Protectin' the Prez
There is an old comedy skit where a well meaning boy scout tries to help a little old lady across a busy street. After finally assuring the frightened woman that he can safely get her to her destination he pulls her through heavy traffic, dodging traffic and finally arrives on the opposite sidewalk. Problem was, the old lady wasn't trying to cross the street in the first place and rewarded the boy scout's good dead with a mighty beat down with her over sized pocket book.
I thought about that when I heard Sybil from the Tom Joyner Morning show givin' the business to the top dog of Barnes and Nobles Bookstore, yesterday.
In case you're one of the only two African Americans who didn't get the email that has been floatin' around for the last week, here's the deal.
Supposedly, some prankster in Florida thought it would be a real hoot to put a book about monkeys in the midst of a President Obama Barnes and Nobles book display.
Needless to say, black folks were not amused.
So, responding to threats of an email generated boycott, Len Riggio, chairman of the bookstore chain went on the Tom Joyner Morning Show to try to calm the natives.
Sybil put dude on blast and strongly suggested that Barnes and Nobles, immediately, put security gates and armed guards around book displays at every Barnes and Noble in America, or else!
(or somethin' to that effect)
This raises the question,
"Are black folks a little too protective of President Obama; a man who has made it crystal clear that he has magically transcended the boundaries of race ?"
Since the last election, African Americans have gotten mad about everything from a cartoon of a monkey to a tasty treat called "drunken head negro cookies."
Also, I've heard otherwise nonviolent black folks threaten to beat anyone' s behind who has the nerve to call Mr. President by his government name.
I guess being the first (reluctantly) black president has its perks, like having a 12 million man secret service force ready to spring into action at the drop of a hat.
Forget about anything bad happening to the Prez, as black folks will engage in actions that will make the "riots" in Detroit, Watts and LA look like a picnic if anyone dares to lay a hand on Barack Obama.
However, fighting to protect President Obama's honor is just as futile as trying to get Martin Luther King Jr's blessing to punch some dude in the mouth for calling the good Rev the "N" word.
Obama is as committed to this post racial thing as King was to nonviolence.
The problem is that as long as black folks continue to take the blows for him, he will not have face the lingering reality of racism.
So while we're out there fightin' in the streets against anyone who dares to diss the Prez, he gets to stay in his fantasy world where we all get along and the Starbucks never close.
Sadly, his political moves will also reflect that ideology. Already we have seen the US threaten not to attend the upcoming World Conference on Racism and the Supreme Court put a limit on the Voting Rights Act.
So, Barack Obama has become the "Tony Romo" of politics. He seems to think that just because he has a strong offensive line it means that the defense of the Washington Racists isn't trying to sack him for a loss of 20 years of the advancement for black folks.
So he underestimates his opponents and what should have been a winning season ends with a series of disappointing losses.
Experience is the best teacher and unless we allow the President to experience some of the ugly realities of race that we experience everyday, he will never grow into the great statesman that we believe he can be...
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (919) 451-8283