Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Which Is More Frustrating—Bitter White Working Class Or Do-Nothing Black Middle Class?

Which is more frustrating? Those who are bitter in the white working class, or the do-nothings within the black middle class?

It’s a close call.

While Senator Barack Obama must do his best to win over all potential voters, there is a point where you say about some that if you’ve not gotten the idea of the harm done after years of voting for Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes, than maybe you’re just not going to be reached.

For our black middle classes, when will we see political and social action on the behalf of the urban and rural black poor and others need in help? It took political action to create a black middle class in the first place. The need for activism did not stop just because some were able to do well.

There are people of all kinds who do good things every day. Many working class whites vote Democratic and many middle class blacks do a lot to help others.

Yet it’s also the case that many in our society are going to have to make the call to put aside their anger and assume a greater role in the lives of people who could use some help.

April 28, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , ,


  1. One of the reasons I’m supporting Barack Obama is because he’ll be a positive role model for black kids. Many times the most disruptive kids in school are the blacks. Disproportionatly so. It’s the backc boys who taught the browns and whites to wear their pants below their butts. Look at the grades. Black students routinly score poorest on tests. And it’s true, browns score poorly too. But here in Texas they have an excuse….English is not the native language for 1/2 of them.
    Crime? Blacks are committing more than their share. Why?

    Barack Obama is not a magic bullett for what is wrong with the black community, but he’ll sure be someone they can look to as a positive role model.

    Comment by LClyde | April 28, 2008

  2. I think Senator Obama has a personal history that speaks to many. Including black kids as you mention. I’m not always convinced that he fully understands this, but becoming more mature and fully understanding what we mean to others are things many of us are working on at all ages.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 29, 2008

  3. Neil,

    I’m not exactly sure how how I feel about this post. I do know there are several points that I disagree with.

    First, the Black middle class was not “created,” and definitely not as a result of political action. The Black middle class emerged, just like every other as a result of hard working shopkeepers, farmers, tradesmen, clergy, teachers, doctors, nurses, and other professionals. Add that fact that these folks did this as our people as a whole were coming out of slavery is really amazing if you think about it. So I think that statement needs some clarification.

    Second, some of our politicians leave a lot to be desired, true, but what group can claim that’s not the case with their own. More importantly, it’s Black middle class people who are doing the most to lift our people out of poverty and address the issues of the community. Who do you think it is running and operating the majority of the nonprofits that provide the bulk of services in poor communities? Not to mention the churches that are the major bulwark against abject poverty for so many people. And who’s running so many of the small businesses that are the backbone of any middle class?

    Right, Black middle class folks.

    The problems in our community are many, but we’ve been through worse and will survive these times too. The issue is people want it both ways: 1) The Black community must lift itself up, but 2) While lifting yourself up, ignore both history and current reality, like for example crappy schools, profiling, draconian sentencing laws, and yes, historical prejudice and discrimination. And definitely don’t mention anything about sticking together, because that would be downright offensive to some folks.

    Comment by DP | April 29, 2008

  4. DP–Thanks for the comment.

    With your first point,for the last few days I’ve been reading some of the early history of Cincinnati. That’s where I am tonight blogging away no matter where I am.

    Black folks worked very hard on the river wharf and in other places, but the chances were not there for advancement for many regardless of how hard they worked. That’s a worthy point you make that the success many have today resulted from the hard work of those who came before, but the fact is it took a movement for a greater level of advancement.

    As for the second point, I’m not aware of any group of people, or any person including myself,doing all they are able to do. I make a point in the post to say some folks are working hard. But as a fellow resident of Houston and a fellow American, please tell me where all that could be done is being done.

    And when we have our beer, I’ll tell you my account of my involvement in Black Cincinnati politics and the silence of the Black middle class(and of many others.)

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 29, 2008

  5. That’s a deal. And I know that more could be done by everybody in almost every situation. There’s not a single situation anywhere that everything that can be done is being done, so to expect that of the Black middle class is a bit unfair and unrealistic.

    And finally, a Black middle class existed in the Black community even without inclusion in the wider American community. That was my point. If you look at the issue solely through the frame of our so-called “American History,” it’s easy to come to the conclusion that menial labor was the totality of the Black experience. However when viewed through a more inclusive prism, you find that a Black social construct consisting of rich, middle-class, and poor existed parallel to the wider society of which we were denied the right to participate.

    Looking forward to your return to Texas.

    Comment by DP | April 29, 2008

  6. I expect more out of everybody. Including myself. I’ve taken after other groups before in the blog and I’ll have plenty to say about all sorts of folks as we move ahead. Talk to you soon.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 29, 2008

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