Br. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report writes:
"Finally, the most accomplished slickster in presidential history, Bill Clinton, was compelled to expose Barack Obama's 'fairy tale' anti-war history - some truth for a 'change.' Black Agenda Report knows the story very well, after more than four years of observing Obama's descent from vaguely progressive rhetoric to shameless pandering (to whites) and vapid 'Change!' mantra nonsense. Only the rich can win this game."
Ralph Nader's Nader.org carries this "Obama Fable":
"Guy number four—'You’re one of those smart Haavard lawyers, Barack. You were a constitutional law teacher. You were against the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. So, why aren’t you putting two and two together—impeachment of the war criminals in the White House followed by conviction in the Senate?'
"Obama—'You don’t understand (testily), impeachment talk is just more of the same old Washington politics. I stand for change. No need to point fingers. We are one people....'”
Democracy Now AUDIO/VIDEO - Glen Ford vs. Michael Eric Dyson on Obama:
GLEN FORD: Well, Dr. Dyson doesn’t seem to know what a rightwing interest is. An expanded US military, 100,000 new troops, isn’t a rightwing interest? An expanded military budget that sucks up all of the money for healthcare, for revitalization of the cities, for a rebuilding of America’s infrastructure, for all the projects that black folks hold dear, all of which would go down the tubes, will be postponed indefinitely with the kind of expanded military budget that clearly follows from Barack Obama’s proposal for 100,000 new troops. And so, it is not in black folks’ interest. It’s really not in anyone’s interest, of course. But it is diametrically opposed to the historic black political consensus on domestic development to be proposing expanded military activities and budgets for the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: We only have thirty seconds. Michael Eric Dyson, your response?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Well, listen here. I think that that is a legitimate comment to be made in terms of the critique of a potential Barack Obama presidency. Let’s see it get here first. I think that a Barack Obama presidency at least holds out the possibility of engaging these forms of critique, engaging the form of the black political consensus about which Mr. Ford has spoken, but also to deal with the fact that we have to be bifocal. The presidency—the people who are making critiques of the system, if he’s part of the system, he will be critiqued legitimately. And African American people will be able to enjoy the victory of the grassroots being able to speak, while at the same time being part of a political process that includes us in a very serious way.
Related to the above by concept is the following statement about The Great Debaters in a critique by Mark Anthony Neal:
"Figures like Farmer are often footnotes to the 'magic' Negro narratives that mainstream audiences find so damn fascinating--those stories of black folk who with their superior talents or superhuman capacity for forgiveness help whites salve their guilt about this country's racist past."
For the record, there's much I like about Obama, and since he, like I, am the product of a Kenyan father and a Euro-North American mother, I feel a certain kinship with him (although comparing us is sort of like comparing Willy Lumpkin and Mister Fantastic).
After all, he wrote an angry book about race in North America, and he has accomplished enough that he's an inspiration for many of our people. I've heard it said he was a fine advocate in earlier years for issues of importance to us. I also know that running for US President (or any office, for that matter) almost certainly means suppressing some aspects of yourself and your agenda (even some right-wingers do that... but then they implement that hidden agenda as soon as they can once they get elected).
But I am worried about two things in particular when it comes to Obama: 1. His "no-race" race, AKA "Make White folks as comfortable as possible" approach which inevitably means self-denial and self-racial denial, and how that "super-duper magical negro" approach makes possible 2) Barack becoming the premier "patriotically-correct" de-raced standard-bearer for American aggression, including the willingness to bomb US allies.