If you were like me, you missed the MSNBC special “A Stronger America: The Black Agenda” this past Sunday. During the special, Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network, and Dr. Cornel West, an author and college professor, had a heated debate about the Obama Administration. To say the video has gone viral would be an understatement.
As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of Rev. Al. I respect him and his opinion, but there’s a low chance I would go hear him speak or listen to him on the radio…if it were just him. But he made some valid points on Sunday, as did Dr. West. Both men are so passionate about their positions that no one, not even host Ed Schultz, could get a word in edgewise when it came to the discussion of the Obama Administration. Dr. West feels as if the President has taken the African-American vote for granted but has not done anything significant to support the community since he has taken office. He also stated that Blacks shouldn’t automatically vote Democrat because party members are the lesser of two evils. Rev. Sharpton believes that we should support the President in 2012. He also reminded us all that President Obama cannot do everything on his own.
Although the President still has an approval rating of 85% among African-Americans as of March 2011, that number is at an all-time low during his presidency. I think it’s safe to say that Blacks are watching the President very closely. We want to see results, and so far, I don’t think people are seeing what they were hoping to gain from Obama’s presidency. I believe that the President is doing all he can, but as Sharpton said, he can’t do it alone. This is when we need our leaders, whomever they may be, to come forward, devise an agenda, and set about making this country better for Blacks, especially our children.
What do you all think? Who was right-Sharpton or West? Going back to my post on Monday, do you believe that one or both of these men are our leaders? Or should we look elsewhere? Do you think their argument on Sunday was a poor display? Or was it something that’s needed to get people involved? Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.
- Dr. Boyce Watkins: Al Sharpton, Cornel West Battle on MSNBC Is a Good Thing for Obama (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why Sharpton and West’s heated debate on Obama won’t cool down (thegrio.com)