Black America more pro-war than ever

Published on Global Research.ca, by Glen Ford, Sept 19, 2013. 8

During President Obama’s run-up to war with Syria, “African Americans were, for the first time in polling history, the most bellicose major ethnicity in the United States.” How could such a political role-reversal come to pass? “The progressive, peace-seeking African American worldview is out of sync with the deep imperative to support the First Black President.”  

Barack Obama has proven to be a warmongering thug for global capital, many times over. The question is: Have African Americans, his most loyal supporters, joined the bi-partisan War Party, rejecting the historical Black consensus on social justice and peace (or, at least, the “peace” part)?

Ever since national pollsters began tracking African American public opinion, surveys have shown Blacks to be consistently clustered at the left side of the national political spectrum. More than any other ethnicity, African Americans have opposed U.S. military adventures abroad, by wide margins. Indeed, the sheer size of the “blood lust” gap between the races indicates that the Black international worldview differs quite radically from white Americans and, to a lesser but marked degree, from Hispanics.

That is, until the advent of Obama.

A Washington Post/ABC poll conducted between August 28 and September 1 showed 40 percent of African Americans supported President Obama’s threats of airstrikes against Syria – two points more than whites and nine percent more than Hispanics. Majorities of all three groups opposed bombing Syria – 56 percent of Blacks, 58 percent of whites and 63 percent of Hispanics – but African Americans were, for the first time in polling history, the most bellicose major ethnicity in the United States.

A Pew Research poll from the same period showed Blacks somewhat less supportive of airstrikes, with only 22 percent of African Americans and 29 percent of whites in favor. Fifty-three percent of Blacks and 47 percent of whites were opposed (Hispanic data were not made available.) However, about one-quarter of both Blacks and whites were allowed to choose “undecided” in the Pew survey, without which option the results would likely have been more in line with the Washington Post/ABC poll, with large numbers of Blacks aligning themselves with Obama.

There is no doubt that this apparent decline in Black aversion to U.S. foreign aggressions has everything to do with the color (and party) of the commander-in-chief. For all the right historical reasons, African Americans have always been highly skeptical of U.S. motives abroad. With Obama nominally in charge, such righteous Black skepticism of “American” (meaning, white) motives is less operative … //

… Perhaps the most curious and, in a sense, encouraging aspect of Obama-whipped Black political behavior is that most of those afflicted pay little attention to the First Black President’s actual policies. The topic of Black conversation is usually not “What is Obama doing,” but, rather, “How is Obama doing?” His fans aren’t concerned about his legislative agenda, and are often shocked when informed that their icon engineered preventive detention laws and wants to cut Social Security. You are liable to be called a lying bastard, or even attacked, simply for citing his political record in Black settings where, typically, it is never debated or scrutinized. Instead, the subject of constant discussion is: Who is making trouble for Obama? What are they doing now to smear the man? In short, Black people aren’t expressing their political convictions when giving tacit or active support to Obama, on the foreign or domestic fronts. They are, in fact, ignoring their own convictions in favor of upholding the icon.

As a result, what Cornel West calls the “Black prophetic tradition” slips into a coma. We know it will awake, but not without damage.
(full text).

(BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted here).

Links:

Black Agenda Report;

Glen Ford on Black Delusion, on YouTube-search;

Parallel between Syria and Economics? on RWER blog (first on WEA pedagogy blog http://weapedagogy.wordpress.com/ ), by Jack Reardon, Sept 20, 20113;

Class activities- Rosa Luxemburg and The Accumulation of Capital, on WEA pedagogy blog, by Maria Alejandra Madi, August 20, 2013: An online version of The Accumulation of Capital can be found at libcom.org;

(see also: Welcome to our new blog: politics for the 99%).

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