The Meteoric Rise of a Race-Neutered Presidential Candidate

Barack Hussein Obama

This article was first published at Black Agenda Report.

The first decade of 21st century has been characterized by the decline of the Civil Rights era leadership, increasingly supplanted by a new generation often bereft of vision, a sense of duty, and self-sacrifice. This “new” leadership possesses a studied clinical tact of being socially distant from core issues that affect the masses of African-Americans. Further, these new leaders are well-suited to mesh with the evolving post-Brown Decision black elite who wallow in the dystopian non-racial world where being self-effacing, self-loathing, self-censoring (regarding the deteriorating condition of blacks), and slavish endorsement of the Faustian neo-liberalism is rewarded with affluence and honorary white status.

Individualistic-bourgeois-hedonism, cynical conformity to corporatist Aryan hegemony, and ethnic treason foment social glaucoma and schizophrenia.

As a result of the detached retina of social vision, the black masses stumble through a dark ghettoized abattoir exploited by a judas-goat-comprador leadership caste that is acutely kleptocratic and predatory in worldview and abetted by a cynical Shylockian, Gantryesque, escapist, psychotropic, techno-vaudevillian, and anti-black clergy. Sadly, since Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, the African American masses have been matriculating through a school for the solipsistically blind in a society whose social promotion policy for them is ethnocide and benign neglect. Likewise, those blacks scarred by past conditions of servitude, discrimination, and exploitation continue to be battered by structural poverty, inequality, and racism — from without — and quislings and faith-based courtesans — from within.

To a large degree the historic sense of history and yearning for self-determination has been compromised, gutted of purpose, or contaminated by right-wing synthesized victim-blaming nostrums. Manipulated and betrayed and narcotized by a homogenized mainstream and castrated syncophantic black media, African Americans are primed to be pimped by a garden variety of Ivy-Leagued and corporate-minded hirelings. Presently, African American peoples’ fingers are being pressed forcibly down on the neo-Bookerian Braille campaign flyer proclaiming Obama as their messiah able to usher in a racial millennium.

Obama is not atypical of the newest bumper crop of post-Brown Black Elected whose ties are more rooted in Wall Street, K Street, the Loop, of some lily white world where even the janitorial staff has no black presence. His Clintonian-like words at the 2004 Democratic Convention that there was “no black America” is contradicted by his claiming in Selma, Alabama earlier this year to be the Torchbearer of the Joshua Generation to those Moses Generation African Americans who fought Jim Crow in the 1950s and 1960s. If Obama has no tribe to which he owes loyalty, what possesses him to claim the mantle of a group to which he feels has no stake?

This writer feels that Mr. Obama owes his limited credibility in the African American community to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ and Obama’s spiritual mentor — until the presidential candidate found it prudent to disinvite the liberation theologian from his official presidential announcement in Springfield, Illinois.

Why is Obama due the mantle of African Americans without facing down a Bull Connor, Mayor Daley, Frank Rizzo, Sheriff Clark, or any genuine white supremacist institutional structure? Thin are his laurels that manifest his mettle or ethnic-realpolitik testosterone needed in a post-Katrina world of Black America. Nonetheless, Obama has been given a walk by Negro leaders who are more accountable to AIPAC and Project 21 than to any African American constituency. How can Obama warrant a prophetic crown of black leadership without presenting a scintilla of evidence of having taken up the black cross – minus individual slights, personal adversity, and his admitted bi-racial schizophrenia. Even these minor scraps of personal angst have a questionable origin which might well have been concocted to please a white publishing executive’s balance sheet.

Into a vacuum caused by drugs, class segmentation, deindustrialization, familial dissolution, mass incarceration, apathy, top-down class treason, and the federal government’s retreat from social justice programs and New Deal/War On Poverty income redistribution programs, Obama, untouched by this carnage, is allowed to ascend to the throne of African American leadership as an untested and unknown quantity. Is Obama a hero, villain, prescient sage, or a non-racial “fool from the village” that Nostradamus’ prophecy warned of?

In Obama’s best-selling “noir-Horatio Algeresque” Audacity of Hope chapter titled “Race,” he claims his ethnically diverse family background — with members who resemble Margaret Thatcher and Bernie Mac — makes him unable to take sides on race or group identity alone. He, therefore, eschews having loyalty to any one “tribe.” The question must be asked: how can Mr. Obama reconcile the diametrically opposed agendas of Anglo American supremacists and African American self-determinists without the less powerful and affluent black people’s cause being short-handed? Anglo-Saxon hegemony does not accept half-way covenants. One must choose the Anglo tribe or be marginalized. Therefore, considering the singularity of white oppression in African American life, Mr. Obama’s doctrine that he forswears allegiance and fealty to any one tribe smacks of a lie. African Americans must ask, What draws this race-neutral politician to our community’s doorstep since he comes as an avowed friend of even those who hate us?

Surrounded We cannot allow Anglo media oligopolists to trick us into thinking that Obama has a unique racial heritage. Since time immemorial the African American family has been diverse, having whites, Indians, Caribbeans, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, and more. The existence of variety never made the majority of us somehow unique. We were always African Americans and members of the black nation in America. Further, the game that the media is playing regarding Obama is insidious, because African Americans since the late 1960s have been chided for supporting black candidates for elected office. Nowadays, we are being ordered that we must vote and support this black person. All the while he claims that race is not really that important to him.

Furthermore, why does his foreign travel make him so unique? Did not Kathleen Cleaver grow up in India and other African Americans live in far-flung locales? Why is Obama’s race neutral ideology something that makes him deserving of uncritical African American support? Why is his international experience given him a more revelatory vantage on race relations than Malcolm X, Huey Newton, DuBois, millions of black veterans, and all those before him? How does his soft-peddling of race and racism into the trivialities of slurs, stereotypes, and whites simply not understanding differ from the hypercritical fair-weather white liberals of yesteryear? How does Obama justify the mass imprisonment of black men and police brutality and economic discrimination as something not fundamentally race-based, but rather, is the result of unfamiliarity and ignorance? How can individuals remove the vestiges of racism with simple disapproval? At the same time, how can Obama differentiate himself from other black conservatives when he calls on people of color to give up the claim to victimhood and persecution that, he believes, limits their ability to reach their full potential?

We have embraced a serpent — be he venomous or not — into our bosom. He claims to be for peace but in speeches calls for expanded intervention abroad against people of color and of the Muslim faith. He claims the mantle of African American leadership and maintains that our older leadership has passed the torch to him, but professes no loyalty to any tribe. So how can he lead those with whom he does not acknowledge an exclusive tie? He spouts that racism can be eliminated with the simple changing of attitudes. He draws on the writings of Gunnar Myrdal and Robert Park but is unfamiliar with Frantz Fanon, Amos Wilson, Robert Allen, and virtually any other counter hegemonic writer or thinker. He has attain his preeminence on the cheap as a thundering cloud of change that has no rain to nurture those who count upon him. He is callow but ideally suited to a lethargic African American leadership caste that is little more than style and whole lacking in substance. Furthermore, Obama’s emergence is antithetical to the self-determination of the African American people. If he is the Joshua incarnation of the Moses generation’s dream we have been en route to despoliation for 40 years and oblivious of it.

As many of you may have guessed by now, Nathaniel X Turner II is a pseudonym. But he checks in regularly with us, and can be reached at Publisher (at) Read other articles by Nathaniel X, or visit Nathaniel X's website.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. James said on June 7th, 2007 at 9:40am #

    This really is an ugly, pathetic, and hateful little diatribe. It is vicious slander – this website really can do better than this. You lost me as soon as you started attacking Obama for his multi-racial heritage. There’s so much hate here, and almost all of it is unjustified based on Obama’s record to date. It’s pretty sad when you think about it, that someone could feel so much antipathy toward a public figure they’ve never met (besides BushCo).

    So tell me, “Nathaniel X Turner II”, what have you done for black people lately, besides concocting little pieces of internet hate speech like this one?

  2. shataya said on June 7th, 2007 at 9:43am #

    this should of never happend

  3. CODude said on June 7th, 2007 at 6:20pm #

    Funny, I had to read this twice to even notice the mention of his family. But then again, I’m not an Obama supporter. To me he’s just another shallow politician spouting focus group results. I definitely ask the question this author asks, shouldn’t someone have to DO SOMETHING before they say they should be President?

    I’ve been reading the speech of Obama’s that’s been going around the internet. And if anything, what it tells me is that is image shapers and speechwriters seem to have mastered what both Bush and Kerry mastered. That is speaking a lot of words that sound good on the surface to the intended audience, but which don’t really say anything. Read that speech that’s on many websites, then ask yourself what he really proposes to DO. It sounds good till you realize there’s little substance there except maybe expanding the EITC. Just like Kerry. Kerry could sound good, but afterwards I’d ask what did he really just propose and it was always little or nothing.

    But if you read that speech, you’ll quickly no Obama is no Martin Luther King with his telling denouncement of not only the Vietnam War at the Riverside Church in NYC, but his clearly spelling out of exactly what it is in American society that leads us continually to wars in Vietnam and now Iraq. Obama mouths nice words against the war in Iraq. Undoubtably his state senate district in 2002 was so antiwar that it was a political no-brainer to oppose it then. And today he mouths criticism of the war in Iraq while saying absolutely nothing about what it says about the America that so gladly went to war. And he seems to vigorously support a war against Iran, apparently showing that he’s learned absolutely nothing from the mistakes we made in going to war in Iraq.

    The Democratic Party seems to be pulling a twin pair of cons on the American electorate in desperation of otherwise being revealed they stand for nothing. They have the candidate that all the women are supposed to vote for just because a woman should be elected. And they have the candidate that everyone who isn’t white is supposed to vote for if they aren’t white. But if anyone is so stupid as to vote for a candidate on either basis, then they deserve the same disasterous result that they got when they voted for the candidate they’d most like to go drink a beer with.

    Hey Obama, how about actually doing something as a Senator? Take a stand and wage a fight on something that will improve this country, or maybe change the disastrous direction we are going in. Do anything, but do something. Right now he’s just a bland media creation running around saying what his pollsters tell him to say. Which to me means he shouldn’t be let anywhere near the White House.

    Look deeper than the messages his pollsters give him to recite. Look for soul. Look for character. You should be able to see that. A US Senator is a powerful person. You should be able to see amazingly good things being done by him. But to me he does nothing but mouth lots of vague generalities.

    Listen to Obama talk about today’s wars, and then listen to Martin Luther King’s speech at Riverside Church. I believe it would be obvious who is the person with soul who really gets it and understands what’s going on, and who is the shallow, media-created phony.

  4. Hue Longer said on June 7th, 2007 at 7:08pm #

    great article…I talk on blogs relating nothing to politics and angry white men love beating up on Sharpton and Jackson for their phoniness when really it’s the message being to delivered to whites that they hate…here we have a phony who’s status quo, we’re all purple (credit to Quickly) message is loved by non- progressive liberal whites. Does this sound familiar? … “Why do African Americans always have to drop the race card? If they would just realize that we are all working towards the same things, they wouldn’t be so angry at good white democrats like Bill Maher, Clinton and myself…Look at Obama, he gets it”! I’ve heard that from white Dems using Colin (he’s so articulate) Powell, too…hell, they were ready to vote for him!

  5. G. A. Richards said on June 8th, 2007 at 7:44pm #

    It’s obvious this idiot views Sharpton as the messiah. Otherwise, he wouldn’t ask why Obama would have to stare down a Bull Connor before earning his nigga cred. Sharpton is a joke. Too bad your kind don’t get it. I believe I’m one of those non-racial self-loathing types this idiot is talking about. It’s just strange that he never asked why we are the way we are. Here’s why: race has nothing to do with our accomplishments. Hard work did. Studying in school did. Fidelity to family did. I reject the gangsta lifestyle because it is quick sand. I reject everything that has to do with the gangsta lifestyle. If that makes me seen distant and uncaring, so be it. I can’t care — not when I spend my time being a father to my children, worrying about their education, peer influence, the music they listen to.

    But maybe in my own small way, I’m doing a service to my race. Afterall, I’m trying my best to raise kids that are not a part of the problem. I live my life in a way that I hope my kids will see me as a good example. I believe that if we all did that, that would be half the battle.

    You should be attacking the rappers who sell wholesale, a lifestyle that’s so obviously distructive. You should blame the pro athletes in general (and basketball and football players) in particular, so not being better role models.

    If I had to choose, I would rather my son be like Obama than like Terrell Owens. So yes, I’m far removed from a certain aspect of black culture because it’s ultimately destructive. If I emerse myself in that aspect, I don’t doubt that it would destroy me, just like it did thousands of black men in prison.

  6. John Wilkinson said on June 10th, 2007 at 11:46am #

    To me, both Obama and Clinton (and most, if not all, of the others) are great frauds. Obama and Clinton pursued senatorial careers ostensibly to “serve the people” of their states. Yet, as soon as they got in (and not bothering to do anything significant while in Senate), they want to be President. So, the Senate was not about serving the people, but about being the springboard for their ambitions. It’s not about the people, or the service, it’s all about them and their ambition. Why don’t they quit the senate (and all the other candidates, too, should quit their “public service” (self-enrichment) jobs), while they are pursuing this? You can’t justly discharge your DUTIES as a senator (for which you are paid), while you are pursuing the presidency full time. Don’t tell me others have done it — that doesn’t make it right, and it makes it a fraud. Can YOU keep your job, and get paid for it, while you devote your time and energies full time to something else? Why are they better than you or me?

    I am not picking on Obama. The use of Air Force One for political purposes, the Karl Rove, a political operative, having an office in the white house and being paid (handsomely!) by taxpayers’ money, all these trips (hunting trips, no less!!!!) on govt jets, etc., etc., Republican or Democrat, doesn’t matter, the govt is rotten to the core, and the American people don’t seem to mind. They want to elect these frauds, who’ll just continue the party. And the less they mind, the more the cockroaches take over, and the American people are satisfied with less and less; and they get less and less as a result, it’s a vicious circle. Something that would be unthinkable a generation ago is normal business now.

    The readers above are right — MLK worked in the trenches, and it showed in what he said, Obama did not, he’s just a flash in the pan. But unfortunately, he (or others like him), may just get elected president, unimaginable as it may be. Because, we the people have no standards anymore.