Before sipping from the Obama Kool Aid, I was dead set against the idea of a Black president.
The standard analogy that I gave went like this:
America is like a stolen car; the Indians are the rightful owners, the Pilgrims/Europeans are the thieves. Black people are like kidnap victims, tied up and thrown in the trunk. Now that Black people have managed to free ourselves from our position as kidnap victims, for one of us try to become president would be like saying that instead of wanting to escape or go home we want to drive the stolen car!
I feel a little bit differently now. Not much, but a little bit.
And it’s as a person that understands my ancestors feelings of marginalization that allows me to partly understand what Lupe Fiasco was getting at when he said “The biggest terrorists is Obama in the United States of America.”
Black people are, after all, a group that fought for this country in every conflict since the Revolutionary War despite being, at turns, slaves, subjects of Jim Crow laws, lynching victims, unwilling separate-but-equal participants, disenfranchised voters, and disproportionate prison industrial complex residents.
There is a reason to feel that America is running some sort of long and dangerous con on its darker denizens.
But beyond being turned into an immediate and unfortunate poster boy for the extreme right wing, the biggest tragedy about what Lupe said was that he seemed to be oblivious to the concept of perspective.
Like those 19 men of alleged Muslim backgrounds that attacked and brought down the World Trade center on September 11, 2001 would be, to Americans, considered “terrorists.”
To Al-Qaeda however, those 19 men would be martyrs; heroes even.
Semantics aside (what you meant was that Obama is the biggest terrorist in the world) what Lupe’s statement reveals is that he still sees the United States from the perspective of the outsider.
The question becomes not only how Black people as a whole should see America, but how we actually do.
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