When it became clear that Obama was going to win the Democratic nomination, the disciplining of Blackness began. He assumed quite correctly, that he would get the majority of votes from Blacks and therefore concentrated on winning over White voters. He immediately began chastising Blacks for our failures. Anyone remember the fathers day speech? Where was his nod to Black fathers that are there every day doing the heavy lifting? Not every Black man is a deadbeat dad. How about acknowledging that there are White men who have no problem walking away from their children?
Anyone remember how he gently chided Bernie Mac when he performed at a fundraising dinner? If you have ever watched the now deceased Bernie Mac, it was clear that his comedy, though funny, is not for everyone. Why should Bernie have changed who he was? We know that Black people have always been told to sit and be quiet and therefore apologizing for our speech is offensive.
We move on to the famous Eric Holder speech where he dared to speak truth to power. Obama damn near broke a leg running to escape that one. Heaven forbid that Whiteness be called out on the racism that it has engaged in. As a Black man, Obama has to have known, that there was truth in what Holder said. He seemed to be more concerned with holding onto the White people that voted for him, than supporting the Blacks in America that are suffering under the burden of racism.
When Obama has been attacked, many Blacks have been quick to defend him. He is the first African American president and therefore we realize the burden under which he operates. We have been patient, understanding that as the president he must represent all people. When he initially spoke out on the Skip Gates incident, declaring it racial profiling, we nodded our head in agreement and breathed a sigh of relief, that finally Obama was recognizing that as much as he needs his White voters, he responsible for helping Blacks reach the promised land that Martin Luther King spoke of so long ago.
No sooner than we could take a deep breathe, Obama began to distance himself from the charges of racial profiling. The right wing media was quick to declare that the president had no business commenting on this incident. Of course, Obama spoke to quickly, men like Rush Limbaugh were on the radio saying that it was Gates, rather than the White officer that was at fault. Fox news started to increase the hyperbole and racist taunts and therefore Obama had no choice but to back away from his statements. The beer summit certainly went a long way to addressing the racial disparity between Blacks and Whites didn’t it?
Then we have the idiot Kanye West speaking over a White woman as she was accepting an award. Kanye was subject to many racialized attacks on twitter that clearly displayed that people were not as much upset about not hearing an acceptance speech, but that a Black man had the temerity to step out of line. We all know that socially it is the place of White men and not Black men to oppress White women. Of course, this incident was perfectly within the right of Obama to state a critical opinion and therefore Whiteness had nothing to contribute to the issue. Where were the calls that affirmed that this incident was to minor for a man of Obama’s position to comment on?
When former President Jimmy Carter spoke about the racialized attacks which have been aimed at the Obama administration, where was the support of the president? He did not confirm what any reasonable person would have surmised. Instead we once again were subject to the virulent denial of the right wing media.
We are all aware that it is Obama’s aim to become a two term president and therefore he must be wary of the ways in which he addresses race. His behaviour so far has not been that of a cautious man but that of a man who has determined to submit to the desires of Whiteness. There are many issues that can wait until 2012 but Blacks need affirmation and support today. What the hell is the point of having an African American in office, if he can so readily ignore the effects of racism?