Obama Sparks Hope in Black Appointments

Published on 9th February 2009

It is interesting to note during Black History Month that from the Clinton Administration to the Obama Administration, with the exception of Vice President of the United States, African Americans have held the most powerful positions in America and yet their conditions have seem to have worsen.   From the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the President of the United States, most African Americans were either voted in with the support of white voters or appointed by white officials and now they have no one to blame but themselves.

For years, African Americans prayed that one day our people will rise to positions of authority to improve the conditions of our people and prayed that while serving in these positions we would rule in righteousness for the betterment of all mankind.
During those years we prayed (Third verse of the Negro National Anthem): 

Rev. Jesse reacts to Obama's success

"God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way, Thou who by thy might, Led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, Our God, where we met Thee. Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee. Shadowed beneath Thy hand, May we forever stand, True to our God, True to our native land."

From the prayers of our most distant grandparents who endured the era of slavery to our most recent generation of grandparents, the Lord heard us and answered our prayers.  As a result of these prayers, blacks were appointed and elected to the following positions:
US  President                                       Barack Obama
Secretary of Commerce                        Ron Brown
Secretary of Agriculture                        Michael Espy
Secretary of Energy                              Hazel O’Leary
Secretary of Veteran Affairs                 Jesse Brown
U.S. Surgeon General                           Dr. Joyce Elders
U.S. Surgeon General                           Dr. Henry Foster
Secretary of State                                 Colin Powell
Secretary of State                                 Dr. Condoleezza Rice
National Security Advisor                     Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of Labor                               Alexis Herman
Secretary of HUD                                Samuel R. Pierce
Secretary of HUD                                Alphonso Jackson
Secretary of HUD                                Robert C. Weaver
Secretary of HUD                                Patricia Roberts Harris
Sec. of Health & Human Services         Patricia Roberts Harris
Sec. of Health & Human Services         Dr. Louis W. Sullivan
Secretary of Transportation                   William Thaddeus Coleman
Secretary of Education                         Roderick Paige
Attorney General                                  Eric Holder
Deputy Attorney General                      Larry Thompson
Director of the FCC                             Michael Powell
Chairman of EEOC Commission           Clarence Thomas
Supreme Court                                     Thurgood Marshall
Supreme Court                                     Clarence Thomas
Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff           Colin Powell
Brigadier General West Point                General Fred A. Gordon
Brigadier General of Air Force              General Bernard P. Randolf
House Majority Whip                           William H. Gray III
Clinton’s Transitional Team Chair          Vernon E. Jordan
Chair DNC                                          Ron Brown
Chair RNC                                           Michael Steele
Office of Personnel Mgmt                     Dr. Kay Cole James
Dr. Kay Cole James, as the director of Office of Personnel Management, advised President George W. Bush on personnel matters that affected 1.8 million Civil Service Employees.  She was responsible for 3,600 employees in addition to managing a $261 million Trust Fund, Appropriations of $29 billion and a $650 billion Health Care and Retirement Pension Fund.
As the running mate of Senator John Kerry, Congressman Harold Ford would have been the first African American Vice President of the United States, but he was too young at the time.  The only other positions African Americans have not been appointed to, are Secretaries of the Dept. of Defense, Treasury, Interior and Homeland Security.
Blacks have been mayors of our nation’s largest cities from Detroit to Atlanta. In 1983, the city of Chicago elected its first black mayor, Mayor Harold Washington. One year later, in 1984, 31 black mayors were elected (and/or re-elected).  Five years later (1989) David N. Dinkins was elected as Mayor of New York.  The following year, (1990) Douglas Wilder was our nation first black governor, he presided over the state of Virginia.  Two years following Wilder’s victory (1992), 16 African Americans were elected to the United States House of Representatives.  All of the aforementioned politicians were preceded by Tom Bradley, Los Angeles’ first African American mayor (1973).  In addition to our Congressional Black Caucus, it is estimated that we currently have over 9,000 elected black officials at the city, state, county and federal levels.
In 2009, we have an African American President of the United States (Barack Obama), an African American Attorney General, Eric Holder, an African American governor of New York (Governor David A. Paterson) and the NFL Superbowl was won by Mike Tomlin, the youngest coach ever to win this event. Coach Tomlin is one of several African Americans who were blessed with coaching jobs at the collegiate and professional levels during the past 25 years.
Despite of our political success and the increased number of mega black churches, millions of African Americans still live below the level of poverty, our teenage ladies are still having babies out of wedlock, our rap music still degrade our women, our homes are broken, our high school drop-out rate is enormous, our rate of imprisonment is staggering, our black on black crime is embarrassing, our gang activity is increasing, our use of drugs is debilitating and our health issues in the area of AIDS, High Blood Pressure and Diabetes are at epidemic proportions.
These conditions are neither the answers to our grandparents’ prayers nor the results they expected when they prayed that one day we would occupy positions of authority.  If many of them were alive today, they would tell today’s generation of leadership that, “whatever you do, don’t forget the Lord.”    They would probably tell us “what would it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?" Further, "what should a man give in exchange of his soul?”
We have our politicians, we have our desired professions and we still have our problems: but now we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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