|Malcolm X said when you see a black man helping the Devil and his ways, and telling you those things are good, or necessary, you know you're looking at a traitor.|
It was the day not the right—but the left—concluded Barack Obama's main mission in presidential life and authority is not to rile his white masters.
Or—as one anonymous comment asked in replying to Joe Nocera's mild-mannered condemnation of Obama's torture of Gitmo detainees: Isn't Barack Obama just an Uncle Tom?
That charge could only reasonably come from critics on the left, since right-wing critics have accused Obama of being a scary foreign radical. The truth seems something worse: Obama is a scary domestic servant and protector of the white folks' worst beliefs and behaviors.
Of course, there is the right-wing variant critique, spouted by various black conservatives (often dismissed as Uncle Toms themselves), where they allege it is liberal whites keeping the majority of blacks in thrall to the party by tossing them welfare crumbs.
Ask Mitt (or maybe Ann) Romney how well that bullshit idea worked.
Yeah, well, the political dialog of the USA streets, where the votes are, has never been an exercise in restraint and reason.
But, this argument about Obama's fear of upsetting the white people—which interprets that to mean going "too left" on a host of issues—is gaining support.*
*NOTE—Another side to it, maybe a more generous view, or anyway a more realistic one, is that Obama shaped his policies (pushing far to the right) in part as an effort to get out of the White House alive, hoping to minimize his chances of being assassinated by one of the millions of gun-toting, hate-mongering, morons the USA breeds like pigs or frack wells.
And the most troubling way in which Obama's deference to conservative whites has manifested since the beginning of Obama's administration, is in his handling of the wars and the Bush-era style of waging them. Whereas Obama had promised to reject Bushism in the Terror Wars, instead he embraced it. Why?
I first asked this question about Obama's seeming deep fear of upsetting the white natives, when I posted a Guillotine article (no longer online) entitled "Obama—Overseer of Bush's Plantation", on February 21, 2009. As I pointed out:
"From saying 'yes' to rendition and torture; to just kind of forgetting to stop Bush's terrorizing wars against Iraq and Afghanistan; to expanding Bush's war into Pakistan; to now affirming Bush's position that prisoners in US-run foreign torture camps, like Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, a place described as worse than Gitmo, have no rights to appeal their confinement, not even in a US court; Barack Obama seems more intent on giving us continuity we're all too familiar with than change we can believe in."That was more than four years ago, and over and over again, Obama has shown himself to be no leader, no fighter, nobody the people in need could depend upon to fight the powers, especially those on the lunatic-white-right.
Why should we have ever thought Obama would be that person? He worked all his life to gain entry into the very soul-dungeons where the evil and the injustice are manufactured daily. Obama wanted a franchise in that horror house, and to actually run the place!
The American sheeple believed, for a long time too, that Obama wanted to run the place to change it, fundamentally, back towards a more enlightened, more civilized, condition, the sheeple believe existed, like Camelot, once upon a time ago.
But that turned out to be quite a foolish mistake.
And now, we have Times columnists, already cowed into abject obedience by Bush's regime, reduced to the extraordinarily tepid criticism of asking such a fucking stupid question as "Is Force-Feeding Torture?"
Nocera, reluctantly, concludes that it is. And he reluctantly asks another question: Is Barack Obama the commander-in-chief, with the power to stop the USA from torturing detainees—or isn't he?
Of course there is another possibility. Barack Obama is OK with torturing people.
After all, if you have tortured people right from the beginning, which Obama has, and you're still finding reasons to do it, a reasonable conclusion is that you actually don't have a problem with torture.
The ONLY reason Nocera is asking about Obama's power, is that he is giving him the benefit of the doubt on this question—that somehow Obama is either alienated from or afraid of the very power he has to reject what the white conservative majority anointed as good tactics to use on brown-skinned evildoers after 9/11.
But, Barack Obama is President of the United States. He has more power—more REAL power—than any other human being on the planet.
If Obama is the person in charge, and he's ordering things to be done, or not ordering them to be stopped, he's affirming what he really believes in.
A lot of liberals are shocked to discover what Barack Obama actually believes in—torture for example.
Like Obama says, time for them to grow up...and smell the latte.