Anthony Asadullah Samad


*Last week, I teed off on Republicans. This week is the Democrat’s turn. This issue? Change reformist, President Barack Obama, having to campaign for deadbeat Democrats in danger of losing their seats in November.

This is a real touchy subject because Democrats (like Republicans) think you should support ALL Democrats, simply because they’re Democrats. Then when you talking to black people, it’s a double edged sword because they assume you’re a Democrat (I’m an Independent). If you’re not a Democrat, then you’re nothing.

They forget that it’s Independents that decided the last three Presidential elections. I fell out of love years ago with the Democratic Party because of the way they disrespect black folk. Blacks “default” to the Democratic Party and get little (or nothing) in return.

The Democrats think African Americans don’t have a choice but to vote for them, and they don’t have to work to keep their vote. And blacks often give their vote away before most Democrats can do something to earn it, thus earning the title as the Democrat’s “doormat constituency.” There was no accountability for the Democratic Party before Obama got elected. They got health care reform passed but they’re flunking on the jobs, mortgage and economy front. President Obama is at the head of America’s political culture war and some of the Democrats issues are related to a backlash against Obama popularity. There, the President has to go out and defend the change movement.

But where Democrats have alienated their own constituencies due to their own poor service, why should that be defended. So, Obama is going to have a challenge keeping his cloture proof Senate and “super-majority” House on this account because everybody not swallowing the whole apple. Some of them got a lot nerve running for re-election. Like the verse in the old Stevie Wonder song, Big Brother (Talking Book Album), says “You just come to visit me around election time.” Well, in California, we have a “Big Sister.” Her name is Senator Barbara Boxer. She NEVER shows up in the Southern California black community. She just shows up at election time, usually at a black church, and expects blacks to vote her. This time she showed up with the President. Our President. I’m still not convinced she is the best choice but she’s definitely not a default choice. There are some moderate Republicans in the race that are viable options.

It insults my intelligence and my sensibilities that Barbara Boxer would show up in Exposition Park, charging $2,500 for a reception and $17,600 for a dinner, because the President of the United States (POTUS) is her guest, when she could give a damn about the black community. Since Boxer was elected in 1992, I’ve seen her in the community three times. Twice at a black church, and the black community is the only community to let politicians infringe upon their prayer time, and at a colleague’s home outside the black community in Pasadena. After being invisible for years, now she wants to coat-tail the POTUS into the black community and expect you to pay to see her? I don’t think so. To draw context here for those of you around the country, Exposition Park is what they call the area around the University of Southern California so it won’t seem like the nearly lily white USC is in the middle of an urban war zone, South (Central) Los Angeles. If you don’t know, everything south of the 10 freeway is South L.A. and USC is south of the 10 freeway. So, Senator Barbara Boxer held two fundraisers in the black community this week, on the same night, in a community she NEVER visits. What’s wrong with that picture? Boxer was called on several times last year to host a health care town hall meeting in this same area (at the California African American Museum). There was no response. And I mean, NO RESPONSE. Period. If the community can’t call on her in the midst of a significant policy debate, and get an appearance, when can we call on her? And it’s not just our community that ain’t feelin’ her. Her statewide approval rating is 38%, so a lot of people ain’t feelin’ her, but when politicians are in trouble they always come back home, and home for Democrats is their most loyal and reliable constituency, the black vote. It’s troubling.

More troubling is that she shows up with President Obama. Now, Barack is my guy. I “ride and die” Obama. But I’ll be damned if I pay to see him on Barbara Boxer’s account. Seeing President Obama come in with Boxer is like seeing your best friend with your ex-wife…not a good look. You damn sure don’t want to see her, and you doubly-damn sure don’t want to see her with him. It’s the nightmare on Elm St. You can’t hang with yo boy because he’s hangin on to your old nightmare. Does that eloquently describe this scenario? I know people that wanted to see Barack, baaad!!! But they held on to their checkbook because of the purpose he was advocating. We know the POTUS gotta do what he gotta do as the head of his party. But I’m not of those who believe we have to vote for a bad Democrat just because they’re a Democrat. I am listening to the Republican (all three of them). We gotta do what we gotta to elect accountable and responsive leadership in this state. I’ve tried to see Obama every time he’s come to the state. But if I had to give Barbara Boxer some money to see my President? I’ll catch him the next time…because Barbara Boxer got a lot of nerve showin’ in this part of town, askin’ for some money. Maybe between now and November, she’ll come back, without the POTUS, discuss some issues and tell us why we should give her the time of day, much less our vote.

I’m tired of voting for deadbeat politicians…particularly those who call themselves “Obama (Change) Democrats.” I damn sure not gonna to pay to see when I can never see them for free. So, Obama has a problem in California…and so does Barbara Boxer.

Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum ( and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21 Century Popular Culture. He can be reached at