Focusing on race does not advance any positive policy

by Alton Drew

It’s Black History Month and for the race entrepreneurs that means it’s time to remind Mr. Obama that he is supposed to focus on matters of race. As President Obama prepares to host a concert on Wednesday celebrating the achievement of African-Americans, academics, such as Professor Michael Eric Dyson, have been expressing their frustration over Mr. Obama’s arguable lack of intensity in addressing the issue of race.

If ever there was an example for keeping social value issues out of politics, this is one of them. Race has been, is, and will continue to be an issue well after Mr. Obama has left office. While he is in office, however, his duties are pretty much set out in the Constitution. His duties do not include making special exception for any one group of citizens unless statutes call for some specific redress to meet some compelling interest. I don’t think special jobs programs for blacks meets that definition.

In fairness to the race entrepreneurs, one could argue that paying particular attention to the higher than average unemployment rate for blacks is indirectly related to promoting the general welfare. As Mr. Obama accurately points out, however, he is president of all the United States and as such should focus on policies that raise the tides for all rather than a certain few.

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
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