a new paper shows one place where the law has been a clear success: narrowing the race gap in health insurance. So why aren’t more Democrats shouting that from the rooftops. In 2013, the year before most of the law’s provisions for subsidized insurance took effect, non-elderly blacks were 47 percent more likely than whites to be uninsured.
For American Indians, that figure was 93 percent; for Hispanics, 120 percent. In 2014, not only did the share of whites without insurance fall; the share of blacks and Asian Americans fell by more. The difference between whites and Hispanics shrank, from 14 percentage points to 11.8 percentage points. What’s odd about the race gap isn’t its persistence, but that its narrowing isn’t more celebrated as one of the law’s accomplishments. Narrowing the race gap in health insurance counts unequivocally as progress.
In this very title lies the crux of a derailed argument that Michael Eric Dyson’s latest travelogue pushes in the New Republic about President Obama vs. SOS Hillary Clinton. How does Dyson arrive at this grand flourish? He traveled with Mrs. Clinton from New York to Atlanta, observed her interaction with the “old Black Guard,” Black Lives Matter activists, and concluded: “Yes She Can.” Can, What? Stay tuned.
But first, some cold hard FACTS before we indulge Dyson any further. In case he missed it, Prez Obama ALWAYS says: “Yes WE Can”, not “Yes I can”. He never lost sight of the collective effort required to drive the disparate gears that grind within this country toward the collective good.
And Contrary to Dyson’s erasure of the Obama Administration’s tangible achievements for Americans, and especially minorities, this is where we have been these past 7 years in three key areas: a) Economy & Employment, b) Healthcare, c) Incarceration rates
1. We suffered a financial catastrophe in 2007-2008 that collapsed not only US economy but global financial system too. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aka Stimulus Package was passed in early 2009 to put a floor beneath the abyss that people were falling into. Unfortunately, many Liberals joined GOP to mock the unprecedented scope of the Stimulus and missed its remarkable successes . And as with most Obama policy successes, the real value of the stimulus has been better known to its enemies, than its beneficiaries. Here are the numbers:
2. At Prez Obama’s inauguration we were losing 800,000 jobs per MONTH! Unemployment rates skyrocketed to 10.1% before his 6th month in office. Today, after more than 13 million net jobs added that Jobless rate is at 5%. The rate for African Americans is higher but it has seen a dramatic decline.
I have been spooked these last 10 days by the insanity that erupted here in the US since the Paris terrorist attacks. I wanted to give words to my thoughts. But I froze. Then I rediscovered this piece I began writing in April 2013, but had abandoned for being too alarmist! If only I knew….
Here is the piece completed with a few edits…
Rwanda: A Haunting Lesson
April 6 marked the (21st) anniversary of the launch of the genocidal nightmare in the central African country of Rwanda that ended 100 days later with 800,000 people dead, and a nation scarred deeply. That was 11.4% of the total population of 7 million. Nearly three-quarters of those massacred were Tutsis who comprised 14% of the entire population.
The word “anniversary” seems inappropriate because although it is technically a neutral term it still invokes positive associations and anticipation. No one should anticipate a genocide nor look forward to marking milestones in its aftermath. Yet mark, we must. The lessons are not simply framed in dog-eared history tomes or award winning films about a bygone tragedy. The lessons are here. With us. Today.
In societies wracked by mass economic, social and political faultlines the signs are always there for a Rwanda Redux, or a Srebrenica. Hate Radio. Divide and conquer. Nihilism. Opportunistic politicians and cultural loudmouths. Group resentment. Grievance. Silence and apathy from the majority population. Now, all of these do not a genocide trigger. But they exist to be manipulated if conditions ripen.
“The Rwandan genocide resulted from the conscious choice of the elite to promote hatred and fear to keep itself in power. This small, privileged group first set the majority against the minority to counter a growing political opposition within Rwanda. Then, faced with RPF success on the battlefield and at the negotiating table, these few power holders transformed the strategy of ethnic division into genocide. They believed that the extermination campaign would reinstate the solidarity of the Hutu under their leadership and help them win the war, or at least improve their chances of negotiating a favorable peace. They seized control of the state and used its authority to carry out the massacre. (UnitedHumanRights.Org)”
So it boils down to this: Trump suffers from Obama size-envy. Crowd size, that is, and maybe more…
75,000 show up at Obama campaign in Oregon May 18, 2008
But first, it was only a matter of time before the object of Prez Obama’s ridicule at the White House Correspondents’ Dinners in 2011 and 2015, would be prompted to redeem his ego. Behold, the Trump2016 presidential run.
In 2011, President Obama chose deliberately to inflate Trump’s gargantuan ego, using the very vehicle of birtherism to surgically puncture Trump’s pompous ass at the precise moment for maximal humiliating effect, the night before the OBL operation. That we the American people enjoyed the take down of the hotair without knowing about the OBL mission underway, only prolonged the deliciousness of the schadenfreude when we found out the next night when POTUS interrupted Trump’s “Apprentice” show to deliver the unbelievable news. Trump was doubly slayed. We roared!
As icing on the cake, Prez Obama gave us a spoof sneak peak into what a Trump White House might look like, complete with gaudy Trump insignia plastered all over the WH exterior, plus female posse wading in the WH fountain. We found the idea of a Trump presidency absurd. But Trump began dreaming big.
The coup de grace came this year, when POTUS Obama raised and then immediately dashed Trump’s hope of the President engaging him again in full glare of the cameras. POTUS simply said “Donald Trump is here…..still”, then moved on to the next segment. Ouch!
I posit that Trump’s mind was made up that night to run for President by hook or crook. How do we know this? Answer: Trump himself is the fire breathing clue. A narcissist thrives on attention, and President Obama flippantly cut off that oxygen on an important media stage, the same one on which he had been humiliated irreparably in 2011. Trump could deal with the ridicule during the previous WHCDs, because they accrued to him media notoriety. Media attention is the currency of Trump’s very existence. But to be swatted away like a fly with nary a word more from Prez Obama to indulge his outsized narcissism? Naw. He had to get even.
David Mack: Texas Police Officer Suspended After Pulling Weapon On Teens During Pool Party
Officers were called to the a local community pool around 7:15 p.m. local time to respond to a “disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave,” the McKinney Police Department said in a post on its Facebook page. Other calls also advised that the teens were “actively fighting,” police said. “First responding officers encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands. Nine additional units responded to the scene. Officers were eventually able to gain control of the situation,” police said.
Then the truth emerged
However, video later emerged of one officer aggressively handcuffing and detaining teens who described themselves as bystanders, before wrestling a girl in a bathing suit to the ground and drawing his weapon on others who came to her aid. Brooks, the 15-year-old who shot the YouTube video, told BuzzFeed News many students had arrived at the end-of-school celebration at the pool on guest passes. “I think a bunch of white parents were angry that a bunch of black kids who don’t live in the neighborhood were in the pool,” said Brooks, who is white. Grace Stone, a white 14-year-old, told BuzzFeed News that when she and her friends objected to the racist comments about public housing an adult woman then became violent. When police arrived on scene, teens began fleeing. That’s when Brooks began his recording. “Everyone who was getting put on the ground was black, Mexican, Arabic,” he said. “[The cop] didn’t even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible.”
The white parents and white people who do this to Black children, who do this to Black people – picking up the phone and calling the cops because a Black person or Black people are in the neighborhood. Who look at a Black body and see a threat instead of a child or a human being, YOU are complicit. If the cop had killed a child today, YOU are complicit. Shame on YOU.
For all white people who think the polices actions were justified at the pool party read this http://t.co/fzbJzs9Ewy
President Barack Obama participates a discussion on poverty at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Georgetown hosted the Catholic Evangelical Leadership Summit on fighting poverty in America
President Barack Obama participates in a discussion on poverty with (L-R) moderator E.J. Dionne, Jr., Robert Putman Professor at Harvard University, and Arthur Brooks President of the American Enterprise Institute
The First Lady at Tuskegee University, May 09, 2015
“…… The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is that those age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away. So there will be times, just like for those Airmen, when you feel like folks look right past you, or they see just a fraction of who you really are.
The world won’t always see you in those caps and gowns. They won’t know how hard you worked and how much you sacrificed to make it to this day – the countless hours you spent studying to get this diploma, the multiple jobs you worked to pay for school, the times you had to drive home and take care of your grandma, the evenings you gave up to volunteer at a food bank or organize a campus fundraiser. They don’t know that part of you.
Instead they will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world. And my husband and I know how frustrating that experience can be. We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives – the folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety; the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores; the people at formal events who assumed we were the “help” – and those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country.
And I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day – those nagging worries that you’re going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason; the fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds; the agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal; the realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent, a good citizen – for some folks, it will never be enough.
And all of that is going to be a heavy burden to carry. It can feel isolating. It can make you feel like your life somehow doesn’t matter – that you’re like the invisible man that Tuskegee grad Ralph Ellison wrote about all those years ago. And as we’ve seen over the past few years, those feelings are real. They’re rooted in decades of structural challenges that have made too many folks feel frustrated and invisible. And those feelings are playing out in communities like Baltimore and Ferguson and so many others across this country.
But, graduates, today, I want to be very clear that those feelings are not an excuse to just throw up our hands and give up. Not an excuse. They are not an excuse to lose hope. To succumb to feelings of despair and anger only means that in the end, we lose.
But here’s the thing – our history provides us with a better story, a better blueprint for how we can win. It teaches us that when we pull ourselves out of those lowest emotional depths, and we channel our frustrations into studying and organizing and banding together – then we can build ourselves and our communities up. We can take on those deep-rooted problems, and together – together – we can overcome anything that stands in our way.”
Posted already …. but these words can never be posted enough.