President Obama must be feeling constrained lately. Last week, he let it slip that at times, he feels like “going Bulworth” Bulworth is a movie about a fictional president who after winning, starts telling the truth, and saying what he wants. As explained greatly by the co-writer of Bulworth, Obama is a kept figure by the powers that be, and will never do such a thing. However, there is one group of people that the President never fails to unload on. That group is none other than his most loyal constituents: Black America.
Of course, this post is referring to President Obama and his commencement address this weekend at Morehouse. In what has become a trope in the President’s communication with the Black community, Obama, addressed a crowd of Black college graduates and said there were “no excuses” for them.
The framework in which President Obama sees Black people and their reasoning is very skewed. According to his “tough love” logic, Black people make excuses, while others have legitimate reasons for social impediments. We all know that such broad statements would not have been made at a predominately white institution of higher learning.
Since we are on the topic of excuses, what is President Obama’s explanation for the AP spying scandal? It is a major violation of the first amendment, and to date there has been little mention of it. Why? While we wait for the answer for that (Don’t hold your breath, folks) let us get back to the subject. The point of this is, while it may seem like these sort of remarks come from a good place, it is heavily calculated. Black college graduates are a safe target to assail. When Black people make demands for things to be improved from Black politicians, it can be framed as asking for handouts. While Bill Cosby laid the foundation early for Black 21st century classist warfare, Obama has perfected the narrative. Browbeating Black men is the safe thing to do for Black politicians. It is a tool readily available for public use, and always gets more than a few “amens” from some of the targets themselves. It makes it much easier to spread the slander.
Addendum: This post was picked up this week over at Let Your Voice Be Heard