President Barry Obeezy: Gramsci’s Afrikan-Amerikkkan

One further phenomenon in the United States is worth studying, and that is the formation of a surprising number of negro intellectuals who absorb American culture and technology. It is worth bearing in mind the indirect influence that these negro intellectuals could exercise on the backward masses in Africa, and indeed direct influence if one or other of these hypotheses were ever to be verified:

 

i . that American expansionism should use American negroes as its agents in the conquest o f the African market and the extension of American civilisation (something of the kind has already happened, but I don’t know to what extent);

 

2. that the struggle for the unification of the American people should intensify in such a way as to provoke a negro exodus and the return to Africa of the most independent and energetic intellectual elements, the ones, in other words, who would be least inclined to submit to some possible future legislation that was even more humiliating than are the present widespread social customs. This development would give rise to two fundamental questions:

 

i. linguistic: whether English could become the educated language of Africa, bringing unity in the place of the existing swarm of dialects?

 

2. whether this intellectual stratum could have sufficient assimilating and organising capacity to give a “national” character to the present primitive sentiment of being a despised race, thus giving the African continent a mythic function as the common fatherland of all the negro peoples? It seems to me that, for the moment, American negroes have a national and racial spirit which is negative rather than positive, one which is a product of the struggle carried on by the whites in order to isolate and depress them. But was not this the case with the Jews up to and throughout the eighteenth century? Liberia, already Americanised and with English as its official language, could become the Zion of American negroes, with a tendency to set itself up as an African Piedmont.

 

Antonio Gramsci, Selections From The Prison Notebooks, pg. 21

 

I was once madly in love with the thinking, writing and life story of Antonio Gramsci until I read the above passage in his chapter on intellectuals. It was my first shot of disillusionment with Whyte Marxist Radicals, injected directly into my mind stream. A lesson for young US Black anti-establishment thinkers that even brilliant minds in Whyte bodies covet Whyte Supremacy. Protective racial caveat aside, there is a thread I seek to tease out for our discernment here.

 

The job, duty, responsibility, and obligation of intellectual of any grouping is one of honored space. Whether professional philosopher with published tomes or tenured leisure or public school educator, hands rocking cradle of future citizens. While prestige in US hegemony remains chained to wealth and fame, honor owns its own rite. Glory and bright lights spelling one’s name out to the left, education is a prized position. The advantage of providing education, the higher form of propaganda, is in its authority over critical processes. In extension of present to future, the educator stands as Star Gate, portal to greater social networks. Unfortunately, all too often, the only keys these gatekeepers are allowed to wield are those given to them by constructions of hegemony.

 

There is a paradigm that exists in a Capitalist state such like the United States of America that controls for effects. There is a pattern of human interaction in this society where manipulation occurs. A person of means and power understands that enough other citizens of the State are also desirous of means and power. If a behavior produces a desired result, whether Pavlov’s dogs or some more contemporary example of classic condition, people tend to replicate that behavior. This is socialization. This is for the most part education in the modern United States. The rewards of assimilation can be the office of President of the United States of America.

 

Former educator of some capacity, Barrack Obama(*cough* Daddy Barry Obeezy *ahem*) does serve well to embody this authoritarian model capable of not only a suspension of critical thinking, also an almost violent reaction to critique. His is a model of the Afrikan-Amerikkkan as assimilated Tenth. He models Gramsci’s negro as Afrikan neocolonialist to intimidating proportions. Here is a guy who goes to Ghana as the freshly minted,”Leader Of The New World”(*cue the magical, mystical score here*) and tells the people:

 

“I think part of what’s hampered advancement in Africa is that for many years we’ve made excuses about corruption or poor governance, that this was somehow the consequence of neo-colonialism, or the West has been oppressive, or racism – I’m not a big – I’m not a believer in excuses.”
United States President Barrack Obama quoted from The Telegraph

 

This is Barry Obeezy, the guy that hits the brakes on his own bid for First Not Totally Anglo-Saxon United States’ President to plead with the floor of the Senate to pass George Bush’s 64 Billion Dollar Bailout Bill. Please believe that he is most definitely a believer in excuses. He is able to utilize this fictive kinship rite due to his skin color and a father he never met in flesh. Even with his inability to deploy massive scale assistance to those on the West Coast of Afrika during Ebola breakouts, he most assuredly has massively bombed Afrikan nations like Libya and Somolia. Obama may wear the posture of intellectual educator, but he is tasked with using his skin color and interesting paternal relationship in his position as Western propagandist.

 

His role as Western propagandist, and as Gramsci so disgustingly yet precisely prophecies, allows him to totally disrespect Afrika, disregard their oppression under several European affronts, while also discarding voluminous historical occurrences of the sort. Yet, he is still welcomed with Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter celebrity level of embrace when visiting the continent and even specifically, country of his father’s nativity. Despite a growing national sentiment that reflects their actual polar opposition to Obama’s prescription for Kenya.

 

Just why is this swarthy complected, slightly more melanin toned than the other Harvard Negro, W.E.B. Dubios, capable of such maneuvering? One writer offers a fairly decent beginning point for us to solve this riddle. Murithi Mutiga writing for The Guardian states:

 

There are many reasons why the US president could uniquely get away with the strident message he offered on the problems that hold the continent back. He is, of course, seen as a “son of the soil”, the child of a Kenyan father whose remarkable ascent to the presidency has captivated many on the continent. There are not too many places in the world he will visit and find so many children named Barack Obama.

Murithi Mutiga, “Obama’s strong words for Kenya are welcome. But it’s too little, too late”, The Guardian, 28 July 2015

 

Once again we have this profile of this guy that is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize simply for showing up to work. He is allowed to enter a country and tell them how to make better that which is handlers helped make havoc torn. The audacity of assimilation, for sure. A fictive kinship tie no more materially constructed than dirty skin and a late night phone call from a parent more distant in memory than the spring of his adulthood. An embrace and introduction by a step-sister more related to his wife than to him. A people that fully disagree with every sentiment etched in this historic moment yet celebrating ever word of it. How does one bottle the cognitive dissonance brewing in those folk’s minds? I would like to pour it over a pound of DC kush and sell it to the locals.

 

What of Obama’s critical thinking suspension effects on the US Black? How does a man who speaks to US Blacks more like Bill Cosby embraced more like Young Jeezy? Or should I have written,”by” Young Jeezy?

 



 

There is a lot going on in that particular video, however, I do believe what I would like to hone in on is Jeezy’s admitted political naivete. Antonio Gramsci calls it “backwards”. I personally take offense to that terminology, nor do I consider temporal hierarchy a healthy or even pragmatic measurement, but here the application resonates on at least a conceptually objective manner. Jeezy is the type of individual Gramsci sees as being educated and socialized, lead, by some Black or Black-ish person like Barry Obama. Much like the worshipful crowd of Kenyans praising the dude for condescending hypocrisy, Jeezy does not have much of a reason to connect to Daddy Barry. Except, maybe one, an eponymous hook from what I consider to be Jeezy’s best collection of work at this date:

 

My President Is Black.
Young Jeezy, The Recession

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