Readers Debate Obama: Best or Worst Black President?

A round-up of some of this week's best reader-lead conversations.

By Channing Kennedy Sep 24, 2010

This week, we’re coming to you from ColorLines Mobile HQ, i.e. our eight laptops and a bucket of cookies. We’re in the thick of the Facing Race 2010, the nation’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice, hosted by our publisher, the Applied Research Center. This brings a few of us to Chicago for the first time, though as of this writing, none of us have left the convention center yet. We did take a break to watch some racially misguided television. (Using Twitter for work counts as "taking a break," right?) We’ll be here through Saturday — come out and join us if you’re in the Chicagoland area! But enough about the physical world; let’s talk about cyberspace. This week, the biggest topic of discussion on and on our Facebook page was, far and away, President Obama getting called out on his policies in public. And as always, we were graced with some of the best commenters in the commentosphere, who came to riff off of the town hall story to ask the age-old (actually nineteen-month-old) question: to what standard do we hold our first Black president? Want to join our conversation? Jump on in — here on, or on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Youtube. Blulynn:

What plan? I am confused as to what plan the president is referring to when he quotes Ossie Davis. I do not know what the plan is. Is it Health care reform that will probably not bring down health care costs but will require us to be insured? Billions of dollars to improve prevention and delivery, but nothing to actually make health care cost affordable. We have to depend on tax breaks or insurer co-opts. Why not a universal health care system? America’s want it. Even those who do not know they want it; want it.

When I voted in the 2008 election, I wanted someone to make the hard decisions, not just the "right" decisions. The type of decision that would change the direction of this country. The type of decisions that are heavily criticized such as the New Deal. The piece meal legislation being proposed is not reform. The stimulus was a joke. Those who needed it most did not get it. Furthermore, we have all this funding to support people to go to college but nothing that ensure they get there.We need reform of our elementary and secondary school systems, mostly dealing with funding allocation from the federal government. Local taxes where the neighborhood is poor does not provide enough to support reform.

All politics is local; this statement is true. Local politics have national reach. When the state don’t act right, the federal steps in. This is a historical truth. I will back the president and our federal government when they back our local movements. Or may be we need to get some dogs and water hoses directed at us for this to happen?


The woman is a CFO, she has kids in private school. That’s not cheap. She is not having to think about eating beans and franks. It’s an insult to folks who are really struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their head. The sound bite from the black woman is meant for white voters so they can say…see even his own staunch supporters aren’t defending him anymore. That’s the meme the MSM want to push. They’re so transparent. I see them!


… With "exhausted" supporters like her…who needs the Tea Party? I live in Wyoming, a deeply prejudiced state (lowest support for President Obama in the country) and I have no problem continuing to defend our President. I have done it from the time he won the nomination all the way up to today, and fully intend to continue defending him well past his two terms. Just as I continue to defend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to these same Wyoming tea-partying residents who still, decades later, try to defile this great civil rights leader.

and our own Tammy Johnson:

I just have to say this. Does anybody realize that there are millions of POOR people in this country. Yeah, it’s politically correct an all to focus on the middle class or other soft policy language like "working families" (as is poor people don’t work.) But there are a lot of POCs that nobody’s talking about who were up the creek without a paddle long before Obama got into office. Can we have a discussion about them? At this sister’s children are going to college and she has the option of sending her children to a private school. That’s a whole different situation that many find themselves in.