Note to the Obama Administration: Women are Civil Rights Leaders Too

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

I wrote to you recently about the scheduled meeting today between President Barack Obama the presidents of the NAACP and Urban League.  Marc Morial and Ben Jealous got together with the president in a situation that is eerily similar to the meeting the three had with Rev. Al Sharpton not so long ago. 

At the time, I mentioned to Rev. Sharpton that a woman should have been present at the first meeting with the president.  Rev. Sharpton made the accurate point that the late Dorothy Height had been invited, but couldn’t make it because of the weather.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed that it might be challenging for a 98-year old woman to come out in one of the worst blizzards in Washington DC history. 

A backup to Dr. Height would have been appropriate, or even having women outnumber men would not have been out of the question.  Dr. Julianne Malveaux would have been a perfect choice, since you don’t exactly see scores of black women with PhDs in Economics from MIT.  Given that the men had gathered to discuss job creation and economic growth within the black community, I can only imagine that Dr. Malveaux might have something productive to say.

The fact that Dr. Malveaux, along with every other talented black woman in America, is consistently left to the side in these important conversations should be disturbing to all of us.  As we fight for the civil rights of our community, we might want to take a second to realize that we are not immune from the temptation of oppression. 

Adding insult to injury, Dr. Height mentioned to President Obama that it is time that a black woman be allowed to serve on the Supreme Court.  Instead, the Obama Administration barely glanced at the thousands of talented black female attorneys and judges across the country and chose another Harvard University alum (Elena Kagan) with a horrifically racist hiring record.

The goal in making these points is not to bash President Obama or the men who conduct meetings with him.  It is to make it clear that black men must take the lead in insisting that women be allowed to advocate for our community as much as our men.  I hope and expect that Jealous, Sharpton and Morial are in agreement.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Note to the Obama Administration: Women are Civil Rights Leaders Too

  1. Debbie

    I agree!!! I have always tried to figure out why there are never any “black woman” at these types of meetings when “black women” are the leaders of the community and the household as well…I find it apauling that we can not speak for ourselves but we have a “black President” speak for us and he was raised by a white woman…I hope they spoke about drugs in our community and how we need rehab places to put family members in…I hope they spoke about how the school circulm needs to be changed so our kids can get an education they can use when and if they come out of high school…I hope they spoke about more affordable day care programs and after school programs…I hope they spoke about what we need since it appears we can not speak for ourselves…I don’t have a PhD in Economics nor did I graduate from MIT but I could have went to the meeting and told them what we “black women” need in our communities and our household…

  2. Spare all of your notes, requests, pleas, acknowledgements, thoughts, and hopes to Mr. Obama. He is not your friend. Contrary to what a very confused ‘black’ population (or anyone out of the loop for that matter), thinks. Obama is in service to the Anglo-Elite and only the Anglo-Elite. If your minds are too blocked to see the obvious outcomes of the Elite’s posting of Obama, at least understand that all the signs concerning the country’s direction, and who is obtaining the wealth, as opposed to who is suffering the most, show’s Obama’s true purpose. Africa may be our mother continent, but we are no help to our family across the diaspora and they cannot help us from the Anglo Tide! Look very close at Africa, because what is happening to them may very well happen to us! We may not see ourselves as connected to them but the Anglos and their elite make no separation.

    There is a very grave reason why the Elite chose Obama. History will show this, and this is why the elite chose a ‘black’ face to serve them! So again please don’t be so foolish as to expect anything good for the people from the “Obama Administration”. What’s worse African-Americans who are ever unable to protect themselves from the onslaught of the Anglo-Elite and their hoards of misguided white and others (including some blacks), must look across the African Diaspora to see the eternal havoc and genocide the Anglo-Elite hiding behind Obama are engaged in. Understand that the corporate media will barely mention the tragedies and Obama will not make any attempt to relieve the death and destruction across Africa and other ‘black’ nations.

    Also realized that if the Anglo-Elite wish to continue using Obama for the next term it won’t matter how many vote for him or not!

    Black women in this country whom suffer because of many issues they are ignorant of, suffer only a fraction of what they will suffer in the upcoming years! The upper-class black women may feel a bit of civil-rights pressures, but never as much as those black women who must sometimes go without enough to feed their children!

    Contrary to ‘brainwashed’ beliefs, Mr. Obama is not only, unable to do anything for you, he is comfortable with this major con he and his backers are perpetrating against the people. The only difference between him and GW are color and intellect, but who needs intellect when the most prominent and brilliant (Anglo-Elite paid) people are behind you? But here’s the clincher. The elite pay them all with our money! We are actually paying elite fancy criminals to con, pillage and kill here and abroad! Believe It or Not!

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