State of Whose Union?: Obama and Race at One Year [VIDEO]

By Channing Kennedy Jan 28, 2010

"I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I can do it alone. " President Barack Obama almost gave us a call to action tonight. Commentators Chris Rabb and Lola Adesioye sat down with ColorLines’s Tammy Johnson following the President’s State of the Union address. Chris is founder of Afro-Netizen and author of the forthcoming Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity. Lola is a writer-activist and formerly an editor at The Grio. So what was our first Black president saying to communities of color? Chris Rabb wanted more policy detail about entrepreneurship, however controversial, joking that "helping small businesses is like being in favor of motherhood or apple pie." And Lola argued that the responsibility for "participatory democracy" lies with the voters, not with those elected. Tammy dug into this issue with yesterday’s article at, "The State of Our Union":

But I say that the weight of this moment is too substantial to leave to one man, or to the gum-flapping of partisan spin doctors and Madison Avenue desk jockeys. The state of our union deserves a broader, more grounded assessment that includes the role we have played in nation building. Let’s be honest. As a movement, we have engaged in a great deal of in-fighting between those propelled by the hope of the 2008 election and those deflated by the realities of the 2009 administration. Some trumpeted the signing of SCHIP while others raged at the lack of care for immigrants and women in the health insurance bill. The push and pull among us has gone far beyond a healthy dialectic that nurtures our work. Many seem to have forgotten that what is most important is not the man, but the mission.