A Tragic Irony

The tragic irony is that our “first Black President” is not actually Black. He does not share our history, knows little about our suffering , is an observer of our cultural life and maintains as much of a distance from us as possible. To the extent that he is black it is as a performance (something like the white rapper Eminem), not an organic connection to us and our history and current struggles. In reality he doesn’t see himself as a part of us.The tragedy is that most Black folk haven’t realized the game that’s being played and are therefore caught up in identify something that is not them as them. Like seeing Eminem as Black. In many ways Obama deals with Black folk the same way a white Democrat or Republican would; maintain discreet and polite, yet not committed connections to the Black community. Political education is the key to our overcoming this dilemma. Du Bois’ theory of double consciousness is a good place to start, Baldwin’s ruthless critiques of white racial practices and black compromise to them, Huey Newton’s vision of revolutionary resistance and internationalism, Toni Morrison’s idea that Black folk seek to physically transform themselves so as to become invisible and thereby acceptable to whites. And then there is Fanon’s notion of having a black skin and a white mind at the same time. And then to all of this Karl marx’s critiques of capitalism and Lenin’s studies of imperialism.

About Anthony Monteiro

I am a activist and scholar who is a professor in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University.
This entry was posted in Black Intellectual, Political and Ideological Issues, Political and Ideological Issues, US capitalism, empire and race. Bookmark the permalink.

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