Over at the Black Agenda Report we find an article entitled: Why Barack Obama Needs a Whuppin’: Honest Abe, He Ain’t
While I'm in agreement on the general thesis of the article, I must disagree with the following statement:
Barack Obama is the antithesis of Black Power, a man who promises with every word he speaks, with every nuance of phrase and body language, and through his voting record as a U.S. Senator, that he personifies the definitive end of Black organized struggle in the United States - a unilateral surrender to white racism.
If one wants to keep the focus on the black struggle within the US. then I would say that the most recent nail in the coffin of black politics was the demonization and abandonment of Cynthia McKinney. While Don Imus got ejected for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "Nappy Headed Hos." We must remember that Cynthia McKinney was called "Bitch" on the floor of the US Congress. The perp in that case was Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-NC). The CBC was dead ass silent on that event. It was pretty clear that calling black women out of their names, in a public forum was acceptable.
Next, shortly after the DC police incident which was purportedly caused by McKinney's then new hairdo, Radio pundit Neal Boortz, said, on air that McKinney looked like a "Ghetto Slut." This too went without so much as a peep out of the CBC or other so called Black leaders. I have no doubt that since McKinney has the infamous "Black woman backbone" the spineless black men inhabiting the CBC were unable to muster up the guts to put these crackers in line.
Since it was OK to publicly insult and degrade a strong, outspoken black woman such as Cynthia McKinney, it should have come as no surprise to any of us that the women of the Rutgers team would receive "equal treatment". After the defeat of McKinney (which she and her colleagues has a serious hand in), I wrote that her defeat represented the death of black oppositional and protest politics. The current generation of the black middle class, which incidentally are the early edges of the Hip Hop generation, is only interested in a few things: money and access. As with the rest of us in this generation, we learned all to well that rocking the boat and talking that "black shit" was an expressway to being marginalized and a "promotion killer". If we can't go natural, speak our minds and wear "um-foo-foo" shit, then no way we are going to allow McKinney to mess us up.*
Much of Obama's institutional money comes out of the black middle and upper class. Our wealthy, talented tenth, many of whom would probably lynch Al Sharpton for the Klan if they could make a business deal out of it. They want to see a black president that represents them and their values. Their value is in anything that de-racializes their existences. They are professionals who "happen to be black" rather than black professionals. And believe me, by mind and by culture the descriptor "happen to be black" is very relevant. This is what the white population wants from a "black candidate". Black enough to appease white guilt, but not black enough to bring up those fears.
So no, I disagree that Obama is the definitive end of black organized struggle. I believe that Obama represents the results of an already ended organized black struggle. Obama is the result of a compromised movement from decades ago.