A Black Blogger’s Take on Obama’s Ambivalence toward the Real Problems in the Black Community

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

During last year’s primary season I discovered The Black Agenda Report which bills itself as “The Journal of African American Political Thought and Action.”  Glen Ford, the site’s executive editor, did NOT support Obama during the primaries and expressed his fear that Obama would actually set efforts to address real concerns in the black community back.

Ford and a group of writers continue to write compelling essays about the Obama Administration and his perspective is valuable as being an expression of how some blacks who are not Obots view what’s going on.

The most recent post deals with TBAR’s disappointment about Obama’s “ambivalence” over the effect of the current economic situation on black Americans.

Obama Preserves Entrenched Power, Sidesteps Racial Disparities

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Obama deploys the same twisted logic as generations of white, corporate politicians.”

In his own clichéd words, President Obama reveals himself to be, at best, ambivalent on the need to confront historical and current racial disparities in the United States. Behind the awesome hype and intellectual façade lies your garden variety corporate-bought politician whose worldview is no deeper than the shallowest catchphrase in long-discredited American economic discourse: a rising tide lifts all boats.

Ford takes Obama to task for stating that more “welfare” will meet the real needs of blacks.  Ford argues that real programs addressing such things as “institutionlized racism” and structural unemployment are needed, not just more “assistance.”  I’ve bolded a few key comments in the excerpt.

No Pretense of a Racial Policy

So confident is Obama that his personal Blackness is all that is required to offset horrific realities such as New York City’s nearly 50 percent Black male non-participation in the formal job market – statistics from 2003 that have certainly worsened in the current crisis – he offers not a single programmatic response. Obama is quick to point out that his plan is “is designed to help all people” – another way of saying there’s nothing in it to address the specific problems of people of color.

Obama claims there is no need for specific programs.”

He deploys the same twisted logic as generations of white, corporate politicians, who pointed to Black overrepresentation on welfare rolls as proof of the government’s deep concern for African Americans. In fact, concentrated levels of public assistance, food stamps and unemployment checks are elements of the misery index that, especially when dramatically skewed by race, cry out for specific programs and policies of remediation. Obama claims there is no need for specific programs because “folks who are most vulnerable are most likely to be helped because they need the most help.” Thus, he turns logic and language on their heads. The deeper Blacks sink into the abyss, the more they are eligible for general assistance – therefore, the Obama plan already contains everything African Americans need as a group, and will be of more use to them than to more advantaged groups. According to this line of reasoning, the worse things get, the more responsive the Obama plan is. There’s no need to deal directly with the underlying causes of disproportionate misery, such as institutional racism.

Presidential Denial

Obama is not even willing to fully acknowledge that Blacks and Browns have actually suffered disproportionately in the meltdown. In three successive sentences, he three times uses the word “probably” to describe what are solid facts. African Americans have not “probably” lost a disproportionate amount of jobs – Obama’s own Labor Department figures show that to be the case, on top of previously existing, horrendous rates of structural unemployment.

African American children are not “probably” over-represented among those lacking health insurance. They are, in fact, disproportionately uninsured. Obama belatedly corrects himself on this point, but his reflexive reluctance to give voice to the glaring racial disparities that are fundamental markers of American life, is deeply disturbing.

I love Ford’s opening description: “So confident is Obama that  his personal blackness is all that is required….” There are legitimate underlying problems that still need to be addressed and that the election of a black to the Presidency can’t cover up…especially a person like Barack Obama, who has no core values whatsoever and whose allegiances are all about drawing more power to himself.

But Ford and many of us already knew this during last year’s election season.  The “post-racial” candidate who spent most of the primaries playing the race card to win black votes has predictably been shafting this bloc by ignoring very real problems.  Instead, the Obama regime will offer more housing loans to folks who can’t afford them and trot out his “blackness” when re-election time comes around. In the meantime, very real issues concerning the black community will be brushed aside as usual.

And, of course, the same technique is being used with the poor in general and the middle class, as their  futures are thrown out the window to save the big banking friends of the Obama Administration.  There seem to be plenty of “programs” for bailing out banks (like TARP)  and taking over industries and “reforming” healthcare…Meanwhile,  the little guy will sink.

A writer in an earlier piece (about Guantanamo) asks the question “… Is Bush Still President?”

Seems appropriate since the “change” promised doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight…

6 Responses

  1. Yes. The B.A.R. did foretell the setback to race relations that would follow on the heels of the incessant use of the “race card” by Obama and Co.

    So did many other Black bloggers, a few from within our own PUMA circle.

    Obama is not concerned about that. And neither are his handlers. In fact, they couldn’t care less.

    What we must all understand is this… Obama was elevated to his high position NOT to resolve inequities between blacks and whites, or… for that matter … any other groups. This is why we see him waffle every time a substantive equality issue must be confronted. Women? Gays? Same thing.

    What we have now is a new (black) face on the policies of Bush. We needed it, cuz we weren’t buying the crap from the shrub anymore. Obama was plucked from obscurity and elevated to the highest office in the land…. in order to lull the American people back to sleep. To give us a false sense that “change” was afoot in the land.

    Honestly, I do not think the scheme is working quite as well as they hoped it would. And the fear is growing amongst the power brokers that “Conservatism” will make a comeback sooner than later. But that is another subject….

    For now I’ll just say: “Oh… what we could have had, had we elected a REAL Progressive to the White House.”

  2. IA, White or black or purple, the llittle guy will continue to sink as long as this continental jacka## is in the White House. His loyaly to corporate America and his view of the world as a whole, puts the middle and lower classes at the bottom of his totem poll.

    • But, but, but… we get to go into the Statue of Liberty’s crown again. Isn’t that change enough?

      That One has set us all (Black, White, Liberal Progressive, etc) back to a new low point in our history. Unfortunately, he is worse than I thought possible.

  3. “The deeper Blacks sink into the abyss, the more they are eligible for general assistance – therefore, the Obama plan already contains everything African Americans need as a group, and will be of more use to them than to more advantaged groups. According to this line of reasoning, the worse things get, the more responsive the Obama plan is. There’s no need to deal directly with the underlying causes of disproportionate misery, such as institutional racism.”

    Excellent, excellent excellent post, IA

    Institutional racism is the perfect descriptive of the tactics used by both the Obama Administration and the churches who foster and perpetuate Black Liberation ideology who helped put him in the White House. Don’t expect it to stop now. As a matter of fact, I think we will continue to see an escalation of racial tension, thanks to this “post racial” POTUS (how many times have you been called ‘racist’ since The Changeling arrived on the scene?)

    When I was young (and dinosaurs freely roamed the NYC landscape), interracial marriage was illegal. There was a general acceptance of bigotry, and the only place that African Americans could find the strength to face another day of inequality was in church. Enter MLK and the civil rights movement, which many of us “typical white people” supported.

    Once things began to change (god, how I’ve learned to hate the sound of that once glorious word), the churches ramped up the separatist rhetoric for fear of losing their community now that things were getting better. People like Michelle Obama wrote their theses on separatism, claiming that if you were assimilated into the general culture, you would lose your racial identity. (isn’t that the exact opposite of equality that we all fought so hard for?)

    Why did the churches and separatists strive so hard? Because without conflict, church contributions as well as support for ethnic leaders would dry up. There would never have been an Al Sharpton, or a Reverend Wright for that matter. The problem would be solved, so there would no longer be an opportunity for anyone with a soap box to garner support (and $) from the oppressed.

    Politicians (Obama being one of the slickest) and clerics alike still use phony hot button issues to fire up their base, giving them the two things they really want: MONEY AND POWER.

  4. Thanks for this excellent comment, Anthony!!

    I’m now mulling over the issue of “separation” but in broader terms (not racial) for a post next week involving the media…

    • No problem. I have much more detailed info on the “pit the minorities against each other” move that O is pulling, so if you like, you can email me at the address attached to this post and I;ll fill you in

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