[President Obama continues to ride and promote the myth that “post-racial America” has been achieved. This has not only been useful to the corporate/capitalist claims that the political system is “democratic”, but is also essential for claiming and asserting the misleading “democratic” cover for imperialist interventions and occupations around the world. Yet the reality of black oppression, and of other oppressed and targeted peoples in the US, grows deeper and more brutal by the day. Outrage and anger is growing among those who have been considered “automatic” supporters of the Democratic Party. Bruce Dixon (of Black Agenda Report) looks into the problem of record black joblessness–and government inaction and indifference. — Frontlines ed.]
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon,Black Agenda Report
State of the Union speeches usually throw bones in every direction, to every constituency that matters to a president. But even though black male unemployment is at record levels, even higher than when the president declared the “recession” over, it remains beneath the notice of the First Black President.
It’s not complicated. In the Obama White House, like everyplace else, crucial tasks get accomplished, less important ones put off, and the least meaningful ignored altogether. Take the State of the Union address, typically a grab bag affair with a little something for everybody that matters.
Whether you’re a a dependable friend or a despicable enemy, or if your cause is just worth a prevaricating presidential applause line, you’ll get it. If the president judges you worth patting on the head, pointing to as an example, or lying to or about, it will happen then and there. And if you’re not mentioned at all, anyplace from the beginning to the end, well, you just don’t matter much.
The president gave several paragraphs to what he called “emissions-free energy sources,” by which he means “clean coal,” “safe nuclear power,” and whatever his energy and utility company donors tell him is important. He threatened Iran, extolled the virtuous men and women in uniform, and praised the American spirit. He talked about job training for positions which many think actually don’t exist. He demanded that Congress send him bills that they’ll never pass anyway, but that he could have demanded in 2009 and 2010 when he actually had control of Congress. He promised jobs as firefighters and cops to returning veterans.
But despite levels of black unemployment not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, this was a matter that went unmentioned. Black concerns, as we noted a couple weeks ago, are irrelevant to the president, and black communities powerless. Continue reading