What difference does it make if the government doesn’t plan to do anything about racism President Obama?
What Difference Does It Make Which Slogan We Use?
How many ways do Black people have to ask federal, state, and local governments to leave us alone and treat us like they treat White people? All the discussion circulating about whether “Defund the Police” was a good slogan is so off base it’s pathetic. The real centering should be on systemic racism and Black Lives Mattering (BLM), but of course, most Americans have ADD/ADHD when it comes to staying focused on matters of racial discrimination, so here were are, talking about a fuckin slogan instead of doing something about racism. I’m so sick of us.
As the Democratic Party looks for someone or something to blame for their failures for the 2020 election loses, they decided to scapegoat the “Defund the Police” slogan which was used to disguise our original slogan, “Black Lives Matter,” meant to protest racism in policing and extrajudicial police killings of Black people. Black people don’t care what slogan ya’ll come up with because we didn’t pick it. Defunding the Police just magically appeared one day in the middle of 2020 after years of us using the Black Lives Matter slogan. Black folks just want the abuse to stop and racist White folks to change, but the Democratic Party has been too busy pandering to racists, who were more offended by accusations of racism than they were doing something about racism. White Supremacy wins again.
I agree defunding and abolishing police slogans were distractions, destroying the momentum grassroots organizations had worked hard to achieve. There were too many technical details in such loaded slogans, and they were unnecessary for this moment. The details are only necessary only after the promise to dismantle, and those commitments never came. Biden made it clear he wasn’t for any defunding of police. In fact, he noted he wanted more funding for police.
The people who introduced those slogans using their huge social media platforms did what folks disconnected from Black grassroots movements always do to poor people fighting for their lives at the local level.
They stole their shine.
Those folks decentered Black people. They slowed their momentum. They changed the topic. They said something that Black folks didn’t want or mean. They reinterpreted wrong, and it did so much damage.
We’re talking about a stupid fucking slogan today because jellyback Democrats care more about pandering to White folks than saving Black folks. Now this stupid slogan is all over the news and Black Lives Matter is not. Black folks and People of Color saved America and rejected many candidates. Some candidates in 2020 rejected us, and we rejected them at the ballot box. That’s how that thing is supposed to work. Democrats are accustomed to getting something for nothing from Black folks. We’re not doing that anymore.
Because voting for Biden was a national emergency call for many Black people to get Trump out of office, down ballot candidates for those opting out of the national race revealed the true hearts of many Black people. Politics is local, and a lot of Black people were dissatisfied with candidates the DNC put up to run against Republicans. While “Defunding the Police” was not “Black Lives Matter,” but ignoring both said something to us and we responded accordingly. No longer will White nor Black political candidates running as Dems be able to run and be elected without addressing issues that impact Black people. The people worrying about slogans are people who aren’t being impacted by racism, especially Nancy Pelosi.
We don’t care about that damned slogan because it’s not ours. What we care about is whether candidates running for public office are not afraid to say community policing in Black communities needs to be addressed while providing specific, tangible plans to address racism for the people they are pledging to serve.
Black folks know most White folks love the police and the stability the employment sector provides to them. Coming out against police means coming out against White folks’ own interests, which violates the White Supremacy code, and they can’t do that. Policing to White people is more than just monitoring crime and keeping Black people oppressed and in their places. For them, it’s also about generations of White livelihoods. Policing is about fathers, sons, grandfathers, uncles, etc. working in policing and using the benefits of government employment as a means for upward mobility. White candidates unwilling to show their support for Black Lives Matter or calls for defunding police equate this to blue-collar jobs going away. It’s their well-being versus our well-being, and White people are never choosing us first.
I hate the slogan, but it doesn’t matter what we say. White folks simply don’t want to do anything about racism and how they treat Black people in our society. Centering slogans lets them off the hook. They love policing our words, correcting our grammar, and controlling our tone policing. Controlling how they talk about our oppression is a form of White Supremacy. Focusing on racism instead of that damned slogan requires admitting the entire system is racist and probably should be burned down and resurrected.
We Didn’t Need President Obama’s Two Cents
That the first Black President of the United States weighed in on the “Defund the Police” slogan from a political standpoint and not from a Black man fighting for justice standpoint when he’s been so critical of anything to do with Black radicalism is not surprising at all. President Obama’s most recent comment reflects his lack of connection to the African-American descendants of slaves community (ADOS) and our fight for the same liberties and rights White people have. It’s times like these when President Obama shows us how all Black people are not the same.
The way he was raised informs how he thinks of Black people, and it shows how he advocates for us.
Simply put, he doesn’t. He can’t because he has no concept of the oppression ADOS have experienced. His lineage is not ours. Our fights aren’t necessarily his fights. He experiences racism differently, like most People of Color (POC).
President Obama wasn’t raised around ADOS Black people, he found his way to us and we accepted him. But because White people raised him, he often finds himself on the wrong side of ADOS people because he never seems to go far enough in addressing racism and he doesn’t support reparations for us. He definitely is weak in standing up to White people too. Obama allows White men to get away with disrespecting him way too much for the liking of ADOS. His inability to navigate race is disgraceful, and Black men like my father can’t deal with his passiveness. President Obama is plain old awful when it comes to matters of race.
Obama is either too late, silent when he should’ve been speaking, speaking out of turn, or chiming in on things that seem to be views of White people.
President Obama has shown time and time again he is extremely uncomfortable wading into our battles for racial equality. He’s uncomfortable because he doesn’t have the same experiences we have. He’s always had a proximity to whiteness, and it’s demonstrated when he weighs in on issues of race. His perspectives are always based on what White people will think, which is problematic. Obama approaches issues of race from a White worldview, not a pro-Black, survivalist worldview like the rest of us.
His dressing down of the “Defund the Police” slogan is extremely problematic for Black folks like myself who need him using that bully pulpit we helped him get into twice. Him using that pulpit to council politicians instead of advocating justice for “just us” has been sobering.
We see his kids on social media with all their White friends having the time of their rich lives, not giving a damned about Black lives, enjoying all privileges that comes from having boule and “New Black” parents who think assimilating will erase all of our problems with racism will disappear. We see he and his wife capitalizing off of our Black trauma and ADOS history with their books. He has the audacity to criticize “Defund the police,” when his “snappy” campaign slogans were “Hope and Change,” and “Yes, We Can.”
To Obama, apparently, his campaign slogans were nothing more than something used to aid with political campaign goals or to gain support from the Democratic base. When he talks about the Democratic base, I’m just not sure if he’s talking about the Black folks that are always saving the party, or those White folks the DNC keeps chasing that ain’t never coming back.
As far as President Obama’s cute slogans go, “We Hoped and Nothing Changed,” and “No, We Couldn’t” do anything progressive or reformative about racism because he was afraid to address it.
We didn’t need Obama to weigh in our concerns, because all he does is make things worse for us. When he isn’t busy doing nothing, he’s looking weak, appeasing White Supremacists, or taking advantage of his proximity to Whiteness. He’s useless and dangerous. We keep looking for him to advocate for the Black people, and he keeps advocating for White people.
I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in President Obama. I worked for his first campaign, even maxed out my donations for him, a first for me. By Obama’s second term, it was clear Obama was a token Black man, a chameleon, an assimilated Black, and a problem.
We’re still out here fighting for our lives, trying to get the last two senate seats to loosen up the gridlock set in motion by Mitch McConnell, and here comes Obama like clockwork with a book full of distractions trying to get paid in the middle of a pandemic when so many Black folks are suffering when we need to be focused economic justice for Black people. As Yvette Carnell of Breaking Brown always says and I’m paraphrasing, “Obama is good at politicking for himself, he’s horrible for down ballot candidates and Black people,” and it’s so true. President Obama is a nice, charismatic man who knows how to mimic Black folks, coddle White folks, and enrich himself. We were fooled, unfortunately, and his latest book reveals just how wrong we were.
The police have always been a problem for Black people, and Obama has never exhibited any sense of urgency to address it. Yeah, he gave police departments body camera money, but he also allowed them to submit flawed policies that allowed them to turn the camera off, destroy and hide video evidence, and allowed municipalities and police departments to make it difficult for the public to access body cam video. President Obama did a lot of stuff to pacify naïve supporters while maintaining the status quo with fake reforms. Obama is the king of Black smoke and mirrors.
I know many Black Obama supporters who love him dearly and believe he is above reproach. He’s not. No person in politics is above reproach. Politics is about our lives and livelihoods, making Obama fair game. If we can’t correct him, he can’t protect us, and he’s clearly not hearing any of our years of critiquing his silence on race, so I’m done with him.
Defunding the police is just another shitty slogan created by crafty White folks and repeated by naïve Black folks who are unaware of America’s history of co-opting our movements. We didn’t need a new slogan. Black folks already had one, and it was Black Lives Matter. While the meat and potatoes behind the defunding slogan maybe accurate, grassroots activists who have been fighting for years had finally gotten traction with our their almost 5-year-old (BLM) slogan when some smart ass decided it was a great idea to complicate things more for people who didn’t want or need it. If the slogan doesn’t bring about transformative change, it means nothing.
What difference does it make if the slogan is snappy when the government doesn’t plan to do anything about racism President Obama? With Obama, the slogan is a campaign tool. Our lives don’t matter.
Who cares if large swaths of voters are alienated, especially if they aren’t victims of racism? It’s the equivalent of people being upset about being accused of being racist, but not the racist injuries. Why can’t Obama get that we’re not equal and he can’t keep viewing anti-Blackness from his White worldview? We need more help than others due to no fault of their own. Why punish us to please those who don’t need nothing because they are petty, selfish and don’t want anyone else to have anything if they can’t have something too?
Alienating arguments are bullshit and childish. I don’t play childish games.
The Politics of The Matter
What difference does the slogan matter when Biden and Harris have already indicated they weren’t interested in entertaining defunding police? How can Biden or Harris really do anything without being perceived as hypocrites? One wrote the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, while the other did the act’s bidding via the criminal justice system. We all know both Biden and Harris are law enforcement friendly and have no plans of reforming and dismantling the racist criminal justice system now that they are in the highest offices of the land. We’ll get the usual band-aids for the cancer politicians give us after they’ve won their seats, giving the impression they’ll keep their promise, but we know how the game goes. It’s all politics.
It doesn’t matter if the slogan is “Black Lives Matter,” “Defund the Police,” “Fuck the Police,” or “Stop the Police From Killing Us,” because White folks (and Obama) will decenter us, co-opt our movements, and Black folks will help them because we’re so desperate to have allies we don’t realize the so-called allies are working against us. The only people who are going to lead this fight for Black people and finish this fight for Black people are Black people. We’re all we got.
Politicians will help us as long as they can benefit from it. When they fail, they’ll drop us like a hot potato every time. Obama and the Democratic Party with the slogan assessments show us our lives are nothing more than politic talking points to them. Even the first Black President sees us as voters, not humans.
We Need Dismantling, Not Defunding
It doesn’t matter if we say “Defund the Police”, “Fuck the Police,” “Fuck the Pigs,” or “Stop The Police From Fuckin With Us,” the problem still isn’t getting fixed. You cannot reform something that never worked, and you cannot legislate racism without some sort of punishment. Defunding police won’t stop the way police address Black people, Black communities and other communities of color if they are racist from the top down. The entire government is racist. No amount of reform this nation has ever engaged in worked, at least not for long. America is inherently racist, so calling for funds to be redirected to other social programs without addressing racism in all the systems will simply create a new/old problem. It’s kicking the can down the road, and the road has ended.
An entire world responded to Black Lives Matter. It was an organic movement people all over the world could respond to. It meant something to the people who created it, and that’s what matters most. No one needed abolish the police or defund the police until 2020. I find it interesting.
Defunding the police will not stop White racist Office Joe from feeling up Black female suspects, looking at Black young men with their book bags coming home from school suspiciously, or harassing my dad for a broken taillight because he can. Officer Joe’s mammy and pappy raised a racist or in the very least facilitated an environment that bred one. There are thousands of racist police across this country, and no policy or amount of money can stop them from being racist. No catchy slogan will stop Officer Joes across this country from being racist, nor will it punish cops who stand by and watch Officer Joe engage in racism.
The “Defunding the Police” slogan won’t stop him from participating in his department’s ticket writing campaigns to sustain police jobs either. Defunding the police won’t change biased, racist judges locking away our Black kids because they don’t see the value in their lives the same way they do see value in the lives of White kids. Defunding the police won’t stop racist sheriffs from going on racist rants they believe are being done in same company either.
Defunding the police won’t fix America’s original sins, White Supremacy and racism.
Racists losing their fuckin jobs, going to jail, being placed in a database for racist offenders, having to pay restitution for their racist sins, and taking part in some type of restorative justice are the only ways to address racism in policing. If America can’t correct White racists, it sure as hell can’t protect Black victims.
The Democratic Party and President Obama are having a White Supremacist political discussion about Black lives. The entire way they’ve gone about it highlights why the Democratic party will probably lose seats in 2022, and why the Republicans will regroup and come raging back like Typhoid Mary in 2024. Racism is the elephant in the room, and people seem to have forgotten about it already.
To me it doesn’t matter if they say “Defund the Police,” “Fuck the Police,” or “Abolish the Police.” If they take the focus off Black Lives, they’ve already lost the battle. You cannot talk about defunding and reforming a policing systems and institutions that made Black people second-class citizens and treat them as such.
Ask the grassroots people on the streets what they want, and I can promise you nobody is talking about defunding fucking police because that wasn’t their language. The BLM movement has been slowly co-opted by feminists, corporate agendas, and the LGBTQ community. The new tone reflects their wants and needs, not the needs of Black victims killed and harassed by police and those seeking to equal the playing field. Don’t allow talking heads, blue checks on social media, politicians, other outside interests groups looking to co-opt Black movements or even the disappointing first Black President to re-interpret what the people who started this movement want.
We want economic justice, systemic changes, and we want fucking peace. We cannot achieve it unless we talk about racism and dismantling every system we have that feeds the beast.
Discussions about a slogan are a distraction, so please stop playing politics with Black lives Mr. President, and the Democratic Party.
Marley K. in Quarantine 2020