How much longer until we, collectively realize this?
Obama’s anti-Black/Brown transgressions, virtually since day 1, have been well-documented, particularly in that he’s expanded the worst aspects the Bush Administration’s foreign policy, which has seen countless Black & Brown deaths, and has only sparked more terrorism in the Middle East and Africa. Granted, many democratic party loyalists (Black ones, especially) will rationalize this by saying Obama’s a figurehead with limited power in all of this (…although, at that point, I’d have to wonder why they’re not calling out Hillary Clinton’s direct involvement in all of those things as former Secretary of State, but I digress).
Granted, while these loyalists would be wrong, there is at least some merit to that argument. Ultimately, ‘Murica is a country that’s inherently white supremacist and imperialistic…it’s been that way since inception and will continue to be that way until it’s mercifully destroyed (sooner than later, hopefully). But, of course, if that’s the logic we wanna go with, then that means criticisms against Bush Jr. weren’t valid, either (but again, I digress).
But for argument’s sake, let’s say they’re correct in that Obama owns little-to-no real responsibility in the mass genocide and modern-day ethnic cleansing carried out and/or supported by this country.
There’s still several things he has some autonomy over that have clearly proven him to be anti-Black. Such as, I don’t know…going to colleges and preaching respectability politics, lecturing young, Black men on all the things they’re doing wrong, as opposed to a system that wrongs them at every turn…not to mention, downing and pathologizing the race. Let’s not forget some of the things he told new alumni of Morehouse in his commencement speech at their graduation ceremony:
We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices. Growing up, I made a few myself. And I have to confess, sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. But one of the things you’ve learned over the last four years is that there’s no longer any room for excuses. I understand that there’s a common fraternity creed here at Morehouse: “Excuses are tools of the incompetent, used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness.” …
For a lot of young boys and young men in particular, they don’t see an example of fathers or grandfathers, uncles, who are in a position to support families and be held up in respect. And so that means that this is not just a gun issue; it’s also an issue of the kinds of communities that we’re building.
These kinds of lectures to Black folks are as wrong as they are counterproductive, as it’s been well-documented, by this point, that the root of these “community” issues are systemic. Black folks have far less room to make “bad choices” than most others. Obama could be using his position to encourage young Black folks to fight a system that’s set up to keep them behind, but no, let’s just preach to Black men about everything they’re doing wrong (in a system that was never set up for us to succeed, anyway).
And more recently, we’ve seen where, in the face of police brutality, Obama has thrown Black activists under the bus to uphold the fake virtues of policing in ‘Murica. He’s condemned protesting that (rightfully) calls out policing as being a systemic problem that needs to be divested from, not just a “few bad apples” that can be reformed. He makes empty pleas for unity from “both sides”…as if Black people haven’t tried that countless times already. He pretends like he’s on the side of Black activism by playing a “centrist” role, but the problem is, this isn’t a two-sided issue. It’s a matter of right (Black people, the oppressed) vs. wrong (police, agents of the oppressor). Power dynamics are crucial to this issue, and by claiming that there’s anything the oppressed is doing wrong in this situation, you’re taking the side of the oppressor.
Also, let’s not forget that he made his stance on police clear when he signed Blue Alert into law last year, which goes above and beyond to protect police (again, an oppressor that doesn’t need additional protecting).
And most recently, we saw Mr. Obama making a statement that Colin Kaepernick, and others protesting by not standing for the national anthem, should “listen to the pain” that said protests cause for people in the military…as if we don’t have a right to protest or exercise free speech (but that’s a tired topic I don’t wanna go into, as said protests were never even about the military…wypipo just love to deflect). And being the toothless centrist that he is, he followed up by saying, “But I also want people to think about the pain that [Kaepernick] may be expressing about somebody who has lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot” (SN: His usage of the “they think” qualifier is not to be overlooked).
I’ll respond to that with a critique of Obama that I believe sums him up fairly well:
Unfortunately, Obama thrives on being in the middle. He has no backbone to fight for justice. He likes to be above the fray. But for those us us who are in the fray, there is a different sensibility. You have to choose which side you’re on, and he doesn’t want to do that. Fundamentally, he’s not a love warrior. He’s a polished professional. …
Obama’s attitude is that of a neo-liberal, and they rarely have solidarity with poor and working people. Whatever solidarity he does offer is just lip-service to suffering but he never makes it a priority to end that suffering.
Again, when you take a centrist stance in an issue of oppressor vs oppressed, you’re taking the side of the oppressor. Simple as that.
Look, I get it…the symbolism of a Black person holding the “highest office” in the country is powerful and alluring, and it’s symbolism that I once bought into, myself. But reality is, we can’t be so caught up in symbolism and identity politics that we don’t see the forest for the trees. Fact is, Obama isn’t for us and never has been. Aside from the fact that he’s serving a country that’s inherently anti-Black by design, he’s demonstrated, more than once, that he doesn’t care to acknowledge the realities of Black struggle, and has no problem throwing us all under the bus for the sake of appeasing white people.
And that’s ironic, since, regardless of how much Obama tries to throw us under the bus for the sake of empathizing with cops, the military and other oppressors of Black people, wypipo still see Obama’s Black ass as less than dirt. You’d think that would be a sign that the respectability politics that he teaches to young, Black folks are ultimately fruitless, but apparently not.
We need to face reality…all skinfolk ain’t kinfolk, and Obama damn sure isn’t any kind of kin to me or any other Black person who’s actually interested in justice.
Let’s be perfectly clear: Obama ain’t for you Obama ain’t for me. Obama ain’t for the truth. Obama ain’t for justice. Obama ain’t Pro-Black.
Obama ain’t shit.