Black People : Obama’s Selma Song: America Is Not Racist – It’s Just Ferguson


Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2009
by Glen Ford
No matter how many Black people are shot down in the streets by cops, no matter how far Black
people fall relative to whites in the economy, Barack Obama has always denied that racism is endemic
to the United States. He amended that slightly, in Selma this weekend. “Obama now admits that
racism had once been endemic to the country, but that it is now limited to Ferguson-like localities.”

“Obama’s 2015 Selma paradigm meshes with his 2007 fiction that Blacks had already
traveled 90 percent of the road to equality.”

Barack Obama returned to Selma, Alabama, last Saturday, with an updated version of his speech on
race delivered eight years ago, during another commemoration of the 1965 march over the Edmund
Pettus Bridge. Back then, presidential candidate Obama told the crowd at Brown Chapel AME Church
that Blacks had already come “90 percent of the way” to racial equality. He was implicitly predicting
that the election of himself as the first Black president would propel African Americans to 100 percent
equality, completing the journey and marking the end of racial politics in the United States. It was a
bald-faced lie, by any statistical measurement. Blacks had never earned more than 66 cents on the
white dollar, and would fall much further behind before Obama set foot in Selma, again.
Catastrophically, Black median household wealth would collapse to one-twentieth that of whites
under his watch.

A year after his first Selma speech, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair would force candidate Obama
to give a widely acclaimed presentation on race, in Philadelphia. Obama trashed his former pastor
for harboring a “profoundly distorted view of this country — a view that sees white racism as endemic”
– a term defined as “belonging or native to a particular people or country.” He denied that racism had
ever been endemic in the U.S.

Last weekend, Obama returned to the subject of endemic racism. “What happened in Ferguson may
not be unique, but it’s no longer endemic, or sanctioned by law and custom; and before the Civil
Rights Movement, it most surely was,” he told the huge throng in Selma.

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