Breaking Brown

July 14, 2011

define “real” change

The Progressive Cover Story on Obama and BlacksIn Kevin Alexander’s cover story for The Progressive, he lists the excuses Obama supporters give for the President’s ineptness;

“We need to show a united front.”

“Obama can’t do everything. He isn’t Superman.”

“Obama is cleaning up the mess Bush left.”

“He got health care passed.”

“The Republicans won’t give him a break.”

“The attack by the ‘birthers’ is an attack on black legitimacy, so we must defend him.”

“He’s not the president of black America; he’s the President of the United States of America.”

“His family sure looks good. He and Michelle are good role models for our kids.”

“It’s our fault the Obama Presidency hasn’t kept its commitments. We need to ‘make him do it.’ ”

“Shut up and sit down and support the President, or there will be nothing he can do anyway.”

The problem with the excuses listed above is that they are, mostly, rhetorical – strategic – but not substantive. The political rules African Americans hold for their politicians are just too flimsy. To say that “Obama is President of all the people” or “his family sure looks good” or “the birthers attack black legitimacy” doesn’t address the issue of what Obama has or hasn’t achieved for poor, black, and brown people. It’s a vacuous argument.

But as blogger Charing Ball notes, the profound nugget from Gray’s op-ed is the author’s sobering assessment of comfort class Negroes:

“The dilemma of black politics is whether it is about changing the system or running it. Is it about ending the empire and elitism or running the empire and somehow becoming part of the elite? And what will people sacrifice for the latter?”

Reworded:  Is your definition of change  relegated to spinners, a shiny Escalade, and “gettin’ mines” ( or yours) or are you truly in the fight?  Do you favor systematic change over symbolic change?  Because real change is not synonymous with material change. As an African American, you can certainly get a gravy job at a bank that is foreclosing on some of your less well off relatives while selling pie in the sky stocks to your more well to do relatives. But is this real change?

It’s not. As Ball assesses, it is something much sicker:

“That is it in a nutshell. It’s no reasoning with our folks anymore. I don’t know whether to be sad or glad to have witnessed this phenomenon. If I had been reading about this level of pathology (because that’s what it is) in a book, I probably wouldn’t have been able to fully appreciate what it is.”


Enhanced by Zemanta
0 likes Obama # , , , , ,
Share: / / /

One thought on “define “real” change

  1. miles scott says:

    Lets look it this situation in America a whole new way. You have two major crime family in America Politics. The Republicans Crime Family and The Democrats Crime Family. The Republicans are selling the Crystal Meth of Disinformation and Propaganda. The Democrats are selling the Crack of Disinformation and Propaganda. These Crimes Bosses have already agree that none of there made men and lieutenants will serve any major time. The crystal meth is working on The Right. You hear phrase like “I want my country back,He a a socialist,He was born in Kanya,Where is his long certificate of birth and so on and so on”. The crack is working on Left. You hear phrases like”the Don is doing all he can, He playing 5 dimensional chess,he our first black president, he did not promise the public option, he kept the country from going of a cliff and so on and so on”. Then you have those people who are smoker of crack and snorting crystal meth. There are allot of mix bags addicts out there. The first rule to curing addiction is to know what you addicted two. If you are in denial ,it is a river in Egypt. If you believe longer enough, you can feel the breeze or you face and wind in you hair. If this is the case make yourself an appointment at you local mental health clinic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Support Independent Black Media

Support Independent Black Media

Make a One Time Donation

Subscribe to our Exclusive Paid Newsletter