When Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, most Americans – even Conservative Americans – accepted the historical significance of the event. After the dark years of slavery, the bitter years of segregation, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the racism which still lingered after the victory of the civil rights movement, it seemed as if the United States had overcome its deep-rooted, racist past in the most incredible way imaginable; the American people had elected a black President. The reality, however, is that Barack Obama is clearly not the first black President in American history.
It would be unwise, at this point, for the reader to begin a frantic search for the real first black President, for none has been elected, so far. The current occupant of the White House did, indeed, make history, when he became the first non-white President, by virtue of a skin-tone inherited from his Kenyan father. His mother, however, was a white woman from Wichita, Kansas; Stanley Ann Dunham, who – for three years – was Ann Obama. The President clearly inherited equally from both parents; he has his mother’s eyes and facial shape and his father’s smile and cheekbones. Both Ann and Barack Sr. are echoed in the President’s face, as are their skin colors; Ann was very white and the elder Barack was considerably more black than his son. Barack Obama is, in fact, the first bi-racial President.
To the sane and intelligent human being, the President’s race and genetic makeup should have little – if any – significance. Two particular groups, however, chose to make it a huge issue. Each did so for very different reasons. American Liberals, now a meaningless, umbrella term, encompassing Democrats, Progressives, Socialists and Marxists, made the President’s race an issue for highly cynical, political reasons. They saw the opportunity to use the color of Obama’s skin as a weapon against their political opponents; the common refrain from the Left, since Obama began his campaign for the White House, has been that anyone who criticizes the President in any way is clearly motivated by racism. This incredibly transparent argument never explained the large number of black Conservatives who have disliked and distrusted Obama from the start. Those very Conservatives quickly became the target of many racial slurs, hurled at them by Obama’s sycophantic followers; a trend that continues to this day.
The other group of Americans to grasp so enthusiastically at the President’s racial heritage was the larger part of the black community. They imagined, apparently, that Obama would show them favor and heal the many historical wounds they had suffered. With a ‘black man’ in the White House, the humiliation, intolerance and injustice of the past would all be swept away and American blacks would finally ascend to their rightful place, as fully equal to whites – or, as some in the black community were hoping – ascend to a level above whites.
Although, sadly, most black Americans have yet to realize it, that was never of the slightest interest to the President. Whilst he, himself, used his skin color to advance his political career and rally the faithful to him, the reality is that he has almost nothing in common with the average black American and no interest in them, other than as voters, beholden to him because he has subjected them to economic slavery; keep them dependent on government and they will have no choice but to vote for the party that provides them with everything. Why else would the federal government spend several million dollars on advertising the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the federal government spend $34.6 billion on the program in fiscal year 2008. In 2011, that figure had ballooned to more than $75 billion. In January of 2009, a little over 30 million Americans were receiving food stamps. By August of 2011 – less than two years later – almost 49 million Americans were in the program. These figure are also from the USDA. Department of Agriculture figures released in June, 2013, show a slight decrease; the number stood at 47.7 million. President Obama has added almost twice the number of people to the food stamp rolls as his predecessor; 18.4 million new recipients, versus 11 million during George W Bush’s Presidency. Taking into account the fact that Obama has been President for half the time that Bush was in office, that number is truly staggering.
What, then, do these numbers have to do with the President’s skin color? The answer is simple: The black community has suffered disproportionately under this so-called black President: As a percentage of total population, far more whites than blacks receive food stamps, but less than 10 percent of white households are in the program, whilst almost one-quarter of the black population are enrolled in SNAP. Unemployment numbers tell a similar story; whilst unemployment in the country as a whole, under Obama, has been higher than it was during the Bush years, unemployment in the black community has risen to staggering heights. At one point in 2012, more than 16% of black Americans were receiving unemployment benefits, which was, at that point, twice the rate for the population as a whole. Today, it is estimated that unemployment in the black community stands at around 13.5 percent – again, far higher than the rate for the nation as a whole. If Barack Obama was truly the first black President, he would, clearly, have done more for the black population; as had been hoped by so many.
In truth, Obama had an almost privileged upbringing in Hawaii and Indonesia. He had no black peers until he attended college. The closest he has ever been to the ‘hood is walking around the front end of his Presidential limousine. If black Americans want a truly black President, they should look to the future. If they want a black President who is going to represent them in a way that will make them proud, they will need to vote for someone who doesn’t intend to use them and then enslave them. There are a few black politicians out there who would make excellent Presidents and would make enormous strides in returning self-respect to the black community and represent it in a positive light. Clearly, Barack Obama is not that man, because he is not the first black President; he is merely the first bi-racial President. If being critical of the President demonstrates racism, the question should be asked; which half of the President is the victim of that racism? His black half, or his white half?
Written by Graham J Noble