It’s a sad, sorry travesty when good ol’ boy Lyndon B. Johnson and privileged elitist John F. Kennedy each better benefitted Black America than has affirmative action, p.c. poster token Barack Obama.
Look it up. LBJ, in 1964, signed the Civil Rights Act after fighting like hell for it in 1963. JFK dragged his feet, but with rabid racist Gov. George Wallace literally barring the door, he eventually federalized and sent in the National Guard to desegregate the University of Alabama. Barack Obama hasn’t done a thing but grin and shine.
Not that he didn’t have opportunities, indeed challenges, to confront racial profiling and storm trooping police. Early in his term, he responded to the wretched treatment of scholarly icon Louis Gates, Jr. who was treated like a burglar for trying to get into his own home by shamelessly Tomming. When national attention focused on the incident, Obama wound up inviting Gates and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley to a polite little sit-down at the White House, whereupon Crowley announced he’d attend, but had no intention of apologizing, and Obama let him get away with such a snotty remark.
Early on his landmark initial tenure, this marked the consistent character of America’s first so-called Black president. At one point Michael Dyson put it perfectly, flat-out stating, “This president runs from race like a Black man runs from a cop.” Obama’s resolutely ignoring race amounted to an ostrich act, even when you’d think he’d be embarrassed into doing or at least saying something.
For instance, protesting the murder of Trayvon Martin, Congressional Rep. Bobby Rush entered the House floor and, shedding his suit jacket, revealed a sweatshirt and put the hood up, declaring “Racial profiling has to stop.” When he wouldn’t sit down and shut up, Rush was removed by the House sergeant at arms. The incident generated more than a million YouTube hits.
Yet, Obama never said a word in defense of or in solidarity with Rush. He did eventually make the mealy mouthed statement, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think [Trayvon’s parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Mumia Abu-Jamal languishes in prison for a cop-killing he clearly didn’t commit. Obama could sign a presidential pardon, but ignores Abu-Jamal’s plight. He won’t even make a less controversial move to pardon Black women wrongfully imprisoned for defending themselves or their children against abusive husbands or boyfriends. And, of course, he ignores Jamar Clark.
Speaking of which, he’s not by himself in having succeeded thanks to popular Black support only to turn around and ignore those supporters. In our own backyard, Keith Ellison vaulted first to Minnesota House of Representatives, then to Congress, championed by Black voters. Since arriving in Congress, the closest he’s come to “giving back” is proselytizing for Muslims.
An occasion this March is a plain example. The locally spawned luminary was in Minneapolis, on stage, yucking it up with White folk for MinnRoast without having spent even a few minutes outside on the sidewalk so much as acknowledging citizens protesting Clark’s shooting death by Minneapolis police. Ellison, the dynamic, outspokenly articulate activist, who’d Elmer Gantryed the hell out of Black Minnesotans, ascending to celebrity status.
The telling height of Obama’s turncoat hypocrisy is characterized by his pimping Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a disposable stepping stone to political prominence. “Greeting from my pastor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright,” he’d announce in addressing churches to gain his power base — first in becoming senator, then in running for president. Soon as Wright passionately denounced America for its inherent, entrenched racism, Obama couldn’t distance himself from the man far enough fast enough.
Barack Obama won the White House on the strength of Black voters, on the back of centuries of Black struggle and doesn’t give one red damn about the Black America that desperately needs a “change we can believe in.”
They were, in a nutshell, taken by this snake-oil salesman and went for his con job hook, line and sinker. In return, he presented his presidential behind to be kissed.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.