Ahem! The Obamanation
Aaron McGruder called it. His controversial comic/tv show, Boondocks, clowned the Obama-mania, that seems to be so resilient, back in 2009. Blocked by the historical moment that Obama represents, intellectuals and celebrities have to hush their discontent concerning President Obama—it’s an Obamanation! Excuse me I meant abomination! I’m still recovering. Damn the fool that drew up this contract that waives the duty to criticize. One of Chicago’s native sons dropped a new album this past Tuesday, and if nothing else makes it a classic let it be his honesty. “Limbaugh is a racists, Glen Beck is a racist/Gaza Strip was getting burned, Obama didn’t say sh#t/That’s why I aint vote for him, next one either/” (Words I Never Said, by Lupe Fiasco). The imperative for Blacks to keep quiet brings serious consequences for the sensible soul; even the Redeye predicts the alienation of Lupe by “hip-hop colleagues.”
There’s nothing wrong with “[sparring] verbally,” such as the situation between Lupe and Rhymefest after Lupe’s first “public dig” at Obama, when it produces valid accusations (read the original post and then word search “Rhymefest” within the message board). Both artists hashed out an elevated verbal spar, which is more preferable than blind allegiance. Distaste for Obama’s policies should be welcomed because it keeps Obama’s conscience renewed.
But the bones Lupe picked back in 2008 are ancestors to the problems Lupe has today. No change has delivered for the community Obama, among other communities, made promises to. For those who don’t know, Lupe identifies with the Muslim community, so of course he’s going to indict Obama’s paradox. How can the president who promised to use platform that addresses demagoguery and emphasizes dialogue continue to support the destruction of Muslim states? In 2008, Lupe spoke for Iran, and on this album speaks for Palestine. Everybody rockin’ an Obama t-shirt will give the gut reaction “he can’t do everything.” Notice though, that Lupe in that one lyric places weight on mere speech. Just seems a bit odd that the Muslim states get the short end of the stick on everything, especially when I read this article that was published in the Chicago Tribune back in 2008. During the election, the article explains, Obama had to overcome the “skepticism” of his Jewish crowd, who fidgeted because of Obama’s friendship with “Palestinian thinker,” Rashid Khalidi. It’s safe to say that the phenomenon, which correlates with Lupe’s criticism, displays Obama leaning to one side on the Israel/Palestine (Jewish promises vs Muslim promises) issue. Obama’s assistance with Egypt validates Lupe’s point about “saying sh#t.” With soft power, Obama was able to add pressure to Mubarak’s removal; thus, revealing the nakedness of power and its ubiquity. Where such a strategy along the Gaza Strip? You can’t be the president of promises that doesn’t fulfill them; otherwise you’re just another player in the Democrats-Republican drama.
Still the point remains: there is a sense of excessive pride, especially when you realize sameness in reflection of this presidency. One shot votes don’t fool anyone, because there are agendas that are beyond the supporters; so if our power, as supporters, is support, then we need to manage the way we support. Don’t mean to be cliché, but Martin Luther King Jr. explained it best in professing that dissent is an act of love. Let’s stop being fools and act like we care about what happens in this country and across the pond. No person should ever outlaw the possibility to disagree, they should always confront the problem and recognize truth.