Random Thoughts On: The Obamas, The Beckies, and Cheeto Satan

So those of y’all who’ve been paying attention and know me by my government name, not my incognegro name, know how I’ve written many times throughout the years about my complicated relationship with POTUS44. I love his swag, eloquence, elegance, and diplomatic skills which he has displayed on many awkward occasions. I love his brilliant mind and his graciousness in the face of flagrant disrespect to the Office of the President not to mention the most virulent, racist attacks on his person, that of his wife (my beloved FLOTUS44), and even his adorable young daughters.

But for all of my pride in Obama’s accomplishments (particularly the inspirational/aspirational symbolismfor children of colorof his ascendancy to the highest political office in the land), the fact remains that any president of the United States is ultimately an Agent of the State. And despite our miseducation by the American public and private school systems, it remains an easily verified fact that the United States is a State founded and perpetuated in infamy by:

As president of the United States, I hated Obama’s imperialist expansion of the American empire through eight years of war on brown and black countries, which is also an indictment on America’s white supremacist doctrine. Further, it is an illustration of how even people of color can perpetuate white supremacy. I also hated President Obama’s massive deportation policies, his killing of civilians and American citizens through drones, his baffling environmental record, his condescension and respectability politicking to Black folk many of whom still face rampant unemployment compared to other racial groups or never regained the wealth-via-home-ownership lost during the Great Recession.  While the Obama Administration’s policies didn’t cause the Great Recession and while his leadership eventually steered us through the Great Recession, I am not enamored of the fact that Obama and Congress bailed out Wall Street and left Main Street behind including millions of students who may never achieve the American Dream due to crippling student debt.

Still, while I clearly had issues with many of Obama’s policies, I found myself growing more and more nostalgic the closer we got to Cheeto Satan’s inauguration. I told myself, as American presidents go, Obama was a good president. I waxed nostalgic with friends and family about the Obama family’s tight-knit unity. I laughed over many Michelle Obama memes, and found hilarity with the coldness between Cheeto Satan and his Unfortunate Bride compared to the emotional warmth and intimacy between Barack and Michelle Obama, which I think is best illustrated through the image on this post. See how there is no space between them and how comfortably she rests her arm on his legs with affection and familiarity? Do you see the way he looks at her? Every person wants a partner who gazes at them adoringly when they aren’t even aware of it.

As we led up to the transfer of power from the Obama Administration to Cheeto Satan’s Administration, I took a break from social media to just feel my feelings.  Slowly, like the proverbial groundhog, I reappeared and began to talk to trusted social media acquaintances.  We snarked and were petty about the awkwardness of the Trumps’ First Dance, the sparse attendance at Cheeto Satan’s inauguration, his exclusion of LGBTQ people from his inaugural speech, the disappearance of the LGBT, Civil Rights, and Climate Change pages from the whitehouse.gov website (which, to be fair, wasn’t caused by Trump’s team taking them down but rather their lack of preparedness in having those pages ready to launchassuming they even care about those issuesat the time of the changeover of the whitehouse.gov website).

Then while we were having a merry old time lambasting the new Supreme Ruler’s gaslighting tactics, the conversation turned to the Women’s March that was scheduled the next day. We talked about who was going, who was sitting it out, and why. I had decided not to attend because I knew the messy history of the Women’s March on Washington. I knew how it started out by excluding women of color from its organizing committee, I knew how The Beckies added women of color as an after thought then promptly set to appropriating the name of a women’s march organized by Black women in the 90s. The Beckies continued their beckying by accusing the women of color organizers of being divisive because they called out The Beckies’ cultural appropriation and because the women of color decentered whiteness by wanting to see issues affecting their communities added to the platform. Some of the women of color organizers stepped down and were honest about their decision to do so. Even through the ensuing backlash and negative publicity, The Beckies continued their beckying by attempting to silence and shame the organizers who stepped down and spoke out. I had enough. I decided I wasn’t having it.

I’m of the mindset anyway that marches as a protest tactic, while they feel good, are no longer effective at affecting change. I’m of the mindset that organized and sustained grassroots local action is the best way to affect change. Luckily, I’m connected to a group of brilliant men and women via social media, and one of them was kind enough to recommend The Indivisible Guide. Now the thing to understand about The Indivisible Guide is even though it claims to be a treatise on how to take down Trump, you really shouldn’t regard it as such for the simple reason that Trump’s thinking defies logic and common decency.

You can’t fight Trump using standard tactics that rely upon logic and common decency. You have to use guerilla tactics. Street rules apply. Sucker punching is allowed. Most of all ridicule and mocking are his napalm. I’ve always had a strong bent toward justice. As a child, I hated seeing smaller and weaker kids being picked on, so I specialized in beating up bullies. And what I’ve come to understand about bullies like Trump, is ultimately they are cowards with low self-esteem who cannot stand up to the same sort of abuse they mete out. To return to my point, you should think of The Indivisible Guide as a primer on how to affect change at the Congressional level. That is where I believe we need to focus our efforts if we are to overturn the Republican stranglehold on Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.

The 2017 Women’s March on Washington certainly gave me feel-good moments seeing all those women (and men!) who were white, black, Asian, Latina, Native American, Middle Eastern, and other ethnicities come together in unity and sisterhood while standing up for women’s rights and giving Trump the middle finger. (Long live Resistance Auntie!) However, today is a new day and I’m pondering whether yesterday’s feel-good moment with that sea of pink pussyhats will be all for naught. And it will be all for naught if it doesn’t affect change. I’m also wondering, are we clear on the change we want? Do we have an inclusive, realistic, actionable agenda? Have we learned to put aside our differences as progressives, liberals, independents, and radicals to come together and defeat Trump 2020? Most importantly, as Toni Cade Bambara famously asked in The Salt Eaters, are we sure we want to be well?

(Image from left, President and Mrs. Obama, Women’s March Co-founders Teresa Shook and Bob Bland, and Cheeto Satan)

3 thoughts on “Random Thoughts On: The Obamas, The Beckies, and Cheeto Satan

  1. Nzinga, I have always found your writing to be enviably flawless, astute in its criticism, authentic, and most importantly, provocative – – or thought provoking (if there is in fact a semantic difference between the two terms).

    Now you take it all up a notch by providing BUILT-IN FACT-CHECKING AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS! Can we talk about “value-added” in the age of alternative fact!!!

    I long ago accepted the stark reality I shall never become your intellectual peer, but it’s critically more important to note that your discourse IS accessible, comprehensive, and uniquely informative. With you on the scene, I never fail to go away with knowledge gained, or at least some substantive thing with which to ruminate.

    You have my highest level of respect and admiration.


  2. Nznga,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You successfully articulate why those of us on the radical left are both critical and now nostalgic for POTUS44, as well as an understanding that marches can be nothing more than hyped platitudes if they end without follow-up direct action. Although I experienced the same comfort seeing the sheer numbers, not just in DC but across the country, taking to the streets to protest this truly fascist regime, when I saw protesters blockading the Uber building on friday I thought—this is the real type of action that needs to continue.
    What I think this all means, is that we need action (i.e., revolution) that not only targets these hideous newly vocal fascists and racists, but ALSO battles the neo-liberal assumptions of how we treat our resources and means of production. Not to solely pick on Uber, but, by way of example, if people are going to a march but then continue to use the convenience of Uber—a company whose CEO is among Trump’s corporate economic advisors—the the march will be for naught. I worry that young people, who are taught in this millennium even more than I was in the 70s and 80s, that capitalism is the same as democracy and something to be assumed, will truly miss what this is all about.


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