Michael Eric Dyson: The Importance Of Accountability At Dillard University

By Mariah Hickman – APR 5, 2016

“He is not the president of Black America, but he is the president of black Americans,” said MSNBC Political Analyst, Georgetown University Professor, and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson during his April 4 Brain Food Lecture at Dillard University.

Dyson’s hour-long reflection on the presidency of Barrack Obama ironically landed on the anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He used this historical context to juxtapose the two political spearheads; the prophet and the pharaoh.

Although Dyson believes President Obama will go down as one of the greatest presidents in history he was not shy about letting those in attendance know how President Obama failed Black Americans, and also how we failed ourselves.

“Black folks asked for nothing, and we got nothing,” said Dyson. He diagnosed the black community with a bad case of “afro-amnesia,” which would not allow us to effectively criticize Barrack Obama’s presidency; therefore we did not reap the benefits of it.

According to Dyson 97% of black voters voted for Barrack Obama in 2008 and 93% of black voters voted for him in 2012, yet we have nothing to show for it because, “black folks don’t know how to hold a black president accountable,” said Dyson. He is in fact the president of black Americans Dyson said, and we have every right to expect our president to do for us what that president does for everybody else.

Dyson ended his lecture by warning attendees to hold the figures we elect accountable no matter the color or else we end up with, “a sense of therapy, a sense of compensation, a sense of pride, but nothing in exchange.”