The victory represented by the election of Barack Obama was also a tragedy, as it turns out. The sellout was predictable, perhaps inevitable but was surprising in its swiftness and completeness. From day one it was clear that we'd been had. The 1% neocon/neoliberal cabal wasted no time asserting itself through their new spokesperson. President Obama, as presidents do, made his loyalty to the empire evident. Overnight, it seems, proud revolutionaries, dissidents and radicals (not all of them of course) became simpering sycophants who suddenly couldn't find anything wrong with the system they once claimed to oppose.
As an anti-racist for all of my adult life and then some, I know about white privilege. I've written about it myself. I've observed it, experienced it and benefited unfairly from it. It's existence is beyond question and it is certainly an important matter that deserves our full attention as a society. Racism is wrong. All forms of racism are wrong. But for white privilege to be used as an argument against criticizing government surveillance is absurd. Not only is it absurd, it's underhanded. Black people have been historically abused by government so now for white people to complain about government abuses is white privilege. As if historical abuses get grandfathered in. They are to be endured without complaint. Not resisted, overturned or changed. Just STFU and take your medicine. It's illogical, inaccurate, harmful and self-destructive. It's a new way of tainting critics of the Obama administration with the charge of racism.
People fight dirty when they can't win a fair fight. Don't like what I write but can't refute a word of it? Accuse me of calling people Nazis and hope some ignorant fools believe it. Can't defend the shameful misconduct of our government but can't bear for it to be criticized? Call critics racists, accuse them of wallowing in white privilege, and hope some ignorant fools believe it.
Some critics of Obama are racists, especially on the right, and racist criticism of Obama bothers me as much as it does anyone. We've all seen it and it's been shameful. As a nation, we should be ashamed. Racism is for idiots and a**holes. I live for the day when racism no longer plagues us. But labeling non-racist critics as racist is as wrong as racism itself.
There is a larger problem with privilege in this society. It's what Barack Obama sold us out to. Privilege is privilege and real privilege, the kind that permeates our government and the halls of power in Washington DC, is not based on color, it's based on class/wealth/power. The privilege of the big checkbook crowd, the privilege of the 1%. That's the privilege we should all be united in railing against -- not protecting. Dividing us like this is how they win.
If a black man in the oval office is all it took to take the revolution out of your soul, you were never much of a revolutionary to begin with.
It's almost a certainty that I will be called racist for writing this by people who oppose my criticism and dissent and who don't mind being wildly inaccurate and utterly dishonest. Don't you believe it.