I was on the Marc Steiner Show talking about Obama’s first 100 days. In part because of this piece Marc thought I’d be more sympathetic to Obama than I was. But just because I froze my butt off seeing Obama get inaugurated doesn’t mean I’m willing to go all soft.

Obama’s already changed America both policy-wise and value wise. The creation of a Women’s Council within the White House all by itself is tremendous. But the decision to reverse Bush’s Freedom of Information Act policies, the decision to reverse Bush’s stance on abortion providers, the decision to reverse Bush’s stance on labor agreements, all help us in important ways. His decision to increase unemployment benefits and health care to those hit hard by the economy is important as well.

But with that said I give him mixed grades.


Because he’s black.

And I don’t mean “he’s black” as in “he should do more stuff for black people”. Even though he should in as much as blacks serve as the miners’ canary.

Chris Rock, riffing on the difference between blacks and n*ggas, gave the example of someone who bragged about how they take care of their kids.

Rock: “You’re SUPPOSED to take care of your kids, fool! You shouldn’t get any props for doing what you’re SUPPOSED to do.”

In this case being black means being able to perform under considerable pressure. With grace and style. Swagger even. The fact that he can run and chew gum at the same time–granted it’s a LOT more than this, but feel me–is something that we shouldn’t be astounded about. We knew this from jump.

When asked about Obama’s basketball game, Michael Jordan said that for someone who didn’t get paid to play for a living he was ok. But for Jordan the question was “can he go to his left?” “Can he finish with both hands?”

We’ve got to have the same high standards for Obama that we do for the things that we are willing to figuratively die for in the barbershop.