Marcia Dyson: It's OK to Criticize Obama

Marcia Dyson writes in an essay that it's high time for black folk to stop beating down others who offer constructive criticism of the White House.

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President Barack Obama leaves for vacation. (Getty)

The tintinnabulations among African-American activists, voters and elected officials, calling for President Barack Obama to address policies that would benefit the black community, are being viewed as internecine strife.

It's time to do away with that mode of thinking, Marcia Dyson, ambassador at large for the Middle East Peace Civic Forum, writes in an essay for Huffington Post Black Voices.

The stakes are high and the situation is critical in black neighborhoods and households across the land. We don't have time for bowing down at the thrown of unbroken racial solidarity when our children are suffering, our elders are vulnerable, and our poor are teetering on the brink of economic and social disaster.

The suggestion that such criticism is "hating" is ridiculous; surely we can make distinctions between bitter attacks and enlightened analysis. And the argument that publicly criticizing our first black president is an act of racial disloyalty is immature. We must be grown enough to know that politics at its best is about engaged citizenship, not tribal worship.

Dyson is right. It is time to change up the dialogue. It is important that the criticism is constructive and that it is heard. Otherwise, voters will begin to feel disenfranchised and progress will be lost like so much air.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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