Thursday, December 08, 2011

"Freedom Rider: Black America at the Bottom"

Black Agenda Report
Margaret Kimberley
December 7, 2011.

The nation’s economic news is grim indeed, and is the grimmest of all for black Americans. Recently released census data shows that while the median yearly income in this country is $50,000, it is only $32,000 for black people, the lowest of any other racial group in the country. Hispanics had a median income of $37,000, whites $49,000 and Asians $64,000.

Simply put, black Americans are at the absolute bottom of the economic heap in a county still teetering from the effects of a seemingly endless recession. The term recession is something of a misnomer because it does not adequately describe the worldwide crises endemic to capitalism. As western nations take their citizens on a dizzying race to the bottom with various austerity measures, the fate of people already on the bottom grows more precarious by the day.

It is not coincidental that the dismal economic prospects for black people has occurred at the same moment that black politics limps along on life support. Black politics traditionally affirmed a right, indeed an obligation, to speak directly to the needs and aspirations of the masses of people. It has been substituted with feelings of vicarious joy when a black person reaches a high office.

Enter Barack Obama, the beneficiary of both black loyalty and a system which he assessed astutely as being ready for the right black man to come along. He fills the duel roles perfectly, giving good feelings about his presence in the White House but this presence is a result of promising to do nothing that the 1% would find inconvenient.

Sadly, the bloom is not yet off of the Obama rose, with a continuation of bizarre poll results indicating that the group doing the worst has the greatest degree of optimism. But the income and other indicators don’t lie and don’t change because most black people still love the president who looks like them but who goes out of his way to ignore them and their needs.

While phony government figures claim that employment numbers are improving, more than 46 million Americans are now receiving food stamps, a record. As the leaders of European countries struggle to keep the crises of Greece, Italy and Spain from spinning out of control, it is tempting to anticipate the post capitalist world. The thought experiment is interesting, but one thing is clear. When the dust eventually settles, black people will be at the bottom of a destroyed system.

If Barack Obama is re-elected, it is likely that black support for him will also continue, and the downward spiral will continue too. What is the future of a group always living on the cusp of disaster when a huge disaster takes place? No one can predict if the world economy will collapse

Armageddon-like, or whether it too will limp along, under performing and slowly putting millions of people in ever more dire conditions.

It is difficult to imagine a worse scenario, but imagine it we must. The Obama phenomenon has silenced a people who were once the most likely to speak out against inequality and injustice. The death of movement politics has made black people the perfect victims of the descent of their nation’s and the world’s economies.

Barack Obama’s role in exacerbating the crisis goes unnoticed while tangential characters are given needless attention. Every hateful statement from the mouth of Newt Gingrich is dissected and railed against but Gingrich has not been in power in this country for a long time. He played no role in the bank bailout and he did not declare that Social Security would be placed on the budget cutting table. Obama did those things and put an already suffering group further and further behind.

There has been a ray of hope lately provided by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The group condemned for a lack of focus has focused on neighborhoods with high housing foreclosure rates and acted to put people back into their houses. The Occupy Our Homes actions are doing what movements have always done, forcing the powerful to respond to popular demands.

Black Americans do not have to continue acting like sheep going to the slaughterhouse. They can remember their history of bold action. They do not have to continue being last on the income list, and the political list. If movement politics can be resurrected the group at the bottom now does not have to stay there. There is hope for a different future, if people are unafraid to remember how great changes came about in the past.  (© 2011 Black Agenda Report)

Comment: Surprised?

You shouldn't be, really.  All that Obomber nonsense is a ruse, really.

I was thinking the other day that my disbelief in the presidency of Obama was more about my fear that his presence would deal a severe blow to the struggle against racism.

I was wrong about him not being able to win the White House.  Very wrong as it turned out.

But I was right about my fear.

His presidency is a smokescreen to make it seem as if most blacks and Latinos are reaping equal benefits.  Forget Native folk, they don't exist.

And then the other night Harry Belafonte appears on SABC explaining to South Africans how racism is stopping Obomber from creating that race-free society he bragged about.

There is no such thing as race-free, non-racial, or post-race in a race obsessed state like the US.  Why would anyone even believe such bullsh*t?

And why would a celebrity civil rights veteran like Belafonte make excuses for a Frankenstein ass like Obama?

Is Guantanamo closed?  Black sites still open?  Drone murders still the order of the day?  Prisons full of black and brown?

That Uncle Tom did exactly what rich white folks thought he would.  And he did it without paying mind to blacks, Latinos, and the poor in general.

He is, after all, a construct of white corporate America.  He bailed their asses out with billions of tax money the rich hardly contributed to.  And he left the poor chronically unemployed and scraping life together on food stamps.

That blank check Dr King talked about is still nothing more than a bounced check.  If he was alive today Dr King would turn his back on that monstrosity they erected in DC to supposedly recall his "dream".

Obama ain't a damn dream.  This murderer is a nightmare.  And yet folks of color, most of them, will trot down on election day and vote his ass into office again.

And my white liberal friends will tell me that he is not perfect but he is not Bush, McCain, Caine, or Gingrich.

True.  No doubt.

The f*cker is worse than all of them rolled up together.  At least with those f*ckers we know what we getting.

And what are we left with after a term in office?

This slick corporate weapon has reduced the resistance to "Occupy" gestures.  Even stalwarts of the struggle against racism have fallen for his ploy(s).

One of those, Cornel West, has found his damn senses at last.

The power of Obama is not his ability to make what he says come true.  Truth is he f*cking straight out lied and still folks believe he really occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The power of Obama is his ability to lull people into a deeper false consciousness.  He is one of the greatest sellers of snake oil ever.

So why should anyone be surprised that the usual folks are being screwed?

Same as it ever was.  And we are not free.



Erica said...

"Ya'll we gots a black man in office now!" "Yes Sir, thangs gone change now!"

Like hell!

What amazes me (not really but I digress)Obama hasn't even begun to stress the racial issues here in the US. Would I expect him to at any

There has never been unity here regarding race relations and as much as I would love to see it happen, sadly it probably won't be in my lifetime.

Ridwan said...

Hey Erica:

You said it sista. It's gonna be many lifetimes.

And yes, it is too sad.

Trust you having a great day anyway.