At the crux of the matter is whether any black American who doesn’t genuflect before Barack Obama and vote strictly Democratic is a self-hating racial sellout who’s “voting against their interests.” (An even larger matter is whether anyone who votes at all is voting against their interests, but I’ll save that topic for a rainy day.)
So what’s the dillio? Has Barack Obama’s tenure been good for American blacks? Well, yes, if you’re interested in having them not disciplined for acting like animals in school, if you think a president’s main job is to give shout-outs to black musical performers, or if you feel a Chief Executive’s primary task is to give the impression that he “cares” about you and thus somehow raises your “self-esteem.” But he’s not so swell if you’re concerned about trifles such as black unemployment, black poverty, black median household income, or the number of black American prisoners. But who cares about that stuff as long as the president’s black?
Obama’s been a bitter spoonful of medicine for anyone who was foolish enough to believe he’d usher in a post-racial era. Instead, we’ve been bombarded with distractions and faux outrages such as the white Republican Arkansas state representative who suggested that slavery had been a blessing in disguise (because everyone knows that, um, income and life expectancy are higher in Africa).
Another matter that becomes a bloody crown of thorns to anyone who dares suggest it is why, despite the fact that modern American whites are constantly accused of being a sinister monolithic racist voting bloc, they must resort to secret handshakes and coded speech for fear of being publicly crucified. In this upside-down modern world, one group must humbly and silently endure accusations that they’re always voting for people who look like them—although they’re never permitted to announce it publicly—while the other group is openly encouraged to act tribally, yet this somehow never amounts to “racism.”
In truth—a rare commodity these days—black Americans have far less to fear if a half-breed actress here or there strays from the Democratic fold than if white Americans were to suddenly reclaim the sort of ethnic consciousness and group solidarity that black Americans currently have in spades.
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