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Dr. Boyce: Kool-Aid Drinkers Unite – There Has Always Been a Black Agenda

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

We’re all happy to see President Obama get a second term in office.  There is no debating that he was a better option than Mitt Romney, on that we can all agree.  But being better than Mitt Romney is a low bar for us to set for our president, since I know a few Burger King employees who could also do a better job.  As we get served the kool-aid that most politicians try to see if you’re willing to drink, I encourage us all to remember that the kool-aid is designed to keep you high and drunk.  When a pimp keeps a hooker on drugs, he does so because he knows that an employee on dope isn’t going to ask for much and is very easy to manage.  The pimp’s biggest fear is that the woman wakes up one day and says, “Why am I working for all the money and you’re keeping it?”

I’m not saying that Barack Obama seeks to be a pimp.   But the fact is that most politicians are master manipulators, hoping that you will try to feed your family on empty slogans and symbolism rather than substantive results.  The truth is that they are watching and waiting to see if they can buy your loyalty for 10 cents or if you’re going to force them to pay 10 dollars.  Most of the time, they’ll pay whatever price you demand.  Given that billions of dollars in our hard-earned tax money (as well as your vote) has been given to politicians in Washington to help solve our collective American problems, it’s impossible to say that we’re asking for a handout.

I find it interesting that there are people who say that there is no black agenda and that black leaders never asked Obama to do anything specifically. This is hilarious, since Jesse Jackson, Julianne Malveaux, Tavis Smiley, Cornel West and even I have been citing the same issues since the first day that Obama came into office.  The issues are on the table if you’re willing to listen.  And, as much as I once had tremendous love for the well-paid black commentators on MSNBC, I wonder how they sleep at night knowing that any rhetoric that contrasts with the messages being handed down by King Obama are going to reduce their ability to pay the mortgage.   It’s not as if Al Sharpton meets with President Obama and tells him what to do.

In case you’re not sure if there’s a black agenda because the message has been drowned out by topics like gay marriage and immigration, here’s the list in black and white:

1) Mass incarceration – Black males are seven times more likely to be in prison, especially for drug possession/distribution (even though we don’t use or sell drugs more than whites), breaking down the black family in the process, since fathers and eligible men are behind bars and marginalized.

2) Poverty – 40% of our kids are born into it and black family wealth has plummeted since the start of the 2008 recession.  The recovery has come in three stages:  Big business first, then whites and finally, people of color.  We’re still waiting for our recovery to take place.

3) Black unemployment – Our unemployment rate is twice as high as that of white Americans, and the issue was brought to the president back in 2009. I find it interesting that whites are given an ear when they moan about 7% unemployment, but when blacks speak about 14.3%, we’re told that it’s because “Barack can’t make dem lazy n*ggas wanna work ” (I’ve actually heard this from black people).   The truth is that whatever is OK for whites or Hispanics should be OK for African Americans.  Anyone who disagrees is a racist, even if you’re black (we’ve been taught for hundreds of years how to hate ourselves).

4) Urban violence – black males are far more likely than others to die from a handgun.  This is largely because guns flow so freely in our communities, there are few jobs and the schools are atrocious. These factors form the tenants of racial inequality in America, which every president, of any race, has an obligation to address.  Obama is not the first president that has been presented with these issues.  Rather, he is the first that has been allowed to ignore them.

This is the agenda that existed when Bush was president, Clinton and Obama. Very little has changed and naysayers can check the record of men like Cornel West and realize that he was speaking on these issues before anyone knew about the word “Internet.”  By asking  President Obama to support the community that gave him more support than anyone else, we’re not “picking on your baby.” We’re simply helping him to become a better president by forcing his administration to respect black Americans as a viable constituency (go peek at how the gay and Latino communities are handling their business as a significant case-in-point).

Some black people care about these issues, and some are drinking the kool-aid. All kool-aid drinkers, please sit back while the real soldiers go out and do the work.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College.” To have Dr Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

72 Responses to Dr. Boyce: Kool-Aid Drinkers Unite – There Has Always Been a Black Agenda

  1. Blatantgoat

    December 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Dr. Boyce: Please, “WAKE-UP!” As loyal Democrats, you are supporting “Socialist Elitest Managers of The Poor!” At 93% support for these policies…just how does that tell your leadership that you’re being ignored or that you’re unhappy in anyway with Black-American progress? If they fix the problems, will their voter percentage go higher? I think not. Your Party thrives on victims…an under-class if you will, who by-the-way, won’t return to the Fields, or work as Domestics…so, they have us just where they want us; HUGE Consumers with no savings…and no honest way to make a decent living! Not to mention, a people who have forgotten what M.L.K. stood for…”BOYCOTT!

  2. Truthbeliever

    November 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Boyce Watkins has gone off the deep end. First of all, his writing ability is no better than that of my 11 year-old. Secondly, for a grown old man to call anybody names, but especially the president, is both juvenile and ignorant and actually says more about the writer than the one being attacked. Boyce Watkins is an immature, overgrown, narcissistic racist whose only goal is to put himself in the limelight. The issue with that is that he is catering to folk who are no smarter than he is, thus, he will never be in the spotlight. President Obama will never answer to his ridiculous antics. He will never serve as a consultant for anything worthwhile. He will only grow more bitter and unreasonable. No noteable institution will ever grant him tenure, thus he will forever see himself as a hated man, rather than taking serious stock of his own maladaptive behaviour. Forever the victim, he’ll be.

  3. DK Wilson

    November 26, 2012 at 8:41 am

    A cursory glance at Barack Obama’s political record before his election would have revealed that he, in no way, could ever be construed as “our” – Black – president. That he has played out his political and socio-political leanings should be no surprise.

    As far as Black mainstream commentators on television, how does anyone think they arrived at their positions without selling out? There is not one soul on television who is a political commentator who speaks truth to power. And the people who appear to only do so within the political debate boxes prescribed for them (yes, there are boxes for what passes for “progressive” debate). Hell, people who work for mainstream and well-known, so-called independent SPORTS media outlets don’t tell the truth! So, if there’s an agenda when talking sports, what do you think happens when it’s time to choose people to control political narratives?!

  4. Peter D. Slaughter

    November 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    No matter how a vast % of black people slice and dice it.
    The long term of effect of this re-election is really political suicide.Black’s the black vote was set up to choose choices that for real we lose overall.
    So to those who think we better off having this instead of the other guy.
    Folks are being tricked and flim flammmed and to blind to see the card trick right before their eyes..

  5. RightCoastLexSteele

    November 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Mr. Watkins (no one should ever call you Dr.),
    Good job outlining the “black” agenda. Sounds like you’re lobbying for the President to do something about it. You know what real lobbyists actually do? They provide suggestions, some even going as far as drafting legislation that they submit to legislators. Have you done that? Or are you just tricking yourself out in the streets for some face time and to keep yourself relevant (in your world)? You, Tavis and Mr. West appear to be relevant intelligent people, have you guys gotten together and put a plan or some legislation together, or do you just shuck and jive at the first microphone or keyboard you can find? It seems the best you’ve been able to do is put together a BS empowerment series and have the nerve to sell people t-shirts “to avoid being a sellout”. But judging by the scant description of what’s actually supposed to be happening on this tour, you probably wouldnt be any good at proposing any sort of plan or legislation. Instead of an entire tour, why don’t you start your program in the backyard you’ve been getting fed at for years. That’s right, good old Syracuse, NY. Not on Comstock, or Marshall St. or Manley Field House telling athletes what to do if they strike it rich…down in the hood. Over on Midland Ave, down in the Valley, over on the near-West side (you know the place where they put up cameras to monitor minorities and no one has heard a peep from you on the issue), or maybe over near Croly St. where cats get shot in broad daylight. For all this noise you make nationally, I’ve never heard you say anything locally. That’s probably because you don’t live in Syracuse, you live in Camillus. Out in the burbs, and would probably call the cops and contribute to the mass incarceration the first time you saw one of these brothers you’re fighting so hard for. They have nice houses in Strathmore…but you live in Camillus. What a guy. Then you have the nerve to call out the President for not addressing the black agenda, when you don’t even do it where you live. Have you spoke with the Mayor about crime in the city? Ever take a meeting w/ your state Senate and Assembly delegation to talk about penalties for African Americans? Have you harassed your Federal reps about poverty and unemployment? I mean, there’s a chance you have, but seeing as we all know what a loud mouth you are, chances are that since it hasn’t shown up in one of your (recylced from other outlets) posts, it probably hasnt happened. Yet and still, despite you living in a community with sooo much work to be done, the only thing you seem to have time to do is chastise the President and sell shirts for ridiculous prices. Damned shame. Honestly, I’d probably give you more of a benefit of the doubt had I not met you and realized you’re a self important, self absorbed elitist prick. The funniest part of your whole post is where say, sit down while the real soldiers do the work…that’s hysterical. You know who’s a real soldier? Timothy Jennings Bey…hit up the Post Standard’s website, and read about him. He’s actually in these streets trying to make a difference, while you sit in front of a PC camera going back and forth about whether or not you like Lil Wayne. Weezy? Really? I didnt even know they listened to rap in Camillus. You learn something new everyday.

  6. Mark

    November 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Wake up my people. You can heap all the complaints you want against white Republicans, but I ask you to consider what we are doing to each other. More importantly, when are we, as black folks, going to take responsibility, for not making the best choices? Here are some examples: not economically cooperating with one another, getting a college degree then going to work for the government instead of the more lucrative private sector, and letting Democrats get away with taking us for granted. The worst one is us waiting for someone to save us instead of us recognizing we have to save ourselves. So keep letting these politicians pimp you by letting them manipulate your emotions, and we will continue to fall behind as a people. My philosophy is pimp these politicians by pitting them against each other and forcing them to deliver. The moment they can’t take our vote for granted is when they will start delivering

  7. Unk

    November 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Great article Dr. Watkins. There is so much work to do and so little time to do it. We have squandered so much of this opportunity for progress by letting the Obama freaks disparage our character and marginalize the legitimacy of our argument. No more Obama excuses. No more attacks on black people who make demands on the president. No more small expectations from someone we want to call a great president. We can’t continue to be happy with 14% unemployment and a president that keeps his mouth shut about it. We can’t continue to blame black folks for everything wrong with the country just to give Obama cover. We as a people do not have to be perfect to demand what’s fair and just.

    When it comes to black folks and the Obama presidency, we will either be in his win column or the lose column. So far, Obama apologist are making sure we are in the lose column.

  8. ImNotThatBrainwashedBitchTheyTalkAbout

    November 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I had solutions but this site won’t let me post them. I bet it will let me post this.

    • ImNotThatBrainwashedBitchTheyTalkAbout

      November 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      See what I mean?

  9. wil-lie

    November 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    president can not fight for the black agenda when 80% of black america is fighting against the black agenda……this got to be clean up first this black on black crime…..the wealth gap inside the black community…..meaning black got to give all this over price material stuff….and put that money into investment…..then they got to knoe what to invest in….i say agricuture on the full scale that create restaurants and groery store….the foodstamp system..ect…..oprah, puff, and magic, need to talk about one or two great tv station and not three so-so station….we need the right news in the black communities….the real news…..if we are going to build for the every day man and not the black money in a few places….we got to get all these car back….and pick a car company….pick a close company….pick…..so they ca
    n see we are one….and all we need is one of each thing……being the same is the most powerful thing of it all…when I say the same….not the closes but the same company….not the same car but the same company…..and I don’t care how much money you make….it to show one people with one mine of growth……not racist we can be as one as black and still have respect for every one….every other race is just like this…come san francisco and look at the asians or mexican legal ones and illgeal ones….you are ok…..but work and business….they will not let you in…..and they buy from the same company theirs. we as blacks have lost three generation how? the first more so smoking but it was a small part the large part came when these negro started to roll the drugs into the marijuana and trick other black on that hard drug…..extremly high unemployment in the black communities from 1980 until now right with the drug epidemic they was pair together yes by white european……and at the same time they was bringing illegal mexicans……we lost the second generation do to both the seller and the addiction…meaning the white police was running in the black communities and putting young blacks in prison for extremly long times….this what torn the black communities down….if black tell the truth…..now it welfare reform….or insurance if you can’t fine a job….landless blacks working fake visionary jobs….that depend on land.

  10. Deborah

    November 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    The solutions, yes. I also am waiting with bated breath to hear your solutions to the problems of Black poverty, Black unemployment and Black on Black violence in urban areas. As far as I am concerned the reason why Black people suffer worse in an economic downturn is due in large part to the crappy educational system in this country. As to the President not addressing the Black agenda, maybe he has not specifically said I am doing this that and the other for African Americans but he has addressed every one of those problems at some time or the other, except maybe for the urban violence. How about decriminalizing drug use to tackle the problem of urban violence?? Maybe we could work towards that? It seems to me that putting people in jail for using drugs is not stopping anybody who really wants to use drugs anyway. Come up with some plans and let’s hear them Dr. Boyce.
    I am sick and tired of the complaining and the tearing down of other people when no positive recommendations are forthcoming. I am sure the President would also welcome some concrete solutions to these problems. None of them are easy to solve and I feel that because some people feel helpless at coming up with solutions they are using the President as a convenient scapegoat. Stop expecting him to do everything and start doing your part too. What are YOUR solutions Dr. Boyce?? Let’s hear them!!

  11. onmyway2012

    November 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Another brilliant analysis, Dr.Boyce. Thank you. While misty pro Obama supporters are harping on trivial things such as your pimp analogy and burger king metaphor, and also how low the bar has been set for this president and those attacking critics of the president based on protection, you’ve made salient points regarding the black agenda and this presidents reluctance to address the issues concerning his highest voting block. Black supporters of this president are squandering their political capital on superficiality and illusion of inclusion as members in the Democratic Party. The symbol if the black president who has a great looking family and knitted Jay-z is more important to some than substance. I stuck to my principles and voted third party because the Democratic party had become too far left, and regulates the blacks voting block to the background. The supporters of this president acts like be president forever.

    In addition, your metaphors and analogies does not lessen the ongoing issues between this president and the black community. As a matter of fact, this president’s avoidance of mentioning and making key moves regarding the black community leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    This president deserves all the criticism as the last presidents do. Black supporters are worshipping their golden calls and don’t realize it. To take a verse from the good book, the Holy Bible, my people truly do suffer from lack of knowledge and will suffer for it.


    November 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    President Obama won with a Mandate, 332 Electoral Votes to Romney’s 206. Agree to disagree… Don’t allow those that tried real hard to prevent this President’s Re-election from occurring, Work with the President to get this deficit down, show these crazies that African American are more than just “dividing them and attempting to conquer them”. We The People Have Spoken, And President Obama won, so lets work with him.

  13. Art

    November 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Let’s be truthful. You,Travis, Cornel,etc., are not at all happy with the re-election of Barak Obama as President of the United States of America. You and your fellow travellers the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh etc., have been over the last four years have opposed the President at every turn. Your imagery of the pimp and women in this context makes me wonder just how you earned your PHD.,but again, it just shows how much respect you have for the first Black President of the United States.

    Please spellout just what the President should do about to solve these problems:

    Poverty is not exclusive to Black people. It is a situation that all races have experienced in America and around the world.

    If you have a solution Dr.Boyce, please seend it to the President andd the leadership of the Republican party and maybe it will solve the problem for all Americans.

    Please review the archives of past Presidents who have addressed this probem,as you claim, and tell us how it was solved to that the President can act upon it immediately.

  14. James A

    November 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    “But being better than Mitt Romney is a low bar for us to set for our president, since I know a few Burger King employees who could also do a better job.”

    Listen people the above statement was made by a P.H.D., a person who considers himself formally educated. A person who calls himself a voice for the Black Community. If the good doctor knows a few Burger King Employees who can do a better job than the President or even Mitt Romney, then what does that say about the good doctor? To make such a ridiculous statement speaks volumes about his education and even more about him as a mature adult. Watkins has some deep rooted mental issues dating back to his childhood that he hasn’t resolved, so consequently he shouldn’t be taken seriously about anything. There is no way I would want this person teaching a child of mine. If you really want to know what’s wrong with Black America, take a look at Dr. Boyce Watkins.

  15. moonhead

    November 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Boyce, tried everything he could think of to defeat President Obama, and then after Obama won, he tried to take credit for his win. This sellout, teabagger republican stooge is angry because Obama want acknowledge him, and invite him to the table. He is a liar, and the scum of the earth, and can not be trusted to even take out the garbage. Boyce, take your sorry ass back to the teabaggers, and your republican party. You do not represent black folk.

  16. Steve Sauls

    November 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I am not sure how to achieve the solution to the black agenda, but denouncing the president like fox news does not seem helpful to me. I believe Rev. Al has started a national organization that can get people to move together toward a common goal in all of the states the way Martin Luther King started the civil rights movement. Although the items on your list are important we also need to fight for voter rights, kids being mistreated by the police, and the lack of education we have come to except. If we show the president that we can do more than pontificate, maybe he will be able to do more to end the injustices we talk about.

  17. Keith "Tart" Bond

    November 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm


    • Debra A. Daniels

      November 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Memorandum to POTUS Re-Elect Barack H. Obama.

      TO: POTUS Barack H. Obama
      The White House – 1600 PA Avenue, N.W. – WDC

      FROM: Black Americans
      America Nationwide

      SUBJ: Black American Unemployment & Youth Violence

      Mr. Obama African American unemployment at 14.3% for black adults and over 40% for black youth is shameful, unacceptable, dangerous, and also undeniably the first major problem with the second being youth violence that Black America needs and expects you to urgently and effectively address.

      There is something else that must be mentioned to you in possible correlation to disproportionately high African American unemployment as a pertinent reminder and a fact that also can not and should not be ignored. The overwhelming vast majority of large employers and business owners in America are still White Americans.

      President Obama as you must or should well know already, extremely high and long term unemployment in the black community nationwide is not only devastating, but also fast breeds a host of other extremely serious and grave problems for many African American families, young adults, youth, and older citizens in every former income class across the board ranging from the formerly upper-income and middle-class to moderate and low-income. Herein we remind you of those problems.

      The serious and grave problems from extremely high and long term African American unemployment includes wiped out life savings and college tuition funds representative of rapid complete and irrevocable loss of years earned financial gains, home foreclosures, forced sale of other valuables to pay utility bills and purchase bare basic necessities, tremendous anger, depression, domestic violence, poverty, increased government spending for Food Stamp, Medicaid, and Homelessness social service programs, increases in divorce and broken families, alcohol and drug use, suicides, homicides, other crimes, re-occuring and first time jail and prison sentences, and absolutely quite full and unmitigated despair and hopelessness.

      President Obama with all due respect, Black America hereby trusts that you get the picture. We also know that a sincere congratulations to us and to you for your re-election is in order. Congratulations to you President Obama. Black America now for a second time again much hopes, looks forward to, and indeed very fully expects to see rapid emergency results of your new out-of-the-box-thinking to seriously address a powder keg of already 14.3% and steadily rising disproportionately high African American unemployment on both our and this nation’s behalf.

      Undeniably, African Americans nationwide faithfully, graciously, and overwhelmingly helped you to not only gain, but to also keep your job. Please do something bold to ensure that we are not repeatedly denied the same opportunity. Thank you.

      Black America