by Solomon Comissiong
“Obama supporters appear to suffer from a condition known as selective amnesia.”
In 2009 this author wrote two pieces entitled, “Barack Obama is Bad for Black America” and “Obamanity the Religion of Complicity,” detailing the psychological phenomena looming over many supporters of United States President Barack Obama – especially those who are black/African. It seemed that no matter what Obama did (especially if it was negative), his supporters would contrive any and every excuse to justify “sticking with him” and, therefore, his policies. It mattered little to Obama supporters that within his first 72 hours as US president, he ordered multiple drone strikes in Afghanistan which took the lives of innocent civilians. It mattered little that on the campaign trail his rhetoric supported an expansion of the imperialist war in Afghanistan. He followed through on that campaign promise. And it mattered little then, as it does now, that Obama routinely ignores the plight of black/African people within the pilfered borders of America.
Obama supporters appear to suffer from a condition known as selective amnesia (in addition to delusion); forgetting that they demanded then President George W. Bush to end the wars and “bring the troops home.” However, with Obama wars are excusable. It matters little that Obama promised to only leave “non-combat troops” in Iraq (whatever the hell a non-combat troop is), while in the same disingenuous breath vowed to ramp up the offensive in Afghanistan. The only thing that can be assured is that countless people will continue to be subjected to hell, courtesy of the US government’s insatiable appetite for war, death and destruction. To this day the Afghans and Pakistanis, like their Iraqi counterparts, suffer tremendously because their nations are occupied and destroyed by Western Grim Reapers.
It seems to matter little to his cultish supporters how much other peoples suffer from Obama’s destructive policies. It certainly did not matter when Barack Obama was a presidential candidate and US senator. His supporters did not give a damn that he backed FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) or even that he justified the amoral verdict that acquitted the murderous police officers who took the life of Sean Bell. When Obama callously told black/African people protesting the reprehensible verdict, “The judge has made his ruling, and we’re a nation of laws, so we respect the verdict that came down,” it should have served as a stark warning that he would not respect their predicament in America. Nevertheless, countless blacks/Africans rewarded him with their blind support and even donned shirts with Obama’s face juxtaposed next to Dr. Martin Luther King’s. Those that have studied the life of Dr. King (especially his last few years), know better than to compare the MLK’s philosophy with that of the brown faced war monger – Barack Obama. (Allowing white people to continue to rewrite our history facilitates an atmosphere where these kinds of ahistorical scams occur.)
MLK would never have asked black/African people not to peacefully protest a grave injustice such as the verdict that set Sean Bell’s killers free. This is not and never has been a nation of “just laws.” Obama can respect those unjust laws all he wants, however, social justice practitioners must never accept laws that routinely allow police officers to murder unarmed people of color and get away with it. If we accept these injustices, we don’t give a damn about social injustice. We must revamp this system as well as the color coded laws that operate within it.
Obama supporters appear to be more interested in “show and tell” games than actual social change. Obama supporters enjoyed “protesting” and complaining about the Bush Administration’s right wing Patriot Act, but they don’t say a damn thing when it comes to Obama’s signing of the NDAA (Nation Defense Authorization Act). NDAA is a ramped up and even more aggressive version of the Patriot Act.
Most black/African folks that continue to support Obama are merely wedded to the idea of having a brown face in the White House – no matter how filthy that house continues to be. They continue to allow their minds to be co-opted by a Euro-Centric value system. This is the only way to explain why they would continually support someone (just because he looks like them), regardless of his destructive policies. Without being fully conscious of it, many black/African people are allowing their politics to mimic that of people who could not give a damn about social justice and/or black/African people’s need to determine their own destinies.
American born Africans, of all people, should understand the value and importance of social justice and what it means to be principled in that regard. We should understand what it means to stand consistent when it comes to the necessary struggle for self-determination, for all people. Self-determination is something American born Africans have been struggling for since being kidnapped from our African homeland and brought to a land stolen and plundered by Europeans. Self-determination is something that black/African communities in America continue to struggle for, to this day. Mass incarceration (modern day slavery), police brutality/terrorism, and separate and unequal educational polices are just a few of the issues African/black communities are plagued with in 2012. These issues fall under the rubric of institutional racism – a system riddled throughout American society. Neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties are committed to seeing an end to these destructive apartheid-like policies. Their non-actions speak volumes. However, American born Africans remain devoted to a two-party dictatorship, largely because of our collective ignorance. This is why these frauds are able to send someone like Barack Obama our way and so many of us foolishly support him without ever knowing the destructive nature of many of his polices. In essence, people of color in America have allowed their collective conscience to be neutered. And not only has our morality been neutered, it has gobbled up by a Euro-American value system that has never represented our collective interests, or those of people outside US borders who we should be unflinchingly in solidarity with.
Obama, like his Euro-American predecessors, has waged war and taken untold lives in places like Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. During the Bush years American born Africans found the Bush Administration’s wars unacceptable. Those same people are now silent with Obama at the helm. They have become Obama’s sheep-like “army” of supporters. And in doing so, they have accepted the imposition of Euro-American imperialism throughout the globe. These wars do not benefit us as African/black people in any way, shape, or form. We have been sold a disgusting bag of goods, simply because have accepted our political training from an oppressive system – the same system that built an empire upon African slave labor and on stolen land.
Those whose land was stolen by the ancestors of Euro-Americans are now deemed “illegal aliens.” Most are commonly mislabeled as “Latinos” or “Hispanics”. They are actually Spanish speaking Indigenous people. Many Indigenous nations such as the Lakota, now find themselves on reservations within a white settler state (America). Untold millions were exterminated by European mass murderers.
No matter how much Obama tries to curry favor with Spanish speaking Indigenous people by saying he will slow down or reduce the number of deportations, he cannot escape the fact that he has deported more “Latinos” that the simpleton George W. Bush ever did. His ploy to garner their votes in the upcoming 2012 election is just that – a ploy. Every single one of these so-called “Latinos” deserves amnesty for they hold much more legitimate claim land in places like Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and California (to name a few states). The rest of the land belongs to other indigenous people who were terrorized by non-Spanish speaking Europeans. Obama wants to see many more young Latinos to serve in his imperialist military, which is a large reason he supports the Dream Act. He believes no more in justice for so-called Latinos than did Bush. Unfortunately, many “Latinos”, too, have been duped in to believing Obama has “their back.”
Obama supports the repressive Israeli government, just as his white predecessors did. Israel, like the US, is a country founded on the theft of indigenous people’s land. Palestinians, to this day, are treated like animals. Their situation is not unlike that of black Azanians (native South Africans) during the long period of Apartheid. Obama’s administration continues to fund Israel’s destructive military to the tune of more than 3 billion dollars a year; meanwhile, inner city American schools remain vastly underfunded. American born Africans, as a matter of principle, need to be in solidarity with other oppressed peoples, such as the Palestinians. Instead, we allow the white corporate media, along with the US government, to dictate what we think and how we think, while we mindlessly cheerlead for oppressors. By default, we champion the demise of those who have been historically oppressed. Our social values are slowly being more and more domesticated, just like farm animals.
A brown face in the White House – is that all it takes? A brown face representing the same ole oppressive system – is that all it takes? Are American born Africans (and people of color in general) that easily duped? Is that all it takes for us to abandon our long-held place as champions of social justice issues?
The brown faced Democrat in the White House has effectively mollified millions of people of color. Instead of supporting or starting political organizations that truly represent our communities’ interests, we have put aside our own interests for the sake of an arch imperialist.
President Barack Obama represents corporate interests, the US military industry complex and, in general, the pernicious status quo. We need to wake up and cease making excuses for Obama, or any other “lesser of two evils” (Democrat or Republican). When we do this, we are ultimately voting for evil, lesser or otherwise. If we are only presented with options that are antithetical to our collective interests – and our very humanity – then we must create other options. We must create a culture that develops truly revolutionary minded leaders, who will serve as the faces of our organizations/political parties. The alternative is to remain in a state of perpetual oppression.
We don’t realize that we are still oppressed because we have bought in to the manufactured lie of a post-racist America. It does not exist. Wake up black/African America. Wake up America of color. Wake up oppressed people within the bowels of the United States. Put down the highly intoxicating bottle of Obama-Aid and pick up a cup of detoxifying “Revolutionary Juice.” Drink up, let it run through your system and share it with your community – one neighborhood at a time. This liberationist drink is more commonly called organizing. Let’s hope we can all drink to that…
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News media collective (www.yourworldnews.org). Solomon is the author of A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues. He can be reached at: email@example.com