The Moment of Truth: African Americans’ Nonsensical Support for Barack Obama
by Solomon Comissiong
A fanatical wave of euphoria rushed over a great many African-Americans when Barack Obama was (s)elected president of the United States in 2008. Just for the record, this writer was not one of them. The writing was on the wall regarding Barack Obama; many either completely ignored it, some were oblivious to his full record, and others simply made excuses for it. Barack Obama was a US senator who openly supported things like FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), which paved the way for the mass spying on civilians that the US government continues to do today. He was open about his plans to expand the US military’s role in Afghanistan. He gladly signed into law the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), which is an even more aggressive version of the Patriot Act. Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers and journalists than any other president in US history. He has even deported more immigrants (especially those of color), than any other president before him.
In 2008 candidate Barack Obama suggested that the United States is a country of just laws, immediately after the vastly unjust acquittal of the police officers that murdered Sean Bell. He told protesters: “The judge has made his ruling, and we’re a nation of laws, so we respect the verdict that came down.” The United States has never been a nation of “just laws.” However, is a nation that has routinely created laws in the interests of the white ruling class. This is the same nation that created laws to make “legal” the enslavement of African/black people, plunder Native American land and forced African/black people to pay “poll taxes” in order to vote – among many other racist atrocities. However, Barack Obama, the duplicitous politician, painted a pretty picture of the U.S. because he knew they would appease his white base. Only the delusional continue to believe that Barack Obama has been acting in the interests of African/black people. He does not even act in the interests of humanity.
President Obama has bombed seven countries in six years. Among the nations bombed was Libya, which he justified on a heap of filthy lies. He has also established himself as the drone president. He ordered more drone strikes in his first year in office than did George Bush in his entire eight years as president. And for those who don’t know, because they consume mass doses of corporate media, the vast majority of casualties of drone strikes have been civilians. Obama is a man of color who publicly praises Ronald “racist” Reagan every opportunity he gets. And, just like his political idol (Reagan), he too, bombed Libya.
Unfortunately none of the above mentioned facts seem to matter to supporters of Barack Obama. Despite the fact that many Obama supporters rightfully spoke out against the Bush administration’s crimes against humanity, they willingly remain silent in the face of Obama’s record of war and destruction. It is not surprising that white liberals adore Obama – he is the “safe” face of color they love to support. In their world of white liberal privilege, saying they voted for Obama is somehow supposed to prove that they are not racist. They ultimately do not care about eradicating white supremacy and institutional racism – they care only about feeling good inside and not being labeled as a “racist.” They are the “foxes” that Malcolm X warned us they were. Their actions should not be all that surprising, especially when one studies their history. However, it is African/black people’s continued unconditional support for Barack Obama and his political party that is cause for surprise.
Despite Barack Obama’s overall foreign and domestic record, masses of African/black people continue to support him. African/black people have historically been the most socially progressive on many issues such as war and imperialism. However, with the advent of the Obama presidency, all of that has radically changed. All it took was the combination of a brown face and a Democrat Party affiliation, and presto – they are now staunch supporters of war and imperialism. Even when that brown-faced Democrat commits acts of war on African nations they still support his actions. And, as if that was not bad enough, when Obama chastises African/black men publicly, as he did years ago on Father’s Day, they still see no wrong with him. Barack Obama would never reprimand white fathers for their equal rates of being absentee fathers. He knows he cant get away with it with white folks, but he knows he can continually get free passes with African/black people – no matter what he does or says! The US’s white elite must have a field day laughing at African/black people behind closed doors. They probably say things like, “Those negroes are so damn gullible. We put a brown-faced willing puppet on our system, label him a Democrat – and they still support him. They even continue to support him after he extolled Ronald Reagan. Ha ha ha!!! Barbara, please pass me a piece of that non-fair trade chocolate? Your blood-diamond ring from, West Africa, looks beautiful on you!”
Besides a superficial cozy feeling some African/black people may get when they think about Obama being in the White House, there is tangibly very little his presidency has done for black folk. African/black people continue suffer economically, mass incarceration, school systems that are becoming more and more corporatized, as well as widespread gentrification. All of this, yet he finds more and more money to spend on military campaigns of imperialism. He has never even attempted to create a targeted program to alleviate the mass poverty and unemployment routinely found in communities of color. All of this and African/black people continue to support him, without condition, as if he is the Messiah. Even a “messiah” would have more conditions attached.
In January of 2017, the delusional fantasy will be over for most African/black people in this country. They will have no choice but to open their eyes to reality, look around, and then ask themselves, “What did I get for voting for this man?” Someone with entrepreneurial spirit needs to create a t-shirt saying, “I voted for Barack Obama and all I got is this revisionist history t-shirt with Obama’s face wedged in between Malcolm X and MLK.”
The time is long overdue that African/black people, who continue to support the war mongering Barack Obama, to look long and hard in the mirror and be completely honest with themselves. This is their moment of truth. Why have you failed to apply any type of grassroots pressure upon the man you voted for, not once but twice? What have you asked from him, in return for your undying support? Have you become a part of the overall problem by merely being content with someone that looks like you in the White House – regardless of his destructive policies? How much longer will you unconditionally support the likes of Barack Obama, the two-party dictatorship (Democrats & Republicans) or US foreign policy in general? These are the kinds of questions Obama supporters must ask themselves. It is time to break out of the Cult of Obama and join others in a fight for humanity, peace, justice and a sustainable future. If not for yourself, do it for the next generation – they depend on it.