QotD, The Two Words Are Not Actually Full Synonyms edition.

Don Graves, sacrificial lamb Executive Director, President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness – and let us pause for a moment to contemplate the subtle horror of having that dead albatross on your resume for the rest of your life – while trying to explain that African-Americans shouldn’t feel oppressed just because the Democrats’ current economic policy has been kicking their particular racial/cultural demographic in the teeth.  Repeatedly:

“You may not feel like the president is listening to you, but he hears you loud and clear,” Graves said, referring to the growing anger from African-Americans that was on view last week as Waters spoke at a much-covered CBC town hall in Detroit.

Contra Graves, it’s actually pretty easy to hear people, but not listen to them.  Hearing is one of those things that humans cannot avoid doing: we can’t close our ears like we can close our eyes, after all.  But listening to people involves paying attention to them… and paying attention requires caring.  Which leads to the next question: why do black* people think that a Harvard-educated, urban-enclave, liberal elitist politician (or his largely-white, largely academic cadre) care what they think?  It’s not like anybody’s seriously arguing that President Obama has to worry about losing black voters to the Republican candidate next year, and a LOT of people are noting that Obama has to worry a great deal about losing white ones**.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*(shrug) The article itself has this bit of insistence from the odious Maxine Waters:

But when he added that “certain communities have been hit harder than other communities,” Waters pushed him. “Let me hear you say ‘black,’” the California Democrat said.

…so I think that it’s reasonable to use the adjective in this context.

**And maybe a couple will start whispering – in a few months or so – that possibly Obama has to worry about losing a non-trivial percentage of Latino voters.