Dr. Wilmer Leon: If Obama Loses, do Black People Have a Plan B?

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by Dr. Wilmer Leon




“Under the Obama administration, African-Americans are worse off economically, but where’s the outrage?”


As the country moves into the full-scale presidential election process, a troubling pattern is developing within certain segments of the African-American community. There’s a concerted effort by some to silence those who are offering honest, valid, and well-thought-out analysis and criticism of the Obama administration.


I’ve written about individuals such as Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, Al Sharpton and others who have attempted to label honest policy debate as betrayal. Former Princeton Professor Melissa Harris-Perry referred to Professor Cornel West’s critique of the Obama administration as “a self-aggrandizing victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in the discourse of prophetic witness…”


The 2012 election will be much different than the 2008 election. President Obama is not running against a failed George W. Bush administration; he’s running on his own record. He’s running against subtle and sometimes obvious bigoted rhetoric as well as the usual voter suppression tactics.


As Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman recently stated, the same thieves who backed Bush are backing Romney. President Obama is running against 8.3 percent unemployment and a shaky economy. Hope and change will not carry him to victory in 2012.


Senator Obama received 96 percent of the African-American vote in 2008. It is expected that President Obama will receive close to the same percentage this time around, although the turnout may be lower.


The issue for the African-American community is “what’s the B-plan?” What will the African-American community do in the event that President Obama loses and they have to deal with a President Romney? What will happen if African-Americans have to get away from the politics of personality and actually decide to deal with the politics of policy?


Mitt Romney has endorsed House Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan. Various analyses show that budget plan cuts food stamps by $134 billion over 10 years and would remove 280,000 children from a free school lunch and breakfast program.


The Ryan budget and a President Romney would have a disproportionately devastating impact on the African-American community. According to Bread for the World, “African-Americans are 22.5 percent of the participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp Program…One in four African-Americans lives below the federal poverty line, compared to about one in eight Americans overall… More than a third (35.7 percent) of all African-American children live in poverty, compared to one in five children living in poverty in the country as a whole.”


If a President Romney tried to implement the Ryan budget in its current form, the African-American community would be outraged. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other leaders would be calling for marches. Talk show hosts Joyner, Harvey, and others would be begging their audiences to write, call, and petition their elected representatives to restore funding to social programs.


Under the Obama administration, African-Americans are worse off economically, but where’s the outrage? Too many in the community are silent or being attacked and summarily dismissed as traitors, haters, crazy, and misinformed for calling for targeted solutions and policy initiatives to address the suffering in the African-American community.


To paraphrase a popular quote, “the African-American community should not have permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” We should be focused on policy, not personality. It must be clearly understood that having an African-American in the Oval Office is not in and of itself a victory.


While I, too, celebrated the election of this country’s first African-American president, without substantive and measurable policy outputs that benefit the African-American community, the ethnic makeup of the president is irrelevant.


“It must be clearly understood that having an African-American in the Oval Office is not in and of itself a victory.”


The community could take a page from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Their sole mission is to ensure that the foreign policy outputs of the US have a positive impact on the state of Israel. It matters not to AIPAC who is in the White House.  Democrat or Republican, friend or foe, AIPAC is going to insure that its message is heard and interests are protected.


In 1857, Fredrick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” President Obama is the one in power and the African-American community has failed to demand from him the policy outputs it needs. If Romney wins, what’s Plan B?




Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with WilmerLeon,” and a Teaching Associate in the Department of Political Science at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Go to Dr-Leons-Prescription@facebook.com, www.wilmerleon.com, email:wjl3us@yahoo.com. Or www.twitter.com/drwleon



36 Comment

  1. Well this is stupid. Number 1 Blacks never had a plan A when he ran in 2007. If he loses in 2012, then he loses. The President does not run this country, it is Congress. Therefore, it does not matter who ever is President, it is Congress that the people have to worry about. Although President Obama did not address the issues for the poor, I will take my chance in voting for him for another 4 years than to see Romney as President. Hell, at least I know what I am getting.

  2. Forget PLAN-B!

    Plan A is VOTE Obama-Biden in November…there is no PLAN-B for blacks if Obama loses.

  3. Pres. Obama was, is and never will be Plan A, and we must implement a Plan A even before contemplating a Plan B.

    To wit: black folks in America make in excess of $800 billion per year, and this will rise to around $1.5 trillion by 2015. This money, when properly leveraged, becomes the seed money and nest egg to help out our entire community for years and then some. The problem is that we don’t like ourselves and each other. We squabble between ourselves waaay too much and have an appetite for destroying each other that began in slavery and hasn’t ended.

    Think about it: tons of immigrants have stores and businesses in our communities, but we cannot open stores in theirs. Ever seen a black business in Chinatown or in Arab/Asian communities where they live? NO.

    Our children are robbed and dumbed down by public school systems that cry that they don’t have enough money, but black folks alone spend millions every day and week on the state lottery. The money was supposed to help education. Where is it???

    Urban Prep has a perfect graduation record for 3 years running. Every student has been accepted into college and 83% of them stay there. Incredible! Why not bottle and sell this program to our communities and create similar schools for our boys and girls to benefit our struggling communities?!? If not in the real world, do it online, where the cost is incredibly iinexpensive….

    finally, let us not keep having faith in some grand leader to take us out of this mess we’re in: they have mostly failed, and continue to sell integration as the way out of this mess. Integration is nothing short of the “illusion of inclusion”, according to Dr. Julia Hare.

    Stop being fooled: if you think education is the only way out, I submit to you the fact that 50% of all current graduates will not even find a job in their current field or will be unemployed or underemployed. We must create our future together. We can do it, because we have our ancestors as a blueprint….

    • Excellent points.

  4. Seems to me that Romney IS plan B. Plan A (Obama) obviosly isn’t working out. Yes, I know taht Romney is nobody’s first choice (do remember, that not even a mojority of Republicans voted for him in the primaries), that’s why he is plan B. The first choice (Plan A) didn’t work, so it’s time to try plan B, it surely can’t be any worse. Besides, if over half the Republicans didn’t vote for him, he might not be all that bad.

  5. Let’s be real, If Obama loses, the black folks that have jobs will go to work and the ones who don’t won’t. But we’ll do what we always do, complain behind doors and hope they don’t bring back slavery. Marching? Plueezz, Obama couldn’t get us to march when he’s in the White House, why would we march if he leaves? And as far as Obama’s shoe shiners ( Al “Alley Cat” Sharpton. Steve “Tha Kang Of Comedy” Harvey and Tom Joyner) they will be alright. Dr Leon, it’s a good question but I think you already knew the answer.

  6. Is any black person supposed to consider this a loss? Obama has done absolutely SQUAT for black people. We’re not even his people. He has no real roots of ties to the black community. He can count on the black vote because the (R)epugnant party is (R)acist to the core. That’s all!

  7. God forbid. President Obama should not lose. Thanks God he is doing well in key states. He has now almost double electoral votes. Remember if he loses Blacks are done – back to the back of the bus. The only Blacks that will benefit are the following: Allen West, Herman Cain, Blacksphere guy, Michael Steele and Allen Keyes. These are ready to sell fellow Blacks for money. Now some white republicans don’t know how to react – their President is Black/White male. We are hearing some prominent Blacks are talking with Romney. Black leaders are wasting time talking with Romney. If Romney does not give a damn for poor Whites, how can he give a damn to Blacks or racial minorities? Never. Romney is a Mormon who believes Blacks are descendants of Cain, the cursed son of Adam and Eve. Romney does not care if Blacks kids fail or are not educated. His kids are home schooled and go straight to big colleges. Romney has money even his kids fail in college. He himself finished with grade point of 3.3 JD spending 4 years to graduate. President Obama finished with 3.8 JD spending only 3 years to graduate. That’s why Romney feels inferior to President Obama. Black leaders should not discuss any matters with Romney-they are wasting time. I am calling all Blacks to vote for President Obama on November 6.

  8. this artickle is stupid black people need to do just like all the other raes and di what they got to do to make it you dont hear mexicans or even chinesse actin like they need a leader obama hasent done shit for me and thats why am not voting for his ass

  9. Our Black World
    Please forgive me!
    It is wonderful that we have a Black President. We should hope he does his job as President of the United States as well as any other President before him and maybe a little better. The importance to Blacks is for him to prove to the world that a Black person when given an opportunity to be in a position of authority does his job well. At the end of his eight years the historian will be able to say that he was one of best Presidents.
    Now as for what he does for the Blacks?
    By proving that he is not just some Black leader looking out for the good of his race, he is giving other people of wealth the idea that they can trust Blacks to perform within their structure and therefore many opportunities for qualified Blacks will be opened up over time. This is the big picture!
    This is not a right now thing this is for the long run!
    In the meantime, perhaps some of the highly educated individuals who are criticizing President Obama while he is doing his part in the big picture, should be coming up with some workable plans to be submitted to their local communities and state governors to help solve the local problems. There is no magic wand.
    In the United States today there is an overabundance of undereducated and unskilled individuals. And there is not going to be any positions for them to fill in any foreseeable future Maybe some of the educators could volunteer their time and help set up training tools to be used locally. In short don’t complain about what someone is not doing, do something yourself beside writing articles using word that even educators don’t understand in an attempt to show how intelligent you are.
    On my sisters side are Dr. of Education. I am a high school dropout who because people took the time to assist me and see a value in me, managed to retire with a reasonable package earned by honest hard work.
    Today is the time that you payback for all of that education that you have received with the grants and loans that were available to you and your parents since 1945 when our upward mobility movement really got started, with the GI Bill of Rights. How many individuals have received a free Harvard Education or from some other Higher Education Institution?

    • Allen E. Shaw:

      This is a profoundly wise comment. (By the way, nothing wrong with your vocabulary, brother…) I agree with all of those who have said that we need to get behind Obama 100%. Not because he’s black, but because he is rooting for the poor and middle class. white OR black.

      I think Prez O has grown up a lot. He no longer is searching for the “Grand Bargain” with a bunch of greedy, ‘selfish, A-hole Rethuglicans. And the crazy thing is that, just like the thievery in the ’30’s, it won’t work for the 1% either! I guess that’s why they call the Repubs ‘The Stupid Party’.

      There’s also not a thing wrong with Wilmer, Krugman and others demanding that Obama wise-up and start being a ‘bare-knuckled’ fighter! I think Obama has, too. Look how he has taken it to Mittens with his Bain Capital attacks. Bravo! Of course there is push back from the Repubs as they peddle all their ‘Job Creators’ baloney. But the Dems are pressing forward with the truth: If all these tax cuts for the Gadzillionaires have trickled down to the masses, Where Are The Jobs, Bush/Romney? No, Obama has started to act like Roosevelt, when he WELCOMED Republican attacks. He said, “I love it when the Republicans attack my plans…. I know I’m on the right track!”

      My 2 cents.

  10. It does not matter who is president much because as already been said, thePOTUS does not run the USA. Its time for black folk
    to learn the game, take responsibility for ourselves, and stop
    waiting for someone or something to save us and begin saving
    ourselves. Iam by no means a conservative but the free enterprise
    capitalistic society ain’t all bad, what we must do is first learn it,
    then use it to our collective advantage. That is Plan A, Plan B, and
    Plan C.

    • I agree with you 100%,know pres.runs the country.They only manage it.The billioniares an oligarchys run the country.Until blacks unite among themselves,an start pooling our resources together,we will have this conversation 100 yrs.latter.GodBlessBlackAmerica.

  11. I’m with the rest of the bloggers that simply asked where or what was plan A? Let me ask this question as well. Say President Obama is re-elected another 4 more years. After this term ends a new POTUS will be elected. What plan will blacks look to then? Bottom line: If you are not going to the polls to vote for memebers of Congress that may have your best interest at heart you are wasting your time with all this other prideful nonsense.

  12. Obama is not running for President of Black People, he is running for President of the United States. Plan A for everyone should be to work hard, educate yourself, and strive everyday to improve on the last.

  13. your black worlds ongoing efforts to undermine obamas legitimacy are unfortunate

    black people are more sophisticated than the folk on this forum give them credit for

    they understand that obama is not the answer to all our problems, they understand that our problems will require generations of efforts from us all to flip this historical trickbag that we have found ourselves in

    but they also understand that at any given moment in the struggle there is a cutting edge, there is a front line, and right now obama is the front line and it behooves us to get his back

    just as it behooved us to get kings back, malcoms back, the back of whoever has stepped up when history called

    obama has had to do his thing under adverse conditions that dont give him but so much room to wiggle

    one, being president of the united states requires more political nuance than i personally would be able to bring to the table, but we need flk able to do it, thats why obama (and other politicians) do what he do and i do what i do, its more than enough struggle to go around to go around, for each of us to do our share

    but this ongoing effort on the part of some blackfolk to discredit obama (and make it more likely that he loses, which would be a disasater) is just unfortunate

    and for those hardleft who swear there is no difference between repubs and dems, who refuse to support obama because of unreasonable political purity tests, i dont have much to say to you

    except to ask you would you get out of the way of those of us who are trying to take care of business

    these are serious times and we dont have to to play games

    you need to stay on the sidelines where you belong

  14. THINK, people!!!!!! As president, you don’t just step into office and change every thing in 2 weeks!! Constantly being outvoted by a hostile Congress makes it even tougher.It was also mentioned earlier that education is free. The most dangerous black is an educated black so why not strategically dismantle the education system and replace it with rap music and images? Yeah, that oughta move our race in a positive direction (sarcasm). Also, not enough blacks own businesses in our own communities because too many don’t want to do the work to get to that point. The asians and others sacrifice all the superficial stuff that we all too often buy into.Many of them barely speak english! It’s work ethic…not a racial issue. You wanna do the work to own a store that sells the fortys or settle for just buying a few to make them richer?

  15. Whom we elect as president should be part of a strategy of voting that includes Congressmembers who have our interests at heart. Besides, it’s hard to take folks seriously when they vote for a president like Barack Obama on one hand but then vote in Tea Partiers like Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, or Rick Scott for state and local offices on the other hand, or folks like John Boehner in Congress–and then complain about the inevitable gridlock. Local officials have the most direct and immediate impact on the quality of people’s lives. One thing about Americans as a group is that we are hung up on instant gratification, which prompts us to vote out folks who aren’t producing desired results quickly enough and to vote in folks who are only interested in winning but have no intention of addressing problems. The off-year elections of 2010 bear this out.

  16. If you think any politician is going to solve any problems other than money issues for his lobbyists/corporate backers, then sadly, you are 1) wasting your energy 2) missing the point of life 3) a mindless sheep…
    Wake up & stop allowing your self to be fooled by what is not there… A person in DC who represents you…
    Nothing is given for free, the cost the current admin is asking is selling off your grandchildren’s future & therefore it’s hope..
    Sad but true..
    We all had hugh hopes in 2008, but it’s just more of the same in a different costume…

  17. This is a B.S. article. the author totally disregards the fact that the Republicans are doing everything within their power to bring this country to it's knees. They are ignoring the fact that the bankers has bankrupted the nation and has screwed up the world economy and corporation are in cahoots with reublican politician to ship jobs and factories over seas. To make a long story short — DON'T BELEIVE THE HYPE!

  18. Pres O has targeted handicapped, youths, students, the poor for massive cuts in established help. even removed medical coverage for orphans on SSI.
    sold Africa to Monsanto, after it ruined india, agriculturally some of u neegros r stuck on his color, and birthday parties, anniversary galas.
    sleepwalking, the lot of you. wake up, daymmit.
    he gotta be more than not Rommney. I think it might be well that rommney walks off w/ the prize…bring things to a head.

    • Sound like you would prefer bush to be back in office!

  19. Plan B, that's a good question!

    • Always stick to your "A" game. If it falls short modify the "A" game /8^D

  20. The problem with this article is that the writer spares no pain in highlighting the failings of President Obama, but neglects to acknowledge that the President alone regardless of his ethnicity can do nothing without the corporation and support of Congress. Although Dr Leon may not wish to hear it, but the fact is that this President DID inherit an economy that was (a) worst than it appeared (b) an economy that his predecessor spent eight years destroying, (c) a congress that was determined to see him defeated from day one, and (d) thousands of jobs lost every day for eight years. Surely Dr Leon has seen the lengths to which congress has gone to make this President appear incompetent and ineffective. In spite of all the opposition, President Obama was still able to show some accomplishments, in spite of the congressional gridlock, but perhaps not as many as you would like to see and to credit him with. My question is this, was it humanly possible for this President to correct eight years of utter destruction in four years, given the total abandonment of congress and the hand he was dealt? When will blacks take a leaf out of the books of other ethnic groups such as Whites, Jewish, Hispanic and Asians. They support their own NO MATTER WHAT.

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