|Posted by Elwin Green on June 16, 2014 at 11:10 PM|
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I was invited to be there tomorrow (okay, later today) for President Obama's appearance.
I said yes.
Now I am having second thoughts, primarily inspired by a commentary by Fred Logan which has been circulating on Facebook, which suggests that "Obama should at the very least motorcade through Homewood and throw kisses to the people who put him in office."
This is the President's third visit to Pittsburgh this year. The first came right after his State of the Union speech in January, when he visited the U.S. Steel Irvin plant in West Mifflin. On his second visit, in April, he visited the North Fayette campus of Community College of Allegheny County.
I wouldn't even try to count the total number of times that Mr. Obama has visited the Pittsburgh area (including the 2008 visit when I glimpsed him at the Post-Gazette and thought, "He's SKINNY!" The camera does indeed add 10 pounds). It's a bunch. But with all of those visits, he has, as Mr. Logan says, "never ever" visited a black neighborhood.
So, I'm having second thoughts. Not on the order of, "I should have declined to go." They are on the order of, "If I get a chance to interact with President Obama at all, is there anything at all that I could say or do that would lead him to consider the possibility of visiting Homewood next time? Or any other part of Pittsburgh's black community?"
Probably not. But that bug is still gonna be crawling around in my brain.
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Despite the fact that candidate Obama has run his last race, he is still making visits to critical areas where swing voters can determine the outcome for or against the Democrat Party.
One of the reasons Obama visits Western Pennsylvania so often is so that he can sure up the votes of the White working class -- especially White working class males -- who have never given him a large percentage of their votes in the first place.
The last thing he wants to be seen doing is getting close to the hood. This would confirm the worst fears of the very constituency he is trying to court that he is really "too close" to Black people.
Besides, Black people raised a small sliver of the money he used to power his campaigns. You better believe that he intends to continue to dance with the ones who brought him to the ball, while Blacks press their faces against the window pane, anxiously trying to get just a glimpse of the man.
Obama did not come to Southwestern Pennsylvania to sure up his ties with Black people; he came here to prove quite the opposite -- that he is "different" and, therefore, can be trusted.
The only time he is allowed to identify with Black people is on Martin Luther King's birthday and -- maybe -- a few days during Black History Month; but even then, his target audience is not Black voters, it is to make everyone else feel good about having elected him.