The First African-American President Isn’t

by Nidra Poller (August 2009)

What if the first African-American president isn’t? Doesn’t that change everything? And dash some mighty big hopes? It’s not a question of skin color or mixed blood, it’s about where he places his heart and soul. And how he scooped up oceans of American benevolence toward black people and double-crossed it into a tidal wave that swept him into the White House where he has been living on so many false premises that even the mainstream media are starting to get shaky.

He fooled white people who don’t know enough about blacks to spot an imitation. He fooled black people who wanted so much to believe that they’d finally got their place in the sun that they squinted their eyes up and fell into the trap. He fooled conservative media that still today haven’t asked themselves what was wrong with the daily, weekly, monthly anti-Obama articles they hemstitched, carefully skirting the real issues. Many of his opponents are still pussyfooting. He fooled the Jews big time, but he didn’t pretend to be Jewish. Just put some of our boys in high places, did a cut rate seder, wore a kippa to Yad Vashem and reaped the benefits as sure as a token opens a turnstile.

Didn’t your favorite Obama groupie come back at you with that one, when you asked—timidly, because we’re still not supposed to talk politics with true believers—“what do you think of his Mideast policy now?”  “He had a seder at the White House.” “Don’t you think he’s a bit heavy handed with Israel?” “Rahm Emmanuel is his right hand man.” “Do you wonder why only 5% of Israelis think he’s our friend?” “We better not talk about this, we’ll never agree.” So you can’t talk to them about it, and now we’ve got Obama trying to impose Chaim Crow in Jerusalem. No Jews allowed in Arab neighborhoods, he declares, and within the hour it becomes international opinion.

The man’s Cairo speech was delivered by a Muslim. Not a black American. For once he wasn’t faking. Except when he blurted out the disclaimer smack in the middle of all that turban-licking treacle: “I’m Christian.” Yeahhhh. Tell it to yo’ momma.

I got into some trouble in mid-December 2007 for making fun of Obama’s street talk hype. It was the turning point, when Oprah merchandised him in Iowa and South Carolina. From there on, he just kept climbing. Obama was mystifying the crowds like a great dictator paving his way to gold. And Hillary—everyone had told me she was a shoo-in— looked like a little old lady runnin’ to catch the bus.

I got tossed overboard because of a piece I wrote at that time, before the facts of Barack Hussein Obama’s life were widely known. “They’ll think you’re racist,” said the captain, personally offended by my disrespect for the civil rights movement. Wow! The Man had already put the fix on them!

Oprah-Obama: Tell it like it was

Dateline: Just the other side of the Beltway, December 11 2007

Lawd have mercy brotha, git down! We goan do it black is beautiful. The honkies jus’ lovvit, the brothas n’sistas dig it, n’Oprah’s fans goan buy it. We got the spirrrit, we got the rhythm, we gettin’ back to the back o’the bus and from thea we move d’reckly into the White House! Damn! Guess it’d be too radical to change d’name. White House, whitey’s house, what’s wrong with black. Yeahhhh. Cud oud that African-American stuff baby and givvit to’em black.

Oprah changed her jacket to go with the geography. Lilac for Iowa, with a huddly cuddly jus’ folks bit about how icy cold it be out there; yellow like the sunshine for South Carolina, and some I hear ye talk about the byutiful weather and hair getting kinky in the dampness. For the rest, it was a mixture of street smarts, prayer meeting, leftwing antiwar rant, down home populism, and showbiz glitz.

Tell it like it was. Fire up the crowd with civil rights movement nostalgia. Weren’t we great back then when we stood up for our rights? Birmingham, brothas n’sistas, Birmingham.

I was in Birmingham last spring. A thriving city. Black people in positions of power and responsibility. Much to be proud of. Poverty hasn’t been exterminated? Some rose up and some sunk lower? That’s true. But it’s also true that some black people have betrayed those who struggled and sacrificed to right the wrongs—and not all of the heroes were black. Many have squandered their civil rights, their birthright, their black pride.

French people, too, are telling it like it was when it comes to race relations in the United States. They’re comfortably settled in a time warp of ghettoes, segregation, and discrimination that deliberately ignores the good news. Take a stroll through America; ride the trains, planes and subways; see who’s making the news and who’s reporting it… black people are doing better in the United States than in France. And casual every day relations are infinitely more cordial.

I taught at Federal City College, an open admissions college in Washington D.C., from 1969 – 72. Ninety-nine percent of the students and the majority of the faculty were black… from Africa, the West Indies, and the District. Some were brilliant, some were shuck & jive hustlers, a few were criminals. A student of mine committed one of the first road rage murders. Another student went on to graduate from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and create the Hill Rag. Those were the days of Black is Beautiful, dashikis, afros, and Afro-Americans. The late Léon Damas, poet of negritude, and C.L.R. James were among my distinguished colleagues. Many of my students were veterans of the Korean or Vietnam War. The Black Muslims ran a campaign against immodesty, claiming miniskirts were not Africanly correct. The Metro was under construction outside our windows.

I taught my students how to use writing to empower themselves; they taught me about their lives. We had great debates on burning questions: polygamy (defended by the African men, detested by the women), relations between Africans, black Americans, Caribbeans, and whites; the use of their own intelligence—was it white to think?

The poet of negritude, the war vets, the majority of my students and colleagues—as black and beautiful as you’d want to be—were wary of anything that pandered to blackness.

Oprah belted out “No politics as usual”! Obama crooned. The crowd swooned. Jabbing her finger (at whom? a marine in Iraq?) at each and every word, Oprah told us that Obama was jab against jab that jab war jab in Iraq jab from jab the very jab first jab and up to now jab, the crowd cheered, and Obama told how he’d make friends because he knows the world, in fact, you could see, he’s a diversity all to himself, black, white, African, Indonesian, Hawaiian, Muslim, Christian, wrap it all up and it’s America, god bless your heart.

No politics as usual, no business as usual, no more of that nasty free competition by which Obama became a senator and Oprah a billionaire. We need change. We need a sugarplum world where everybody is a senator, a lawyer, a president, a billionaire.

Obama the African-American you love to love. Give rein to your pent up taste for blackness, ainit good. Atone for centuries of injustice. And heal the Muslim-Christian divide in the bargain.

Oprah-Obama, the rich preaching to the poor. The glitterati gittin’ down with the common folks, scooping them up in one huge emotional marshmallow. It reminds me of Ségolène Royal’s presidential campaign last spring. Her slogan was “La France présidente.” Each and every one of you will be president, if you choose me. She and her already-no-longer companion François Hollande are in the highest income bracket; it didn’t stop them from spitting on free market capitalism, stock options, pension funds… and inviting voters to choose the greatest failed economic system of modern times: Marxist-Leninist-Communist-Socialism.

Royal played at being a woman the way Obama is playing it black in those mass rallies that chill you to the bone if you look at them with open eyes. Nothing good has ever come of them. Ségolène drew huge crowds of screeching fans, and lost the election. Today she’s flailing desperately to remain in the public eye. Will Obama go down the same garden path?

It’s a sign of how far we’ve come. We don’t need ersatz soul food.

A French friend who has lived in the U.S. for decades disagrees. He thinks the fatal American flaw will lead us into catastrophe. “It’s not even the media who decide now, it’s the entertainers. Americans are not as sophisticated as the French. They are going to fall for this. He’ll get the nomination, he’ll be elected, we’ll have an attack that will make 9/11 look like small stuff.”

I ask a colleague from a think tank if he shares that dire prediction. He laughs. “The French are always saying we don’t think enough and we say they don’t do enough. Anyway, it’s too soon to tell.” He cites candidates who won in Iowa and New Hampshire and nosedived from there on. And doesn’t think Hillary’s formidable machine will be derailed by a few mass messianic thumper shows.

Talk about shows, Ghadaffi set up his tent in Paris this week. Sarkozy’s enemies are having a field day, and his friends don’t understand why he is extending undue honors to the lugubrious buffoon. You’ve got to admit, Sarkozy looks like he’s swallowing a live herring when he shakes Ghadaffi’s hand.

Yasser Arafat came to Paris as an endearing hero, died in a French military hospital, got a certificate with an unknown cause of death and a falsified place of birth (Jerusalem), and left in a coffin of glory without stirring a whimper of criticism in French media and political circles.

It’s refreshing to see the spaced out Libyan tyrant getting so much bad publicity with so much freedom of speech. A full report is on its way.

When I saw Barack Hussein Obama scraping and bowing in Cairo, I realized I’d been on to something back in those early days: The man’s not black. Did you see how he stiffed it through Ghana, looking so doggone uncomfortable, like he was eating live worms? The common people were lined up and down the streets waiting to give him five, and all they got was a not so pretty lady in a convertible hanging on to the arm of a lifesize Obama paper doll. Supposedly he chose Ghana because it’s one of the better kids on the sub-Saharan democratic block. So why did he look down his nose and lecture the legislators? Like what? Like a Muslim tongue-lashing darkies. What a laugh to hear French commentators saying Obama scolded the Africans in Ghana pretty much the same way Sarkozy did in Dakar. But Sarkozy got raked over the coals for it. Because he’s white. And Obama can get away with it. Because he’s black.

No. He aint black. He’s a jihad-friendly hustler and he took the name of blackness in vain. What a lowdown trick. He made them think he was carrying them up, all of them, man woman and child, young and old, rich and poor, carrying them up, up, and away, to the heights of glory on this earth. Truth is, he is hogging it all for himself and his cronies. Like the third world potentate he really is. He didn’t carry them up, he pushed them down so he could rise on their piled up bodies. He tangled them up in a web of denial of the good things America holds out for the taking. He rubbed their noses in slavery and bitter resentment. He told them the sinful free enterprise system was to blame for whatever they might be lacking in the way of wealth and comfort. And now he’s going to steal the good life away from them, to reap more bitterness, more resentment, more obedience to him and his czars.

Black Americans aren’t jihad friendly. They’re Christians. Real Christians. They are 200% Americans, believe you me. My students at Federal City College–blossoming or bombing in the glory days of Black is Beautiful and Back to Africa–could not, simply could not tear themselves away from the American Way of Life. I came to Europe. They didn’t move to Africa. They were far more American than me.  And one of my sweet pleasures, whenever I come back to the US, is the easy banter with good-hearted black folks in everyday dealings. At Union Station, buying my senior discount ticket for New York, I teased the clerk: “Hey, you didn’t ask me to prove my age!” The man smiled warm and sweet and teased back: “You never lied to me before, girl.” Ah that down home repartee, I love it. Black women come up to me in the street and say “I love your outfit.” It leads into all kinds of conversation. This one has a daughter in Paris, another tells me she’s turned Republican… “and where did you get those shoes!”

It breaks my heart to see black people wearing those Obama T-shirts. What do they want with African dictator fashion? Oppressed people wearing the tyrant’s face on Holland wax, shaking hips and beating drums for a two-bit president-for-life who’d take theirs for a penny and no regrets! Americans don’t need that kind of groveling disguised as black pride.

As for his roots in Kenya, ask him what became of the Waki report. Think he gives a fish? No way. He’s too busy topping up his Muslim quota. Didn’t he promise to make the United States one of the biggest Muslim countries in the world?

C’mon brothers and sisters, throw off those shackles, get your feet back on the ground, look that man straight in the eye, and tell me I’m not lying.

We need some good old fashioned gospel truth.

Let my people go!


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