Blacks Slowly Emerging from Obama Delirium
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“People are forced to confront the facts of the disaster that has befallen Black America.”
There have been tons of commentary and what passes for analysis of the Black condition in the United States, 50 years after the March on Washington. The most fascinating recent data on how African Americans assess their situation in the U.S. comes from the Pew Research Center. The Pew researchers are noted for accumulating data over long periods of time, but their latest report also shows a dramatic change in Black outlook in the past four and six years, based on surveys taken in 2007, 2009 and this summer.
When questioned at the beginning of August, only 26 percent of Blacks said they believed the situation had improved for African Americans over the past five years – which is roughly the Age of Obama. However, when the same question was asked back in November of 2009, near the end of Obama’s first year in office, 39 percent of Blacks said African Americans were better off than five years previously. In other words, Black Americans today are significantly less optimistic about their actual condition than back in 2009. Back then, the bottom had fallen out of the Black economy, yet African Americans in huge numbers somehow believed that their situation was better than before the Great Economic Meltdown.
Lots of other polling organizations took notice when the Pew numbers came out in 2009, and did their own surveys to confirm that, yes, Blacks were the most optimistic ethnic constituency in America – even though the hard facts showed that they had been hurt worst of all.
“Twenty-six percent still think that Blacks are in a better situation.”
There could be no possible reason for such a disconnect from reality than the ascension of Barack Obama to the White House. We wrote extensively about the phenomena in Black Agenda Report, beginning with an article titled “Living a Black Fantasy: The Obama Delirium Effect,” in which we concluded that “ObamaL’aid is a mind altering substance, a hallucinogen…that makes Black people see progress when they are actually facing disaster.”
Four years later, the Pew poll shows that a portion of Black folks have snapped out of the delirium, and now see the world, and their actual position in it, more clearly. But, many more have not yet faced the fact that Obama is a servant of Wall Street who offers Blacks nothing but his own physical presence in the White House.
Of course, within the 26 percent who still think that Blacks are in a better situation, are a few folks who really have made personal progress in the worst of times. The rest, however, are still trippin’.
Obama’s approval rating among Blacks dropped dramatically this year, too, from 93 percent in April, to 88 percent in June, down to 78 percent in July – no doubt heavily influenced by the unfolding Trayvon Martin saga. The general trend should be slowly downward, punctuated by events, for the next three and a half years – as people are forced to confront the facts of the disaster that has befallen Black America. But some Black folks will never kick the ObamaL’aid, until the inevitable forced withdrawal. And then begins the Great Hangover – a mass Black psychological downer that will be as intense as the delirious highs of 2008 and 2009.