Wed, 4 September 2013
Obama’s Anti-Black Rant
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“Obama puts the onus squarely on Blacks for destroying the promise of racial harmony.”
It was bad enough that a sitting president and key members of his administration occupied positions of prominence, and in fact stole the show, at the anniversary of the March on Washington. But what issued from Barack Obama’s mouth were premeditated insults to Black Americans and their history. To put it bluntly, the First Black President gave a very good standup impression of a racist white man.
Obama chose to expand his remarks beyond the early Sixties period, past the triumphs of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, to give a mini-lecture on what went wrong, in his estimation, with the Black Freedom Movement. The result was a brief but vicious slew of slurs against African Americans – the kind of slander you expect to hear on FOX News, or from a half-drunk white guy at a country-western bar. According to Obama, Black folks lost their way when “legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse-making for criminal behavior.” What the hell does that mean? Which particular incidents is he referring to in which Blacks used police brutality to somehow mask criminal activity. If he means the Black Panther Party, which I suspect, then the president should say so, and open up a discussion of who the real criminals and assassins were, in the late Sixties and early Seventies. But, like any cheap white politician, Obama spews a mouthful of bile and then moves on to the next rant.
Obama bemoans that, at some unspecified point in the Black struggle the “transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination.” Who was recriminating against whom, Mr. President? Since Obama was lecturing Black people – and we know he never lectures white people – he must have been talking about Black militants of some sort. But he won’t say, preferring to leave his meaning to the audience’s imagination.
“Obama blames Black people for messing up his America.”
Then Obama moved in for the big slap-down: “What had once been a call for equality of opportunity,” said Obama, “the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead, was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself.”
In that one, long sentence, Obama resurrects Ronald Reagan’s phantom armies of “Welfare Queens”; he appears to be taking a cheap swipe at calls for Black reparations; and he once again joins with his real soul mates on the white Right in blaming Black culture for the disparities in U.S. society. In fact, Obama puts the onus squarely on Blacks for destroying the promise of racial harmony. He says it quite plainly: “All of that history is how progress stalled. That's how hope was diverted. It's how our country remained divided.”
That’s right: Obama blames Black people for messing up his America, which very much resembles Ronald Reagan’s America, a place that was put on the wrong track, as candidate Obama said back in 2008, by “all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s.“
Barack Obama went to the March on Washington anniversary and spoke like an angry white man. He governs like one, too. Doesn’t that tell you something? For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.