Another Death, Another Black Man
The 18-year old Black teenager was unarmed, and was killed in broad daylight. Ferguson exploded, as did a number of American towns and cities, as Black communities reacted with outrage to this racial manslaughter. Obama mildly decried the action, boldly called for calm.
He spoke on the side of law and order, barely on the side of Black rights whose routine denial over centuries made his own presidency so spectacular. Much worse, Jay Nixon, Missouri’s White governor invited the national guard to move in to quell the unrest triggered by this cold-blooded killing.
The National Guard moved in, supported by a fleet of war vehicles called Humvees. The spectacle of an arm of the US military deploying home to challenge core freedoms on American mainland, shall be very hard to forget.. Expectedly in no time another Black youth, 25-year old Kajieme Powell, was dead, thanks to the precision shooting of the National Guard.
Obama was forced to despatch the country’s Attorney General, one Eric Holder, himself another Black man, who confirmed Ferguson was a deeply “fractured” community, something he said he understood and sought to act on urgently.
Tears And Tees
As this crisis was petering off, another complication hit Obama’s presidency. Far away in Iraq, ISIS insurgents beheaded an American journalist, James Foley, grisly uploading a clip of that bloody act on YouTube.
The world watched with horror. So did Obama, who expressed his heartbreak, vowing to be “relentless” against the Islamic radicals who, in the meantime, threatened to behead yet another American captive. Soon after this media act, the President of the United States of America headed off to Martha Vineyard, his favourite golf course, to tee off. Apparently the President is on leave, cooling off.
This sharp twist from tears to tees has got America’s tongue wagging. By the way, Foley is a White American, apparently captured while covering events in Syria where ISIS, the very insurgent movement which has claimed his head, cut its insurgent teeth in a war against Assad.
And in that war, America supported Islamic insurgents who included ISIS, against Assad.
Foley had been despatched to sell that war which his country America supported not so covertly. He has since been sacrificed by his motherland, slaughtered by rebels armed by his government which is now contemplating fighting the same ISIS it created, side by side with Assad whom Foley routinely wrote to damn. Yes, states do betray, yes, states do sacrifice, kuchekeresa vana!
An Epitaph That Damns Generations
But watch how White America weeps for a butchered White American employed to sell her unjust wars abroad vis-a-vis a Black teenager citizen who gets gunned down on US streets for just being Black.
The one represents the face of American imperialism abroad, the other the vulnerabilities of simple citizenry in a racist country founded of White supremacist ideals. The one demonstrates the wages of aggression, the other measures the retreat of civil liberties in a racialised democracy, if such an oxymoron means anything at all.
The one darkens the presidency of Obama, forecloses the prospects of his party come the next elections, the other is an opportunity to show duty and service to the White establishment. And here is the point: when all is seen and assessed, Obama’s presidency raised Black hopes that today collapse into a heap of Black bitterness.
To die under White rule strikes me as a lot more honourable, a better tribute to race history, than to be sacrificed under the rule of one of your own.
The epitaph in the one is that the White world killed you; the epitaph in the other is that the Black president failed you, could not save you.
The last one leaves you with a foreboding sense of race impotence, a sense likely to transcend generations, making future Black voters mistrustful of Black leadership, believing in White misrule all the more thereby.
What A Cruel Fate!
When he could not serve Michael . . .
Looking back, I am struck by the irony of an Obama surrounded by African presidents all of whom represent a continent he pretends to want to save and serve. So many billions are pledged, the key word being “pledged”.
Africa, through its gullible, or desperate (or is it both?) Presidents, grins yellow with sickly, helitosis hope!
As their ashen bones of acute aid-need syndrome rattle in their shriven skin frames, none dare stop to ask: will a man who could not save Michael Brown ever save Mamoudou, Kwesi, Sizwe or Mucha? Could a man who could not save Ferguson ever save Bandundu, Kitwe, Tsumeb or Gwanda?
Or spare them should White terror target them? It is clear the rise of the black man does not change the world; rather, it merely helps him escape the world of tears. One badge of our servility as a race is the fact that symbols are deployed to run us, to pacify us, never to represent or demand for us.
Those symbols need our colour, need our history, need our heroes, to stick, to persuade. Aahh! Kuchazove riini, Africa?
By: Nathaniel Manheru