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Home Main Forums General Discussion Obama’s Racial Counter-Revolution and the Disappointment of Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • 99thMonkey (2438 posts)
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    Obama’s Racial Counter-Revolution and the Disappointment of Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Plz Note: For some weird reason the first two paragraph of this article, do NOT appear at the article’s direct link; but only show up on counterpunch’s home page.  This is why TWO links appear at the bottom of the page, the first being the CP home page, and the 2nd to the main article (sans its first two paragraphs).

    Obama’s Racial Counter-Revolution & the Disappointment of Ta-Nehisi Coates
    by PAUL STREET  **  Jan. 11, 2017  **  Counterpunch

    I had, to be sure, many concerns, about the Obama phenomenon, which dates from the future president’s remarkably right-wing and nationalistic Keynote Address to the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2004 Like other left writers and activists, I was troubled by his “vacuous to repressive neoliberal politics” (Adolph Reed Jr. on Obama in January of 1996), his related CFR-informed imperialism (hidden beneath his carefully crafted “antiwar” branding), and his underlying post-racial accommodations of white racism (more on that below). I was also uneasy about the great renewed opportunity an Obama presidency would give white America to congratulate itself yet again on its supposed transcendence of racism and to argue that racism no longer posed serious obstacles to Black advancement and Black equality. Related to that, I was concerned that Obama’s ascendancy to the White House would reinforce the nation’s prevalent superficial understanding of racism as being all about subjective personal prejudice and outward bigotry instead of being more fundamentally about how the nation’s dominant daily institutions – the labor market, the credit system, the housing market, the criminal justice system, the schools, and more – function to perpetuate Black disadvantage and inequality. I worried that Obama’s symbolically “revolutionary” election would help cloak societal and institutional racism, deeply understood, rendering it even more invisible than before.

    Those fears have been born out. Again, and again during the Obama years, I have heard whites articulate sentiments pretty much exactly along the lines I had worried about during the Age of Obama. “See? Don’t talk to us about racism anymore. The president is Black for crying out loud!”  …

    What’s the deal with the liberal Black novelist, political commentator, and occasional Barack Obama courtier Ta-Nahesi Coates? Look at this passage from an interview he did three weeks ago, with the white Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member and “Public” Broadcasting System “NewsHour” host Judy Woodruff:

    Judy Woodruff, CFR and PBS: “One of the things you write [in The Atlantic – P.S.]  is that — it has to do with the election of Donald Trump being the price that has to be paid for having Barack Obama as president. What did you mean by that?”

    Ta-Nahesi Coates, The Atlantic: “Well, I meant that if having an African-American president was as revolutionary as we claim it was, that there’d probably be some sort of backlash or some sort of counter…a great deal of Barack Obama’s power is symbolic and is in the symbolism in what it communicates to African-Americans. … [the existence of a Black president] communicated great… power to African-Americans…. But that also communicate[d] things to other people also, who may not necessarily be so happy about that kind of progress, you know, who have all sorts of feelings wrapped up in that, and so I think a lot of that culminated in the election of president-elect [Trump].”

    http://www.counterpunch.org

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/11/obamas-racial-counter-revolution-and-the-disappointment-of-ta-nahesi-coates/

    OCMI, NuttyFluffers, Downwinder like this

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7 replies
  • leveymg (1801 posts)
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    1. With Colin Powell we should have lost the illusion that being Black equates to

    Progressive.  Hillary undid the same charade about being female in govt.

    • 99thMonkey (2438 posts)
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      3. Ain't that the truth. and Condi was icing on that cake.

  • TwilightSporkle (1513 posts)
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    2. I can't take Coates seriously

    Not after he raked Sanders over the coals for supporting single-payer but not reparations, while expressly stating it was perfectly okay for Clinton to support neither.

    What if I want to tell you to leave me and my beloved ones in peace

    But you only understand the language of the sword

    I let the blade do the talking

    So my tongue shall become iron

    And my words the mighty roar of war

  • NuttyFluffers (1772 posts)
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    4. a good read as a thorough breakdown of Obama's AA disappointment

    and how that community disappointment carried over through voter disillusionment and lack of transferable 2016 turnout.

    again it boils down to (and i love his word for it) “identitarian”-ism being used as cover for neo-liberal economic policy going on rapine against African American wealth (among others), and neo-conservative foreign policy that finds EEO compliance enough to cloak slaughter of brown and muslim peoples (among others).

    weaponized identity politics, as bludgeon and shield, to perpetuate USA policy through a palatable bougie front.

    and this vacuous Obama was all telegraphed about years before and at the start of his 8 years as president. a great compilation of the early signs of Obama’s coming bait and switch of an administration.

    • 99thMonkey (2438 posts)
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      5. Thanks for the incisive commentary on the article.

      • NuttyFluffers (1772 posts)
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        6. :) it deserves it. sexy isn't always scandalous.

        sometimes it’s smart and insightful. 

        (i wanna be the change that encourages  consuming healthy media choices, too. controversy candy rots your brain.)

        • 99thMonkey (2438 posts)
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          7. +10