By now, it’s pretty common knowledge that whenever El Presidente and Lady Obama speak to Black audiences, they’re really speaking to white audiences, and that their remarks to Black audiences are guaranteed to be packed to the gills with disrespect, condescension, offensive stereotypes, and shopworn bromides about “personal responsibility”. A classic example of this backhandedness can be found in El Presidente’s recent — and already infamous — commencement speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Not since his notorious Father’s Day speech on the campaign trail in 2008 did El Presidente emit such a great, steaming load of bite-me, rolling out the trendy Black “street” slang like “brother” and “on point” in what was basically a slicked-up Bill Cosby rant, where the only thing missing was El Presidente telling the Morehouse Men to pull up their pants.
Could you imagine El Presidente speaking to an audience of white college grads this way? Could you imagine him at, say, the University Of Virginia, admonishing fresh graduates to get a haircut and stop piercing their noses and wearing those sloppy ripped jeans and playing those Green Day albums and smoking weed and partying ’til all hours? Not a chance.
What’s really sad about all this, though, is that for the most part, Black Americans totally eat this stuff up. It doesn’t seem to matter that The First Black President hasn’t done squat about the Black unemployment rate, the Black foreclosure rate, mass incarceration and racist police violence. Barack Obama tells Black America to eat shit, and Black America reaches for a fork.
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…and, here’s what some other folks are saying about El Presidente and Lady Obama jerking Black America’s chain in their recent college commencement speeches:
“How The Obama Administration Talks To Black America”, Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, 05.20.13
“As Commencement Speakers At Black Schools, The Obamas Pile On The Homework”, Courtland Milloy, The Washington Post, 05.21.13
“The Obama ‘Dog Whistle’”, Margaret Kimberly, Black Agenda Report, 05.22.13