismay that during the ABC news special on June 24, President Obama once again mentioned the need for increased physicians and nurse practitioners in primary care - without mentioning physician assistants (PA). He similarly omitted PAs in his speech to the AMA on June 15.

PAs are listening and are gravely concerned that we are not hearing a similar commitment to Physician Assistants.

There are over 1800 PAs within the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA). The VHA is the largest single employer of PAs in the country. As one of America's nearly 75,000 practicing physician assistants (PA), it should not go unnoticed that Physician Assistants are a critical part of health care reform.

PAs are a vital part of this country's health care workforce. As one of the fastest growing health professions and, by virtue of our education in primary care and ability to work in all medical and surgical specialties, we expand access to care in underserved urban and rural communities. By design, the physician assistant profession extends the reach of medicine and the promise of health care to the most in-need communities of our nation.

PAs are vocal and visible advocates of the physician-led medical home - in fact, the PA profession is the very embodiment of the medical home definition: patient-centered care delivered by a physician-led team. The use of PAs in increasingly overwhelmed medical practices has been shown to expand patient access to care, decrease wait times, and reduce costs.

A team-based approach to medicine - one that includes PAs - is the foundation of a successful and effective health care system.

We are in every community, providing high-quality, cost-efficient care.

I am asking that the Obama administration please consider the increased need for Physician Assistants also during his push for health-care reform.

Thank You,

Anonymous said...

I may be an outlier statistically. However, I feel as if it is too soon to honestly assess how the administration is doing. I feel that we have some sort of genie in a bottle mentality when it comes to the economy. We overspent and overlent ourselves into this thing, and yet wham bam shazaam, Obama Christ should bail us out. As for foreign policy, I think leaving Iraq is a good move and I'm not suprised at the focus on Afghanistan since the president has said before that he was interested in going to Afghanistan.

We black people need to develop an informal support network independent of the government. We need to funnel info to each other. We can create our own improptu job training programs and networks. We should.

Vern said...

I believe that under the circumstances President Obama is doing an excellent job. Can he please tell Biden to think before he speak?

Anonymous said...

I see absolutely NOTHING being done for the black american community. All over the country our uneducated are begging on the side of the road. Our educated are unemployed and UNDER employed. In the Southern states we have NO RIGHTS whatsoever. Blacks are preyed upon by the professionals, with no means to sue or obtain justice. Almost all southern blacks are too afraid to speak out. HUD and civil rights organizations paid for by black taxpayers exist only to serve Whites. The confederate flag welcomes you at the Georgia/Florida border.

In Chicago I am visiting my old neighborhood to consider returning home, but after I see Jamaican criminals openly selling drugs from cars and their Jerk Hut restaurants, and ILLEGAL ALIEN africans fighting hard to guilt black americans into using their hair braid shops because they have no cosmetology license, I am disgusted. When I hear the stories of kids getting shot down on the streets, I know why. The black community is flooded with drugs to destroy the mind, and our black housing is flooded with mercury from voodoo worshippers to make us ill. The north side of chicago have forced them South. The future for black america is nonexistent under this black president. Black aliens with no vested interest in this country propser and use affirmative action, and the illegal black aliens build businesses to sell drugs to destroy us with. Hillary would have done better.

Anonymous said...

What kind of president asks poor consumers with dwindling wealth to invest in the stock market and then allow AIG to do a reverse stock split, which LEGALLY returns stock shares back to the company??

I was told NOT TO INVEST in this market by a friend, but I trusted the president and then watched as my 400 shares of AIG was reduced to a mere 20 shares LEGALLy through a REVERSE stock split. Something NEVER heard of in the past. I am getting totally out of the stock market and recommend you to do the same. ALL AVENUES TO WEALTH HAVE BEEN CLOSED TO THE MIDDLE CLASS AND POOR UNDER THIS PRESIDENT OF THE WHITE AND RICH.

Anonymous said...

I see no difference between George Bush and Barack Hussein Obama. They both have nothing but disregard for the poor once they have been hoodwinked out of their vote. A black president without a backbone doesn't deserve to be elected. Black people get NOTHING in this country without a fight. He fights for nothing. His only goal is to get what he can get for himself, his rich black friends and to hell with the rest of the black community. Even Michael Jackson, along with so many others, have given up hope since this trojan horse got in the white house. Michael invented music videos, and now the only videos we're allowed to see are on country music television, and fuse TV mostly for rockers. Barack Obama has successfully closed all of the avenues out of the ghetto for black americans.

Anonymous said...

Under this black president I have lost my economic security, DUE TO NO FAULT OF MY OWN.

My house is upside down evenhough I bought it BELOW market value 2 years ago.

My bank refuses to refinance me with all that stimulus money.

Investing in stocks under this president who allows something previously unheard of, "REVERSE STOCK SPLIT" has made that a means for the rich to steal from the poor to balance their books.

Jobs are nonexistent for educated and uneducated blacks.

Illegal immigrants are allowed to run businesses in the black community under this president.

Illegal immigrants sell drugs from their businesses causing madness and mayhem to destroy urban america and our children to be murdered.

Housing is becoming more and more segregated because of immigrants freedom of worship, which results in SICK real estate. Whites are forcing them all into the black community.

Immigrants are given ALL the affirmative action under this president, and JIM CROW has majorly depressed blacks in the South, and this president pretends to be unware.

For the first time in my life, I see blacks reverting back into poverty RAPIDLY. I was recently advised by a Jewish person to not sell my gold, because I would need it to eat when the holocaust comes.

Ronald said...

I truly believe that our president is doing an awesome job. The task at hand could is great.
In spite of what the conservatives spin, it will take a long period of time to right this ship. Racing against time will only cause us to falter.
It has been my experience, that when everyone has something to complain about, the greater good prospers.

Ronald said...

While we have the ear of the white house...
I am concerned when I hear the gay community complain that the president has turned his back on them on the issue of military service. It has always seemed far more simple than even the Clinton administration made it out to be. It is not homophobia that drives my reasoning in that matter.
We should not have any two people working together in a security situation that could even possibly become emotionally involved, because there is absolutely no room for emotion in the actions or decisions to keep people safe. That includes heterosexuals too. The complications grow exponentially when personal feelings are added.
It is a very fine line dividing such a sensitive subject and a perceived discriminatory act.
The same case should have been made with females, but the intention there was blatantly sexist.
I wish that I could say that everyone's intentions were as honest, but I'm sure, that they are not.
How can such problems be avoided?

Anonymous said...

When is the president going to stop allowing STATE'S RIGHTS, TO SUPERCEDE THE RIGHTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVT?

If the Federal govt hadn't stepped in, schools would still be segregated. The Federal govt MUST force these Southern states to do right by ALL the people and stop returning the federal money intended to help the poor.

We need a STRONG president. A lame duck president is NO president at all.

Anonymous said...

When will the president stop allowing STATE'S rights to supercede the rights of the federal govt?

If the federal govt hadn't stepped in schools would still be segregated and there would be no black president.

Obama must stop allowing these states to return money earmarked for the poor. People are dying.

We need a president who is not a lame duck.

Anonymous said...

When is the president going to provide black america with the same GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY that he does for whites?

When is the president going to sign an executive order to restore affirmative action ONLY for the children of american slaves, as it was originally intended???

Anonymous said...

For the first time in my life I failed a test. I studied for my property/casualty insurance liscence under a top notch lawyer for 3 months and was his star pupil. When I went to take my state test the first time I was DELIBERATELY given a commercial insurance test. I failed when I didn't recognize any of the subject matter. I pleaded to retake the test.The second time I was tested, and given the CORRECT test, I passed and had the highest score in my class. This is going on all over the country. Blacks are educated, and intelligent, and certainly have more testing skills than foreign immigrants. HISPANICS WHO CAN BARELY SPEAK ENGLISH ARE SUPPOSEDLY PASSING TESTS! THE TESTING IS RIGGED ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, BUT BLACK FOLKS AND THE BLACK PRESIDENT ARE QUICK TO EMBRACE THE LIE, THAT WE'RE NOT EDUCATED ENOUGH TO PASS TESTS THAT WE HAVE BEEN PASSING FOR MANY GENERATIONS. Robbing blacks of jobs to pass them on to foreign unqualified immigrants has become another form of systemic rascism.

SISTA42 said...

I've been following this topic since my post on cost of college education. I must say I'd have to agree with Donald and the efforts of our president given the conditions he's faced. The immigrant problems have been flooding our communities for quite some time, long before I ever heard of Barack Obama - where I live. I work in healthcare in a community hospital that caters predominantly to latinos, etc. The charity care seems to be the only means of health insurance for immigrants. I have friend who's sister lives back in Antigua where he's from and took pride when sharing she comes here to visit a sibling when she's in her 8th mos of pregnancy till due date, delivers and the is automatic citizen. Then returns home w/newborn to raise b/c this country is beneath her/husband so he says? But when kids are of age they can freely access the good old american dreams. So imagine how many others use that system. Another hispanic coworker - Mom came from P.R. sickly, was stated to live, but after allmedical care needs were met without insurance she went back home to care for her elderly mom as if she was'nt before she came here for a couple mos? It goes on and on meanwhile those of us taxpayers born & raised can't get those kinds of miracles. I worked at one of the 1st hospitals in NJ & my two kids were young I attempted medcaid assistance just for them & was told my unemployment was $12 too much? The only other eligible way was I needed $3000 in medical bills I didn't have since I worked right of H.S. & always had insurance. Greed, has put this country in this state not President Obama. While want to hold him accountable for his role as our president, it is with reason and open-mindedness to reality. Rome wasn't built in a day and no man is an island. Why do black people hold one man responsible for all, not fair IMO.

David said...

I am trying to buy a foreclosed property and it has been the experience from hell. I am forced to go with a certain lender. The bank who foreclosed is balking at doing the necessary repairs. Most of the time I feel there is no real desire to sell properties inspite of ALL THIS HYPE about good values in real estate being available. A friend of mine in real estate told me he believes that their seems to be a PUSH to only give good real estate deals to the WEALTHY, and that only people with CASH will get good deals.

Dorothy said...

Why are americans being shut completely out of cab driving jobs all over the country, in favor of new immigrants? I am sick of them driving me half way around the city to over charge me, AND tack on a tip that I didn't offer to give.

And what about all these asian nail shops?

How many jobs has the american people been shut out of in favor of new immigrants who send all their money home and do not contribute to our economy?

Joe said...

In the state of Florida rogue medical professionals are butchering people to keep them sick to line their pocketbooks. We need to have the ability to sue and shut them down.

joy316 said...

First 100 days? I thought they passed months ago lol. I am sort of addicted to policewoman news and watch a variety of news programs, read lots on the internet, and post my 2 cents worth here or there. The things I find most interesting are the self-fulling profecies that the "right" and MSM love to quote/make. The biggest example, for now, is the drop in the President's approval ratings. Did anyone else hear the concern at the high approval ratings at the 100 day mark? If you were paying attention, you also heard that the republicans set a goal of lowering the "favorables".

I do think he is doing an excellent job, given the circumstances. He has the right and the left undermining his decisions. Expectations are that the eight years of destruction of our economy by the previous administration can be undone in weeks--with the republicans and blue dogs constantly voting against progress. I think he is balancing carefully between the rock and hard place and is doing everything he can to keep his family and this country safe.

abundidi said...

Physician's assistants are what keep things running. I totally agree with you.

james said...

So the top doctor in the land, the Surgeon General, is a FAMILY PRACTICE doctor (the lowest in the hierarchy of doctors in the medical profession). Usually the top doctor in the country comes from the elite specialities like neurosurgery and cardiology. It seems that Barack selects his black appointees just like a rascist would - he many times picks the most inferior black he can find.

Hmmm, wonder what her primary role will be? Could it be that 90% of her focus will be informing the public about the inferior HIV diseased black americans? I think so. They already make sure we're the last hired because of potential medical costs, and leave the pools just like they did in Dorothy Dandrige day when a black puts a toe in the water. I'm sure this appointee will make sure to mention that we have more diabetes, high blood pressure, and other fatal diseases to guarantee our unemployment rates will continue to soar, while all the other races keep their stats undercover. What a joke this appointment is. There MUST have been more than a few intelligent black doctors from one of the elite specialities to fill this position.

Francis said...

I cringe whever I hear any black person make the claim that black americans don't have good work ethics when we are unemployed due to biased hiring practices and blatant discrimination. The president making a rascist statement like that is REALLY bad. Just because older blacks, suffering from the generational curse of pointing fingers at their fellow blacks, JUST TO PLEASE THE MASSAH, spew out ignorance like they were taught to do during slavery doesn't make it right(read the Willie Lynch Letter Mr. President).

If, Mr. President, you truly agree that blacks don't deserve help, and to live free of discrimination, then EXEMPT US FROM ALL THESE GOVT PROGRAMS our tax dollars pay for. If we shouldn't benefit, WE SHOULDN'T BE PAYING TAXES EITHER.

gayle said...

A doctor who can't get Board Certification is not a good pick for the top spot in the land.

A doctor FORCED to work in rural areas, by the govt who paid for her education, DOES NOT a GIVE BACK make.

A doctor who can only treat colds, flu and minor health problems as a Family practitioner (the least elite specialty in the physician field) has no qualifications to be the top doctor in the land. That position should have gone to a truly qualified physician in a field like neurosurgery, cardiology, or internal medicine.

Most low level performers like the new surgeon general, and C student Obama can get through a family practice study.

In her position she will ONLY serve to bring Blacks further down by proclaiming to the world that African Americans are AIDS infested, and shouldn't be considered for employment. She's a choice Bush would have made too.

dianne said...

A major problem with medical care is that there are too many lazy, in it for the money, non-caring nurses, who are grossly over paid. Every since white women began doing nursing work in large numbers there salaries are competing with the salaries of some doctors, causing the hospitals to over charge patients to compensate. I have never had a nurse worth more than $40,000. Instead of attacking the salaries of corporate executives, the president should be concentrating on reducing the salaries of these over paid, sometimes ignorant, previously lower class people in the nursing profession. Their incompetence, bad attitudes, and low intelligence doesn't warrant the salaries they receive, and cause medical costs to SOAR.

Shasha said...

I fully support President Obama in his efforts to change the way this country handles its finances, healthcare, foreign policy, etc. The first 100 days is not a testament of what he has done so far, but what he will do in the future. The Republicans (and some Democrats) are still playing politics, while President Obama is trying to get things accomplished, so that all Americans will have a better future.

My main concern is about universal healthcare, it's not a want, but a need. I wish our politicians would quit playing politics and move forward on this issue, as the President is asking. Contrary to popular belief, not passing a bill on universal healthcare will not reflect badly on President Obama, but the politicians who are doing everything they can to block it. America is watching, and we will remember if they (Rep & Dems) don't get this done. Just ask the Republicans about payback by the American people.

jennie said...

When is Barack going to admit that his dirty healthcare plan ONLY benefits WEALTHY INSURANCE COMPANIES and the BUSINESS of healthcare? His proposal to FORCE EVERYONE to buy health insurance, the same way they force us to buy car insurance, is going to cause a LOT of financial hardship. He proves everytime he is only out for the wealthy.

Anonymous said...

American negroes REFUSAL to understand that 'ALL BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE ARE NOT OUR PEOPLE' has cost us thousands, maybe milliions of lives of every day black american citizens and now they openly attack celebrities. and American negroes still defend them and pretend we're ONE community. They have proven over and over they have no true desire to be one with us, unless they need help with police problems, Or they want money, Or they're conning us out of money and into a greencard marriage. How many victims do they need to rake up before American negroes wake up and say enough is enough. The white man is not FOOLED by this pretense of unity. We need to unify as Americans to save our country and forget about color.

Anonymous said...

Some of the famous people we have lost or had damaged due to black american ignorance regarding black immigrants are:
michael jackson
mcnair
isaac hayes
lisa raye
terry mcmillan
chris brown
redd foxx
diahann carrol
phyllis hyman
tupac shakur
oprah winfrey
and many more to come

AFRICANS SEPARATE THEMSELVES BY TRIBE IN THEIR HOMELAND. WHY ARE AMERICAN NEGROES INSISTENT UPON CONTINUING THIS UNITY FARCE. PEOPLE ARE DYING EVERYDAY from trusting the wrong people. I think large numbers of black americans are getting schizophrenia due to caribbean's mixing the mercury they use in voodoo ceremonies with the cocaine they are selling through these jerk huts ONLY in the black american community. Chicago's Southside became riddled with violence after the Jerk chicken restaurants opened. Only a fool would believe that americans are eating more of that jerk chicken than caribbeans. They have very few of those Jerk huts in their own Roger's Park neighborhood in Chicago because they don't want to kill their own people..

Anonymous said...

Dr. Boyce you scored some major points for Fair and Balanced tonight. All of America needs to see our intelligent Black men Fair and Balanced without bias to gain respect. Sure hope to see you on the international stage more often.

dennis said...

If Black americans WRONGLY continue to come to the aid of all Black defendants, Black immigrants from the caribbean and african nations are going to become completely lawless. They already don't respect us for continuing to try to embrace people who only SPITEFULLY use us for greencards and money. They have made it clear that they only come here to get RICH by any means (legal or illegal), have no real interest in integrating with Black American Society, and even commit terrorist/criminal attacks whenever upon us when they feel they can get away with it or have the blame placed on a gullible black american. We need to unite with mainstream america to save our country. That should be our goal. We should not be protecting illegal black aliens. White folks are going to lock us up right along with them if we continue this stupidity, and falling for their con games.