No, Obama Did Not Mail Checks To Black People But Here Is What He Did In His First Term

Speaking specif­i­cal­ly to cer­tain fac­tions with­in the Black com­mu­ni­ty that President Obama did noth­ing for the Black com­mu­ni­ty, please watch the Senate judi­cia­ry com­mit­tee hear­ings of Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General.
The attack on the Obama admin­is­tra­tion’s Justice Department by cer­tain Republicans Raphael Cruz, John Cornyn, and oth­ers, and on for­mer Attorney General Eric Holder is a tes­ta­ment to Obama’s com­mit­ment to the Black community.
For the fee­ble-mind­ed who con­tin­ue to expect that a Black President’s great­ness is how many checks he mailed out to them, please be edu­cat­ed on the facts.
I have always believed that President Obama’s great­est accom­plish­ments relat­ed to the Black com­mu­ni­ty have been what he could do in the Holder Justice Department.
As part of shak­ing up the entrenched racial dis­par­i­ties, then-Attorney General Eric Holder, was held in con­tempt of Congress by an antag­o­nis­tic Republican-con­trolled Senate that hat­ed what the AG was doing.
Then-Attorney General Holder also had his name on the supreme court deci­sion Holder vs. Shelby County Alabama, leg­is­la­tion in which the Supreme court evis­cer­at­ed sec­tions of the vot­ing rights Act.
When we jux­ta­pose what President Obama did, with Judge Garland’s ques­tion­ing by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, a crys­tal clear image emerges of where Republicans stand on the rights of African-Americans.

I had a rather con­tentious con­ver­sa­tion with a young Jamaican preach­er, who claims to be a Republican over the week­end. He want­ed to know what polit­i­cal par­ty I sup­port­ed; I answered cer­tain­ly not the lying Republican cult that rep­re­sents hat­ed and divi­sion, that lies as a mat­ter of course, and wants to destroy Democracy.
He claimed to oppose the Democrats because of the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, oth­er­wise, known as the Clinton Crime bill). In typ­i­cal Jamaican fash­ion, the young preach­er act­ed under the belief that those who speak the loud­est were the ones who are right.
His style of com­mu­ni­cat­ing was ask­ing a ques­tion with­out allow­ing for an answer. Asking what he thought was a knock-out ques­tion was more than a ques­tion; it was the point for him.
When con­front­ed with doc­u­men­tary evi­dence that the 90’s crime bill was sought by black law-mak­ers, black cler­gy, sup­port­ed by both polit­i­cal par­ties, and was a response to the ram­pant killings in the Black com­mu­ni­ty, he did not want to see the evidence.
As I said before, ask­ing the ques­tion was his point, because I had pre­emp­tive­ly dis­armed him of the abil­i­ty to use Religion and hatred of Gays as a rea­son to lash out against the Obama administration.

In my pro­fes­sion­al capac­i­ty, I have the high hon­or of inter­act­ing with peo­ple of vary­ing polit­i­cal stripes. I under­stand, even though I’m afraid I have to dis­agree, with a white per­son who votes Republican, because he/​she sees that par­ty as a pro­tec­tor of his/​her white privilege.
I am baf­fled by the ques­tion, “what did Obama do for the Black com­mu­ni­ty” com­ing from Black Americans?
Considering that (a) Presidents can send leg­is­la­tion up to the Hill, but that Presidents do not pass leg­is­la­tion, (b) Presidents have to be pres­i­dent for all the peo­ple, not just some peo­ple, © that Obama faced blan­ket­ed Republican oppo­si­tion to every pol­i­cy posi­tion he pro­posed, even poli­cies they pre­vi­ous­ly sup­port­ed, that Obama only had a Democratic House for two of the eight years he was in office, what was he sup­posed to do differently?
The Gentleman asked me, what exact­ly Obama had done in the eight years he was in office. I direct­ed him to the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion and end­ed the conversation.

OBAMA’s FIRST TERM RECORD

1. Ordered all fed­er­al agen­cies to under­take a study and make rec­om­men­da­tions for ways to cut spending
2. Ordered a review of all fed­er­al oper­a­tions to iden­ti­fy and cut waste­ful spend­ing and practices
3. Instituted enforce­ment for equal pay for women
4. Beginning the with­draw­al of US troops from Iraq
5. Families of fall­en sol­diers have expens­es cov­ered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB
6 Ended media black­out on war casu­al­ties; report­ing full information
7. Ended media black­out on cov­er­ing the return of fall­en sol­diers to Dover AFB; the media is now per­mit­ted to do so pend­ing adher­ence to respect­ful rules and approval of fall­en soldier’s family
8. The White House and fed­er­al gov­ern­ment are respect­ing the Freedom of Information Act
9. Instructed all fed­er­al agen­cies to pro­mote open­ness and trans­paren­cy as much as possible
10. Limits on lobbyist’s access to the White House
11. Limits on White House aides work­ing for lob­by­ists after their tenure in the administration
12. Ended the pre­vi­ous stop-loss pol­i­cy that kept sol­diers in Iraq/​Afghanistan longer than their enlist­ment date
13. Phasing out the expen­sive F‑22 war plane and oth­er out­dat­ed weapons sys­tems, which weren’t even used or need­ed in Iraq/​Afghanistan
14. Removed restric­tions on embry­on­ic stem-cell research
15. Federal sup­port for stem-cell and new bio­med­ical research
16. New fed­er­al fund­ing for sci­ence and research labs
17. States are per­mit­ted to enact fed­er­al fuel effi­cien­cy stan­dards above fed­er­al standards
18. Increased infra­struc­ture spend­ing (roads, bridges, pow­er plants) after years of neglect
19. Funds for high-speed, broad­band Internet access to K‑12 schools
20. New funds for school construction
21 The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out
22. US Auto indus­try res­cue plan
23. Housing res­cue plan
24. $789 bil­lion eco­nom­ic stim­u­lus plan
25. The pub­lic can meet with fed­er­al hous­ing insur­ers to refi­nance (the new plan can be com­plet­ed in one day) a mort­gage if they are hav­ing trou­ble paying
26. US finan­cial and bank­ing res­cue plan
27. The secret deten­tion facil­i­ties in Eastern Europe and else­where are being closed
28. Ended the pre­vi­ous pol­i­cy; the US now has a no tor­ture pol­i­cy and com­plies with the Geneva Convention standards
29. Better body armor is now being pro­vid­ed to our troops
30. The mis­sile defense pro­gram was being cut by $1.4 bil­lion in 2010
31. Restarted the nuclear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion talks and build­ing back up the nuclear inspec­tion infrastructure/​protocols
32. Reengaged in the treaties/​agreements to pro­tect the Antarctic
33. Reengaged in the agreements/​talks on glob­al warm­ing and green­house gas emissions
34. Visited more coun­tries and met with more world lead­ers than any pres­i­dent in his first six months in office
35. Successful release of US cap­tain held by Somali pirates; autho­rized the SEALS to do their job
36. US Navy increas­ing patrols off the Somali coast
37. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
38. Cash for clunk­ers pro­gram offers vouch­ers to trade in fuel inef­fi­cient, pol­lut­ing old cars for new cars; stim­u­lat­ed auto sales
39. Announced plans to pur­chase a fuel-effi­cient American-made fleet for the fed­er­al government
40. Expanded the SCHIP pro­gram to cov­er health care for 4 mil­lion more children
41. Signed nation­al ser­vice leg­is­la­tion; expand­ed nation­al youth ser­vice program
42. Instituted a new pol­i­cy on Cuba, allow­ing Cuban fam­i­lies to return home to vis­it loved ones
43. Ended the pre­vi­ous pol­i­cy of not reg­u­lat­ing and label­ing car­bon diox­ide emissions
44. Expanding vac­ci­na­tion programs
45. Immediate and effi­cient response to the floods in North Dakota and oth­er nat­ur­al disasters
46. Closed off­shore tax safe havens
47. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to per­mit US gov­ern­ment to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
48. Ended the pre­vi­ous pol­i­cy of offer­ing tax ben­e­fits to cor­po­ra­tions who out­source American jobs; the new pol­i­cy is to pro­mote in-sourc­ing to bring jobs back
49.. Ended the pre­vi­ous prac­tice of pro­tect­ing cred­it card com­pa­nies; in place of it are new con­sumer pro­tec­tions from the cred­it card industry’s preda­to­ry practices
50. Energy pro­duc­ing plants must begin prepar­ing to pro­duce 15% of their ener­gy from renew­able sources
51. Lower drug costs for seniors
52. Ended the pre­vi­ous prac­tice of for­bid­ding Medicare from nego­ti­at­ing with drug man­u­fac­tur­ers for cheap­er drugs; the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment now real­izes hun­dreds of mil­lions in savings
53. Increasing pay and ben­e­fits for mil­i­tary personnel
54. Improved hous­ing for mil­i­tary personnel
55. Initiating a new pol­i­cy to pro­mote fed­er­al hir­ing of mil­i­tary spouses
56. Improved con­di­tions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and oth­er mil­i­tary hospitals
57 Increasing stu­dent loans
58. Increasing oppor­tu­ni­ties in the AmeriCorps program
59. Sent envoys to the Middle East and oth­er parts of the world that had been neglect­ed for years; reen­gag­ing in mul­ti­lat­er­al and bilat­er­al talks and diplomacy
60. Established a new cyber­se­cu­ri­ty office
61. Beginning the process of reform­ing and restruc­tur­ing the mil­i­tary 20 years after the Cold War to a more mod­ern fight­ing force; this includes new pro­cure­ment poli­cies, increas­ing size of the mil­i­tary, new tech­nol­o­gy, and cyber units and oper­a­tions, etc.
62. Ended pre­vi­ous pol­i­cy of award­ing no-bid defense contracts
63. Ordered a review of hur­ri­cane and nat­ur­al dis­as­ter preparedness
64. Established a National Performance Officer charged with sav­ing the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment mon­ey and mak­ing fed­er­al oper­a­tions more efficient
65. Students strug­gling to make col­lege loan pay­ments can have their loans refinanced
66. Improving ben­e­fits for veterans
67. Many more press con­fer­ences and town halls and much more media access than pre­vi­ous administrations
68. Instituted a new focus on mort­gage fraud
69. The FDA is now reg­u­lat­ing tobacco
70. Ended pre­vi­ous pol­i­cy of cut­ting the FDA and cir­cum­vent­ing FDA rules
71. Ended pre­vi­ous prac­tice of hav­ing White House aides rewrite sci­en­tif­ic and envi­ron­men­tal rules, reg­u­la­tions, and reports
72. Authorized dis­cus­sions with North Korea and pri­vate mis­sion by Pres. Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons
73. Authorized dis­cus­sions with Myanmar and mis­sion by Sen. Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive
74. Making more loans avail­able to small businesses
75. Established inde­pen­dent com­mis­sion to make rec­om­men­da­tions on slow­ing the costs of Medicare
76. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
77. Authorized construction/​opening of addi­tion­al health cen­ters to care for veterans
78. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
79. Renewed loan guar­an­tees for Israel
80. Changed the failing/​status quo mil­i­tary com­mand in Afghanistan
81. Deployed addi­tion­al troops to Afghanistan
82. New Afghan War pol­i­cy that lim­its aer­i­al bomb­ing and pri­or­i­tizes aid, devel­op­ment of infra­struc­ture, diplo­ma­cy, and good gov­ern­ment prac­tices by Afghans
83. Announced the long-term devel­op­ment of a nation­al ener­gy grid with renew­able sources and clean­er, effi­cient ener­gy production
84. Returned mon­ey autho­rized for refur­bish­ment of White House offices and pri­vate liv­ing quarters
85. Paid for redec­o­ra­tion of White House liv­ing quar­ters out of his own pocket
86. Held first Seder in White House
87. Attempting to reform the nation’s health­care sys­tem, which is the most expen­sive in the world yet leaves almost 50 mil­lion with­out health insur­ance and mil­lions more underinsured
88. Has put the ball in play for com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform
89. Has announced his inten­tion to push for ener­gy reform
90. Has announced his inten­tion to push for edu­ca­tion reform

Did I men­tion he passed health care reform?
I have no idea what the char­ac­ter­is­tics of a great American President are; what I do know is that, all things con­sid­ered, Barack Obama comes pret­ty damn close, in my opinion.
It is pret­ty easy to crit­i­cize our own, who have done things we could nev­er dream of doing, while sup­port­ing those who would rather see us back on the plantation.
We all have a right to sup­port who and what­ev­er we want to under the law. But when we chose to dis­par­age a per­son or a polit­i­cal par­ty to jus­ti­fy our shame­ful actions, we should at least get our facts straight.
Truth does still matter.

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Mike Beckles is a for­mer Police Detective, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, black achiev­er hon­oree, and cre­ator of the blog mike​beck​les​.com. 

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