Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

A section of Black America has lost their minds – literally – unable to make contact with reality since November 2008. Despite the horrific and disproportionate damage suffered by Blacks in the Great Recession, a psychologically impaired group of African Americans believes they are better off than before the recession began, and that the future is bright. When Obama entered, their powers of reason exited.


Unknown Object

First Black Presidency Has Driven Many African Americans Insane

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The psychological harm done to Black people by Obama’s presidency may be even greater than the economic and political damage.”

When debating Black supporters of President Obama, there often comes a point where even the most fervent Obamites can find no coherent defense for the president’s pro-Wall Street and militaristic policies, when his refusal to even consider race-targeted solutions to race-based problems becomes simply indefensible. Typically, at that point, the Obama supporter will play the psychological card. The advent of the First Black President, they say, has been of incalculable psychological benefit to Black people, especially to Black children, who can now project themselves into an infinity of possibilities because a Black family is in the White House. Hallelujah!

This psychological argument is the Obamite’s last bastion of defense, especially the “What about the children?” trump card. Yet there is mounting and disturbing evidence that the psychological harm done to Black people by Obama’s presidency may be even greater than the economic and political damage. Barack Obama’s presidency is driving millions of African Americans insane – stone, cold out of their minds.

The insanity is documented in the Pew Research Center’s recent report, “How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America,” which shows that Black America, the group that has been the most damaged, by far, in the Great Recession, is also the most enthusiastic about the state of the economy. Twenty-five percent of Blacks tell pollsters that the economy is doing good or excellent; that’s almost twice as high as the number of whites that think so – even though Black unemployment is about twice that of whites. Eighty-one percent of Blacks say America is still a land of prosperity, while only 59 percent of whites think that way, even though Blacks make only 61 cents for every white dollar earned, the same as 30 years ago.

Nearly a third of Blacks say they are in better shape than before the recession began.”

A 53 percent Black majority think that the economy is starting to recover. Only 40 percent of whites hold that opinion. Yet, for the average Black or white working class person with a mortgage to pay, the situation is as bad as ever – and for Black people, that means roughly twice as bad. The Pew poll shows that 35 percent of Blacks report their homes are worth less than their mortgages, compared to just 18 percent for white people. Fifty-four percent of Blacks took a pay cut, worked reduced hours or were forced to take unpaid leave during the Great Recession. Only 37 percent of whites suffered such employment trauma, yet Blacks are consistently – and insanely – more optimistic about the future, and feel better about the present, than whites do. Nearly a third of Blacks say they are in better shape than before the recession began – a figure with no basis whatsoever in real life, and a perception that is at total war with reality. Everything is worse for every major Black demographic since December 2007. There is nothing to be upbeat about – except, for Obama supporters, the election 0f 2008. From that point on, a large segment of Black America became disconnected from reality, numb to their own pain and to the pain of their children. They have been singing zippidity-doo-dah while all around them Black America is in economic free-fall. These deluded Black folks have been rendered incompetent and politically useless to themselves and their families by the mere existence of a Black president. Obama's election was, besides the Great Recession itself, the worse thing that has happened to Black people in a long time.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Direct download: 20100707_gf_Insane.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT