by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Who will defend the indefensible Obama? Answer: There will be fewer and fewer Obamapologists, as each day passes. “For the monumentally dysfunctional Black Misleadership Class, the winding down of the Age of Obama is cause for frantic repositioning, and for the revising of their own histories.”
The Big Nausea: Waking Up With an Obama-Ache
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Black folks have been forced to come to grips with the finality of Obama’s second term.”
The Obama Hangover has begun. The drunken delirium that descended on Black America after the pale Democratic caucuses of Iowa endorsed a brown-skinned corporatist just after New Years Day, 2008 – conveying white “viability” on a Great Black Hope – is definitively over. It’s the morning-after in Black America, a scene of economic and political ruin bathed in the searing daylight of Obama’s second term and umpteenth betrayal.
It would be easy to say that the Great Nausea of 2013 was occasioned by Obama’s blunt object assault on Social Security and the whole array of entitlements. However, the First Black President’s obituary is not written in his budget. The onset of post-Obamaism has more to do with the calendar than anything else. Since Election Day, November 6, Black folks have been forced to come to grips with the finality of Obama’s second term – the impending emergence from the dream. There is the sound of a finger snapping. “In a few moments, you will wake up.”
The awakening will be uneven and, for many, dreadful: a dreamscape dissolving into the rubble-strewn nightmare left by the Great Recession, a catastrophe that set African Americans back as much as two generations, but which was not subjectively experienced as such by huge segments of the Black community. Instead, reality was subsumed by the mere presence of a Black person in the White House.
“The awakening will be uneven and, for many, dreadful.”
It was a narcotic effect so potent in Obama’s first term, African Americans imagined themselves to be better off than five and ten years before – when the truth was exactly the opposite. Black imaginations took flight amid the desolation. Studies by the Pew Research Center – substantially confirmed by other reputable pollsters over the course of Obama’s first term – showed that Blacks were the most optimistic constituency in the country regarding their personal and family prospects and those of African Americans as a group. Moreover, they believed that their condition was improved under the Obama presidency – coterminous with the debacle – when in fact Blacks had been hardest hit of all major U.S. populations. Meanwhile, every other ethnic constituency correctly understood that their economic situation had deteriorated.
Back in January of 2010, I wrote:
“ObamaL'aid is a mind-altering substance, a hallucinogen. It makes Black people see progress when they are actually facing disaster. Obama-on-the-brain also behaves like an opiate, blocking out pain. African Americans’ ability to apprehend political and economic danger is compromised by Obama-induced delusion, while the opiate effect prevents Blacks from knowing where and how badly they have been hurt. That’s a fatal combination.”
Although African Americans contributed 19 out of every 20 of their votes to Obama’s reelection, there was no escaping that this was the last act in the ritual. One cannot blame the people for having their Mardis Gras – even if it is a five-year bacchanal. However, it is unforgiveable for so-called “leaders” to allow the whole town to burn down during the festivities.
“There’s a lot of historical re-writing to do, if the poseurs are to include themselves in a movement from which they have been effectively absent for four years.”
For the monumentally dysfunctional Black Misleadership Class, the winding down of the Age of Obama is cause for frantic repositioning, and for the revising of their own histories. Black politicians and “movement” personalities who, for four years, could not bring themselves to articulate a single “demand” of the administration in power, now claim to be working on a “Black Agenda” – having discarded the old and unfinished Black historical agenda on peace and social justice in deference to the First Black President. Now that Obama’s days are numbered, these misleaders must hustle to readjust history to show that they have, indeed, been “on the case” since 2008, when the bottom fell out of the Black American economy. They must renew their peace and pan-Africanist credentials, having watched as Obama waged war against international order and deployed AFRICOM to militarily occupy the continent. There’s a lot of historical re-writing to do, if the poseurs are to include themselves in a movement from which they have been effectively absent for four years.
The clock is ticking on those who have put the political fortunes of a Black corporate schill in the White House above the interests of African Americans and the global human community. What will the misleaders do with their wagons when there is no Obama for them to circle around - or when he has totally discredited himself even among his most loyal constituency, as with his stance on entitlements?
Revisionism becomes the order of the day. Yesterday’s cheerleaders for Obama are now scrambling to find harmless niches of simulated protest from which they can rebuild their resumes as defenders of the people’s interests. Previously compliant members of the Congressional Black Caucus will decide that it’s time to regurgitate, rather than swallow, Obama’s “Satan Sandwiches.”
But some of us have kept a record, and kept the faith. And we will not forget who did what in the Age of Obama.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].