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A Black Face in Charge of America – Is this a Step Forward for Black People

The real question we should be pondering is does Bro. Barack have a program that will benefit the Black population, will there be under the Obama administration anything different than any other moderate politician has offered.

(A relevant past article written before the election of Obama)

I don’t want to be a party-pooper, I kind of like Obama as a personality, the way he uses Malcolm’s bamboozled and hoodwinked lines at rallies, I think he is having his own inside joke with that one. That beautiful black family, Michelle Obama, remember how she almost brought the whole thing down with the slip of the tongue telling white folks wow it’s the first I ever been proud of this county; and the coolness in which he handles the craziness around him including the right wing attacks in becoming quite possibly the next President of the United States.

These are momentous times, a real shift in how the US has allowed those Black folks with the drive and of course the accepted politics to integrate into the US political system and compete and possible win the ultimate prize, to be in charge. Integrationists have now reached a level, that until Obama was not really thought possible. Remember we as a community didn’t jump on the Obama bandwagon nationally until white folks in Iowa gave him a stamp of approval, then we was like god-damn I like that young man.

Mr. Obama certainly isn’t the first but he does represent a new high point in this class of ambitious integrationist black politicians. This is not like the 70’s when Black politicians ran as extensions of the civil rights movement in local races (Mr. Obama does on occasion give some homage to that struggle) and did not need white votes or money to win. One similar aspect however is that those Black mayors usually inherited broken down cities, because white people had moved to the suburbs and took their tax revenue with them, and Mr. Obama may inherit a broken down america because capitalism over extended its greed.

However as we have seen with Corey Booker and several others, who have successfully made white people feel comfortable enough to either give them votes in national contest and or money in both local and national bids for office. These politicians have risen beyond the Clearance Thomas type Republican archetypes, who never had much black support, because they have not completely abdicating their race, but of course most of their racial politics.

Notice that every example of discrimination that Obama use, is about women piecing the corporate ceiling or equal salaries. That is safe ground to speak on when trying to get the white women who voted for Hillary. But for black people we just get a few words about being good daddies and parents.

Remember how he smoothly talked about white and black grievances as if they were some even sidedness to them, and whew!! did he throw Bro. Wright under the bus once he figured out this dude would not shut up. He almost got run out the race when talking about rural Americans (read crazy white people) turning to guns and religion, he really had to apologize for that one. Take note if any future integrationist black politicians are reading this, lesson one you can never talk about white pathologies, only supposed black ones, in national US politics its worth a good 5 to 10 percentage points in the polls and weeks worth of good media coverage.

But is this a step forward for black people in the United States. I want to get beyond the inspirational joy or obvious racial pride we derive as a group from the individual success of seeing another, the ultimate Black first. Can you imagine the day after the election, notice to all people in supervisory positions in particular those in charge of clerical and other support staff, we just got a new holiday – Barack Day its November 5, there will be no Black folks reporting to work that day.

The real question we should be pondering is does Bro. Barack have a program that will benefit the Black population, will there be under the Obama administration anything different than any other moderate politician has offered. In a capitalist society the question is will we see improvements in wealth, job opportunities, growth in black business, better schools, decrease in police brutality or health care, notwithstanding the great economic times prez. bushy is about to leave behind, is any plan at job programs going be directed at urban areas.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say hell no. Mr. Obama will not go any further than affirmative action, and the states are already dismantling those programs. There won’t be any specific plan for the black community or the acceptable political language of the urban areas. That would be a real liability for there to be any kind of suggestion that he supports the urban Marshal Plan that has been spoken about for years.

That’s why Hillary put him through the litmus test and went right after Mr. Obama’s relationship with Farrakhan and latter the Rev. Wright, who by the way took his two minutes of fame as an opportunity to do back hand slaps and play the dozens, as opposed to learning something from his prize protégée and being cool and direct, white owned media still would have hated him, but he would not have been so easily turned into a caricature of Black Nationalism (I swear he did a Jimmie J.J. Walker move at the National Pres Club, he almost called himself kid dynamite).

As these modern day ambitious Black politicians say themselves when running for office they are not running to be the black (mayor, governor, senator, or president) but to govern everyone. For black people it means that there will be no major policy shifts foreign or domestic, these folks represent the parties they are a part of, even if its the dove side the softer side of American hegemony, but that’s as good as it gets.

They are not fighting for self- determination for Black people, not even hinting at supporting black interest. If they can claim to hold down crime and get out without any scandals, they now have something new to shoot for, the Presidency. Which means it will still be up to us in the self –determination corner to figure out how to get resources to our community. To put it bluntly it’s a black face on white supremacy, that’s only a advancement for American prestige not for the collective good of black people.

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About Kamau Franklin (80 Articles)
Kamau has been a dedicated community activist and organizer for over twenty years, first in New York City and now based in the south. He has been a leading member of several grassroots organizations dedicated to the ideas of Malcolm X on self-determination. He has organized on various issues including youth organizing and development, police misconduct, and creating sustainable urban communities. Kamau has led and developed community cop-watch programs, freedom school programs for youth, large scale community gardens and alternatives to incarceration. He can be followed on twitter @kamaufranklin.

2 Comments on A Black Face in Charge of America – Is this a Step Forward for Black People

  1. suzan hammad // October 20, 2009 at 1:32 am // Reply

    i am not that good at predictions. having grown up in america in the 80’s and 90’s im happy america has come far enough 2 elect a black president. but of course everything is relative. america has far 2 go

    this may not make sense, but here’s my go:
    i believe in obama more than any other president i’ve known. but its his actual presidency that dilutes his politics. i think he’s stronger than his position. as president he has 2 keep some very funky company. and there’s only so far he can lead a horse (america) to water. grassroots education on american issues is still needed if he is going 2 gain enough power 2 really change this sad reality. maybe needed now more than ever b4

  2. 12/14/09 – I learned today that Obama approved Oil Drilling in the Artic. And, let’s not forget about the additional 30,000 troops he is sending to Afgan. So, where is the change?

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