While at the DNC one of my colleagues in the Media asked me a question that I’m sure many black journalists have been asking themselves lately: Do you feel the black media has given Barack Obama a pass?
I thought about it a second and I was forced to admit that while I haven’t read all the political coverage by the black media outlets, that it would be doing our readers and Obama himself a disservice if we held him to different standards. Doing so would give ammunition to the mainstream media (and in particular, a certain conservative television news network) who would love nothing better to do than to “call us out.”
Regardless of what Obama’s racial background, this country has its fair share of woes: the weakening economy and US dollar, lack of jobs, lack of real foreign policy from the current administration and a deficit that’s about 2 dollars away from being measured in light years, among them. These are things that our next President will have to deal with and if the solutions are found to be lacking, it’s the job of journalists to call him out on it.
In fact, I for one am interested to see what legislation Obama would support that would help small minority-owned businesses. I’ve always felt that black businesses are more likely to hire black employees, thereby reducing the all-too-high unemployment rate in our community. Now, this won’t cure all the ails of our nation and there’s far, far more that needs to be done to get us back on track. But it would be a start. But if Obama wins and there is no such legislation, it’s the duty of the journalist to hold him accountable.
Alan Hughes is an Editorial Director of Black Enterprise Magazine.