Black America Paralyzed, Powerless, Irrelevant: Year 4 of the Obama Era

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Next week will mark the third anniversary of Barack Obama's inauguration, and the unveiling of his fourth budget. Already White House spokespeople admit that it will be bad news for black and poor Americans. In three years this president has investigated and prosecuted not a single Wall Street banker or institution, not held up the wave of foreclosures a single week, not addressed the issues of black unemployment or black mass incarceration. But black America has silenced itself to protect the career of the First Black President.

Black America Still Paralyzed, Powerless, Irrelevant: Year 4 of the Obama Era

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Three years ago this week, more than 2 million souls, at least half of them African American, converged upon the nation's capital. They came, in what my colleague Glen Ford called the Great Black Hajj of 2009, to witness and celebrate the swearing in of the nation's first African American president. They wept and danced and sang and prophesied. They marveled at how far they had come. It was, their leaders assured them, the beginning of a new day.

Three years later, it's clear that this is indeed a new day, a new era. But for most of black America, it's not the one they hoped for. Nobody expected urban poverty would begin to vanish overnight, or that millions of acres of lost black farmland would be restored. But promises were made, and expectations were justifiably high, not because Barack Obama had promised to investigate Wall Street, prosecute banksters, or stop the imperial wars and illegal foreclosures, but because humans do have the right to expect justice at home and peace abroad, whether their leaders deliver these things or not.

The highly questionable political strategy of withholding back black demands for economic or social justice and peace, so as not to embarrass, pressure or visibly tie the black presidential candidate, and later the black president to his base was so widely accepted that by mid 2007 it was a staple of black stand-up comedy routines. Three years into the Obama era, the silencing of black demands lest they embarrass the president is no longer a tactic. It's a religion, rigorously enforced by the black misleadership class and its wannabees, who fall over each other in their eagerness to mock and scorn heretics like Tavis Smiley and Cornel West for daring to highlight the fact that black poverty and joblessness are at levels not seen in seventy years.

So it is that black people, black demands, and black communities are impotent, voiceless and paralyzed. The creeping privatization of our schools, the continuing gentrification of our urban and suburban communities, and the mass incarceration of our youth all, and the diversion of resources from health care and good jobs to the war economy and corporate welfare all continue apace in the era of Obama, but without visible black protest. Black protest, and black America used to be where the left lived. Black America used to be the visible, beating heart of the American left, in permanent opposition to wars of imperial conquest, to despoiling the environment, to gutting social security and Medicaid. Those days are over.

The priority of the black political class is to damp down protests unless they can be directed exclusively against Republicans, to protect their careers, contacts and contracts, to stifle any criticism of the president, and to pretend that Republicans are to blame for whatever the Obama administration should have done and didn't. It's time to circle the wagons and invoke the false god of “black unity” for the 2012 elections. But what is it we are supposed to unify around?

We can't really say Barack Obama has stood up for poor and working people. Obama specifically promised to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, to walk a picket line himself and to pass the Employee Free Choice Act during his first two years in office, while he still had an enormous Democratic majority in Congress. None of that happened.

The current economic depression --- and that's what it is, a depression ---- came to a head just as Obama assumed office. In September of 2008, just before the election, George Bush was unable to get his $3 trillion bankster bailout bill through a Democratic dominated Congress. Bush summoned president-in-waiting Obama to DC, where Barack worked the phones for a week, convincing enough Democrats to change their votes and support the Bush bailoiut so banksters would indeed get paid for crashing the economy. After assuming office, Obama gave the Wall Street casinos an extra $15 trillion, quintupling down on the Bush bailout, the most massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in human history. The Obama administration hasn't found a single big bankster or mortgage fraudster to prosecute in three years.

The BP Gulf disaster occurred while Obama still had a big majority in the House, but not one measure was introduced to hold oil companies to account. Obama's own “jobs council,” the Hill reports, is about to recommend the Republican energy strategy of “drill, baby drill” with minimal or no regard to the environment or attempt to wean ourselves from dirty and destructive fossil fuels. This president can't say the word “coal” without putting “clean” in front of it, or refer to “nuclear power” without declaring it “safe.”

Next week President Obama will unveil his new budget, with what his spokespeople admit will not be good news for black and poor Americans. But if our leaders have anything to say, we'll keep a lid on any protest, any sign of dissatisfaction or disaffection.

If the black misleadership class has its way, the only political role for black America is to be the solid black wall around the president, the wall that does not insulate him from Wall Street or the energy companies or the warmongers. They're inside the wall. Our job once again will be to protect Barack Obama from any semblance of accountability to his supposed base. To us.

Afraid of weakening him before the Republicans, we weaken ourselves instead. Rather than rish shortening his career, or dimming his halo, we shorten and impoverish black lives and livelihoods. We have a new pharaoh. And we won't let him go.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report. He lives and works in Marietta GA, where is is on the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. Contact him at bruce.dixon(at)


More on Barack "the Food Stamp President/Magic Negr@" Obama

On immigration

Re "Simplifying immigration," Editorial, Jan. 12

The Times endorses the Obama administration's proposal to reward those who have broken our immigration laws.

Under current law, illegal immigrants who seek immigrant or temporary visas must apply from outside the United States. They must then ask the federal government to waive the three- and 10-year bars to return. Congress instituted these rules in 1996 as a penalty for immigrants who had been illegally present in the United States for long periods of time.

President Obama is bending these rules to put illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of citizens and legal immigrants. The administration's proposal to allow some illegal immigrants to stay here while the government decides on their waiver requests will encourage more illegal immigration.

Congress has defeated amnesty attempts several times. And most Americans want to see immigration laws enforced, not ignored. Obama (and The Times, for that matter) should put the interests of the American people first.

Rep. Lamar Smith


The writer chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

"President Obama is bending these rules to put illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of citizens and legal immigrants"

Thank You, Congressman Lamar Smith and the LA Times for publishing this.

Other pertinent info to show this trash are a disgrace to the essence of what it means to be journalists, an elected official, etc., are:

The Republican Party is Not Responsible for the Demise of the Black Community

Ceyseau and Inept Leaders

Typically, Black owned newspapers such as the LA Sentinel choose not to publish this to defend misfits like no good Barack "The Food Stamp President" Obama.


Michael L. Lofton

So Why Do You Echo Grinch-witch's Racist One-Liner...

First of All- I've got a whole bunch of reasons for reading the riot act when it comes to O-Bomb-em..., BUT- This 'Food-Stamp Pres' line uttered by the likes of that racist Newt Grinch-witch is thinly veiled racist & elitist code-speak! The myth that they taught us in school was that- even if you're are poor & Black you could one day grow up to be US Pres [I think they called it the 'American Dream'  / 'Horatio Alger Story', etc...], & Obama like him or NOT- embodies that myth. 'Food-stamp Pres' is thinly disguised code-speak that No Black, Brown &/or poor person should ever even be considered to be worthy to be US Pres- That's why a racist / elitist hypocrite like Grinch-witch [& Hush Limp-balls] uses it [What else do you call a guy who led the charge to impeach Slick Willie over his Monica-Capade - while at the same time he was cheating on his ex-wife & even had the balls to ask her if they could have an 'open marriage' so he could keep getting his 'SWERVE ON' w his mistress at the time {now his wife}- Except HYPOCRITE!]. There's been a lot of scrutiny on Ron Paul lately about something allegedly written on his behalf 20 -30 yrs ago- BUT what about those other Repug jokers [IE: Romney's Mormonism - which taught an openly racist doctrine just 30yrs ago] -BUT- especially Grinch-witch who had the gall to repeat that 'Obama the Food-Stamp Pres' line at a NAACP invite recently [although why they even invited this racist joker in the first place is beyond me].

And about your immigration screed- Obama has quitely deported even more Hispanic immigrants to Mexico & Central / S- America than even George Water-Board Bush Jr DID- So is your real point here is to throw out some racist one-liners & hype Repugs like Lamar Smith??!! The same Lamar Smith from TX that voted w O-Bomb-em on that treacherously notorious- "Authorization of the United 'Police-States' of America Act"??!! 


I've heard this charge of President Obama deporting Undocumented Illegal Immigrants back to their home countries. I think if they are illegally here regardless of the situation they should be sent back to wherever they came from.  I support the President's decision because it has economically and sociologically hurt our Black People. Its illogical to support illegal immigrants whose major reason for being here is to support the cheap labor practices of businesses from restaurants to large factories. This practice continues to undercut the scant employment opprotunites for African-Americans. That is problematic for me being that I am a member of this group. Believe me illegal immgration causes other problems for African Americans and Americans in general, such as identity theft. I can't believe that we still have black people in this day and age who still place the well being of others ahead of our own group interests and our babies. This is one policy that I don't have a problem with. And yes I have lived in other countries, LEGALLY.

This also goes to show how this entire immigration issue has been framed to keep people from critically analyzing this issue. But most black people don't consider their own best group interests anyway to our own detriment.

Caution_'Illegal' Immigration Issue Not So Cut & Dry for Blacks

Besides the History of the US taking the entire SW Quadrant of the US from Mexico... The power elites always like to play different factions of the masses against each other. They pit Black folk against the Brown folk, poor whites against Black & Brown folks, men against women & vice-versa, the young against the old, employed against the unemployed, the non-unionized workers against unionized workers, etc, etc ,etc [they encourage the 'Crabs in a Barrel Mentality']... Yet the power elites have systematically shipped much / most of the manufacturing base [except weapons making] overseas @ 1/4 -1/40 the US pay scale for decades now- & in the process have been dismantling the working / middle class. They've rolled-out NAFTA & GATT that has destroyed much of the agricultural sector of Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean. The results- Even though Ole Slick Willie claimed the opposite- was to exacerbate the immigration [& drug] issue,  because instead of Mexican farmers growing food for their people, they had to find something else to do [IE: grow & sell drugs] or go else-where for work [IE: cross the US border] to try to survive. Actually many of of the power elites wanted this situation- because they knew undocumented workers were more vunerable & exploitable- & could be forced to work for less than the established pay-scale- [the power elites love driving down working class folks pay-scale]. Question: If its illegal to hire an undocumented worker - why when the ICE Police round-up hundreds of so-called illegal workers at a plant or farm- seldom if ever are those plant's/ farm's mangers / owners arrested also??? In fact its been reported managers / owners often  sick ICE on undocumented workers- if & when some of the workers start demanding fairer treatment [often- especially on large commercial farms- they're trapped in almost slave like conditions].. 

And then we've got racist white guys like Newt Gringh-witch, & Hush Limp-balls throwing around the idea of rolling back the 14th Amendment [Establishes US citizenship for any child born in the US who is not in Transit]. Any Black person who doesn't understand that the 13th, 14th & 15th amendents were written to protect our status & rights as citizens immediately after the abolition of slavery & supports white racist elitists like Grinch-witch & Limp-balls as they call for rolling-back the 14th amendment to stop so-called illegal immigrants from having so-called 'anchor-babies' [don't forget this same ilk slandered ALL Black welfare mothers for allaegedly having extra babies to collect bigger welfare checks - as they attack / cut-back welfare] - doesn't understand history & fails to choose their so-called 'friends' wisely... - Because these racists will NOT stop there- Next these white racists will go after the 15th [established Black folks right to vote & participate as elected officals - Why do you think Grinch-witch insults Obama as the 'Food Stamp Pres' - Do you think he only has Obama in mind when he says that?!] & then the 13th [abolished slavery in the US] amendments - and we'll be back in pre-civil war conditions ala the Ole Dixie-Land  South [IE: back in Slavery- What do you think Grinch-witch means whenhe says he wants to "Go Back to the 'Original Intent of the Constitution' " - which orginally said that Black people were 3/5ths of a human being?!]. I am NOT necessarily calling for an Open Border policy nor cart-blanche amnesty, but IMO - we should NOT be building a Berlin Wall around & militarizing the Southern Mexican Border, & any Black person that trusts the likes of Grinch-witch & Limp-balls on the 14th amendment issue [Trust us- We won't use it against ya'll- just them illegals - Yeah Right] has got some SERIOUS ISSUES... And why do few of those white guys that scream about 'illegals' crossing the Southern border seldom say anything about the role of NAFTA, CAFTA & GATT has played on this issue & the harm they've done to workers on both sides of the border??!! Most of these guys are white racist nationalists / corp controll poly-tricksters whose main concern is that by the middle of this century white folks will be the minority in the US- because they feel that the US is only for whites folks- especially to run & control -&- to keep the US Corp-Controlled!

Is there any truth to this?

Publisher of Atlanta Jewish Times calls for Mossad to assassinate President Obama?

Secret Service investigating Andrew Adler:


Parallel to the penetration of Arab anti-Semitism into the Western discourse through the pan- Arabic media, and the embrace of overt anti- Semitism by the European media and political class, over the past decade, we have witnessed the development of an alliance between the West's political Left and Islamist movements.

The international Left's embrace of the likes of Hamas, the Taliban, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood has increased leftist and isolationist American policy-makers' comfort level in adopting hostile postures towards Israel.

So it is that at the same time that the Obama administration is assiduously courting the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime, according to Channel 2, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has refused to meet with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during his upcoming trip to Washington.

Channel 2 reported that senior US officials said that "Lieberman is an obstacle to peace. We don't want our pictures taken with him and with what he represents."

Anti-Semitism is prejudice that is based on a rejection of reason.

To fight it, it is not sufficient to disprove the contentions of the likes of [John] Mearsheimer.

He and his colleagues must be discredited and their enablers must be shamed.

But before this can happen, world Jewry and Israelis alike need to recognize what is happening.

Anti-Semitism is back in style.

Its new justification is not race or religion.

It is nationalism.

Today's anti-Semitism is predicated on preferring Palestinian and pan-Arab nationalism to Jewish nationalism.

And like its racist and religious predecessors, its aim is to deny the right of Jews to be free.

In the face of this onslaught the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora have two choices.

We can either succumb to our enemies, or we can fight back.


What we are seeing across Africa is a deeper connection between various Islamic extremist groups, such as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in the Sahara, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and the Islamic Courts Union and al-Shabab in Somalia.

This arc of terror that stretches across Africa is a threat to the stability of the entire region.

It has already led to the destruction of part of Somalia.

With instability in Libya and the procurement of weapons left behind from that conflict, there is no way of knowing how far these Islamists might strike in the future.

The seething unrest among Tuareg tribesmen who live in Mali, Niger and Algeria has allowed for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the North African version of the infamous terrorist network, to function with impunity.

The United States is aware of the problem and its Africa Command headed by Gen. Carter Ham has supplied training advice to several countries in the region.

In addition the US Congress approved $500 million in counterterrorism aid several years ago.

It is important that these commitments to fighting extremist, especially Salafist, groups in Africa bear fruit and that they are extended.

Building up a continent wide program to combat the problem would be useful.

With the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the electoral success of the Salafist party al-Nour there, vigilance against other more extreme like-minded groups must be maintained.

Ha-Aretz Also Ran Story on Adler's Call for Mossad to Kill Obama - Some Key Excerpts: [} Adler listed 3 options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons in an article published in his newspaper {The Atlanta Jewish Times}. The 1st is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, the 2nd is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and the 3rd is to “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.” Adler then doubled-down on point 3 “Yes, you read “point 3 correctly.” Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence..."{]

So the new notorious NDAA law doesn't apply in this case to this Adler guy??!! No visit from the FBI &/or Homeland Security, & no trip to Gitmo??!! This guy can actually call for a foreign Gov't to assassinate the US Pres & then get a pass by merely expressing 'regret'??!! How is it that guys like Adler & AIPAC aren't treated as agents for a foreign Gov't??!! Seemingly the 'War on Terror' paradigm mainly applies if you are a Black / Brown / Muslim or a war dissenter / whistle-blower -or- maybe an environmental activist!

@Nix: I see a pattern...

Obama/Soros/Brzezinski and the controlled left vs. Israel and its supporters in America?

When the JPost says: "we have witnessed the development of an alliance between the West’s political Left and Islamist movements. The international Left’s embrace of the likes of Hamas, the Taliban, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood has increased leftist and isolationist [I.e. Ron Paul] American policy-makers’ comfort level in adopting hostile postures towards Israel."

[End Quote]

I think this article best describes what the JPost is talking about:

The Egyptian Revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood and the apologetics of the Revolutionary Socialists

By Jean Shaoul, January 7, 2012

W-Post Rails- Terms Israel-Lobby & Israel-1sters = Anti-Semitism

BUT: What else do you call AIPAC but an Israel First / Israel Lobby? And what else do you call a guy like Andrew Adler, who as an American Jew, calls for the Mossad to 'Put a hit on the US president [IE: Obama &/or almost certainly Paul if he gets into the White-House] in order to preserve Israel’s existence...' except an Israel Firster [maybe even a Mossader]! Especially when the issue ain't even about the US attacking Israel [virtually InConceivable]- But is about the US not going along w an unproked / unjustified attack on Iran! 

As far as that WSWS article- As I said before my biggest problem w white communists / socialists is that they tend to have an aversion to Black Nationalism / Pan Africanism [& they often Push atheism as part & parcel of they political platform] or in this particular case Islamic Nationalism. They generally refer to such ideologies as 'bourgeois'. Yet in my debate w that 'Deadbeat' fellow last month [when 'Deadbeat'  attacked BAR in defense Ron Paul]- though I basically disagreed w their somewhat disingenuous position RE: WSWS on Libya - the one point they did have was that WSWS initially did called for the down-fall of Khadaffi & thus intially backed- NOT a non-violent uprising by the so-called  'proletariat' in Libya [IE: the so-called 'Arab-Spring' for so-called 'Democracy']- but in effect what turned out to be a King Idris Monarchist / Al-CIAeda Hardline  Fanatically Extremist Islamicist Armed Revolt by that Racist Lynch Mob called the NTC which was / is in cahoots w FUK-US NATO & the Arab Monarchies of Qatar, Saudi Arabia & Bahrain [real bastions of socialism Heh] From the Get-Go! Now when it became obvious that's what the NTC really was, then WSWS changed its tune a bit- BUT.... 

More Mexican Businesses Please!

In contrast to White-owned businesses, my experiences with Mexican-owed businesses has always been much quicker, more reliable, higher quality, and much, much cheaper!

I used to live in the DFW area in late 1990/early 2000. If I had to be at work at 11pm, I could stop by a Mexican tire shop at 10:30pm and replace a tire or have a tire fixed in 10 minutes. I was always amazed at how much cheaper they were than Whiter tire shops. I always gladly gave a tip. On one occassion I had some front end problems and all the white mechanics wanted 350-450 dollars to diagnose/fix the problem. I took my car to a Mexican shop where the ace mechanic couldn't speak English very well. His father acted as translator and within 5 minutes he told me what the problem was and charged me only 140 dollars! Agan, I gave him a 40 dollar tip. Like I said, more Mexican businesses please. Black ppl can do the same thing and stop imitating the way most whites do business.

May God Bless All Mexican Businesses in the USA and may Black ppl follow their example.

P.S. Since Europe is having so many problems, why don't white opposed to Mexicans coming/living in USA move back to Europe and help their fellow white brothers!