Obama the boogeyman; From Fear of a Black Planet to Fear of a Black President

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From Fear of a Black Planet to Fear of a Black President.

Chuck D. was a prophet?

I was never much of a fan of rap, but when it came to Public Enemy, and a handful of other groups, I definitely made an exception. From an artistic/performance sensibility, I sincerely appreciated the fact that these brothers still understood the concept of actually putting on a show, which should consist of a helluva lot more than walking back and forth on the stage with a mic spittin rhymes. But then that’s old school talkin, I suppose.

Anyway, the other thing that drew me to the group ( aside from the fact that they didn’t seem compelled to rap over some other musician’s music then proclaim it a hit in their own name ) was the aggressively black activist/cultural commentary bent they took. Although they sometimes went over the top, at least they weren’t riding the bitches ‘n hos money train. Public Enemy had something to say that was actually worth listening to. They were wide awake in a time of slumber.

And finally, the thing I dug about them was their album titles, particularly “Fear of a Black Planet“, which was released on March 20, 1990. There was just so much you could take from that title alone before you even got to the lyrics…

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Man you ain’t gotta
Worry ’bout a thing
‘Bout your daughter
Nah she ain’t my type
(But supposin’ she said she loved me)
Are you afraid of the mix of Black and White

We’re livin’ in a land where
The law say the mixing of race
Makes the blood impure
She’s a woman I’m a man
But by the look on your face
See ya can’t stand it

Man calm your ass down don’t get mad
I don’t your sistah
(But supposin’ she said she loved me)
Would you still love her
Or would you dismiss her
What is pure? Who is pure?
Is it European state of being, I’m not sure
If the whole world was to come

Thru peace and love
Then what would we made of?

Excuse us for the news
You might not be amused
But did you know white comes from Black
No need to be confused

Excuse us for the news
I question those accused
Why is this fear of Black from White
Influence who you choose?

Man c’mon now, I don’t want your wife
Stop screamin’ it’s not the end of your life
(But supposin’ she said she loved me)
What’s wrong with some color in your family tree
I don’t know

I’m just a rhyme sayer
Skins protected ‘gainst the ozone layers
Breakdown 2001
Might be best to be Black
Or just Brown countdown

I’ve been wonderin’ why
People livin’ in fear
Of my shade
(Or my hi top fade)
I’m not the one that’s runnin’
But they got me one the run
Treat me like I have a gun
All I got is genes and chromosomes
Consider me Black to the bone

All I want is peace and love
On this planet
(Ain’t that how God planned it?)

Excuse us for the news
You might not be amused
But did you know White comes from Black
No need to be confused

Excuse us for the news
I question those accused
Why is this fear of Black from White
Influence who you choose?

So now here we are almost 20 years later, still reeling (whether we want to admit it or not) from the fact that a black man now occupies the White House and is effectively the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth. On one hand, the miracle is that Obama managed to stitch together the coalition that he did and then redirect the train tracks of history toward his own self-drawn conclusions about how things should be. There was a considerable amount of joy, no doubt, but as we all know there was also a considerable amount of shock and outrage. This was the last straw’s last straw for White Supremacy. And for Fox News.

Not that we didn’t know it was coming. Because even after the miracle of the birth of Jesus there came a terrible reckoning. But still, I must confess it really is quite something to watch the hatred simmer and burn. And me without my marshmallows.

We have Rush Limbaugh, who has repeatedly called President Obama a racist who dislikes white people. We have Fox’s own Glenn Beck, who also subscribes to the belief that Obama has a “deep-seated hatred” of white people. Other lemmings have been religiously co-signing the bullshit, merrily ignoring the fact that Obama’s mother was white, and so were her parents – his grandparents – who helped raise him.

But then this has never been about the truth.  Because white supremacy – the term itself an oxymoron – is quite obviously not about finding the truth but about extinguishing the truth at all costs so that oppression and hatred can reign supreme. Which it cannot do in the face of truth. So then what this is about is re-igniting the fires of ignorance to burn down the house of liberation before it even gets built. Put simply, this is about patching up Jim Crow with a new set of wings and dusting off the Grand Dragon’s robes.

No. This is not about the maniacally twisted claims of  ‘birthers’ questioning whether Obama was born in the United States, because even ‘birthers’ know they are lying the minute their lips begin to move. Of course they know. They just don’t care.

Because white supremacy has never been about the search for truth. White supremacy is about the search for the Ultimate Almighty White Lie.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux

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~ by Keith A. Owens on July 30, 2009.

4 Responses to “Obama the boogeyman; From Fear of a Black Planet to Fear of a Black President”

  1. Excellent analysis and commentary. I also appreciate you sharing the full lyrics from the Public Enemy joint. It is such a shame that we have gone from that unified evening of November 4, 2008 to this confused state of race relations we’re experiencing today. My hope is that Obama can get the train moving again in a way that brings us together on all sides of the cultural and racial divide. I must admit that I miss the joyful feeling of election day…

    peace, Villager

  2. Perhaps I’m naive, but I think it’s more about the right vs. the left.

    Anyone with a brain will tell you extremists of any bent are a threat. Consider where we’re at. The government has thrown $2 trillion or more at our economic woes (Wall Street bailout and Stimulus) with little direct benefit to the common man. Now there’s a big push to “fix” health care, with the public option being a main bone of contention. As you’ve noted in another post, health care debate isn’t entirely rooted in the facts or the issue. Is it any wonder, then, the right feels threatened? From that, is it a surprise they’re willing to tolerate White Supremacist machinations? The end justifies the means, and all that.

    Once upon a time, I would have called myself a conservative. Perhaps I still am, to a degree. But I consider myself more centrist. You see, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans besides the rhetoric they use. They’re both out for themselves and their cronies, our elected officials, worship at their alter. Neither the parties nor the politicians give a hoot about us, the citizenry.

    I didn’t vote for McCain or Obama because both of them marginalized voters in Michigan at some point in their campaigns. That’s unconscionable to me. But Obama’s election tells me our country has made substantial strides in race relations. I know it’s not perfect and I know there are still cases of discrimination, some amazingly blatant. But don’t ascribe the lunatic fringe as representing the main stream view. Even if some so-called main streamers are willing to sleep with them.

    • Cynicalsynapse,

      I hear you in a lot of ways, particularly about the marginalization of the common man. Still, I do believe there are some fairly significant differences between Republicans and Democrats. To be sure Big Money pulls strings on both sides, but when you look at the platforms – and the programs – the differences are pretty plain. At least to me. The difference between Obama’s focus and Bush’s – and between Obama and where McCain would have taken this country – is huge. As you point out, the system is far, far from perfect. And Democrats have their shortcomings as do Republicans. But at the end of the day, I must confess I’m still on the Democrat side.

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