Obamanation: A Lesson In Black Power

Being Black in the US means something.  It implies an understanding of power and oppression.  It implies an800px-americaafricasvg inclination and proclivity to side with those that resist oppression and exploitation, the Black nation having a history of acute experience with those forces.

That said, does it matter if we have sitting, the first Black chairman in the 221 years of the House’s existence, if he sits idly by and congratulates a president-elect that promises to embrace imperial foreign policy across Africa and the so-called Middle East?

Does it matter if that President-Elect’s skin happens to be Black if his office appoints an Attorney General that advocates more of a draconian domestic policy already  decimating Black communities?

Does it matter if we are greeted by the first ever Black Attorney General if he wants to make possession with (cop’s discretion) intent to distribut a 5 year felony?

Does it matter, in 2008, the color of the faces of a system that is grinding into dust, the bones of Black and Brown Americans and Iraqis alike?

Hell yes, it matters so much that he is Black.  But not as a justification for backslapping celebration.  Obama is a tool of the ruling class and when the power of Blackness is used by the ruling class it is Black power in reverse, turned around to use as a weapon against everyone except the ruling class.

barack_obamaThe Obama administration, before it officially begins, is shaping up to be the nightmare so many abstainers and McKinney supporters predicted it would.  I told you so’s may make some folks feel better about having been right but that shit doesn’t really matter at all.  What seems important here is the opportunity, maybe an opportunity, to learn and to teach.  Black and Brown communities in the US have represented the tip of the spear of progressive struggle for centuries.  Over the past 35 or so the nature of that struggle has been severely compromised by the phenomenon of Black faces in high places.  My city, Atlanta, is as good an example of it as any Black or Brown city in the country.  Maynard Jackson, in 1974 became the first Black mayor of Atlanta.  Not incidentally, Coleman Young was simultaneously being sworn in as the first Black mayor of the Motor City.  To this day, Atlanta has seen nothing but Black mayors.  From Jackson to Andrew Young to Jackson again to Bill Campbell to Shirley Franklin.  In that time, Atlanta has served as something of the model of the evolution of white institutional power-Jim Crow style-into the new Black face of white power never before illustrated more powerfully than in the placement of Barack Obama in the office of the President of the United States.

On the morning November 5, 2008 I woke to a United States of America that was the same gulag of a country it was when I drifted off to sleep the night before amidst a popcorn symphony of fireworks and pistols celebrating the placement of Barack Obama as the next president of this hellhole.  Okay, okay.  Maybe it’s not a hellhole.  But ask an Iraqi.  Or a Lakota.  Or a Nicaraguan.  If you wanna be precise, there is a long list of people, within and without the US, and from dozens of other countries that will probably sign on to the hellhole moniker.   But that’s another post maybe.  Barack Obama’s melanin didn’t change what this country was or is.  And considering the good mayors like Jackson, Young, Campbell and Franklin have done a major city like Atlanta you must wonder what in the hell we thought Obama would even mean.  Considering what Clarence Thomas in the Judicial and Condoleeza Rice in the Executive have meant to Black people and oppressed people around the world, maybe we should have known better.  The proverbial water is still flowing under the bridge, with the bodies of New Orleans and Iraqis and Afghanis floating just beneath the shimmering, celebratory surface.  What is there to learn here?

The placement, not election, of Barack Obama on the one hand proves that a Black face in a high place is worthless while simultaneously proving that his face is worth it’s weight in gold.  The critical question is for whom.  For us, the people, Black administrators in a system controlled by white corporate power continues to be meaningless.  The system, not select positions within it, is the problem.  For them, the ruling class a Black face is almost priceless.  Black people within and without the United States, have lost faith in the United States.  The nightmare, always marketed as the ‘dream’, had become unbearably harsh for too many.  So harsh that there was a danger that, as with particularly bad dreams, people might be jolted out of sleep.  This is where Obama is needed.

Increasingly hip to the sick game of broken white promises, Enrons, grandmothers drowning in the ninth ward, computers and courts stealing elections, immigration raids sending abandoned kids to hide in the woods, the rich fucks have a crisis of confidence in the whole system on their hands.  And not just the confidence of the usual folks who get fucked but wider now.  White folks were losing faith fast too.  All this makes the placement of ahandsome (read light-skinned), articulate (speak like a white newscaster) 2004 Illinois state senator to President of the United States in 2008.  Once the celebration ends maybe we’ll even ask where this guy even came from.

Obama won’t serve us.  He’ll serve those who coronated him.  And but of course.  Will Black and Brown folks take this moment to contemplate and learn or will we drunk on the narrative of those who would continue our enslavement, stand and salute our Blackness turned around to signal our own demise?

19 Responses to “Obamanation: A Lesson In Black Power”

  1. bro. shakir Says:

    beautiful!!! my sentiments exactly!!! however, there are so many sleeping black folk (both learned and unlearned) that have fallen for the con and refuse to see it for what it really is—manipulative bullshit!!! us warroirs of truth doing battle for the salvation of black folk are catching hell out here trying live up to what we were born for because home is where the hatred is (and on the other side of town as well). we won’t give up the fight though and please don’t you stop writing this truth. peace!!!

  2. Thanks for commenting. If you see something that makes sense here, please send it to others and send links to me as well. In times like these, information is even more powerful than it ever has been before.

  3. Very nice article. The problem is that the ‘powers that be’ don’t care about the few intelligent people who see this charade for what it is. They are using emotion to appeal to the great MAJORITY of blacks, and btw other races as well (because most voted for Obama) to vote for Obama. What will it take for the majority of the US population to wake up? I am afraid to say that nothing will wake them up. Even if the US turns into a third world country (which is where it is heading at the moment) these folks from the majority will remain passive.

  4. At first, as a white man, I was happy to have a black man running for prez, then as the campaign ground onward, I realized he wasn’t the radical kick in the pants this *potentially* great country needed. Obama danced close to some people that were, in my mind, wrongfully villainized (Rev. Wright and Wm. Ayers). But, he quickly kow-towed to the System and backed off from *those types*.
    people here are so easily led into a lifestyle of complacency. Television shows have conditioned us all to accept “opinions” as facts. Intellectualism is frowned upon, while acting dumb is glorified (look at our entertainment culture). The arts are about making money, not communicating the unknown. We are leading the world (via cultural imperialism) into a terrible unknown…
    All I can say is keep voting with your dollar. research everything you buy and support the companies that do good. lead by example. don’t follow the masses into the dark!

  5. 2010: i’m confused by what you say. are you repeating one of the main points of Obamanation: A Lesson In Black Power? are you frowning on such truthtelling as being fruitless, a waste of the writer’s time? are you frowning on taking any kind of action which might assist in waking up the masses? is there any kind of action which you would approve of? please explain if you would. thank you.

  6. You got it right – perfectly right. Thank you.

    Will Nobama be worse than Bush? Define “worse”. I do believe that he will expand many of Doubleduh’s policies. I believe Congress will continue to be compliant. I believe he will be confronted and he will crush dissent.

    Other than that, he’ll be fine.

  7. Excellent post! Very eloquent! As a white man, you’ve shown me that what I have believed about Obama for two years is shared by at least some of the black community. God help us all! At this point, I think He’s all there is left for us.

  8. What a crock of nonsense?
    I see the government till has enough money to continue to pat BLACK CIA operatives.

  9. Johnny De Vulcan Says:

    Did you notice the collosal loudspeakers on very high scaffolds, both in Berlin and in gigs in USA? They were being used for distribution of in-audible mind- and feeling- altering tecniques called “Sound of Silence” . The enthusiasm of the spectators was wholly artificially produced. see the web-site: “The sound of silence, the anti-thesis of freedom”. Without it it would have been impossible, no humans of any colour are stupid enough to NOT ask the question; what Change?

  10. There is good and bad in the Obama strategy. I say ‘strategy’ because Obama was selected like all the others. But his selection was a desparate move by the oppressor. It’s like shooting oneself in the foot in order to attract wolves in the woods. Yes, you will attract those wolves, but it will not be to your benefit.

    The image of a Black man as head of the most powerful nation on earth will weigh heavy on the minds of the world’s population. Because the Black man is an icon of oppression. Therefore the world must now humble its self to the authority of the one who was peviously oppressed. And the oppressed must now heal and see their selves in a position of authority.

    Obama is not what the former slave owners had in mind. His image is the stone that will break the Willie Lynch syndrome and clear the way for real Black leaders to rise. Its the same as if you took all the pictures of White Jesus down and replaced them with images of Black Jesus. Niether image is the image of God-Almighty because God is not a man. However, the image of White Jesus has kept the minds of Black people thinking themselves to be inferior. Therefore the image of Black Jesus, over time, must restore the Black mind to its orginal position of equality as a human being. The image of a Black US President will also suffice.

    So now, when people realise that Obama may not be all that, there will be Black leaders who will be willing to step foward and prove that they can do a better job. And they will be taken serious. After 4 years of a Black President, Black First Lady, and Black Children in the White House, Black people will be able to take each other serious and Black voices will be heard.

    It is important to remember that God-Almighty is the Greatest Planner. If you see the White Power Structure willing to sacrifice its self by putting a Black man in power, you should realise that you are witnessing the death of White Supreamacy. With that being said, you should give Obama a chance to prove his self before you start tearing him down.

  11. Good stuff! Always good to see someone not hopenotized. I was wondering if you could direct me to any background info on Eric Holder, cause I’m thinking of writing a bigass article on all of Obomba’s new White House crew.

  12. AlmaisaBotts Says:

    You know how you have a freind that is really cool, but from time to time he/she does things that bring drama to your life, and no matter how many times you tell that person” look dont do that” they still do it. And with time enough damage has been done to your personal life/social life it is too late to turn back. that is what obama will do to the american people. Everyone will say” hey obama is great and he has done these great things for our country, but damn why has he just passed this law? O well we will just tell him to keep up the good work!..and over time enough damage will be done and the american people will say”fuck” he was just like all of the others. Or ideally they won’t even notice. Its all about give a little and take alot in this system. Give 30 and take 70. Its all an illusion. Keep up the good work brotha.

  13. AlmaisaBotts Says:

    But, might I add, saifullah you are very correct in your words..This will spark a change in the mindset of black people, and this is trully necessary for the black community to have a sence of direction.- And this is a very drastic move/scheme taken by the leaders of this system.

  14. Martin King Says:

    saifullah: you have a good point, but the only way Obama can prove himself is to be honest. look at his record – this he cannot be. also paving the way for honest black folk after 4 years is perhaps futile, because isn’t the world supposed to end in 2012?

  15. Hey, if some people don’t like America, and think it is oppressive, why don’t they leave? Go some place that has it better.

    For one America hosts the richest Mexicans and African’s in the world. Millions try to come here.

    And do you know what Mexicans do to their illegals if they don’t kill them? Send them home, usually in a body bag. Do you know you can’t own land in Mexico, or hold a top job as a cop or fireman if you are not Mexican?

    Do you know what they are doing to South Afirca right now? Complete and utter chaos. 15 years ago South Africa had the 8th largest econmy in the world, now it is below 30th.

    Love white people or hate us, we do good things.

  16. Saifullah

    Your logic is missing something. The Obama lesson that is going to stick is that you have to look, smell and taste like Obama in order to be taken seriously. In regards to the Black leaders you think will come forward, this will be the opposite of their reality in the coming years. This is important to understand.

    People are getting poorer. Black and brown people are more strapped than ever! This environment will produce the opposite of the kind of leader white and Black Americans will grow accustomed to seeing with the placement of Obama.

  17. You’re right! Love white people or hate them, they do good things. And that is the advantage white people have over other races, they know exactly how to do good things… for themselves.

    Do you know why they are doing the things in South Africa now? If you answer this question honestly, you will find the answer to this question is the same as the answer to…Do you know why Blacks are killing Blacks in urban areas across the U.S. while Black leaders keep silent?

    Love it or hate it, time is up! And by the way, if you are not the ruling elite, you too are oppressed…So when are you leaving?

  18. Obama will do for black people what Thatcher did for women.

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