"I do think there is one undeniable good that has come from an Obama victory: let it never be said that this country is racist... I know the sense of pride, the sense of justice, the sense of relief and the sense of happiness African-Americans - and Americans in general - must be feeling right now. A glorious day, indeed." -- Val Prieto, "No Hard Feelings," Babalú, November 5, 2008
Val's initial reaction to the election of Obama was to rejoice at the ecstasy which it seemed to inspire in the black community. He was too preoccupied with showing that he was not a racist to realize that the election of Barack Obama was the greatest calamity that ever befell African-Americans. Blacks rejected Socialism in the 1930s when all the liberal intelligentsia were pushing it down their throats determined that they should be the engine of revolution in this country (and, of course, its first casualties). Their deep religiosity, common sense and distrust of the promises of whites saved them from being used by Communist agitators to promote an agenda that would have led to the reprise of slavery.
Black intellectuals, who were closer in formation to their white counterparts than the black masses, did embrace Communism as a universal panacea for not just America's but the world's ills. Although the Communists co-opted men of real achievement like W.E.B. DuBois and J. Phillip Randolph, they never promoted them as their standard bearers, preferring the likes of Bayard Rustin (MLK's advisor) and Frank Marshall Davis (Obama's boyhood mentor), because they were malleable and completely reliable, not "race men" but party men. In Obama, whose principal achievement is to have attained the presidency with the least qualifications of any major party candidate in history, they found both a tabula rasa and an unknown quantity (to everybody but themselves), willing to say or do anything, even denounce comrades or flaunt Socialist dogma, in order to enthrone it when in power.
Ideologically, Barack Obama is a clone of Bernie Sanders, the only self-avowed Socialist in Congress. He differs from Sanders only in his race. Skin color should not trump ideology and it is hardly a "glorious day" when it does. The essential is always more important than the superficial, and nothing is more superficial than pigmentation. Nevertheless, blacks who took pride in Obama's pigmentation (which is the only thing that most shared with him) did not embrace his socialist agenda, but believed, or at least hoped, that his election would deal a death blow to racism in this country. Val, as we have seen, regards Obama's election as proof that racism is now a dead letter in America.
In fact Obama's election does not signify the end of racism in America. On the contrary, his presidency will likely lead to its resurgence because most Americans see him as a black and not as a Socialist, and when the reaction comes against his policies, it will be directed at the black and not at the Socialist. In the end, it may be blacks who are unjustly scapegoated for the national hecatomb which the next four years will bring down upon all Americans regardless of color. The black vote did not elect Barack Obama: it is whites in traditionally Republican states who provided the margin of victory for him. But it is blacks who will suffer unfairly and for an indeterminate future if Obama blows it. And his Socialist proclivities will pretty much guarantee that he will. Big time.