Congressional Rep. Bobby Rush in March walked onto the House floor, stepped front and center, then, shedding his suit jacket, revealed a sweatshirt and put the hood up, declaring, “Racial profiling has to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.” This, of course, to protest the mindless murder of Trayvon Martin.
Rep. Gregg Harper, not surprisingly a Mississippi Republican, had a fit in purple paint. Presiding over the chamber, he tried, as Rush kept speaking, to shout him down, but Rush wasn’t having any and kept talking. So, Harper had the House sergeant at arms remove Rush.
The incident has generated more than a million YouTube hits, getting the kind of attention it’d take Beyoncé in half a bikini to surpass. Interestingly enough, in the days that followed, President Barack Obama, our great, shining affirmative-action token, said not so much as a mumbling word to even acknowledge what so many people across the U.S. were reacting to.
Figures. This, after all, is the White folk’s Black president who steadfastly refuses to stick up for Black Americans and didn’t say anything to decry 17-year-old Martin’s slaying until well after real Black people all across the country, along with plenty of Whites, were raising three different kinds of hell and Obama still wouldn’t stick out his neck to make a comment.
In fact, he would look pretty ridiculous not to say something. Once it was safe, the p.c. president valiantly stepped forward and took a stand. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” he courageously opined. “I think [Trayvon’s parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Be still my beating heart.
Back when Henry Louis Gates, Jr. got in that flap for cussing out a White cop who, on the say-so of a White neighbor, arrested Gates for — of all things — breaking into his own home, Obama at first did the right thing and called the arrest stupid. Then he quickly backtracked, apologizing, of all things, to the cop — bending to pressure from police outrage.
That wasn’t enough kowtowing. He invited the cop and Gates to the White House for a cordial sip of beverages in backyard. At which point the cop indignantly announced that he’d accept the invite, but had no intention of making apologies to Gates. Obama actually had Gates go along with this sad asterisk-kissing.
Mumia Abu-Jamal has long languished in prison for a cop-killing he clearly did not commit. Obama has the power to sign a presidential pardon and send the man on his way, but he determinedly ignores Abu-Jamal’s plight. Why? Because White people would demand his hide for being “too Black”.
Obama won the White House greatly on the strength of Black voters, yet is scared out of his skin to identify with Black Americans who desperately need that “change we can believe in” he kept stumping on to win the election. We’ve been taken. The only time he will effect or even advocate for true change is when it’s okay with White people for him to do so.
Fact is, soon as he heard Bobby Rush had been thrown off the floor, Obama should’ve hustled his HNIC (House N***** In Charge) down to Congress and walked in the door not only wearing a hoodie, but wearing the thing outright instead of slipping it in beneath a suit jacket. With the hood up! That’ll be the day.
Barack Obama, for good and all, has made it crystal clear that the only thing Black about him is his birthday suit.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.