On January 20, 2017 someone other than Barack Obama will become president of the United States. Many people – this columnist included – long for the day when the national nightmare will be over, and Black people might once again resume their proud tradition of leading American left politics.
But this won’t happen until most of them are deprived of the illusory good feelings provided by the sight of a Black president. We might be able to again work for self-determination and pursue full citizenship rights with the zeal that was once commonplace.
Unfortunately, Inauguration Day for the next president will probably not have that hoped-for effect. As the countdown clock moves, we are seeing a resurgence of the Obama propaganda juggernaut. A day doesn’t pass without a plethora of social media images meant to keep us in full Obama thrall.
In just the past week alone we have been subjected to video of a girl crying upon being informed that Obama won’t be president forever. The White House released a video showing a 106-year old Black woman joyfully meeting the president and first lady. That was followed by #Obamaandkids which showed the president in adorable mode with small children.
The Obama team was always a marketing powerhouse; they aren’t letting up with a mere eleven months to go. The goal is not to burnish the president’s historical legacy.
Stay in line
The media onslaught is to replicate the strategy of 2008. People who should have known better went along with well marketed neo-liberalism and imperialism. No stone is left unturned to keep the sheep in line. We might actually dare to think about those serving draconian sentences for drug dealing who Obama refused to free, or the children he killed in drone attacks.
The natural inclination to feel good isn’t harmless when politics are the subject of discussion. This election year, Black people should begin the process of recovering their collective senses. The Black president did nothing to stop the decimation of the little wealth his most fervent supporters once had. Mass incarceration and police murder still target Black people more than anyone else. This is not the time to let up because of propagandists with the right connections.
#Obamaandkids is the brainchild of one Michael Skolnik, who serves as president of Russell Simmons’ globalgrind.com and has the title of political director. Simmons is a phony revolutionary and with the help of his patrons like Skolnik, is at the trough of the Black Misleadership class.
It is sad indeed that pictures of kids touching Obama’s hair, or gazing lovingly at him, are enough for millions of people to lose their powers of thought. The sentimental self-indulgence is an indication of the low level of political awareness in this country.
These pictures tell a much larger story though. Obama wouldn’t be president at all without the services of the best marketing people in the country.
Just the beginning
We have not seen the last of the Obama hagiography. Skolnik and his ilk won’t disappear. The soon to-be-former president will need them as he builds libraries, makes money and dispenses patronage.
In the meantime, he will use every means to keep pesky progressives from thinking for themselves. Lest anyone criticize Obama in particular or Democrats in general, they will have to fight against perfected propaganda that would make Orwell turn in his grave.
The president left a Facebook message for the woman whose granddaughter cried over him.
“Caprina, tell her to dry her tears, because I’m not going anywhere. Once I leave the White House, I’ll still be a citizen just like her. And when she grows up, she can get involved right alongside me. In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye out for her letter, and we’ll always get to celebrate our birthdays together!” Yes, she and the president share a birthday. How perfect.
Obama and Obamaism aren’t going anywhere. The level of hypnotic browbeating will not diminish.
Anyone who thinks about alternatives to the Democrats, or fighting imperialism or mass incarceration, will have to struggle in 2016 just like they did in 2008. In the meantime, get ready for more cute kids.
Margaret Kimberley’s column appears weekly in BlackAgendaReport.com. Contact her at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.com.