Obama Wandirasa: Is Obama truly pro-black?
Opinion by Tsungai Chipato
The day Barack Obama stood on that podium in 2009 accepting the 44th Presidential nomination of the United States of America, how many Africans within the international community that day would have thought that George. W. Bush would have achieved more for Africa rather than Africa’s own son?
Barack Obama, the embodiment of everything liberal within the United States has only managed to produce a lukewarm variation of a moderate conservative President at best. Was his election just a feel good bumper-sticker moment for the world? Where Black people bamboozled by the skin color to vote as a single voting bloc for President Obama?
As I wrote this piece on Obama from North America, it pained me to chronicle a growing black view albeit a minority based view within the ghetto of America. Community elders have been furtively concealing dialogue amongst the underprivileged community; for at least the last two years of Obama’s previous administration, why?
The sentiment permeating within the ghettos of North America is that of disappointment towards the mantra of “Hope and Change”. The community feels President Obama no longer supports the underdog which most of the time happens to be the minority within the lower rungs of life.
Just in the same manner that most Black people supported O. J Simpson even though they thought he killed his wife. The same fervent black loyalty is holding strong for President Obama besides his lacklustre performance as a fighter for black issues.
Forget about Africa, President Obama at his core, has failed to deliver in the big; caffeine-Obama jolt that most expected, this is a hidden and oft embarrassing topic amongst the African American communities across the U.S that black people refuse to talk about and just choose to sweep under the carpet.
As much as it hurts to say it; as a black man, the facts on the ground continue to substantiate that Obama’s vacillating nature has produced lukewarm results and eroded the black movement by hypnotizing the community into a state of appeasement with society. If this was World War 2, President Obama would be Prime Minister Chamberlain.
Currently residing within Canada and having had the fortune of living within the United States, the disappointment I feel towards Obama is palpable. Nevertheless within North America, a black person cannot speak badly of an African American leader no matter how ineffectual he is without being shunned.
Typically speaking, black people believe that; there are bigger enemies out in the world trying to bring down black people. For black people; fighting existential threats takes more priority than dealing with our own ineffectual leaders. Tearing each other down has never helped anything within African American culture, criticising elders is frowned upon no matter your country of birth; so long as if you are black .
Ask yourself though; what possibly can the international world attach to Barack Obama that is noteworthy of having accrued a Noble prize?
As the world stares down the belly of genocide within Syria; the inadequacies of Obama become more apparent, whilst the death-grip of racism and classism become more profound across the globe.
President Obama is viewed as a Black president however he runs away from this title; fervently trying to establish a neutral state of leadership where he is viewed equal to other Caucasian presidents. The days of Thurgood Marshall, Steve Biko, Leopold Takawira Hebert Chitepo, Lyndon Johnson, Kwame Nkurumah, Malcolm X, Thomas Paine or Martin Luther King are gone. Welcome to the future of political appeasement and a predatory-capitalistic facade within North America.
I now chide myself for having expected a change within my society. Is the pressure of failure, so intense; that we as minorities cannot live within our own skin? Is knowing that we may fail our own race, so scary that we choose not to highlight our differences and instead follow the ebb and flow of dogma?
Obama now has a. the Syria crisis, b. the remnants of Libya, c. the flip flopping in regards to Egypt, d. the increase in drone attacks within Africa, e. the reduction in humanitarian efforts within Africa, f. lack of an aggressive climate change policy, g. the resurgence of Russian influence and h. the possible beginning of a East-Asia sea-lane crisis.
|George Bush Policy||Barack Obama Policy|
|2. Still to be decided; depends on Republicans realising they need Latinos.|
||3 Thought Vladimir Putin was a friend and misjudged him|
||4 Was well received internationally, but has or had no
strong allies to lean on unlike George Bush
||5 Ordered a Military surge for Iraq|
||6 Continues the program and uses it as
A campaign platform for re-election
||8 Kills Bin Laden|
Bush was considered intellectually inferior and foolishly stubborn; Obama will be considered as the professorial type who weighed all viewpoints before coming to a final conclusion. In all honesty besides being African-American; President Obama has actually been a very normal President compared to other administrations.
At a time when Black Americans and Africans needed a pit bull within the White house, President Obama has been found wanting and shirking from making difficult and albeit divisive choices that may have bettered the more under-privileged minorities within the globe.
From an African perspective President Obama has been a major blow for Pan-Africanism, for the past 8 years African leaders just as their counterparts; the Black- Congressional caucus, have allowed themselves, to be caught up in facilitating an ideal no longer compatible with 2013. Being black without ideology is meaningless.
In a world made up of variant systems and a conflagration of manipulation techniques. Simply viewing race as a skin-colour is no longer adequate, in 2013 a racist supremacist could be a best friend for a black person in certain situations, or a Wall Street mogul could be your next slave master as a white person.
President Barack Obama being elected has shown us the biggest fallacy that exists within the American political culture. No other nation on planet earth can espouse and guarantee opportunity like the United States. Anyone can be; whoever they want to be, however as proven by the President, everything in life exists within a restriction.
The biggest gift Barack Obama has given to black people all over the world is making them realise that racism is systemic and that, only an overhaul of the whole entire system can change this; in other words everything dating backing to the Magna Carta or before that, is worthy for conversation or revision if it helps us change our system.
Within North America black people have quietly realized that, the “Matrix” is too insurmountable to challenge. The legislation and protocols set in place to overlap dominance and simple day to day living are simply confusing for an average Joe.
We are entering a period in history where minorities will play a more prominent role within government without actually wielding any power to effect change. As President Obama grapples with his last term, for those who still believe in his “hope for change” mantra, the only way to keep the dream alive is to cut Obama from the equation and start making the change on our own.