(NNPA) – In the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s historic address to a joint session of Congress last week, the reaction to his call for American courage in the face of economic uncertainty has been widely hailed.
“Tonight, President Obama set forth a powerful vision for our country and an agenda for change that deserves the support of all Americans,”‘ said Sen. Edward Kennedy (D- Mass).
” President Obama is exactly the kind of leader we need in the face of our nation’s significant challenges,’ echoed Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Instant national polls afterward showed well over 65 percent of Americans surveyed viewed the first Black president and his message favorably, with almost that many saying that they trust his leadership in this time of crisis.
And, of course, it’s no secret that ever since he mounted his historic run for the White House two years ago, Obama has ultimately enjoyed the overwhelming support of his natural constituency – the African-American community. Most Blacks see both Obama’s election, and leadership, not only as a tremendous source of pride, but an extraordinary example of excellence and achievement that all African-Americans, especially young people, should follow.
“Children with foreign-sounding names learned that they too can be president of the United States, and the electoral aspiration of almost an entire generation of young American voters was realized,” Benjamin Jealous, president/CEO of the NAACP, said the day after Obama’s historic election last November.
But not every Black leader is as fond or as proud of the new president as the NAACP and the American people are.
In fact, there are a number Black leaders, who span the spectrum of religion, politics and gender, who expressed during the presidential campaign, and many who continue to expound today, assessments of President Obama that range from philosophical annoyance, to petty envy, and even, in at least one case, absolute hatred.
Some actively worked to stop Obama’s election, and at least one is feverishly at work trying to legally undo it.
Normally these leaders – many, but not all of whom, serve as mouthpieces for right-wing organizations or interests that mightily tried to cripple Obama’s presidential candidacy – are ignored, if not dismissed, not only by the African-American community, but the public at-large.
But given the tremendous challenges Pres. Obama faces on the economic and national security fronts in his still infant administration, if his massive $787 billion stimulus plan fails to produce jobs and recovery, or if the nation is struck once again 9/11-style with a crippling terrorist attack, Obama’s critics, especially in the Black community, will gain instant currency to undermine his leadership, and possibly destroy his presidency.
One need only look at the extraordinary cast of Black characters who are fully invested in creating dire drama for President Obama.
Number one on the list is a former 2008 presidential candidate himself, arch-conservative Alan Keyes.
“Obama is a radical communist, and I think it is becoming clear,” Keyes, who lost to Obama in a contentious 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, told Nebraska TV station KHAS-TV two weeks ago. “That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it’s true.”
Then Keyes, who also has at least four failed runs for the White House under his own belt, issued this dire prediction on-camera, “He is going to destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist.”
Keyes, who is party to a lawsuit alleging that President Obama assumed the office illegally because he has not proven to Keyes that he is a natural-born citizen (the state of Hawaii, which has Obama’s original 1961 birth certificate locked away, confirms the president’s citizenship), alleges even further constitutional calamity for the nation.