Obama’s first year in office set standard for next wave of Black Politics
January 17, 2017 § Leave a comment
Changa and I recorded a video touching on this topic titled “What is the Post-Obama effect on local politics.” Click here for that video, please subscribe, and bear with BE for future interviews.
In case you are unaware, President Trump has a lot of secrets coming out from unknown sources like secret spies, Russia, and possibly the intelligence community like the FBI and CIA. Whatever the case is, many people are warning him to back down and chill out, lest he pisses them off and we learn about a pedophilia sex party he hosted – hey, you never know what floats the Elite Class boat.
As President Obama leaves the office, and Black people lose their final chance to twerk and club in the White House, it is important to reflect at least a little bit on his legacy and effect on Black Politics.
During his first year in office, before Trayvon Martin was murdered, we saw his true self – we had the opportunity to foresee what the following years held ahead.
Abuse is the norm for African Americans, unfortunately, and we don’t like to believe people when they reveal themselves to us. A lot of you missed it, a lot of you don’t recall, a lot of you ignored it like you ignore your absent father, and a lot of you made excuses for it like you do for your abusive partner, figuring things would get better.
In 2009, Dr. Henry Louis Gates was arrested for being Black. You can look up the story here but the gist of the timelines goes like…
- President Obama criticized Race Soldiers and Bad Cops, including Sgt. Crowley for arresting his Harvard professor buddy for simply being Black.
- Law Enforcement, perplexed about any wrong doing ever and usually always quick to defend the racists in their ranks like Sgt. Crowley, went at President Obama, asserting their Constitutional right to randomly arrest, detain and/or kill Black people.
- Obama, President of the United States, apologizes and forms a new friendship with Cop Sgt. Crowley.
- Gates, Obama, and the white trash Race Soldier Sgt. Crowley , and even Black folks favorite, Uncle Joe, formed a friendship and laughed about the incident later that night over a few brews.
(President Obama is correct for apologizing and having beers with a racist cop but Ray Lewis and Steve Harvey are coons for meeting with the actual President of the United States???)
How disheartening of a site was it to see a Black man, the President of the United States, supposedly the most powerful position in the world, apologize to some low-level, white trash Rogue Cop for something that is so obviously and blatantly wrong and racist. Then to have beers?
Now…compare that to Trump who is literally, it appears, unmoved by any trouble he may step into, whether it is with pharmaceutical companies or intelligence agencies or the military industrial complex. Sure Trump is a wealthy White male, which is usually paired with white privilege, confidence and arrogance. I get that. But image is all that matters and he is projects the image of a confidently, rude and adept person. Whether you look at his cabinet appointments, refusal to release his taxes or divestment of his business, Trump is projecting the image of strength. Obama projects and executes the image of an apologetic and safe man in the world’s most powerful position. Even in instances where he is in the right, he still projects and executes meek and mildness – even in the face of overt White Supremacy.
What does this mean for Black Politics?
I want to be crystal clear when I say that I don’t view President Obama as a member or participant of Black Politics, per se, and neither should you. He passes the first test of looking Black; then he leverages blackness (Marvin Gaye songs, Oprah, church stops, raised by single mother) for Black votes, and Black people replied accordingly by voting 98% for him – concluding that one should include him in Black Politics. BUT like every other White President, he never once spoke WITH Black people, as much as he spoke TO Black people (for example, his reference to Baltimore protestors or Black fatherhood).
He never once in a speech grouped himself with Black America as a member of an ignored, abused group with a history of slavery and Jim Crow, to name a few, in the continental United States.
This places President Obama in the spectrum of Black Politics, surely, somewhere, but not a member or participant. For a test, let’s see what he does with the Congressional Black Caucus after leaving office. Or, as I suspect, will he rather advocate for all Americans and working class people?
I greatly fear that the next wave of Black Politics will be one of extreme accommodation, also generally described as “trickle down liberalism.” Beyond neutralizing Black Politics to a level of deafening silence, he might have effectively killed it to the point where Black politicians, actual descendants of slaves, unlike himself, won’t identify as Black or group themselves with Black folks. Black Politics exist because the good stuff doesn’t trickle down to descendants of slaves. To adopt an accommodationist strategy is to forego the interests of the most needy.
When the country celebrated freedom, Frederick Douglass asked “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?”; when the American government wanted more land to conquer, African Americans wanted public schools and the right to not be lynched; when the country was obsessed over Communism in Asia, African Americans still lacked basic rights and were mostly against any foreign involvement; and in 2011 when folks were crying about the budget, African Americans were dealing with a double digit unemployment rate and lost their home values, the BIGGEST wealth generator for African Americans.
There is absolutely no way as a Black official in any level of government you can advocate for the needs of the most abused group and the abusers at the same time. But for some reason the vanguards of Black Politics keep telling us they can do just that. Sen. Cory Booker is the most recent example of this fact. To advocate for the needs of the abused necessarily puts you at odds with the abusers, or at the least, the powerful – the only ones with the means to abuse.
In our next video, Changa and I will address how we think a black politician should move in the system, their restraints, and what Black Politics should do moving forward.