How Do We Deal?
After reading the following letter from Boondocks creator, Aaron McGruder, in defense of his nuanced analysis of Obama’s Presidency, I was inspired to compile a diverse list of critical voices unearthing perspectives and criticisms that remain buried underneath post-election debris. Read on:
“For a long time now, I have tried to keep my opinions on the election and Barack Obama to myself. I occasionally do speaking engagements, which are not open to the press, and unfortunately some of my comments have been twisted around in a silly manner. The claim that I asserted our new President was not Black is categorically false.I have seen an endless stream of Black pundits on TV pontificating about the significance of President Obama’s election – many of them making reference to the 3/5th’s clause in the constitution regarding slaves. The point I was making is that this is not an accurate comparison. Barack is the son of an immigrant, not the descendant of slaves. It’s like comparing a half-Japanese man to the oppressed Chinese who built the American railroads. Yes, they are both Asian, but it is not an honest or accurate comparison. We all share the common experiences of being Black in America today – we do not all share a common history. A history that in part makes us who we are – and in some cases (as with the psychological damage that still lingers from slavery) holds us back.
These are not, I believe, insignificant distinctions. I did say I was cautiously pessimistic about Obama’s Presidency – but this is simply acknowledging the reality of an American Empire that is out of control and on the verge of collapse. Let us not forget that on the eve of the election, we witnessed a near trillion dollar robbery of the US treasury. That robbery is still taking place. I do not blame President Obama, but I do not believe the financial and corporate interests that own and control this country will fold so easily. I do not question the integrity of the man as much as the power of his office – which I believe has greatly diminished over the years. I believe the Federal Reserve Bank, the Military Industrial Complex, and the massive corporate interests that run this country have more power than our new President. I hope I am wrong.
After 9/11, I witnessed the most of this country become obsessed with squashing dissent and silencing critics. I hope this election does not turn Black America towards this same, fascist mind state; but already I am starting to see it, and it saddens me greatly. I absolutely wish our new President and his family success and safety. But after all I have witnessed in my lifetime, and especially in the last eight years, I am not ready to lay down my skepticism or my outrage for this government. To do so would be unwise and, ironically enough, anti-American.” —Aaron McGruder
“I was living the dream but now I’m pacing
See things fell apart and now I’m losing patience
Lord, how do I deal?
I’m losing my power
Chasing the almighty dollar
Not just for the greed
Strictly for the need
Lord, how do I deal
waiting for Obama to kick in…”
—Dwele “How I Deal”
“What’s the black pres. thinkin’ on election night / Is it how can I protect my life? / Protect my wife? / Protect my rights? / Every other president was nothin’ less than white / Except Thomas Jefferson and mixed Indian blood and Calvin coolers / KKK is like ‘what the fuck’, loadin’ they guns up / loadin’ mine too, Ready to ride / Cause im ridin with my crew / He dies – we die too / But on a positive side, / I think Obama provides Hope – and challenges minds / Of all races and colors to erase the hate / And try and love one another, so many political snakes / We in need of a break / I’m thinkin’ I can trust this brotha / But will he keep it way real? / Every innocent n!gga in jail – gets out on appeal / When he wins – will he really care still?” — Nasir Jones, “Black President”
“The present moment has been so diminished in importance that it has become little more than a rehearsal for the future. Present joy eludes us as the present moment is invaded and overwhelmed by hopes and fears for the future. At every turn death invades life.” — Larry Law, Spectacular Times, 1983
“You either pimpin’ the system or
gettin’ pimped by the system.
Don’t want a piece of the pie,
we want control of the kitchen”
— Dead Prez “Free Aint Free”