Friday, December 16, 2016

My President Was White

Way back in the summer of 2008 I was having a conversation with a good friend, a poet, a committed liberal about then candidate Barack Obama. She was obsessive on the fact that he was black or African American or whatever and I asked her why she ignored or discounted the white or Caucasian half of the man? She honestly looked at me like I'd just said something she didn't know or, at least, had never thought of before. I didn't say this to discount Obama's blackness, but simply to acknowledge the mans whiteness which, in my opinion, plays as big a role in his political success as anything else and, truth be told, describes his ideological worldview to the consternation of his many black supporters. Case in point is the Ta-Nehisi Coates article "My President Was Black" which tries to make sense of BHO's presidency and how, incredibly (in his view), it lead to the election of Donald J Trump.
Obama went on to say that it would be better, and more realistic, to get the country to rally behind a robust liberal agenda and build on the enormous progress that’s been made toward getting white Americans to accept nondiscrimination as a basic operating premise. But the progress toward nondiscrimination did not appear overnight. It was achieved by people willing to make an unpopular argument and live on the frontier of public opinion. I asked him whether it wasn’t—despite the practical obstacles—worth arguing that the state has a collective responsibility not only for its achievements but for its sins.
Now, Ta-Nehisi is asking Obama about reparations to American blacks as compensation for the generational ravages of slavery/segregation (something I support BTW) but check out the presidents answer which could have, and would have, been delivered by president Al Gore or president John Kerry or president Hillbilly Clampett. He gives the "white" liberal answer - don't solve the Afro-American inequity problem by directly addressing it at the source by giving these people, put upon for 400 years, money and the security it engenders - No. Black folks need to "rally behind a robust liberal agenda" if they want any recompense for their suffering and that will take decades of making "unpopular arguments" and living "on the frontier of public opinion." Wow, sounds great - what a wonderful way to live your life, just pissing people off and trudging the hinterlands of your social environment. That is EXACTLY where white liberal politicians want black people to exist in American political discourse and Obama hasn't done a thing to bring the bulk of black voters into the political center.

Here is a guy, Barack H Obama, who spend $1 Trillion during his first year in office paying out sweetheart slush to long time Democrat money men and special interests but can't figure out a way to pay reparations to "his people." We're talking about 38 million people! You can't find $38 Million from a $1 Trillion stimulus bill = 0.000038? Quadruple it and give every black person in America $5 Million and we're talking about $200 Million. Oh, but some black people were born after 1965 and others emigrated from countries that didn't persecute their black people - great, hand out the money on a curved model - if you're 80 years old you get your full five and if you're 40 you get $2.5 M. Better yet, hand it out based on actual blackness based on genetic testing so if you're 100% African you get the full 5 but if you're Barack Obama you only get $2.5 M and $1 M if you're only 1/4 black, $250K if you're an octoroon. People all over the nation would be getting genetic tests to see if they qualify for a hand out. Of course, it will never happen - not because it's not justified but because reparations would flood Dixie with cold hard cash. The South, the horrible, backward, racist South is where almost all the black people in America live and paying reparations to black people would be a huge boost to the economy of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina - it would be like rewarding the slave owners and segregationists through indirect transfer payments. Also, it would make black people feel great and we can't have that.
(CNN)Following the election of Donald Trump, Michelle Obama said many Americans now know what it's like not to have hope.
"We feel the difference now. See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like," she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview, a clip for which aired on CBS on Friday. "Hope is necessary. It's a necessary concept and Barack didn't just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes."
"He and I and so many believe that -- what else do you have if you don't have hope," the first lady added. "What do you give your kids if you can't give them hope?"
How about giving them money Michelle? Because hope is an ephemeral and volatile feeling that can be misused like the flip side of the coin of the realm - fear. This qualified and constrained vision of "hope" - the one that demands the adoption of unpopular arguments as public policy and mainstreams the fringe of public opinion is what doomed Barack Obama's presidency (NOT his melanin). It's the reason DJT got elected in November on a platform of national unity and death to PC platitudes. Trump explicitly rejects the way Ta-Nehisi Coates sees identity in himself and others. A speedy reparations bill during Black History Month 2017 would be a great start for the Trump presidency so we can put all this bullshit behind us.

"... or whatever the hell you are"

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