With Dr. Michael Eric Dyson’s long-winded attack on Dr. Cornel West via New Republic still fresh on my mind, I kept saying to myself this evening that hundreds of Libyan migrants recently drowned at sea because they tried to escape the country they deemed home—until President Obama’s policies turned Libya into a bloodied, failed state.
I then asked myself; “Would Dyson retain his White House access to President Obama—despite Dyson’s self-proclaimed status as a persistent critic of Number 44—if Dyson asked (nicely): “Mr. President, What in the hell have you done to Libya?”
I would argue that Dyson would not only be thrown out of the White House, but he might also attract the attention of a drone on the way home.
I’ll come back to the things Dyson didn’t or wouldn’t say to Obama later, but let me first say that Dyson’s labeling of West as a scorned, self-absorbed, shrinking scholar and social Conservative in drag who has women problems to compliment his prophet complex and hatred for Obama is not necessarily the focus for this post. In fact, I’ve always thought that while West makes some legitimate points about Obama’s predilection for Wall Street and drones, the inauguration tickets drama has also made me think that West’s personal beef with Obama hurts the former’s credibility.
But back to my main point—Obama’s fans, just like their right-wing counterparts, are caught in a social issues smokescreen where their fascination with legitimacy of Black icons in high places are not permitting them to discuss broader issues like institutional racism, free trade bullying, empire maintenance and middle-class Americans’ prosperity.
For example, here are questions Dyson likely never asked Obama, and just as likely never will:
Dream deferred for a half-century. The people of African descent’s prosperity and quality of life measures have not improved much during the past 50 years—with some of that time window included in your Presidency. Would you say your prescription for Black America has failed just like the solutions proposed by your predecessors? What’s your plan to fix this, if you agree?
More Afghanistan action. America’s longest war has been in Afghanistan, and you just extended this war by negotiating an extension of combat troop presence in the country. Will the US ever leave Afghanistan? Are there any interests, besides fighting terror, which will keep the US around?
…And the poor become poorer. Income inequality has continued to increase under your watch. Why?
Wassup with the Ukraine fixation? With all of the dictatorship flashpoints in the world where arguably higher bodycounts exist, why is the US fixated on Ukraine? Do you think the America’s involvement has improved matters?
Who are the bigger racketeers? Fulton County, Georgia was able to convict 11, cheating Atlanta school teachers with racketeering. Why can’t (or won’t) the US Justice Department use the RICO statutes against the City of Ferguson, Missouri?
A bigger problem? Do you think that additional cities like Ferguson exist? If so, then why wouldn’t you expand the Justice Department’s investigation?
Good jihadists vs. the bad ones? Why has the CIA been helping Saudi Arabia train rebels for Syria’s civil war when there is strong reason to believe that many of the rebels trained are jihadists?
Speaking of Syria, do you think allowing tons of weapons shipments helped to stabilize the region?
Y-Spy? Since all of this domestic spying hasn’t done much to find thwart terror attacks, what’s your plan to stop it?
Police. A person of African descent is more likely to be killed by a police officer in America than by a terrorist. Meanwhile, more money is being spent on the War on Terror. What gives?
TPP. There’s no evidence that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will help the middle class. Meanwhile, you are not only pushing hard to get the agreement passed, but you also have chosen to keep the treaty details a secret from Americans, including most members of Congress. Why?
I can go on.
I will break an editorial guideline of mine and cover more than one main point in this post. While only Dyson can explain the timing and motivation behind this digital assault, I don’t see anything productive coming out of two university professors of African descent trading woof tickets when kids who can’t even afford college are still poor, uneducated and dying in the streets…
song currently stuck in my head: “batuki” – buster williams featuring woody shaw