Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Obama Campaign & The White House, A Segregationists's Dream / Where Do We Go from Here, Community or Chaos?

As death circled closer, Martin Luther King Jr, shifted from integration to the disparity of wealth and the Vietnam War.

He just left Chicago reeling from the shock of entrenched racism and violence of the white "northern" community, calling it "worse than "Bombing-ham", (Birmingham Alabama).

Chicagoans greet Martin Luther King 

Dr. King forced to retreat after being pelted with rocks and bottles  in Chicago

King bleeding after being hit with a brick in Chicago 

The poverty and internalized oppression of Black Chicago unsettled King far more than the most terrified southern tenant farmer and there was a  hopelessness on the south and westside  that he'd never seen before.

Black politicians and Black ministers joined together, publicly attacking him almost daily, telling him to go home.  And he knew the "polite" Mayor Daley who welcomed him to Chicago was behind it. King considered Chicago his first and only defeat.  Deeply humiliated, depressed, and unmoored, the organic intellectual,  penned a sermon at the Air Port entitled "Those Strange Negroes Up North".

King heads home. 

It was the first of his second most untraditional sermons. After deeper reflection, King rose from his spiritual abyss and wrote  "Where Do We Go  From Here: Chaos or Community.
Black Chicago and most of  Black America have failed to answer the question, choosing chaos by default.

H.S student Derrion Albert killed by other H.S. students 

In the chaos, we have lost track of ourselves and our history.  We've become consumed in the material,

worshiping false man-gods of prosperity christianity that shuns the Black radical tradition, intellectualism, and humanism.

We are a both a modern day Chekhov play of the tragic, the comic, and full of pathetically sad irony; and an updated version of Ellison's Invisible Man.  In this play the curtain opens with deafening cheers from Black middle class America, euphoric because we have just elected a Black President and as we listen to his inauguration speech, standing next to him are James "Jamie" Dimon,  Larry Summers, Rahm Emanuel, Timothy Geithner, and William Daley.

Jamie Dimon

William Daley

Rahm Emanuel

Timothy Geithner

Larry Summers
Some begin to wonder who is this strange cabal of white men? And a few even recognized some of them and were disturbed. The President had studied the Black race and indeed had immersed himself in their culture, and they adopted him, as they were generous this way. So the President understood them better than they understood themselves and knew just what to do.  Obama flashed that smile and presses a red button under the podium, labeled "Black America", and the song "Electric Slide" blasted.
And the Black people begin to dance to the Electric Slide in perfect sync, for we have been practicing for a very long time

Some say it's mystic
It's electric
Boggie Woggie Woggie

You can't see it
 You gotta feel it
Boggie Woggie Woggie  

You can't resists
                                                         it's electric
                 Boggie Woggie Woggie

Are you coming with me?
Come let me take you on the party ride
And I'll teach you, teach you, teach you
I'll teach you the electric slide

And for the next three years, no matter how bad it got in the hood, We danced.

The Foreclosures Draining Black wealth, (we danced),

Black Unemployment, (we danced),

Blacks Recycled Into the Prison Industrial complex, (we danced),

Public Schools closing/ Charter Schools as Patronage (we danced)

Black on Black Shootings ( we danced).

We danced, We danced, We danced, because the image of a Black President in the White House with his Black family, for us was worth dancing for.

 Those who disagreed and tried to interrupt the dancing, were labeled "sell outs", "haters". They were called "disconnected" and stuck in an outdated era, unable to compete and afraid to let go of the security blanker of race and forge ahead, in our new Post Race Society that the election of President Obama created.

Months leading up to the last election, a minority of progressive Black voices ( marginalized further into the political wilderness) complained about President Obama's neglect of the Black community
and his foreign policies that differed little from those of George Bush(s) and it got worse.

 President Obama became politically abusive to the Black community. Tearing a notorious page from
 then 1st time presidential candidate Bill Clinton's political note book, who pimped Rev. Jesse Jackson's invitation to deliver the key note speech at The National Rainbow Convention.  Instead of being gracious for the invite "into" Black America, Clinton  demonstrated to white voters his willingness to" stand-up" to Black leadership.  Clinton began by lecturing a shocked Jesse Jackson, then turned to face progressive female lesbian Hip Hop artist Sister Souljah, (who Jesse Jackson had just given a leadership award to), and called her a racist on national TV.

Obama, did the same last spring when the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) complained about his unwillingness to address the 40% poverty rate of Black children and the 14% Black unemployment rate ( more than double that of white America), and the Black on Black violence that began to climb in urban cities.

79th & Essex aka "Terror Town" were eight we gunned down on a corner 8/23/12

Like Clinton, Obama waited for a national Black event to strike, selecting the Black Caucus's very own dinner dance. Obama repeated their charge and then said with laughter, that the CBC needed to "quit complaining, quit whining, and quit crying"

President Obama's message received wide support, not just among conservative white America, but liberal white America too, who saw Obama as their savor. Finally they too were free to express their latent racism against poor Black people and those annoying "race matters this" and "race matters that" "professional Black complainers".

The real sad thing was when the confused and rudderless Black people in the audience gave Obama a standing ovation, demonstrating the self loathing and internalized oppression of the Black bourgeoisie class along with mainstream Black America.

More unfortunate was that Black politicians were put on notice, President Obama was not to be criticized.

It was like the Twilight Zone. Had George Bush uttered those words accidentally within recording range, a political riot would've ensued, let alone, had he said them at an all Black event in front of national TV.

The late Rodney King
As the Black murder and poverty rate spun out of control, people like Cornel West, Tavis Smiley,  Rob Redding, Reverend Al Sharpton, Professor Michael Dyson, Bruce Dixon and Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report, stepped up their criticism.  Now was the time, before the election, they argued, to push Obama, to be more responsive.  Yet Obama skillfully played us like a yo-yo.

Obviously, This is not Obama 

To score political points, Obama dropped the the Black community and pulled us back up with even cheaper stunts, like at the Apollo Theater, when Obama sang ( to the Black community) Al Green's hit song "Lets Stay Together" and most Black people who began to question his commitment to the Black America,  got silenced again, bushed aside by the Black middle class, who because of that one stunt, re-upped their loyalty to Obama like crack fiends.

Notice the American Flag T shirt

I've never seen the Black community in Chicago so ecstatic as when Obama crooned the words "We belong Together, Let's stay Stay Together, in any Sort of Weather". It was almost as he announced that Black folks would be receiving reparations for slavery, momentarily.

Of course while Obama was singing, the Obama Campaign was draining the steam from the Black protest movement. Tavis and West lost two stations for their nationally syndicated radio show, including  Chicago's WBEZ a major market. Clearly white liberals made their choice based upon their interests.

 And Obama employed drones in the Black community. Not lethal military drones, but hungry scholars and activists, looking for a platform and certainly willing to knock West and any other credible black voice out of the trees. West became entangling in so many public beef's that he began to tire and his righteous thunder diminished as his own people turned on him, accusing him of being petty and jealous of Obama, as oppose to brave enough to risk his career on behalf of poor and imprisoned Black people.

Reverend Al Sharpton, meanwhile, got called to The White house, emerging with his own syndicated national TV show in which to support President Obama and himself of course. He claimed he didn't understand the "big picture" until it was explained to him at the white house. Typical of today's Black "reverend".

Ironically Before Obama even ran for President Arron McGruder in his cartoon The Boondocks predicted the rise of Al Sharpton whom he lambasted as Reverend Rollo Goodlove.

All Sharpton Prime Time and Live five days a week.     

And Professor Dyson seemed to go the cheapest, all he got was a ticket with complete access to the Democratic National Convention as a White House Press Source for the Black community. Interestingly enough every time he was pulled aside for an interview( which was often), he always seemed to have a plate of food and a drink in hand.

Blacks as expected, voted overwhelmingly for the President, 94% with a 12% turn out. Obama did  surprisingly well with hispanics with 71% with a 9% turn out. What really helped Obama, however, was the 7 million white voters who just stayed home.

The Hispanics, were the first( even beating big labor) to immediately swoop in and claimed credit for the Obama victory. Unlike the Black community, Hispanics demonstrated their new ability to play hard ball national politics as skillfully as they play it in Chicago.

I wrote in a previous post, about the political negotiations and unprecedented campaign spending ( that didn't happen in the Black community), from the White House being fast and furious with the Hispanic Community beginning early last spring.  Immigration became a focal point for Obama, and Hispanic deportations  which had grown ( like Black unemployment) under Obama,  in a mistaken attempt to get middle class white male support, suddenly ceased.

Hispanics are now on the fast track to be the first immigrant group to become incorporated into the fabric of America, like the Irish and Italians.

If Obama had equally focused on the Black community, he could have jumped Black voter turn out
easily. He had the money and equally important, a larger support base. Obama's grassroots organizing credentials are more suspect than the book "Gang Leader for A Day", but real grassroots organizers in
the hood were begging to be put into the game, in order to make a name with the Obama. This was one of the reasons why they held their criticism against President Obama, who in the end completely ignored them.

The Black community never considered that Obama (from Hawaii to the ivy leagues), had strategically made Chicago his home and the Black community was a vehicle for ascension. Upon his arrival to the oval office, Black people collectively should've been asking if Obama actually consider himself "Black" as oppose to "American" (from white and African heritage) and therefor did he in fact hold, long term political calculations for the empowerment of the Black community?  Because when he swung hard for hispanics, the Black community was not in the equation, which was reflected on the whiteness of the Obama Campaign. Ironically enough, the National Headquarters  located in Chicago, (the most segregated city in America)  was the whitest of all the major offices, including New York and Washington D.C.  Many Black politicians referred to it as "The Apartheid Inn of Chicago"

 The campaign, like all liberal white organizations, was equally clueless at just how white they appeared.  One morning they tweeted the  below photo to demonstrate how Obama's senior staff ( Top Picture 2011) built one of the strongest  Presidential organizations in history ( Low Picture 2012). But what it demonstrated was just how white the campaign was.  the Black Nationalist community in Chicago howled in outrage. Hilariously someone posted on the Huffington Post that the below picture was a "Next Generation Tea Party Leadership Meeting"

2011 Obama Senior Staff/ 2012 Chicago Campaign watch debate in the above room 

Toward the end of the election,the Black middle class finally began to concede that Obama had done little for Black America, and even the Republican obstructionist argument wore thin, as Obama continued to distance himself from Black people.  He started  dropping major events scheduled in "the hood" for white events and elite fundraisers.  Obama for instance agreed to serve as the grand marshal of the famed, Black, Bud Billiken Back to School Parade on the southside of Chicago, which is also Obama's home. The parade is the largest in Illinois and the second largest in America. The question of his attendance became a national media story, due to the Black on Black gun violence on the west and south side, which Obama refused to address. To end the speculation the parade's director announced Obama's agreement to attend as grand marshal, months before the event.

Not only didn't  Obama show up, but his campaign's use of numerous white campaign workers to work the all Black crowd again strongly suggested that the Black community was an after thought to the campaign.

Yet the Black middle class, never quick to anger, unless it's at the expense of Black poor people, reverted back to a sad and less sophisticated expression of hope and optimism used during slavery, that god would take care of the Black "people of Moses". The popular mantra of the Black middle class became, that President Obama was just waiting to get his second term as President, then once freed from the constraints of having to run for election again, he would come to the rescue of the Black community. They described him as a sad prisoner in the white house, just waiting for his chance to break free.

I would ask some of them on what assumption was this base on?  In return I got that quizzical, patronizing look and smile that older Black folks give that says they have some inside information based upon the their wisdom of their age, just wait they would say. Ironic because know one has spent so much time waiting, for nothing.

But at that point it was too late any way, to mobilize Black people to respond to the current conditions of our lack of empowerment.

Unlike the previous Obama campaign, this one was like rotten corpse reanimated by the Black middle class's endless search for fools gold, big corporate money, fear of Romney, cynical political manipulations of the democratic party to protect the political status quo of race and class and a subconscious fear of real Black empowerment.

And because the campaign lacked a true moral rudder, it mirrored our strange and bizarre hyper consumer culture in ways that should have been offensive to the Black community. Not only was it run by an all white  TV sitcom generation of Friends, Seinfeld, and Girls, but it also became the first campaign that recognized, idolized, and fetishized young white males as an elite group dedicated to social, cultural, and historical retrograde and reinvention, i.e. white hipster culture that stresses the "golden" age of the 1950s and white male supremacy and masculinity.  This was so prevelent that combined with the triumph of white liberalism over the American progressive left, that so called progressive political magazines trumpeted these white male hipsters on the Obama campaign.

In a Mother Jones article entitled "Inside The Obama Campaign's Hard Drive", Tim Murphy lovingly describes how Harper Reed went from peddling ironic Obama T shirts to white hipsters, to chief technology officer for the Obama Campaign.  Reed, who describes himself as "pretty awesome" and a "certified hipster" has the prominent white male hipster waxed handle bar mustache, from the bygone
area of unchallenged white male dominance in America.

Reed in the middle of being "awesome" 
Joining  in on the fawning of Reed's rugged Americana white maleness, was the Atlantic Monthly's Alexis Madridal who had the "privilege" of hanging out with Reed, and sycophantically describes his rock star treatment at all the latest trendy hipster clubs.  "He may be like you, but he also juggles better than you, and is wilder than you, more fun than you, cooler than you. He's what a king of the nerds really looks like. Sure, he might grow a beard and put on a potbelly, but he wouldn't tuck in his t-shirt." 

Oh the epitome  of white male supremacy that white male hipsters have managed to program American society into finding their fatness sexy as oppose to every body else's. 

Fat is in for white hipster MEN only!

Of course "O" would wonder into hipsters house late night when he was in Chicago to
"hang out" 
There was never any discussions about the while maleness of this team. Seriously, while I did find two white women on Reed's team, I could not find one Black person and I challenge you to. More irony of the Obama Campaign, it was a segregationist's dream. Racism that would have sunk other democratic campaigns was unchallenged on the Obama Campaign. No careers of unknown Black people were made, they fought for crumbs.

The full technology team, minus three white women members 
Now some of the Black establishment have finally awoken and are telling the truth about our Black President. Ben Jealous, NACCP President, told MSNBC host David Gregory on “Meet the Press”, that “White people in this country are doing better, but Black people are doing far worse under Obama than Bush"

76 year old Florida Congressman Alcee L Hastings joined the growing chorus of voices criticizing President Obama, although from a Black middle class perspective. At the National Newspaper Publishers Association Convention, (NNPA) a Black news organization, Hastings said Obama continuously disrespects the Congressional Black Caucus, the Black Press, and graduates of historically black colleges, who were critical to his re-election.

Hastings said that his colleagues in the Black Caucus, noticing the lack of Black appointees to Obama's cabinet, carefully vetted 61 candidates and sent the names to Obama. Not one was even  interviewed. Hasting also noted that during the campaign, the Black Caucus pressed the Obama about his minuscule spending with Black media. Obama spent 999 million targeting other communities, including the Hispanic community, and only $650,000 with Black media, which was raised under pressure to $1 million. 

“If I was president of the United States, there is no way in hell that I would raise a billion dollars and don’t spend but a million dollars with people who probably had as much to do with my becoming president as anybody,” Hastings said.

So we are in the chaos and it is rising, although most are not aware, but that is by design. Lots of shiny objects dance in front of our eyes keeping us entertained. And the leaders who would have historically reacted, who would have previously mounted some challenge, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Michael Dyson, etc, have now accepted different roles. 

Perhaps they know that all is lost. I am not hopeful, there are to many holes in this ship, it's evident every where you turn. State and city governments are collapsing onto it's citizens, which means the Federal Government is not too far behind. Last summer and the globally warmed winter have adjusted  us far more to violence, which I guess is a "good thing" in that we have less police and the ones still on the job are reverting back to violent palace guards. I'm predicting Chicago going carry and conceal, which is becoming popular in Black America

 I'm not saying America will look like some Apocalyptic fantasy from Hollywood. After all those movies are suppose to be "romatic", but I know this, because we are so unaware, so ignorant, and so selfish, the collapse our economy will be combined with the increased tragicomic insanity of the American public, that will make the pain much worse, but we will not know it,  until we are completely submerged, like frogs placed in water slowly heating to a boil.


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