Reprinted from the Black Agenda Report
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The More Effective Evil has trounced those Republicans with evil intentions. Folks who never made a single demand of the corporate, war mongering Democrat think they are some kind of victors. " The non-resisters have won a non-victory against an unimpressive enemy," while Obama plots new atrocities.
Victory! -- for the Non-Resistance
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
" Obama is the more effective austerity president -- if the Republicans will just let him work his show."
" Get Away Sandy -- God and Obama Will Save Us" read the graffiti, scrawled man-high on a cinderblock wall in the majority Black town of Plainfield, New Jersey. It is an apt articulation of African American politics as we descend into the First Black President's second term.
Black folks may or may not have a prayer, but they certainly don't have any earthly influence on the direction of the nation or on a president for whom they gave near-unanimous support, while asking nothing in return.
Wait a minute! I'm hearing echoes of"a familiar voice:
" We have learned that Black politicians and activist-poseurs have an infinite capacity to celebrate not having engaged in struggle with Power, and that the Black masses can be made drunk by the prospect of vicariously (through Obama) coming to power." -- Black Agenda Report, " The Obama '08 Phenomenon: What Have We Learned?" November 4, 2008 .
As Marx said, history repeats itself, "first as tragedy, then as farce." Independent Black politics, rooted in the historical African American consensus on social justice, racial equality and peace, definitively collapsed, after a long illness, with the first Obama presidential campaign. The tragedy was compounded, exponentially, by the timing, coinciding with capitalism's greatest crisis since the Great Depression. The autumn of 2008 was an historical juncture for the nation and the world. Either the people would erect structures to protect themselves from being crushed under the dead weight of a system in terminal decay, or the Lords of Capital would swallow the State whole, and buy themselves some time.
African Americans, the most politically volatile and left-oriented U.S. constituency -- a people specifically targeted by Wall Street's machinations -- had an historical role to play. "The man STRUCK," said Frederick Douglass, "is the man to cry out." But Black folks had already been struck silly with Obama'Laid.
" Despite his background, Obama knew enough about African Americans to pay us no attention and less respect."
The rulers had, at long last, found our Achilles Heel, the weakest spot in African Americans' political armor. Our reflexive racial solidarity (actually, an aspect of Black nationalism), which had served us so well, for so long, short-circuited our progressive political instincts. We became fodder for Obama, the slicker-than-Slick-Willie corporate guy with the brown face.
Despite his background, Obama knew enough about African Americans to pay us no attention and less respect. There would be no penalty. Black folks had convinced themselves that Obama needed our protection; it never occurred to most of us that we needed protection from him -- not during the primaries, when he praised Ronald Reagan's reaction to the "excesses" of the Sixties, or when he refused to endorse even a voluntary halt to home foreclosures (while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards endorsed "voluntary" and mandatory moratoriums, respectively); not in the last weeks before his inauguration, when Obama announced that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all "entitlements" would be "on the table" for chopping under his administration.