By Ezrah Aharone 11/09
The election of President Barack Obama is shifting America’s axis of race in ways that have yet to be politically quantified. But from a standpoint of Black political leadership, it signals a definite “changing of the guards.” The once-popular preacher/protester ilk of leadership from the 1960s finds itself gasping for 21st century oxygen, as young Black leaders are card-carrying democrats who can now “eyeball” whomever they please.
Perception suggests that African Americans are finally becoming politically powerful as a people. But every industrialized nation with an ethnically diverse population has a general “pecking order” of power, starting with the dominant group most able to leverage capital might into political influence that shapes foreign, domestic, and military policies. All other simulations of power (freedoms of speech, press, assembly etc.) are like political window-dressings of democracy that may boost patriotism, but lack utility for minority people to command such influence.
Similarly, people who’ve taken “Placebo” sugar pills, sometimes experience boosts in health, being that they psychologically expect and believe the tablets contain “medicinal properties” to cure them. In much the same way, America’s placebos (civil rights, integration, citizenship) have given us expectations and beliefs of power, when in reality, they lack the “political properties” of control (sovereignty, independence, statehood) wielded by Euro-Americans . . . Which is exactly why our centuries-old ailments remain largely uncured.
Although upcoming generations of Black leaders are digesting Americanization more easily, I’m reminded of Winston Churchill who remarked that Euro-Americans will always “do the right thing, after they’ve exhausted all alternatives.” And so, racial progress and the rise of Black political leaders cannot be disconnected from America’s habitual militarism and its 21st century requirements for economic survivability . . . Honestly, how much longer could we be coaxed into voting for White multimillionaires and fighting ambiguous wars abroad if we still faced stark Jim Crowness here?
But whether you believe it or not, there remains unvoiced resentment towards civil rights leaders for pricking lasting nerves. Euro-Americans have a known nationalist tendency of not liking to be cited or corrected of their political flaws and flagrances. So naturally this establishment welcomes fresh, race-neutral Black leaders who skillfully steer around the systemic/endemic nature and ramifications of America’s racial inequities, which Obama faultlessly personifies.
Part of his ascension involved soothing the historical burdens of White guilt, while keeping civil rights leaders at arms-length to prevent staining his political immaculacy of White acceptance. As such, he cryptically foretold during his campaign that “he’s rooted in the Black community, but not limited by it.”
My question is – What crime did we commit as a people where someone would have to present such a political defense for himself? If everyone is “equal” why then, conversely, is he “not limited by the White community” since he’s also half-White? Most troubling however is the unseen, unchallenged “source” that compelled him to make this disclaimer since it holds proven capabilities to diminish us, as Black people, beneath the respect and political worth that all people deserve.
Despite such subliminal credence to Whiteness, the repercussions of centuries of Euro-American greed and immoralities are heading homeward to roost. Not only is America experiencing an internal crisis of leadership and financial upheaval, its international integrity and superpower image are jeopardized, as the world community frowns upon its brash war escapades. In response, it has become strategically expedient for Euro-American males to deflect the government’s aggression away from themselves.
Similar to the Lone Ranger designating Tonto “the leader” (after being surrounded by angry Indians) the establishment hopes Obama and other Black leaders like Attorney General Eric Holder and UN Ambassador Susan Rice, can convey a “placebo appearance” that the US government is no longer a big, bad, all-White wolf with the blood of Black and Brown people dripping from its fangs. Together, they put a converted face of “change” on what otherwise is a contiguous history of “Euro-American hegemony as usual.”
Yes, America is multicultural. Yes, Africans in America are making progress. But in our honest pursuit of political power – via the leadership tutelage of Euro-Americans – it is our spiritual responsibility to question if we, in the process, are becoming proxy participants in a 21st century continuation of the same “interloping for resources” that initially barbarized us and Native Americans, under the pretext of “freedom and democracy.”
Ezrah Aharone is the author of two political books: Sovereign Evolution and Pawned Sovereignty. He is also a founding member of the Center for Sovereignty Advancement. He can be reached at Ezrah@theCSA.org.
W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Barack Obama & The Hip Hop Effect On American Politics: