Monday, May 12, 2008


Okay, here is what’s been bugging me:

Barack Obama is an appealing candidate. A viable candidate. A candidate that a larger-than-normal percentage of white Amerikkka is willing to rally around and Afrikan descendants (African Americans) are in love with.

And he is “groundbreaking” -– not in the sense of a Jesse Jackson way back in the day, who really had an agenda that acknowledged the role of racism-white supremacy in Amerikkka and strategy for changing that -– but “groundbreaking” in the sense that he might actually win this thing.

But is Barack Obama a candidate that will initiate and advocate for “change” that will break the yoke of de facto racism-white supremacy? That will assist in righting historical wrongs? That will change the historical, foundational, systemic systems that contribute to the oppression of Afrikan descendants in Amerikkka?

And see, that is “the rub” for me.

Because if that is not a great part of his agenda, for the benefit of not only Afrikan descendants but for all who live here who actually believe in what has been –- up to this point -– the myths of this country (and yes, I’m talking about the “privileged beliefs” we hold and upon which this country is based: “all men are created equal”; “freedom and justice for all”; “merit”; “an equal playing field”; you know, all those things that we say make us different from other countries and all those things that have never been true in this society), then what does it matter if he is elected????!!!

If he is a president that will continue to uphold and uplift and protect those systems and structures that have always worked in the best interests of white people to the detriment of People of Color, and specifically Afrikan descendants, then does it REALLY matter that his will be a Black face –- excuse me, a “bi-racial” face, as many white people (repeatedly) take great pains to point out –- in the White House?

Are his supporters -- Afrikan descendant and white -- REALLY counting on him to advocate for the change of structural and foundational systems and dynamics in this country that have given racism-white supremacy an assist?

Or do they believe that by virtue of his election, racial oppression will just –- poof!!! –- magically disappear?

Do his white supporters believe that their vote for and his election to the highest office in the land will be “proof” that Amerikkka is “post-racial” and therefore they can officially lay down the burden of “white guilt” over racism-white supremacy and ignore -– in good conscience –- the numerous examples of and the continuing impact and legacy of racism-white supremacy still prevalent in this society?

Are his Afrikan descendant supporters casting their votes because they are just so thrilled to have “someone who looks like us” in the White House that they are willing to sell themselves (by giving him their votes) even though they understand that a commitment to Obama is a commitment to keep laboring under the systemic “devil we know” –- even though the chief representative now looks like us?

OR do they really believe that –- once securely in office –- Obama will drop the “we are all one Amerikkka” rhetoric and really begin to honestly address the existing racial and racial/class issues in this country?

Here is what’s bugging me: because he has to run a “we are the world” campaign to win, the question of a vote for Obama becomes: do you believe:

- that his agenda will honestly address issues of racism-white supremacy without sugar-coating them, minimizing them, or being so afraid of being accused of “divisiveness” that he will not really address them at all

- that the white people who say they are for Obama will continue to stick with him if and when he breaks his “social contract” with white Amerikkka by beginning to honestly talk about racial issues

- that the Obama we now see is a “strategic Obama” running a smart campaign OR “the real Obama” -– in which case, we will be stuck with the systemic “devil we know”

So, I guess the REAL question is -– as Clint Eastwood used to say –- “do you feel lucky?”

And I believe that in Amerikkka, the answer to the gamble that is Barack Obama depends on what side of the philosophical “color line” you fall.

Your thoughts?

Moving Forward!