Monday, February 6, 2012

O-Bomb-A: From Magical Negro to Unforgiveable Blackness

Whether you're talking Bagger Vance or Jack Johnson, it's undeniable that Black people are held to weird standards that White peeps aren't.

When it comes to the POTUS I cannot help but see the recent criticism of Obama by my fellow so-called "liberals" and "progressives" as racially based motivated by disillusionment. They thought Barack Obama would be some kind of Magical Negro, fixing everything for us not-so-racist liberal White folks, but now he's failed by not meeting that impossibly high standard! So, of course, we hate him and are taking away the ball/cookies/video game controller.

This childish naivete is not only subversive, but actually dangerous -- if not properly mocked.

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I voted for Obama, I'll be voting for him again, and I believe he's done a decent job as president.

It seems that lately that Obama can't get no love, whether from The Left OR The Right. On the one hand, many Democrats believe that the POTUS is in the pocket of moneyed interests, the military-industrial complex (and some because he is simply not Ron Paul). And on the other hand -- besides different fingers -- many Republicans believe he's a socialist, a racist, not a citizen, and other intensely crazy batshit.

But as I've learned, if the people on both sides hate you, then you must be doing something right!

For me, it all started that fateful night the results came in and Barack Obama was dubbed, President of These United States. Our first African-American president. First Black President. A real Liberal. Hope, Change, and people dancing in the streets from East Oakland to Castro.

The moment, even now, stands out in my memory. Awestruck. I asked in a half whisper, almost to myself, if this was what it was like when John F. Kennedy was elected...

And since then, Obama's done pretty good by my standards. Especially considering the clusterfuck he inherited from his first day in office.

His list of accomplishments is quite impressive.

But apparently his bipartisan approach, his diplomacy, his ability to repair America's relations with the world, his fiscal policy that prevented an even worse (double-dip) depression, and a chockabox full of political awesomeness (repealing DADT, for one) seems to have ruffled the feathers of more than a few professional politicos, particularly progressive ones.

And why is this? I feel like a lot of it is based on racism, that Obama is being held to unreasonably high standards because he's Black. I feel like the constant refrain to his middle name, signs depicting him as a witch doctor, a monkey, an ape, the sheer idiocy revolving around the issue of his citizenship, the "You Lie!" and finger-wagging is testament to an undercurrent of racism in our country that few can deny.

(But the few can certainly try!)

Obviously there is valid criticism that can be made of President Obama, and I myself would say he could do a better job -- but so could anyone else! If our only gripe is that "he could do better", then frankly we're damn lucky!

Yet from the rallying cry of so many so-called progressives, many who support Ron Paul -- known derisively as "Ronulans" -- you'd think Obama was the worst thing since George W. Bush!

I'm confused as to how a racist, uber-conservative libertarian like R.P. is preferably to a center-left POTUS like Obama?

And that's where I have to play the race-card, because only some racist ass people would say that.

More importantly, compared to the Republican playing field, Obama is the only viable candidate who can do the job without causing massive, widespread poverty, a war with Iran, rape the environment, and increase societal oppression.

Let me hearken back to my original point, which is that Obama was originally perceived as a Magical Negro by progressive liberals across the country, evidence in everything from the Hope/Change posters -- to this LA Times story. But as the halo waned, Obama's (for lack of a better word) "blackness" become something unforgivable.

Because the more real of a president Obama has become, the more he has refused to cater to their ever demand, every whim, every politically suicidal desire, the more critical liberals have become of him. That's the backlash of unrealistic expectations from an uneducated electorate that pretends to be colorblind.

Anyhoo, so yeah. Let me just end this with a nice infographic!


12 footnotes:

RVCBard said...

Apparently some people took this video seriously and based their expectations on it. (Click here for more)

Zek J. Evets said...

Hahaha! Aww that's one of the reasons I love Obama. He's just damn cool sometimes.

Eurasian Sensation said...

I'd be happy to vote for Obama if it weren't for that technicality of not being an American.

The danger is that enough liberals will be disallusioned enough to not bother turning out to vote. Republican voters don't even like their own candidates, but enough of them hate Obama with enough passion that they'll rally around whoever runs against him. The "family values" voters would even vote for Gingrich, which is funny as hell when you think about it.

Colbert's quote is easily one of the smartest and most apt things I've heard all year.

Zek J. Evets said...


Indeed, Colbert's particular brand of insane dramaticism is a damn healthy thing for our country -- especially in this political climate.

You're exactly right abut how so many liberals will refuse to vote because they hate the candidates, thus allowing conservatives who WILL vote even if they hate their candidates to elect the next dumbass POTUS to wreck the country/world.

This is a fatal flaw that liberals fall into ALL THE TIME! They refuse to work within the system, refuse to elect people who will listen to them, refuse to participate, and then protest about how messed-up the country is. Duh! You need to participate in order to make a difference!

Oh well though. Such is American political life. Hopefully that changes this coming election cycle.

Eurasian Sensation said...

I think a lot of people on the Left define themselves as being against the system, and thus they are uncomfortable with a progressive in power. Subconsciously a lot of them would be happier with someone like Gingrich running the country, because it would fuel their righteous anger and the injustice of it all, thus giving purpose to their lives.

The best endorsement to vote for Obama is that he's NOT Romney/Gingrich/Santorum, and not voting for him increases the chances that one of those guys gets in and inflicts their strangely callous and uncharitable version of Christian governance on the US and the world.

Alee said...

It isn't just white liberals who have become less fond of Obama, but black liberals as well. It's because they all believed he would save "us".

It's called The Halo Effect, and as I always say, it's a long drop from the top. That's why I don't want anyone idolizing me and actively discourage it. The only place you can go from the very top is down.

Zek J. Evets said...


Indeed, people are often "outrage-a-holics" who need to continuously fuel some form of righteous anger in order to validate/give meaning to their lives.

Either way though, a vote for Obama is the only sane response to the slew of Republican candidates this year.


Halo Effect, Magical Negro, in the end Obama is still held to that impossibly high standard that has characterized liberals these days.

We'll see if Obama goes down anytime soon however. I doubt it'll happen, since he's the only thing standing between reactionary conservativism and the White House.

lifeexplorerdiscovery said...

So true that blacks are held to unrealistic standards. And when they do something wrong, they are NEVER forgiven for it. I mean Michael Vick was treated far worse than anyone who committed murder against a human (well maybe with exception to black murderers). Tiger Woods is vilified to this day for cheating whereas the Terminator gets off as well as Kutcher and Ryan Philippe to name a few.

But the way liberals have essentially turned on Obama makes me admire one thing about republicans: they stick together (the problem with liberalism is that everyone is liberal for different reasons, there is no unity). That is why republicans stand a good chance of winning the election.

But what annoys me most with the type of liberals you talked about is that they expect the president to pander to their every need as if they are the only segment of the country that matters. and if the president doesn't pander to them they run off to vote for the other man who shares none of the same views and will not even try to pander to you. its like when those who cry socialism threaten to move to a country that contains more "socialism" than the US ever had or will have.

Zek J. Evets said...


True, when Black people commit a crime, they are far more harshly condemned/treated than Whites who commit the same/similar crime.

(HOWEVER, this does not excuse the crime, and obvious they should be punished for it according to the law.)

makes me admire one thing about republicans: they stick together

Really? What is it about the current Republican primary that gives you that idea? =P

At this point, they'll be lucky to win outside of the south.

lifeexplorerdiscovery said...

i mean in non-primary election time they typically stick together. but even in the primaries they are all one in the same in the end and pander to the exact same people all of which share the same views. you don't get that with liberals. what makes a person liberal really hinges on one view be it healthcare, social justice, homosexuality rights, feminism, welfare, environmentalism etc. few people advocate equally for all of them and everyone is divided over what is more important and end up advocating for one issue over the others so there is no unity.

and republicans all stuck together during the bush years...maybe only a small few deviated from it and for that i got to admire them for. liberals couldn't last even a year before they started getting upset with obama. people expected way too much way too soon. if it takes 8 years to get into a mess, it sure as hell won't take 4 to get out, you'll be lucky if it took at least 8.

ClarenceComments said...

Ya know:
As soon as you made opposition to Obama all about Race you lost your argument right then and there. You've failed to provide a reason to suspect that Digby, Talkleft, Firedoglake, some at KOS, and Glenn Greenwald are all racists, rather than people who are disappointed that all that has apparently happened is that you've elected Republican lite when it comes to economic and security policies. By the way, I voted for Clinton and Bush two times, the second time in each case holding my nose and absolutely disgusted by our two party system. As someone who takes the Constitution seriously, I think probably one could make a case for trying our last four Presidents for treason.

What do I personally think of Obama? Is he a "marxist" as some conservatives charge?

I have not seen yet a single evidence of this assertion anywhere other than he hung out with some people who might be termed Marxists at one time or another. His entire political philosophy seems to be a mixture of identity politics (his “progressive” side) and fascism with perhaps a side dollup of pragmatism thrown in. On top of that he's a corrupt Chicago pol. I’ve yet to see a genuine left wing economic policy be pushed or pursued by the man, and no, I'm not counting that joke of health care reform that basically sold out to the health insurers.

In short, he's not worth re-electing, problem is, the Republicans aren't worth electing either. I recommend people vote third party or write in at this point because if you reward Obama with your vote you help continue to marginalize liberals within an increasingly conservative Democratic party, and if you vote a Republican you can basically be assured that , come what may, you'll be even worse off economically than under Obama.

Zek J. Evets said...


As soon as you made opposition to Obama all about Race you lost your argument right then and there

Correction: as soon as I pointed out the obvious racial factors influencing criticism of Obama you reverted to your own personal biases. And that's okay! But frankly, your comment shows you didn't read any of the links provided to back-up my statements, since you didn't seem able to refute any of Obama's accomplishments in office.

Now, the hilariously curious thing is, how do you presume Obama to exhibit fascism? And please, make sure it matches with the word's actual definition, because the mental gymnastics involved in proving a progressive Democrat to be fascist is bound to be convoluted.

That said, voting 3rd party isn't a viable option in our current election system. Until a viable 3rd party DOES arrive on the political scene, voting 3rd party only causes Democrats to lose, and Republicans to become increasingly oppressive.

But if you want Obama to be more "liberal" for you, then perhaps pressure him directly by protesting? Electing a more liberal congress? Petitioning local officials, state officials, and federal officials? Letter-writing?

Y'know, get out there and make it happen!