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October 2012
22

Obama

When we talk about Obama’s foreign policy, as if it is unimaginable that someone Black would be involved in the killing (i.e. drone strikes) of brown bodies abroad, I have to take a step back and wonder if some Black people’s surprised attitude comes from some place of…moral superiority? Because…Black and brown people have been killing Black and brown people in the name of internalized White supremacy for a long time. In our families. In our communities. As members of the military. Obama is doing it from a seat of presumed power. Presumed. Because ultimately, this White supremacist capitalist patriarchal society is bigger than any one office, and can use any vessel to do its bidding, including a man that most Black thinkers have a complex relationship with, emotionally.

I’m speaking to the ones who might love Obama as a social icon for Blackness, a man, a husband, a father, an author, a professor, a lawyer, a speaker, a conversationalist, and a past legislator, but are outraged and dismayed by this foreign policy as President. Be outraged and dismayed by this foreign policy! For real! (I tweeted about this dichotomy before, how he simultaneously challenges and upholds White supremacy domestically and foreign, respectively.) But this…”how could he do this” response is ahistorical and honestly comes off as phony. In fact, it reminds me of how Whites will often say to Black homophobes "Whites oppressed you, so you should ‘know better’ than to be oppressive…" as if some sort of superhuman power outside of a society ultimately shaped by White supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy no less, has been bestowed on all Black people so that they are no longer capable of enacting the same behaviors that other races of people do, including Whites, for the purpose of White supremacy in the first place.

Theoretically = vote for whomever you chose.

Practically = Obama: vote for violent foreign policy + domestic policy more beneficial for marginalized groups vs. Romney: vote for even moreso violent foreign policy + domestic policy that destroys marginalized groups; with not voting for Obama or staying home = a vote for Romney.

I’m not saying that I’m happy about this. I’m just saying that this is what it is at the moment.

I saw a great tweet earlier: 

If any debate could use minor-party candidates, it’s the foreign policy debate.

Great point. However, I don’t want to romanticize third party candidates either because power corrupts. They, just like the major party candidates, could speak a good game and get into the Oval Office and do the bidding of a White supremacist capitalist patriarchal society just as well. Just like I don’t believe planting White women in any space where White men are will automatically benefit Black women or other minority women, I don’t know for sure that a third party candidate is the “answer.” I do know that structurally, more than two dominant political parties are needed. I do know that this imperialist, White supremacist capitalist patriarchal violence being marketed as foreign policy needs to stop.

Oh, and by the way, I know why Obama can’t mention Black people, I even wrote about it before, but damn, can’t ever mention Black people? Women. LGBT. Immigrants. All important groups, but all involve Whites. When he mentioned civil rights the other day, not mentioning Black people was like…are you serious?

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