How’s That Hope and Change Working Out? “We got the president his job. But did he help us get any good jobs? I still need a raise”

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 at 8:01 am
obama20

Hey, so Obama screwed you over. So vote for Grandma Clinton. That should do the trick.

During those two electric Novembers, the chance to elect a black president, and then keep him in office, seized Regenia Motley’s neighborhood.

Nightclubs were registering voters. Churches held fish fries after loading buses that ferried parishioners to the polls. A truck hoisted a big sign that said “Obama.” And residents waited in long lines at precincts across the community.

But as Motley and some friends sought shade recently under a mulberry tree and looked across the landscape of empty lots and abandoned houses that has persisted here, they wondered whether they would ever bother voting again.

“What was the point?” asked Motley, 23, a grocery store clerk. “We made history, but I don’t see change.”

Obviously it’s not Obama’s fault. Nothing ever is. But make sure you vote for Hillary Clinton out of blind obedience.

On Jacksonville’s north side and in other struggling urban neighborhoods across the country, where Barack Obama mobilized large numbers of new African American voters who were inspired partly by the emotional draw of his biography, high hopes have turned to frustration: Even a black president was unable to heal places still gripped by violence, drugs and joblessness.

The dynamic, made prominent in recent months after unrest in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., sets up a stark challenge for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner.

While supporting Obama became a cause for many here rather than a typical campaign, Clinton faces a higher bar in making a case that she, too, can be a transformative figure.

Oh yeah, a reclusive multimillionaire is going to be transformative alright. Can’t wait.

Yet as her allies prepare to register voters and expand the black electorate, her candidacy presents residents here with a question: If Obama’s presidency didn’t do more to help African Americans, then how could hers?

Dirty little secret, folks: It’s not.

“At least with Obama, he gave pride to our young men and was a good role model,” said Daniel “Happy Jack” Cobb Jr., 73, the owner of Happy Jack’s Grocery and Market on Jacksonville’s north side. “Hillary needs to prove to us that she’s genuine and really true. And I’m not even sure that would help. We’ve been snakebitten too many times before.”

Well, they do have a young senator in their own state running for president. Might want to consider him.

But now, as the Obama era draws to a close, that excitement has dimmed.

On the north side, gang violence and drug use have surged. In April, 33 Jacksonville residents were shot, including seven who were killed. A group of pastors held a news conference and declared the city a “war zone.”

For the friends who gathered recently to hang out in the shade of the mulberry tree, it will be hard to justify the effort of turning out and voting next year when so little has changed — and some things feel worse.

“We got the president his job,” Motley said. “But did he help us get any good jobs? I still need a raise.”

Weird how they got the president his job even though the GOP supposedly is trying to deny them the vote.

The conversation became heated. Another said he’d love to vote but could not because of his felony conviction. Another complained that she couldn’t get a raise in eight years.

“We all struggling,” said another. One man became so uncomfortable, he removed his T-shirt, wrapped it around his head and walked away. The shirt read “Obama ’08.”

Thanks, Obama!

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9 Responses to “How’s That Hope and Change Working Out? “We got the president his job. But did he help us get any good jobs? I still need a raise””

  1. djm1992 on 10/10/15 at 9:32 am

    [“What was the point?” asked Motley, 23, a grocery store clerk. ]

    The point was, you elected a (half) black President. And that’s all.

    [“We made history, but I don’t see change.”]

    Oh, there’s been change all right, just none of it good. That’s what happens when the main reason you vote for someone is their skin color.

    Just quit your bitching and vote for the Democrat. It’s what you always do anyway, and despite all your constant complaining, it’s what you’ll do in 2016………

  2. Ray Van Dune on 10/10/15 at 9:44 am

    The link to this at Ace’s reads “Obama voters having second thoughts?”

    Surely in order to have a second thought, one must have at some point in one’s life had a first thought, right?

    This would seem to preclude the average Obama supporter from having any second thoughts about anything.

  3. austin on 10/10/15 at 10:47 am

    “Oh, there’s been change all right, just none of it good. That’s what happens when the main reason you vote for someone is their skin color.”

    see change in Detroit, Baltimore and Chicago or any African country to see blacks in charge.

  4. affirmative action utopia on 10/10/15 at 11:27 am

    They still enjoy the free stuff and welfare checks?
    Let’s call on the Obamaphone and ask.

  5. GWB on 10/10/15 at 12:06 pm

    “What was the point?” asked Motley, 23, a grocery store clerk. “We made history, but I don’t see change.”

    Well, I certainly do. And not for the better.

    “At least with Obama, he gave pride to our young men and was a good role model,”

    Really? Because you want all your young men to grow up to accomplish nothing in particular and to spend a lot of time playing golf badly?

    “We got the president his job,” Motley said. “But did he help us get any good jobs? I still need a raise.”

    Well then, you sort of need to convince your boss to give you one, don’t you? Unless you work for the President, he doesn’t have any power to give you a raise. Your lack of understanding of that is a big reason you got us into this current mess.

  6. alanstorm on 10/10/15 at 12:25 pm

    “At least with Obama, he gave pride to our young men and was a good role model,”

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  7. mojo on 10/10/15 at 12:36 pm

    If you think Obie gives crap#1 about “the black community”, or the brown or the yellow or any other color, you’re an idiot.

    He cares about Obama. Period.

  8. djm1992 on 10/10/15 at 1:34 pm

    [The link to this at Ace’s reads “Obama voters having second thoughts?”

    Surely in order to have a second thought, one must have at some point in one’s life had a first thought, right?]

    Oh, they had a first thought alright. It’s just that in this instance, the first thought was “I’m voting for the (half) black guy, because he’s black!!!!”

  9. Darwin Akbar on 10/10/15 at 10:53 pm

    Try to look on the bright side…seven shot dead in April means there will be seven fewer votes for Hillary next year.