Black Backing of Barack Should Not Be Unconditional

By Deneen Borelli
November 19, 2008

Barack Obama’s election is a capstone on black Americans’ struggle for equality.


While isolated racial intolerance can be expected to continue, Obama’s electoral landslide and victory in majority-white states such as Iowa and southern states such as Virginia put to rest concerns about a so-called “Bradley effect,” in which whites allegedly publicly support – but secretly vote against – black candidates.


President-elect Obama’s life story is also a tribute to our nation’s greatness and endless opportunity. In few other nations could a fatherless, racial minority of modest means rise to the most powerful position in the world.


There is a misconception, however, about unconditional black support for Obama.


It is quite possible to be black and be proud – even excited – about Barack Obama’s achievement while opposing him politically. This black woman, for instance, did not vote for Obama. Furthermore, I don’t believe his policies are sound.


I find it unfortunate that Obama’s personal keys to success – hard work and perseverance – are tragically absent from the agenda he espouses. Instead of lauding the virtues of self-reliance and independence, he is pushing massive federal growth and government intrusion.


Collectivism replaces individualism, and government intervention replaces self-preservation.


On taxes, we can expect Obama to mandate “economic justice.” His promise of a tax cut for 95 percent of Americans obviously struck a chord during this economic uncertainty, but recent revelations indicate his true beliefs lie in redistributing wealth.


The successful will likely be taxed to provide refundable tax “credits” to those with lower incomes. It’s wealth redistribution because the 40 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes would be getting the credits.


Don’t take my word for it. When Samuel Joseph “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher asked him about it, Obama replied: “It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too…” Obama continued: “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody.”


This thinking does punish success and rewards underachievement. That’s not how our predecessors raised themselves up from bondage, poverty and racism. Who’s going to work harder if the extra benefit is taken away and given to someone who didn’t work as hard? It’s no way to set our nation back on a stable economic course.


On energy, Obama picks energy winners and losers. Through an “aggressive” cap-and-trade scheme, he plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by punishing the coal industry and coal-based utilities through taxes on carbon dioxide.


Last January, Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle: “[I]f somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”


The problem is that coal provides half of our nation’s electricity. Bankrupting the industry will raise utility bills and make energy less available. During that same interview, Obama added: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…” and power plants “would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”


There are further problems associated with nationalizing health care, taking the secret ballot away in union organizing and new amnesty and benefits for illegal aliens.


Although it’s amazing that a black was elected President, it’s ironic that Obama’s leftist policies are likely to hurt the very people he claims to want to help.


Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – “unalienable rights” cited by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence – can only be achieved through personal responsibility and self-reliance.


Unfortunately, the “We” in Obama’s “Yes We Can!” literally means collectivism and a statist government that stifles our liberties.


I’d rather endorse a “Yes I Can!” philosophy. I think those who came before me would agree.



Deneen Borelli is a fellow for the Project 21 black leadership network. Comments may be sent to DBorelli@nationalcenter.org. Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.

2 responses

  1. I commend you for saying the obvious “There is a misconception, however, about unconditional black support for Obama.” It is in my view a form of racism to believe it would be different. There are intelligent people that voted for McCain and intelligent people who voted for Obama. And while I am sure there were a lot of uninformed people that voted, I would hope the majority of us (regardless of color or any other physical factor) would vote on the issues that mean the most to us.

    I am an Obama supporter, but I go in with my eyes open knowing he isn’t for all of the same things I am. I didn’t vote for him because of his color. As someone that has been upset and disgusted at all forms of racism I was exited about the prospect of a black president. However, that made me dig into issues that I most likely wouldn’t have otherwise. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t voting for him because of color. I was lucky in that in some key issues for me, he fit the bill. However, I would be a liar if I said he (or anyone else) fit them all to a perfect T.

    November 21, 2008 at 7:31 am

  2. I wanted to let it go, because I wanted my post to be completely honest and not negative at all. While that coal thing did happen, the ending (the joking part) is left out, and it refers to the caps that Obama supports. I don’t know what the caps go to (as in I don’t know job loss), I assume I don’t support them. However, that shouldn’t be an issue for the presidential election as McCain had the same stances on that issue.

    November 21, 2008 at 7:35 am

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