Obama, of course, is running for re-election, and just seems to be realizing that the very black folks he's mostly ignored for the past 2 1/2 years are going to be pretty essential to him winning a 2nd term. After seeming to be afraid to be caught holding hands with us in public, now Obama is showing up at corner stores and barbershops nationwide asking people to come support him in 2012. His "You Might Not Really Like Me, But Seriously, Consider The Alternatives." Tour took a pit stop at the annual gathering of the Congressional Black Caucus in DC this weekend, where Obama pulled a serious okey doke and... wait for it... played the Civil Rights card.
In a fiery summons to an important voting bloc, President Barack Obama told blacks on Saturday to quit crying and complaining and "put on your marching shoes" to follow him into battle for jobs and opportunity.If only unemployed brothas could afford "marching shoes". What the heck are "marching shoes" anyway?
And though he didn't say it directly, for a second term, too.
Obama's speech to the annual awards dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus was his answer to increasingly vocal griping from black leaders that he's been giving away too much in talks with Republicans -- and not doing enough to fight black unemployment, which is nearly double the national average at 16.7 percent.
But he said blacks need to have faith in the future -- and understand that the fight won't be won if they don't rally to his side. "I need your help," Obama said.
The president will need black turnout to match its historic 2008 levels if he's to have a shot at winning a second term, and Saturday's speech was a chance to speak directly to inner-city concerns.
He acknowledged blacks have suffered mightily because of the recession, and are frustrated that the downturn is taking so long to reverse. "So many people are still hurting. So many people are barely hanging on," he said, then added: "And so many people in this city are fighting us every step of the way."
But Obama said blacks know all too well from the civil rights struggle that the fight for what is right is never easy.
Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes," he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. "Shake it off. Stop complainin'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cryin'. We are going to press on. We have work to do."
And sorry my man, but I think the correct phrase is "I have work to do," not we. We took days off work, volunteering for a candidate we believed in back in 08'. You are the one who has folded like a cheap suit everytime the GOP challenged you, and basically treated black America like a Yung Berg album. Bipartisanship my a$$.
Of course, given the alternatives (President Bachmann, anyone), Obama's right.
We will vote for him again in 2012. We have no other choice.
All criticism aside, this was a great speech, punctuated by an utterly gangsta smacking of the podium as he strolled off. If only he carried that same swagger into the negotiating room when he's dealing with the GOP.
Question: Is Obama's assertion that black folks need to fight for him a little misguided, given how little he seems to be willing to fight for us? Will the black turnout in 2012 match 2008 levels, or has the enthusiasm simply dissipated too much with the economy's deterioration?
 Excuses to anybody I lost with that decade-old Badu reference. It was a long weekend.
 Cause nobody wants a Yung Berg album... get it? Awww, forget it. And yeah, that makes two outdated black music references in one day. Again, long weekend.