January 20, 2017, many black folk will wish they invested in Kimberly-Clark Corp. stock (owner of Kleenex) as poundz of tissue will soak up gallonz of liquid tearz that will be shed as the Obama’s leave the Whitehouse for good. Admittedly, it will be a sad day when the Obama’s leave the house our Ancestorz built for what certainly expects to be the last chapter of this country as we know it.
Honestly, I know we all will miss him, Michelle, Maila, and Sasha, but I’d be wrong to specify exactly why they will be missed. We will miss Barack and Michelle’s swag; we will miss their fist bumps, their candid love they have for each other, and we’ll miss their ability to show composure in the midst of their racist constituents. (RECORD SKIPS) But that’ll be about it!
I ask, what has he actually done significant for us?! Can you name anything of relevance he’s done being the first literal HNIC (Head “negro” in charge) — at least in our lifetime? I ask because if it were anyone that could do something, as the Nation’s leader of the so-called “free” world, he was it! Now the change we seek may now never be.
Was I expecting him to fly in and symbolically — even literally — paint the white house black? No. Did I expect him to reverse racizm to the point whitefolk would feel what true oppression is like? No. But I did expect him to do something for us because no other president has primarily because they’re not a POADUS (People of Afrikan Descent in the United States).
Now I’m the last to deal in poli-tricks and have made it known of my choice to not partake in the voting sham, but I gotta ask, should we be satisfied with what he’s done for black folk while president? If you ask me he did a lot for everyone… but us? If we review his works it is evident he neglected to address many racial pathological and psychological social war tactics aimed at Diasporic Afrikanz in america still experience.
I dare to say, he willingly chose to be “for everyone else while leaving his own”… in the name of making America a more perfect union — if that makes any sense.
A SURREAL GOODBYE
Having felt “iffy” about him throughout his presidency, twenty-one minutes into his farewell address as President on January 10, 2017 in his hometown of Chicago, culminated what my gut had been telling me when he summed up the intergenerational and surging reincarnated rift in race relationz by referencing Atticus Finch whose notion of tolerance is that ”you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” Implying of the many issues POADUS face, we need to be empathetic to the woes everyone else goes through.
He goes on to encourage Blacks and other minority groups to:
“…tie our own very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face. Not only the refugee or the immigrant or the rural poor or the transgender american but also the middle-age white guy who, from the outside may seem like he’s got advantages, but has seen his world up-ended by economic and cultural and technological change.”
WTF?! So we’re to be empathetic to whitefolk who are on the fast track of being the minority and thus forced to accept Black and Brown people in areas of life that once were completely white?! We’re to show compassion to that? Are we to also be empathetic to their retortal behavior with the rise in folks like Dylan Roof, and president trump and his cynical catchphrase that got him (s)elected, “Make America Great Again”.
This isn’t the first time he’s said something like this. On April 23, 2012 he spoke about the jewish holocaust and didn’t even care the mention the worldz largest holocaust, the Atlantic Slave Trade. These are his wordz:
“We must tell our children about a crime unique in human history. The one and only Holocaust — six million innocent people — men, women, children, babies — sent to their deaths just for being different, just for being Jewish. We tell them, our children, about the millions of Poles and Catholics and Roma and gay people and so many others who also must never be forgotten.”
REALLY?! Who’s the “so many otherz?” He’s well aware an even larger amount of these “otherz” are some 30 million Afrikanz brought to the western hemisphere by way of the slave trade from the 16-19th century! Another 100 million didn't even reach the shore. They were either murdered or an even smaller percentage committed suicide which then led to nearly 500 yearz of hard, free labor, yet Obama consciously chose not to mention this!
Everyone tellz us POADUS we need to “get over slavery”, but do they say that to the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) or the so-called jew?! What’s their motto: to “never forget!”
Let’s face it, our exiting mulatto president wants us also to forget — better yet, not even think of it! He has shown time and time again choosing his white ancestry simply by omitting his Afrikan ancestry from the equation! This isn’t an emotional conclusion, Obama believes the plight of LGBTs are more important than the descendants of his blood lineage — then again, some may say, he’s Kenyan so “his people ” weren’t exactly enslaved — like so many of our family in Afrika have been led to believe. It is this mentality that has kept us apart rather then seeing “to them”. You’re black, colonized or not!
When I read that quote from Obama, I was convinced his second term would be more of the same because it’s obvious he chooses to dishonor our Ancestorz by not even mentioning the memory of the countless ancestral remainz that lie on the bottom of the Atlantic when the topics of race and inequality are on the table! Obama had a chance to resurrect this topic into the daily jargon in congress… yet he wants to talk about healing this country! How can it when even our “black” president is mute on such topics that continue to haunt so many of his own folk?!
Let’s not fool ourselves, Obama is a charismatic well educated man. His presence made us feel proud to be black, some even thought him becoming the 44th president was a prophecy of sorts fulfilled Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other Civil Rights leaderz hoped for. Many thought, “we got a black president, we’ve made it to the promised land! We will now be treated equal!” Well I hate to welcome you back from your nap, but WAKE UP!!
We must make note that for 2,922 dayz as POTUS (President of the United States), he has consistently made the conscious decision to exclude the role America [non-POADUS or white folk specifically] has played as co-conspiratorz with the world in the destruction of Black civilization, culture, and its descendants… for generationz! In summing up, Obama viewz the struggle of POADUS are not equal and thus non-inclusive with everyone else.
For the parting wordz of his farewell address to ask us black folk to get out of our “bubble” and sympathize with the white guy who too may have fallen victim to remnants from the economic crisis and disparity mimics the wordz of a modernized stereotypical slave phrase Malcolm X spoke of regrading house negroes: “whassamatta boss, WE sick?” Unfortunately, many of us believe we too are sick.
At the core of economic disparity lay race relations, one of which has been more tense than harmonious. Obama’s message to POADUS is to think about everyone else’s illz over ourz. Does this not echo the sentiment told to our kidnapped Ancetorz on the plantation?! Let’s look at how we’ve fared during his two termz in office:
• A comparative analysis of our socio-economic conditionz show POADUS have entered the new millennium much the same way we entered the previous four centuries — as an impoverished, powerless and neglected people.
• According to an FBI 2001 annual report, Blacks are the victims of approximately 67% of hate crimes, though we are but 13.8% of the nation's total population.
• In 2005, three yearz before the recent recession, the median black household had a net worth of $12,124 far behind the median white household — which had a net worth of $134,992. (Pew Social Trends: Wealth gaps rise to record highs between whites, blacks, and hispanics)
• By the official end of the recession in 2009, POADUS median household net worth had fallen to $5,677 — more than 50% lost while the number for whites was $113,149 — just over 10% loss.
• Overall, from 2007 to 2010, wealth for POADUS declined by an average of 31%, home equity by an average of 28%, and retirement savings by an average of 35%. In contrast, whites lost 11% in wealth, lost 24% in home equity, and actually gained 9% in retirement savings. According to a 2013 report by researchers at Brandeis University, “half the collective wealth of African-American families was stripped away during the Great Recession.” All this during the Obama Administration!
(excerpt taken from docuseries, “The Future of Our Past: Using Cooperatives to Survive and Compete in the Next Twenty Years"
I get it. He wants a peaceful, post-racial and equal America… as many POADUS share, but to what cost to blackfolk? How can it happen if our-story isn’t the foundation or in the least, on equal footing, as everyone else who’s experience degradative turmoil?
It is inexcusable and outright negligence on his behalf to shuffle his feet never to address our issues. There is no way a post-racial world can be born if the main victimz are left out. He knew this but obvsiously didn’t care of the future his own daughterz will grow up in, to take this task on! Now he’s gone…
On critical issues regarding racial injustice, he proposed no agenda, disclosed no vision, and initiated no all-inclusive mission to be accomplished while in office nor post his leave.
I wouldn’t be shocked to think some of you reading this are emotionally upset because I’m ranking on him. You might even want to ask why am I saying this now when he's leaving and didn’t while he was in office? Simple. I shouldn't have to tell him this. He knows our needz — he should better than I do! And even if he was oblivious to said needz, it’d be impossible for both Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan reside in the same city called by many Chiraq due to the record-breaking murder rate that has escalated each year he’s been in office.
It may be hard to accept it but we must realize he chose to ignore our needz! I don’t want to hear “he could’t because of all the racists republicanz…” They also said he couldn’t make same-sex marriage legal — and he did! They said he couldn’t save the automobile industry — and he did! They even said he couldn’t turn the economy around — and he most certainly did! But he most certainly did NOT do anything for blackfolk!
But again I reiterate, he may have done some "great" thingz “allegedly” killed Bin Laden is another — although there’s no body to prove it. Implemented universal healthcare for all American’s is another, but for black folk?? Nada. Zillch, Nothing… unless you want to count the increased amount of us in the white house and not as a worker as a feat worth noting.
And yes, he did oversee a $1.2 billion settlement awarded to Black farmerz (each to receive roughly $62,500) who have been denied loanz and assistance by the Agricultural Department for decades, and he did push the Fair Sentencing Act for crack-cocaine userz who were disproportionately sentenced to longer jail termz than those who use powder. But other than that? In 96 months? Nothing the speaks directly to POADUS as a whole for 1) we are not all farmerz (although more of us should consider); and (2) we all don’t use crack!
*A Note on Black farmerz case:
• “Between 1983 and 1997, thousands of African-American farmers were denied loans solely because of their race. These discriminatory practices resulted in severe economic consequences for farmers, often preventing them from maintaining and keeping their farms.” Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Marcia L. Fudge
• Of the 80,000 who filed, only 17,000 we were awarded.
• Being most of these claimz date back to the early 1990s, the most alarming issue is distribution — of which these farmerz have no control of. Growing food and your black is a challenge enough. Having a distribution chain in place is a whole different (and racist) beast!
• One might also cite an additional level of negligence in the Obama Administrationz follow up. A 2013 USA Today story noted as of 2013, after being told in 2010 when it was signed into law on December 8, it would take a year for them to receive payment, it wasn’t until February 2014 they finally received. Where were you, Obeeezy?!!?
• “Black farmers still face unfair practices and still struggle to gain our rightful place in America’s agriculture and food production systems. For example black farmers have yet to supply McDonald’s with one egg or slice of lettuce or onion. Black families are welcomed as consumers. We’re seen as good enough to purchase a Big Mac or Happy Meal but not good enough to sell to corporate producers. It’s a sickening realization. This is an example of discrimination against a group of people. It contributes to the decline of the black farmer as well as loss of land.” An excerpt from John W. Boyd Jr.President, Black Farmers Association who wrote an article for Huffington Post.
Relatively speaking, the saddest thing about him leaving office is this will most likely be the last time (at least in our lifetime) we'll have a "black" president. This is something we all knew when he was elected in 2008! So let’s not be too naive to think both he and the democratic party knew they had in the least four yearz to do something significant to try and steer America into a more just direction!
Having the foresight to see it could be extended four more, I have to believe they were intelligent enough to know this would provide an extension to doing something quite extraordinary for everyone… we being our historically “conditioned-to-be-patient”selves felt we just had to wait our turn… a turn that never arrived.
It sickenz me to realize over his presidential tenure he consciously chose not to take advantage of this historical feat as as a person of color reaching the highest office in the land departing with little-to-nothing to show for his people. While his charismatic persona is celebrated there are still millionz of cries from our communities and neighborhoodz with a plethora of specific issues that speak exclusively to us on the table to continue left to rot for some other “great black hope”! Obama left this task to be done by “somebody” else, and from what we see coming next, this person doesn’t even exist.
However, I must let it also be known that I am not at all shocked he didn’t done much for us. I was critical of him “day one” as folk protected him saying “he just got in” and “to give him some time to get adjusted” — a reverse jedi mind trick in noting our issues are insignificant when it comes to addressing America’s other, more pertinent illz.
Then came his second-term. folk thought “ok, four more yearz! Now he’ll do something for us!” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, had something to say about this:
"I can't tell you how often I heard that, particularly during the campaign." Cleaver said he still keeps hearing, "In the second term, we're going to get the 'real' Barack Obama, and by 'real,' they mean that, I guess, he's going to show up in a dashiki."
Which of course he didn’t! But what of the notion he’d turn his attention to us? And if he did, is it truly significant? Not that it’s his fault but racizm has risen since he took office and police brutality is at an all-time high and although I may be reaching to think some sort of legislation could’ve been drawn against police who abuse their authority, as he was a strong proponent for gay rights — even trying to spread this ideology in Kenya, Afrika during his visit July 2015 — he certainly had enough time to put his creative mind toward SOMETHING for us!
Even more specific, quoting my Brotha Paul Moreland, aka “Blue Pill”,
“he could've made such a difference in the lives of the Chicago youth who needed to know that they too mattered in this country he spoke so eloquently of in his speeches, after all he was a community organizer who was working on a shoe-string budget to bring change in a community that ultimately propelled him to the heights of Leader of the Free World. The children of Iraq got more love, more attention, more incentives in these past 8 years then those children in Chiraq who desperately needed that glimmer of #HOPE he was bottling up and serving to the world…I hope his legacy reflects this omission and the irony that when he did send something back home to the Chi, it came in the form of the Godfather, Rahm Emmanuel and we know how that worked out.”
So, let’s really think about this… what did he do for us? I’d be wrong to let ol’ Barack leave without a “thanks for nothing” note of the many thingz he could’ve attempted to do. That’s fair right? We should be allowed to critique him, shouldn’t we?
Drs. Neely Fuller, Jr. and (now Ances-Star) Francess Cress-Welsing teaches the blue print to global white supremacy lay in the field of 9 areas: Economics, Education, Entertainment, Labor, Law, Politics, Religion, Sex, and War — with Brother Keidi Awadu adding notably the most profound, “Health” as a 10th Area of People Activity.
After review, we see an even greater divide in the following categories often overlooked because of him being the alleged “first” black president. I will touch on five of the fieldz:
A list of Tasks Obama could have done
1. ECONOMICS & WAR
The poverty rate for POADUS has become worse over the past few yearz. It was 25% when Bush left office. It rose to 28% in 2013 -- the most recent stat available. One out of three black children, 38% of all POADUS children, lived in poverty in 2013. Compare this number to 8% for white households knowing they’re approximately 13.8% POADUS and 64% non-hispanic whites according to 2010 census.
• Income inequality between POADUS and whites is at its widest point in 25 yearz. According to a study by PEW Research Center in 2014, the average white household is worth $141,900, while the average POADUS’ is worth a mere $11,000. Let’s look at this stat closely. It’s the average, basin more folk than none — an over $130,000 difference!
• We are still twice as likely as whites to be unemployed. Again, 13.8% of the US population compared to whites being 64%. And we earn over $13,000 less annually. There are more than four tymz the number of whites in america yet we’re twice as unemployed plus those of us who do have a job earn more than $13,000 less then them!
• 27% of POADUS live below the poverty line.
• For every $100 in wealth of a white household, the black household only has $6 in wealth.
• The foreclosure crisis that hit hardest in 2007 and 2008 disproportionately hurt black homeownerz because they were targeted by banks for subprime loanz. Plus gentrification soon followed.
When Obama leaves office, we'll still have gentrification as the only model of urban economic development. By the way, what is this imbecile Ben Carson going to do?! Trump appointing him the next secretary of the Department of HUD (Housing and Urban Development) serves as proof positive he will do even worse for us!
To be fair, this isn't the exclusive failure of Obama, it's the failure of vision of the entire black misleadership class, stretching over decades. But he absolutely deserves to wear the jacket for leaving thingz as bad as or worse than the day he assumed office.
We'll have US troops in more than thirty Afrikan countries enforcing Western land grabz and the corporate neoliberal order, and keeping Afrika barefoot, sick, hungry and afraid, but well-armed. And we'll have an even larger overall military budget with more troops and more overseas bases than under George Bush. During the Clinton and second Bush administrations, the US bankrolled, trained and supplied the armies of 52 out of 54 African nationz to ensure that the continent remained the poorest and most war-torn on earth.
Under its first black president, the America has stepped its game up with actual deployments of drones, mercenaries, special forces and other US military units in more than thirty Afrikan countries to enforce the neoliberal order in which Afrika's wealth is separated from its people into the economies and overseas bank accounts of the West.
The Obama administration will have closed and privatized more public schoolz than at any time in US history. Under Obama, the US Department of Education has extended the authority to certify school systemz to private agencies controlled by championz of privatization like the Gates, the Walton Family, and Eli Broad Foundationz, and allowed the same actorz to write its Race To The Top program, which allocates federal education dollarz to the school systemz that disband, privatize, and hand over their assets to private actorz the quickest.
The racial divide is even wider in many areas of people activity
Obama has had time to advocate for gayz getting them gay marriage and repealing the US military’s gag order on opening gay and lesbian soldierz serving in the military. Through executive order, Obama prevented millionz of illegal alienz age 31 and under from being deported from America. But blacks, who voted at a rate of 95% for Obama in 2008 and 93% in 2012, have gotten a lump of coal at best from their black messiah.
The day Barack leaves the White House we'll still have the worldz biggest prison state, with three quarterz of its inmates black and brown, the insane 40 year “War On Drugs”, and a black person murdered by police, private security or vigilantes every day or so.The best the Obama administration and its allies in Congress could do to address the 100 to 1 cocaine to crack penalty disparity was cutting it to 18 to 1 without changing the sentence of a single person already serving unjust time. Hundredz of thousandz of black and brown youth are still doing yearz for mere gramz of crack or minute scraps of marijuana. The police and prison state will, as before, remain the nationz preferred meanz to address poverty, homelessness, mental illness, immigration and many other social, economic and medical conditionz.
Randall Kennedy of politico.com noted,
“Take criminal justice. Nothing in the day-to-day lives of black Americans is more menacing than their vulnerability to criminality on the one hand and mistreatment by police on the other. Yet on neither front has Obama focused the attention of the nation.”
Pardons of clemency
Although he has granted more clemency than any modern president, as of this writing, he’s yet to give any feeling toward awarding such pardonz to Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur,
The Huffington Post noted in 2013 the FBI’s recent announcement that it has placed former Black Panther and escaped prisoner Assata Shakur at the top of its Most Wanted list and the doubling of the reward for her capture by the State of New Jersey is a development that progressives should not ignore. This newly intensified effort to put Shakur back in prison matters for a number of reasons:
First, by elevating this 40-year-old case to top priority, Obama’s Justice Department is actively memorializing the struggle for black freedom of that era, but in a way that offers us a criminalized, even militarized interpretation of it. How we understand the past has bearing on our political present, and making Shakur, a symbol of black militancy of the 1960s and ‘70s, into a high-level national security threat serves to criminalize the greatest movement for democracy in the 20th century. What’s more, fashioning this morality tale erases the central role of the FBI’s COINTELPRO in her controversial case, a willed forgetting of the well-documented framings, murders, and false imprisonments aimed at the black liberation movement and others of that era, as opposed to a clear-eyed assessment of the disputed facts on the ground.
Second, the legal and rhetorical framework of terrorism being used in this case strengthens the U.S. state’s ongoing and intensifying campaign to threaten, harass and detain not only Muslims and Arabs, but antiwar, and green activists. Shakur was given the designation of “domestic terrorist” under the Patriot Act in 2005, and a glance at mainstream news stories on the Shakur case right now shows the casual interchangeability of the terms “militant” and “terrorist,” turning the domestic racial conflicts into an open war by the United States against oppressed groups inside its borders. The authority of federal agencies to wield military power against U.S. citizens, which has become more common under the Obama Administration already, is deepened by turning Shakur into a symbol of demonic power. Such militarization also reflects the full realization of a carceral state that has enormously expanded in the last two decades, imprisoning more people than any country in the world, both per capita and in absolute numbers, with vast over-representation by black and brown people.
Third, further connecting the domestic and international, the placement of Assata Shakur on the FBI’s Most Wanted list is a way for the Obama Administration to test the resolve of Cuba in the twilight of the Castro regime, to see how much power it can now wield there through both engagements and threats. As an AP story on the Shakur case thought it worthwhile to note, “This week, the State Department said it has no plans to remove Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism that also includes Iran, Syria and Sudan.” This is a move that reverberates throughout the western hemisphere given recent U.S. activity in Bolivia, Honduras, and most recently the U.S.’s refusal to recognize the electoral victory of socialist president Nicolas Maduro victory in Venezuela.
Jim Crow Law seen on 2010 Census
For those who are against the use of the term 'nigga' or 'negro' when it comes to American-Afrikanz, Obama allowed through actionz of a department administration by the U.S. Department of Commerce to call us the ’n-word’ on a public document!
For the first time since Jim Crow era, the word 'negro' was on 2010 Census! Obama had the complete authority to have the word 'negro' removed — but didn't, allowing the only derogatory term to be used on a public document!
We’d have to assume when Obama filled out the Census and came to question #9, he saw the optionz to choose ’Black, African Am., or Negro’! What do you think he considers himself? He had to check this one!
Now, the U.S. Census Bureau is considering some minor changes to its formz. Lornet Turnbull, in an article written in the Seattle Times (Aug 30, 2012) wrote:
"The (Census) bureau is also considering an end to use of the term Negro, which is listed alongside black and African American on the form. And it's floating the idea of allowing people from the Middle East and North Africa, now counted as white, to write in their country of origin."
Discontinue boycotting World Conference on Racism in 2011
Stating the parties were speaking anti-Semitic statements because of claimz of Israel participating in genocide against Palestinianz. Being the author of the longest-standing holocaust of any kind in the history; with all the blood America has on its handz, Obama decides to satisfy a few jewz in Is-it-real — when they in fact took part in the enslavement of Afrikanz in this country via the Dutch West India Company.
How oxymoronic is it to have an Afrikan-born president choose to protect the very demography of people responsible for creating the Afrikan slave trade while at the same time, choose not to participate in a forum that headline global atrocities like this?!
Voting Rights Act Bill
If there’s one tangible thing he could’ve done, it certainly should have been this: abolishing the 1965 Voting Rights Act Bill — the ONLY bill of its kind where every 25 yearz the Senate of United States Government meet to decide whether they will allow POADUS, aka Black people, to vote! Th last vote was Thursday, July 13, 2006 where the Senate turned in a 98-0 vote count the week of July 17th after the previous week’s House passage vote count of 390-33. Can you believe there were actually 33 politicianz who wanted to abolish American-Afrikanz' right to vote?!
— — —
In closing, as stated initially, it may be a buzz-kill like feeling to see the Obama’s leave the nation’s capitol. And as folks are forced to (eventually) remove the many pictures of him from their wall at home and in places of business, let us look at the other side of the coin — maybe he couldn’t do everything for us Blackfolk; it’d be totally unrealistic to think he could — but he most certainly could’ve done a few of the thingz that really affects us, and with Trump now at the helm, it may never — unless we realize we must do this ourselves… I can hear the echoes of Marcus Garvey, Maria Stewart, and Fannie Lou Hamer slapping us awake charging us to to be the solution to our own problemz.
I leave you with this quote from James Clingman, Instructor on Black entrepreneurship at the University of Cincinnati:
"Unfortunately, many black people abandoned their own businesses and supported others, thinking that politics was the way out. Politics still will not get you anywhere unless you have an economic base. Quite frankly, I'd rather have more black businesses than black politicians."
…to be continued? Only if we make ourselves accountable.