On this beautiful Sunday morn, I rise to tell you all to look at your neighbor and say, “NEIGHBOR! Barack Obama is nobody’s Magical Negro!”
After all this time, folks are still expecting him to be any different than the other presidents and accept less that the others even STILL do? Y’all are not checking for Clinton’s pockets. Y’all are not checking for Carter’s. Y’all are not checking for either of the Bushes. As many folks as either of the two of them had killed across the globe, together or separately, and we’re busy making memes about their facial expressions and bloopers and staring in awe at paintings. Y’all are not checking for Reagan’s estate. Y’all are expecting him not to follow suit with the others after leaving office. After all the mess he expectedly had to put up with simply because he was in that seat and happened to be African while doing so, he needs to also sacrifice money after the fact, while the others get to keep on caking? And why is that? Because we know what they’re all going to do and we expect them to raise money, but Obama is expected to be the only one to sacrifice and forgo and donate and decline and accept less? I don’t even recall such deep concern for the behaviors and whereabouts of the previous presidents once out of office… folks get mad that he’s going on family vacations and then get mad that anyone would smile at the vacation. So… this even goes for the people who feel the compelling need to keep blasting his record of foreign attacks like people don’t know. Like y’all don’t know that we love our problematic male figures and that that speaks to something deeper about us, but nonetheless true. He’s not y’all magical super ethical negro, either. Lest you forget his place and yours. He didn’t forget his and he played ball, just like we were afraid he’d have to.
Critique is fine, but Black folks are allowed to see ourselves in whoever the hell we want, if we want, and if that includes the first African blood president who was stuck in a crappy job amidst pressure to do what everybody else wants, knowing that he can’t ever be honest or direct about anything because people would lose their minds over the big aggressive out of control negro, so he tows an impossible, stressful line, like most of us have to put up with day in and day out at our own jobs or even in our communities or families, then SO BE IT! If we want to smile and feel good about ourselves because regardless to how muddy of a situation it is, we get to see and hear our culture in spaces which it was previously deemed lesser, a fetish or destructive, SO BE IT! If we wanna smile and feel touched by him singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” or whatever spiritual he wants to sing, knowing good and hell well that the only other times previously that such music was allowed anywhere near the White House or presidency was when our ancestors built the confounded place, then SO BE IT! If we wanna fall in love with the couple’s view of Black love, while all we see on social media and hear in gossip is about how Black men and women are at odds, SO BE IT! How we relate to things and find joy in the darndest of places because that’s just what the heck our reality and identity is in this country, then that’s what we gon do. Quit policing Black people’s joy.
Be realistic. Everybody wants so much more out of him than he ever had to give. Folks still looking for scapegoats and saviors alike… all with that one thing in common. He is not any better than any of us.
He is not what’s wrong with the system and he is not y’all messiah, either. He is not the dream realized. He is not the dream deferred. He is not whatever fetish you’re trying to make him out to be. Hell… hopefully he becomes an American studies or cultural analysis professor cuz I’m going to that university on purpose.
Now pull y’all breeches up for crying out loud. Always being expected to be some upper echelon of moral superiority and social justice fighter simply because we’re Black is tiring a*f* and we need to chill on that a bit and keep cognizant of the fact that we’re a colonized people and the “stuff” or environment that that inevitably comes with, no matter where you are on the ladder. We always expect any one of us to be better than the collectiveness of us, when the collectiveness of us hasn’t thoroughly been addressed or healed yet.