Of the Obamas and Black Anger Part Three

Black people have plenty to be angry about and spend quite a bit of time being angry.  They express much of that anger toward themselves in a variety of self destructive behaviors: fratricidal gang violence, hedonistic indulgence, self medication, and disdain for other Black people and Black communities, compounded by anger over being angry and disappointed in one’s people.  This is the paradox of the post Civil Rights Movement Black America: increased high school and college degrees and expanded dropout rates, an expanded middle and professional class and an expanded underclass growing farther apart, exponential growth in black elected officials, perhaps soon including the U.S. presidency, and exponential growth in black incarceration and subsequent loss of voting rights in many states, increasing incomes for some, frozen or decreasing wealth for the majority, select, high profile celebrities in all fields of endeavor and millions of invisible, desperate, hard working, disaffected people.  The powerful use those who succeed under the terms of mainstream society to bludgeon that suffering, black working class majority, offering comfort for compliance while the state institutions continue to fail.

No bombs dropped, just employment and property values
No bombs dropped, just employment and property values
We love L.A.?
We love L.A.?
Is this for sale on the Westside?
Is this for sale on the Westside?

 

No place like home
No place like home

 

No place
No place
Under extreme conditions, the familiar.
Under extreme conditions, the familiar.

 In several important areas, African Americans continue to be underserved.  Dilapidated public education characterizes the schooling of too many majority Black school districts, urban, suburban, and rural.  Police forces over-police Black communities and Black people, continue to brutalize and murder Blacks, and continue to be exonerated by police commissions and juries.  Medical care prices are out of reach.  City and county governments allow neighborhoods to become trash dumps, abandoning housing projects to criminal elements inevitably present in all communities.  Developers and real estate interests, including Black developers, price Black families out of their traditional neighborhoods through gentrification projects.  The recent foreclosure crisis represented one of the greatest transfers of Black held wealth in U.S. history since the theft of labor under legal chattel slavery.  An entire city of Black folks were flooded out of their homes due to federal and local incompetence and prevented from returning home to help rebuild.  That African Americans continue to succeed under any terms at all under these conditions should be the subject of great wonder.  Black people should be angry.

One thought on “Of the Obamas and Black Anger Part Three

  1. Hi Will,
    Its Brian from 355, first, I love your site, lots of images and idea’s. There are two strains of thought that you’ve highlighted that particularly interest me, actually its how they inform one another that’s interesting. The first being, can black people still be angry and secondly, the process of forgetting, more explicitly, what do we do with our knowlege of past injustices, when bad, racist, unjust things happen today and yet some of us don’t feel that itch of disgust, the itch of rage, the itch of getting even.

    Particularly if we look at Barack and Michelle Obama. These are hyper-educated individuals who have devoted a significant amount of their lives towards working to even the playing field, to fix wrongs, to help people whom everyone knows have been disproportiionately affected by racist institutionalized policies, yet, when on the cusp of gaining the right to sit in the oval office, a space which most adjusted human beings would associate with the utmost in “americanness”, patriotism and love for America. He is being accused of being un-American, a terrorist and fundamentally doesn’t have the interest’s of America at heart.

    What more does an African descended person, or any American citizen have to do in order to be classified as a patriot. Given all of my above ramblings, what does Barack do with memories of unjustice when he is falaciously accused? This is a guy who has shown no outward signs of being the “angry black guy”, and has met every other standard of assimilation in the culture. If he isn’t given the right to be angry, upset or bothered given his status in America, what about the rest of us. By him not showing anger and disgust with his treatment, what will be the interpretation of those of us who do speak about the anger and show the anger? Are we then seen as even less American than the one who is now accused of being an anti-americn terrorist?

    Just some thoughts. Peace.

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