This is a book review of MSNBC Correspondent, Joy-Ann Reid's book "Fracture: Barack Obama, the clintons, and the Racial Divide."
Ms. Ann-Reid has penned a gem of a book here about what she saw on the way to the "Obama Revolution." And what she saw as MSNBC Correspondent, was more than a mouthful.
She has framed it as a series of extended contretemps between the Clintons and the Obamas. But once the reader gets beyond the introductory chapters, it becomes clear that this frame was little more than a cover for the real issue of the book, which is to tell the cold-blooded truth about how "Team Obama" undermined its own revolution by repeatedly cow-towing to the racist elements within its own team, within its own Democratic ranks, as well as within the racist America public at-large, and particularly, and incongruously, but consistently, to the racist "Tea Party" faction of the Republican Party, which set the agenda for the Obama Revolution by "Team Obama's" repeated hyper-sensitive and knee-jerk yielding to the demands of the rightwing news channels and blogosphere.
In the end, Mr. Obama must take full responsibility for killing his own revolution through a series of missteps, faux pas, timidity, calculated reticence, ambivalence, leading from behind, cowardly premature capitulations, vain search for a non-existent bipartisanism, dumb negotiating, and repeated acts of cowardice that invariably resulting in caving in to those who bullied him about leaning too much in the direction of blacks on the issue of race.
Never once in eight years did he do so, so for all intents and purposes Bill Clinton still remains "The First Black President," since Mr. Obama is still a virgin as far as blacks are concerned. Yet, his allergies to his own blackness, in retrospect, must be seen as a sickness that lies within the Obama personal psychology, not in the American body politic itself.
Can anyone imagine, for instance, what would happen if Hillary Clinton were President, and black cops were repeatedly killing white women on the streets daily, and these killings were consistently being determined to be "justified homicides? Would she be silent, or asking her white sisters to cut her some slack? Would she be worried about not being seen as the President of all the people?
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No, I think she would cry out with the full rage of a fully injured human being!
Not Mr. Obama though, he doe not feel our pain. He remains hidden behind the Oval Office desk with a cool pose, appealing to blacks to be cool, not take to the streets, and to allow justice to take its course?
He even puts his own very conservative, Reagan appointed Attorney General in a choke-hold to prevent him from being pro-active on behalf of blacks -- that is, until Eric Holder could no longer stand it, and broke away from the BHO anti-black spell.
In many ways, Mr. Obama has gotten a free ride to the Presidency. He did not pays any dues. If you interview those in the Chicago community where he was a community activist, no one remembers him? And as a result, what Mrs. Clinton said about him on page 155, to the effect that "Dr. King did not just give speeches. He marched, he organized, he protested, he was gassed, he was beaten, he was jailed. He understood that he had to move the political process and bring those who were in political power ... to act on what he had devoted his life to achieving."
Mr. Obama, on the other hand, does not have an activist pedigree. He has been allowed to trade on his blackness, on Dr. King's activism, at the same time that he "denies" and "distances" himself from blacks themselves. He hides behind the Oprah designed mantra that "he is the President of all the people." But so too was LBJ, who gave us so much; and even Richard Nixon, who gave us Affirmative Action; and Harry Truman who integrated the Armed services. So where does this lame excuse come from?
Thus, sadly, I must say that there are no heroes in the ranks of "team Obama" on the way to the Obama Revolution -- only villains -- with the President's repeated acts of cowardice being the greatest villain of them all. And if Hillary intends to follow the Obama lead on issues of race, as she has repeatedly announced during the 2016 Presidential campaign, I think she will be treading on very thin ice indeed. Blacks will have a long painful memory of the Obama Hopelessness and no change, Revolution.
Since there is a leitmotif to Ms. Reid's narrative of "the death of the Obama Revolution by a thousand cuts," I want to cut to the chase and get to the bottom of the issue that lies at the core of why Mr. Obama had to deny his own humanity (and our's) in repeated cowardly preemptive capitulations to the racist sentiment in America's body politic.
In his appeals for "the brothers to cut him some slack," Mr. Obama repeatedly pled to us on grounds that we shared a "common humanity" with the racists who (through racist inner city police) were busy killing black men and boys in droves on the inner city streets; who were busy trying to roll back every Civil Rights gain since the LBJ administration, including rolling back the 1954 Supreme Court Decision, Affirmative Action, ending bussing to achieve better equality in inner city schools, mass incarceration of black men, gerrymandering Congressional districts, and undermining voting rights, not just in the South, but in the nation as a whole.
I say to Mr. Obama, you are wrong, we do not share a common humanity with these people. Because Nazi Germany proved to us that racists simply are not human. They simply do not have a humanity, other than racism. You must first be human to have a shared humanity. And these racist, who call on the U.S. Constitution to defend their racist prerogatives at the same time that they do everything in their power to undermine the legitimate rights of black citizens, are not human.
And thus to treat them as if they are: to cater to them is to further empower them, to concede the moral high ground to them, and to do so at the expense of a legitimate black morality and humanity.
Is not doing this just a round about way of saying that we are still second-class citizens, and that no ones owes us anything in a democratic system where one's vote is supposed to count for something, for at least a modicum of political power?
After all every other citizen whose votes overwhelmingly elects a new president, has every right to expect at least to have his issues placed on the national agenda if not, at least in part, addressed.
It happened in the JFK administration, in the Jimmy Carter administration and in the LBJ administration. No one ever accused either of them of not being the president of all the people?
Mr. Obama's appeal to us to defer to the racist white agenda solely because it was the will of a racist majority, echoes the same lame calls of the Uncle Tom Booker T. Washington at the turn of the last Century, who also asked blacks to give up all hopes of full equality in exchange for being content with the majority racist status quo. He wanted us to become farmers and carpenters, and give up the idea of going to college.
But can one really defer to the non-humanity of an immoral racist majority without further corrupting our political system, and without remaining second-class citizens? Mr. Obama knows that as well as Booker T. did, that to suggest such is not only a moral absurdity, it is moral debasement and a moral insult to all black people and to our democratic institutions at the same time.
Ms. Joy Ann-Reid does give Mr. Obama a bit of breathing room here. She tells us that he does not exactly tell us not to fight for our own rights. According to her, he just says, even though we might have voted for him at the 95% level, he is not going to help us. As far as he is concerned, we still have nothing coming from him? She intimates further that Mr. Obama's real constituency is racist white liberals who followed him here from Chicago, not blacks. And all that he has shown us so far, this statement appears to be precisely true. The Tea Party is not the only place where racists hide out in America.
I only have one final comment to make about Mr. Obama. It is based on reading about twenty books on his life and upbringing. Most of them have been reviewed under my name on amazon.com.
His two very well-written books were both carefully constructed psychologically-compelled lies, mostly designed to deflect attention away from the fact that he suffered permanent psychic damage from his mother abandoning him (not his dad, whom he never even knew, except briefly when he was around ten), and having to choose between being white or black.
The trajectory of his mental development proves that he never recovered from this psychic damage, and it is sefl-evident that his worldview has been strongly mediated and warped by them both. He chose to become black in the same way that one chooses to wear Nikes instead of Addis tennis shoes.
He did so mainly because he is no foll and knew that the "one-drop rule," in the end would define who he would be. He thus knew he had no other choice but to become black.
So he adopted Chicago as his new psychological home. There he adopted Reverend Wright as his symbolic black father and all black women as his new symbolic and psychic mother. He then modeled their behavior and appended their thinking to his own, to fill-in the missing parts of his black psychic resume. When he was forced out of political expediency to break away from Reverend Wright, he was a man in a sea of blackness without a paddle or a rudder.
It is everywhere self-evident that the black women he adopted to lead him to a safe shore, actually led him astray. Unconsciously Michelle, Valery and Oprah have taught him how to hate his own kind, black males; thus alll this responsibility nonsense. They also taught him how to hate his own white mother, who if the truth is ever told, is the real champion and hero of his life.
So when I see him groping in the darkness for a psychic crutch to grab onto, to help him define what his faux blackness is really suppose to mean in tough times, I know it will be the hand of an Aunt Jemima black woman, like a certain very wealthy Aunt Jemima from Chicago, who hand picked him to be President. His policies have all remained in lock-step with her worldview. Mr. Obama has no psychic context to love himself as a black man. Five stars