“But we must also expand our moral imaginations to understand and empathize with all people. The middle-aged white guy, you may think has all the advantages but over the last several decades has seen his world upended by economic & cultural & technological change, and feels powerless to stop it.” — President Obama
If there was ever a moment the “white privilege is the n-word”, “white genocide”, & “Black people can be racist too” crowd ever needed to be vindicated in their assertions against Black society, this brief clip from President Obama was their moment.
In short: President Obama stated that Black people need to understand & empathize with middle-aged white men because they are losing power. Seriously. The first non-white male President of the United States told an auditorium full of predominately brand new Black college graduates that they need to develop a deeper understanding for why middle-aged white men are in their feels about losing power. You know, the same power that these middle-aged white men have been inflicting & benefitting off of for centuries now. Black people need to empathize with them. Mr. President, why? What in the world do we as Black people need to further clarify on in regards to white men? Lastly, why are you selling this false narrative that white men are somehow losing? Where is this taking place at?
For those of you who didn’t hear the entire speech, I posted the entire 45 minute speech at the bottom. For those of you wondering if I actually listened to the entire speech…yes I did. Here’s a quick summery of the speech:
“Congratulations on graduating college & beating the odds. Now that you’ve gotten this far as a Black person, understand that you as a Black person still have plenty more work to do. Congrats!”
That’s pretty much how the speech went. It was really your stereotypical college commencement speech. Nothing out of the ordinary except for the clip at the very top of this article that has been highlighted which stuck out like a sore thumb. To be honest, that portion of the speech should have been crossed out, but for whatever reason it was left in. Seriously, imagine talking to a room full of bright eyed enthusiastic Black college grads who are ready to take on the world. Imagine the President of the United States who just happens to be a Black man in his last year in office giving the commencement speech. Imagine the President telling you about how challenging life can be as Black person & how much further along you have come than most of your older relatives & ancestors. Then imagine in the middle of the speech this same Black person who just happens to be the President of the United States telling you that YOU AS A BLACK PERSON, you need to develop a deeper understanding for why middle-aged white men are so angry…as if you are too damn dumb to already NOT understand why they are angry. Imagine the President of the United States telling you that you actually need to reserve thinking power for understanding why the one group of people who have benefitted off of your struggles (regardless if they were active in the oppression or not) are all in their feelings about “losing” power. Imagine that. Yet, that’s exactly what happened.
Here’s the problem…
Black society has a severe, twisted, & sick problem with trying to sympathize AND empathize with the oppressor. Too many in Black society are terrified of actually putting more energy into trying to eradicate & destroy the very system that has caused so much oppression than they are in wasting unnecessary energy trying to understand white people in depth. The reality is, EVERY BLACK PERSON ALREADY KNOWS WHAT THE DEAL IS. There is nothing new to figure out. Every Black person in America (hell, globally) already knows that the system of white supremacy runs everything. White supremacy was built off the backs of oppressing everybody that was not a white male, especially Black people. This is not a secret. There really is no need in trying to develop a deeper understanding. If you are Black, from the moment you became fully conscious of your existence, you knew this. You were taught one of two ways to “assimilate” into the system: 1) you live everyday of your life trying to fight & overthrow the system, or 2) you put your tap dancing shoes on & get your coon & buffoon on. Those are your only two options. There is no grounds for neutrality.
So why did President Obama feel the need to tell a room full of Black college grads that as they embark on the next chapter of their lives, they need to “empathize” with middle-aged white men who feel like they are losing power?
Simple: It’s a lot of Black people in America who have not mentally left the plantation as to where they honestly feel like they can survive on their own. Seriously, it’s way more dangerous to leave the plantation that it is to stay on the plantation. What do I mean? Glad you asked. Go watch any slave movie that has came out in the last 10 years or so. Every time a slave was not on the plantation, his life was exposed to all kinds of unpredictable shit from every angle imaginable. At least on the plantation, he was afforded some protection by massa from the outside elements. Why? Because he was massa’s property and he was making massa some money. Massa was not about to fuck up his efforts acquiring power, wealth, & influence off the backs of slaves. Off the plantation, there was no telling what may happen to a slave at any given time.
So how does this relate to “empathizing” with middle-aged white men? Glad you asked. It is a form of mental slavery, damn near like Stockholm syndrome. Actually dedicating time to gather a deeper understanding of why the main group of people who have caused Black society to struggle in the first damn place is nothing more than a relic of plantation thinking. It says, even though you are physically free, you can’t let go. You can’t stop thinking about them. You as a Black person HAVE to devote some of your thinking power to actually thinking about why these people are all in their feels because they feel like they are losing power. Instead of focusing purely on the acquiring power, wealth, & influence; you feel the need to honestly give a damn about the feelings of the people responsible for your situation in the first damn place.
Name another group of people who run around thinking like this. Name just one. When was the last time a President sat in a auditorium full of mainly white college grads telling them to think about the struggles & anger residing within Black society because we are essentially powerless? Matter of fact just name any prominent non-Black person who has gone around preaching to their group of people that they need to dedicate time towards thinking about the struggles of Black society. Nobody does this but Black people. At a college graduation, this commencement speech should have been nothing but 100% motivation for going out into society to kick ass & take names all in the name of further advancing Black society, but no….President Obama had to slip in a little plantation celebration reminder about white feelings. Are you serious Mr. President?
Entire speech here: