In Barack Obama’s recent Labor Day speech, he tripped, slipped, flipped the script a little (thanks Jed Lewison over at DKos):
And over the last two years, that’s meant taking on some powerful interests — some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time. And they’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. (Applause.) That’s not in my prepared remarks, it’s just — but it’s true.
Now you know, he was channeling his mother-in-law, Miz Marian — a formerly normal black, um, active senior — who must have smacked her lips while watching the news in the kitchen up at Martha’s Vineyard a minute ago and said: “You know, they talk about poor Barry like he’s a dog. Mmph mmph mmph….just a junkyard dog!” Then she wiped off a kitchen counter unnecessarily, cuz you know they have people to do that now. But she still can’t help herself, naw mean?
I found myself having a number of responses re: this. One — Mr. President should riff off the so-called prepared remarks more often cuz it be gettin’ stale. Americans fell in love with Barack Obama in part because he once sounded a little less prepared and a little less political. A little less careful and a little more…caring. Rather than just reading from scripts — a “staged reading” as they call it in theater — a brother needs to Take The Stage and rebuild the Trust that will allow people to believe in Change again.
Two — he’s right. It really doesn’t matter what he does — Republicans are gonna tear it down. Even when Obama supports GOP-proposed policies, it just makes the Republican party more resistant and their base frustrated. It’s clear that the President hasn’t fully grokked The Man’s problem with his presidency. To explain this further, I’d like to tap on some hip hop from back in the day. Mos Def would have said to the president 10 years ago in his classic Mr. N***a:
And check it out now
Who is the cat eatin out on the town
And make the whole dining room turn they head round
Mr Nigga, Nigga Nigga
He got the speakers in the trunk with the bass on crunk
Who be ridin up in the highrise elevator
Other tenants who be prayin they ain’t the new neighbor
Mr Nigga, Nigga Nigga
They try to play him like a chump cause he got what they want
Straight all across the globe watch got three time-zones
Keep the digital phone up to his dome
Two assistants, two bank accounts, two homes
One problem; even with the O’s on his check
The po-po stop him and show no respect
“Is there a problem officer?” Damn straight, it’s called race
That motivate the jake (woo-woo) to give chase
Say they want you successful, but that ain’t the case
You livin large, your skin is dark they flash a light in your face
They say they want you successful, but then they make it stressful
You start keepin pace, they start changin up the tempo
The Tea Party is flashing a big ole light in Barack Obama’s face, feel me? Cuz he’s got what they want — and what they think he/we shouldn’t have. Do we find it so strange that this is the most obstructionist minority in Congress in decades? If you’re black, naw…we could have seen it coming. If The President is successful, it means Change on a number of levels for a number of people who are used to same ole, same ole — same bad education, low pay job options, same ladder to nowhere, same exploitation, same sh*t, different day.
Black Republicans seem to have had a similar awakening in feebly pushing back recently on Sarah Palin and her “Don’t Retreat, Reload” when it comes to use of the word: nigger. The GOP’s open flagship position is throw Mr. Nigga out of office.
President Obama — in my humble opinion, a) you need to borrow more phrases from your mama-in-law more often. Heck…why not take her on the campaign trail. The mid-terms tend to draw an older crowd — she can speak in plain language they can understand. b) call a spade a spade more often. I’m not saying you should play the race card. But it’s definitely time to call the GOP out on their agenda which has only one item on it — Block Barack…by any means necessary…even if it hurts every other American except themselves and their rich friends.
Ok, I’m out. But before I go, here’s Mos Def’s song. Feel free to nod your head if you’re black, bougie and know The Struggle…
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris
Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats