ONN – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s Criticism Of President Obama And Joe Biden Was Baseless And Myopic
This is a counter to Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s column in the New York Times, dated February 5th, 2020. In it, she goes back to a trope that she’s had for years but many are not familiar with. She says President Obama wasn’t “transformational” but behind her words, over a decade old, rest the idea that someone black should not be in power. She, like the like-minded she addresses, never got behind Obama to start with. A fact she does not share in her New York Times column. Here’s why Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is wrong about Obama, and that he was a transformational politician.
First, as Professor Taylor seems bent on forgetting, Barack Obama was America’s first black President. Aside from that fact alone, Obama’s rise to the White House gave those of us who were black an unprecedented level of access to power. I’m reminded of a Black Enterprise photo of Obama White House key employees, 12 strong, all black, lined up not to pose, but to show them at work. To see that, and not have some view that such a level of success was not possible for yourself as a black person is to admit a shockingly high level of myopia, not to mention an incredibly giant level of self-hatred.
Second, President Obama launched the unprecedented Economic Recovery Act. It would seem that Keenaga-Yamahtta Taylor’s memory failed to factor in the fact that when Barack Obama took over, America’s Economy was in free-fall. The answer posed to help the U.S. Economy on the part of Obama’s presidential challenger the late Senator John McCain, was to have a giant tax cut for the rich and middle class at a time when direct subsidies – Keynesian Economics – was needed. Obama won in a landslide, and after an election that brought out the first doses of a new kind of racism that was exhibited by Bill and Hillary Clinton in South Carolina, went to work with his VP, Joe Biden.
In two and a half years, Obama and Biden managed to turn around a falling economy. But, Obama’s success also scared those who feared a truly racially-mixed America (remember, racism is a mental illness) and allowed themselves to believe the many lies told about President Obama, most notably his place of birth. It’s Hawaii, you all!
All of that, and more, caused Obama’s coattails to be less than one would have hoped for in the 2010 midterms, which also saw the rise of the Tea Party: an effort that had more than its share of dogwhistle racism. For Professor Keenaga-Yamahtta Taylor to forget all of that is purely stunning, but then so are many current efforts among some so-called black leaders that add up to pushing us back to the times of begging for scraps at the table, rather than building the table, itself. And that gets me to point number three.
Third, Keenaga-Yamahtta Taylor reflects the “Black Lives Matter” view that there is an overarching white power structure and blacks have no power. So, “Black Lives Matter” leaders are fond of pointing to areas in the system where they perceive us as powerless. “Black Lives Matter” leaders have no room in their view of the world for blacks entrepreneurs in tech, let alone blacks in charge.
The very idea that a black person can build a tech company featuring the next killer app is completely blind to them. So, “Black Lives Matter” talk has no room for how blacks can make a better world through tech. The main focus of “Black Lives Matter” is to remind whites of how powerful some of us black folks think they are. Forget that the white person is poor just like the black person. Forget that many whites are in interracial relationships with blacks. No. It’s all about blacks having less than whites, constantly pointing it out, and then not working to increase black economic power, but whining about how much they think white folks have.
And caught up in all of this, is Keenaga-Yamahtta Taylor’s apparent desire to join President Trump and trash the Obama Legacy. Come to think of it, Keenaga-Yamahtta Taylor’s take is very much borne of the approach “Black Lives Matter” leaders take: they want to tear down Obama’s truly transformational presidency in truth because they can’t handle the idea of a black man in power; they’re far more comfortable with President Trump, because he’s what they’re comfortable with seeing: a white guy in charge.
The Professor has to come to terms with one simple, hard, truth: Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump because she wasn’t as popular with black Americans as Obama was. Moreover, Clinton lost because she ignored Obama’s key advice and reason for his election success: have one message for everyone, regardless of color or sex.
Period. End of story.
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