Here in Chicago, I regularly meet with a group of friends who call themselves “The Think Squad”; these are men and women who are prominent members of the black community in Hyde Park and the City’s south side. None of them supported Barack Obama’s presidential bid in 2008 but most begrudgingly voted for him because they freely admit race-pride was their motivating factor. These people knew Obama when he was a state senator and saw him do absolutely nothing for blacks in Chicago back then…and they similarly saw Obama do nothing for blacks (or any of his constituents in general) as a United States Senator. The Think Squad has always seen through Obama and continues to speak out about his failings. Expect them, and other blacks coast to coast, to become even more vocal about the “magical first black president” after he loses in November and the anger of “how much that punk wasted” really comes to a boil and people no longer feel intimidated or threatened when the Obamas have left the White House for Hawaii next January. That’s when people will REALLY let it all fly, once the Obamas are no longer even a vestigial presence in Chicago and people have no fear at all in talking about what a sham their marriage is and how the two of them benefitted from affirmative action and white guilt their entire lives.
The problem, for blacks in Chicago, is that the Obamas have actually ruined that white guilt for “the rest of us”, as the Think Squad put it last night at an impromptu after-church-programs dinner I enjoyed with some of the more outspoken “Thinkers” in a little Mexican restaurant near the south side. I try to go to as many of these events as I’m invited to because I always learn something new about how much many blacks actually detest Barack Obama, despite the fact that 95% of black voters are still going to cast their ballots for him in November. ”Look, you just have to understand that if there’s a chance to vote for someone who looks like us on a ticket, especially for president, we ain’t gonna vote for no Romney. You put Allen West on a ticket some time and you’ll have blacks forgetting they were ever Democrat. Put that Mia Love on a ticket and watch blacks go nuts for her as VP or something in the future. Democrat Party “Who?” they will say because if you look at the skin and it looks like yours that’s just how you vote. This is the truth. Am I lying?,” one older Thinker asked the table.
“No, you ain’t lying. That’s just how it is. That’s why people need to THINK. Think about what the Democrats really do for black people. They don’t do S*** and we all know it”, another Thinker said before chomping a big chip with salsa and eliciting knowing nods and smiles from the rest of the table.
As we waited for our food to arrive most Thinkers enjoyed their margaritas and I sipped on my Coke while we talked about how consensus in the black community is that “white guilt has been all used up” and that “they were fools to put all the eggs in one basket with Obama”. I’ve never been clear on who “they” is in a sentence like that and the Thinkers were pretty torn on it themselves. ”They” could be Democrats, who decided they wanted to run the first viable black presidential candidate in 2008 and that person should be Obama (and not Harold Ford Jr., whom the Clintons were actually grooming for years to fill that niche in the future but who ruined his chances for national office by marrying a blonde white woman instead of a black wife “like a Michelle” who’d be described by someone like Snoop Dog as “having a big a***”).
“Harold Ford Junior, or should I say Harold Ford LOSER was a damn fool. He could have been president some day but he married that white woman. You don’t marry a white woman, especially not a blonde, because you lose black voters that way. Black women hate black men that marry white women and they hate those white b****** for stealing our black men”, interjected a grandmother to my right in a gorgeous gray shawl and funky thick-framed glasses. ”Harold threw it all away because he wanted to dunk his donut in the cafe au lait and I hope he’s enjoying that now because he ain’t ever going to be president because of it”.
That line got a lot of laughs at the table, as did most of what Gray Shawl said because it’s always disarming when someone who looks like your favorite teacher in grade school drops food metaphors for sex.
The subject of “using up all the white guilt” is an interesting one that dominated a large part of the conversation as we ate our meal. Speaking openly about this, the Think Squad told me in no uncertain terms that for decades black people have counted on white guilt to “get stuff, whatever we wanted” and that if the government or a corporation or whatever wouldn’t give in to demands from blacks they’d “just scream racism until everyone got scared and gave up”.
‘They’d give up pretty easy too, actually. It was a game people played. You wanted something and you just had to time it right. The City especially would race to get you whatever you asked for if they thought Jesse would show up with his guys and scream and yell about racism if Daley didn’t give them what they wanted”, a Thinker told me about how easy it was for blacks to manipulate the system in Chicago by using threats of “RACISM!” cries to essentially extort Mayor Daley for concessions.
“Daley was smart. He never wanted black people to be picketing anything in Chicago. So all it would take would be a call from Jesse where he’d make the threat and the next day Daley would give in. He was no fool. He didn’t want no trouble. Worked like a charm for thirty years!”, an older Thinker across from me said, between bites of his steak burrito.
I learned that “white guilt” was a finite resource for blacks that many people believe has now been depleted during the Obama presidency. This is something that causes EXTREME anger in black ranks because “Obama didn’t care about what happens to everyone after he’s gone and living in that big house in Hawaii they bought for him”. That’s a reference to the $35 million “retirement estate” that wealthy Chicagoans like Penny Pritzker are working to purchase for the Obamas for occupancy come January 2013 when they are forced to move out of Washington. Like Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos before them, after they leave power they’ll be exiled to the greater Honolulu area to hold court on Oahu and live a life of pampered extravagance as a new Hawaiian royal family for the rest of their days.
“That’s all good for Barack and Michelle, but what happens to the rest of us? We ain’t getting squat from any of this. Worse, we don’t get to exploit the white guilt any more because that’s not there these days. It’s all gone. He done did it. He ruined it for us. White people don’t feel guilty no more and won’t do stuff for us now that they used to do so fast you wouldn’t believe it”, a Thinker in a bright, pretty pink blouse offered. ”All of it is gone. They used it all up to elect him and to scream at anyone who said boo to him in the last four years. White people got used to being called racist all the time and aren’t scared about it anymore. I have no idea how I’m going to get funding for my programs now because I always counted on white people being too scared to say no to anything we needed at work. This is a disaster for the black community and it’s all because they put all the eggs in his basket and he f***ed it all up”.
It might be strange for you to imagine a very nice group of black professionals openly longing for the days when they could use white guilt as a bargaining chip to get things they wanted or needed, but this is just how things worked in the black community for the last forty years and everyone knew it. Think of it like having a little sister, as one Thinker explained to me, and your sibling is scared of spiders. So, if you want to take her cookie from her or to steal away one of her toys, you know you can run up to her with a Halloween rubber spider on a thread and dangle it over her head until she cries because she is so afraid of that spider. She will do anything to get that spider away from her so she will give you whatever you want.
Only thing is…if you dangle that spider over her head too often she starts getting used to it and starts realizing that it’s not that scary anymore…you used it too much…and eventually she’ll snatch it away from you and see it’s just rubber and she won’t ever be afraid again.
“Miss Muffett on her tuffett wised up, whatever a tuffett is I don’t right know”, said Gray Shawl. ”It’s bad for all of us that the spider don’t scare white folk no more. Barack used it too much and those dummies around him didn’t keep it in reserve like we always did before. Now white people aren’t scared and they won’t give in so easily. It’s going to be harder to get money or to scare people in the City to do what we want. No one is scared of black people anymore now like they used to be and that’s a bad thing for our community”.
Think about that. I mean, really think about it. It’s true, isn’t it?
Don’t even think about how cities are extorted by black “community leaders” with threats of accusing the City of being racist…or how big corporations have been shaken down for years by the combined antics of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Henry Gates (the Justice Brothers)…but think about your own personal interactions with a lot of black people at work who have casually played cards like this against you or the big boss in the past. For many years, a lot of white people have been afraid to challenge black coworkers on anything because they were scared the black person would cry “RACISM!”. False accusations of racism have been the go-to defense for bad performance reviews and explanations for workplace conflict because collectively white people have been so scared out of their minds of being labeled a “racist” that they in many cases just went along with whatever the black person wanted to avoid that conflict.
Two or three generations of black people have been taught that if you want something in this country and you receive even the least bit of resistance to it, just accuse the white people standing in your way of being racist and you will get everything you want “and then some”.
Talking to the Think Squad about this is kind of like being a gay man at the table who knows how sex and muscle mass kind of do the same thing in the gay community. The “looks” card is the gay equivalent of the “race card” in that if a gay guy wants something he just has to look great, be in amazing shape, and essentially prostitute his body to get ahead in the world. Many young straight women do the same thing, while they can, using their own looks. Black people’s secret weapon has been their skin color for decades because it’s a card they could always play when they wanted to advance but they just couldn’t do so on merit.
“That’s just when you say, “Oh, is this because I am black?” and then people go running like it’s a fire drill to do whatever you want. It’s funny. But, this doesn’t work as much anymore and it’s because of Barack”, Pretty Pink Blouse admitted. ”i think he ruined it for good. I mean, there’s been a black president. Most white people voted for him. They think they’ve done enough and aren’t afraid anymore”.
“You know how people on TV would say “I have black friends” and that was the thing they’d spit out when someone called them a racist? Well the new thing to say now is “I voted for Obama” and that proves you are not a racist. Ain’t nobody saying they have black friends now. It is all “I voted for Obama” and that is proof you aren’t a racist. People aren’t scared anymore”.
I love the Think Squad. They are hilarious. I have always had a great time with them and leave our meetings stuffed to the gills with great food and thinking about all sorts of amazing things on the long train ride back home to Boystown. Sitting at a table with these prominent Chicago black professionals is kind of like having a meal with David Copperfield, Doug Henning, Harry Anderson, Penn & Teller, and even Harry Houdini…it’s like sitting there and soaking up all the secrets to the magic tricks and getting to see what happens backstage. Once you’re clued in to how things REALLY work, it’s impossible not to see it all the time. In fact, once you see this stuff…you can never “unsee it”.
It’s a simple fact, folks: white guilt really was finite. And it also was a resource that many blacks depended on for survival. It was their ace in the hole and the magic GOLDEN TICKET they always held in reserve when everything else failed and they were about to lose something they wanted…and so they’d just accuse someone white who was in their way of being a racist. If something big was at stake for the community, they’d call up Jesse, or Al, or Henry and they’d band together with other blacks to scream and yell and accuse all sorts of people of being racist to make as much noise as possible. They almost always got what they wanted in a matter of a day or two because white people lived in daily terror of being labeled “racists” by the “Justice Brothers”.
All of this has changed now.
White people are about as scared of false accusations of racism as they are of rubber Halloween spiders.
This applies to the diminished power of the Justice Brothers…but also to rank and file blacks on the ground in cities like Chicago who are realizing that their bosses are no longer afraid of being called racists if they don’t give blacks promotions they didn’t really earn or breaks they don’t deserve when they’ve done something wrong.
It is a whole new ballgame, because Democrats exhausted the national reserve of white guilt to elect Barack Obama and to eviscerate his critics for the last four years. There is just no more white guilt left for blacks to keep using the way they always have and that has created palpable anger on the ground.
Yes, 95% of blacks who head to the polls to vote will be voting for Obama in four weeks because his skin looks like theirs and race-pride is an emotional pull that just can’t be overcome. When Republicans run a black candidate on a national ticket (hopefully in 2020 with Allen West as Paul Ryan’s VP) they too will benefit from race-pride voting and Democrats will be stunned that blacks abandoned them so easily.
But, there’s a large contingent of blacks who voted in 2008 who will not be voting this year.
“I saw them out there shaking their butts four years ago, shouting “It’s the Black House now!” because Obama was going to win and these people had never got up to vote before but they did because they wanted to vote for a black president. Well, that black president ain’t done diddly squat for them just as he ain’t never did nothing while he was a senator or in Washington so just you watch these butt-shakers from the past will be sitting on their butts this time. They ain’t gonna vote and they ain’t giving Old Clem the street money this time neither”, Gray Shawl explained.machine, dems, democr
This is a reference to a precinct captain here in Chicago named Clem who’s called “Old Clem” by locals and who hires the thugs to prowl the neighborhoods on election day to force black people to the polls to vote Democrat. The “street money” is the roughly $2 or $3 million that Democrats typically distribute in Chicago in black neighborhoods to secure wins in urban areas. Each thug hired for the day gets between $100 to $200 to essentially threaten people door to door to make sure they voted. Precinct captains get the list of who has voted already and if it’s a few hours before polls close and you didn’t vote yet, you’ll get a visit from the thugs to “remind you”.
I’ve been repeatedly told by the Think Squad and others that Democrats have made the strategic decision to not pay out “street money” this year to these goons…so black voter turnout in Chicago will be nowhere near what it was in 2008 as a result. Further depressing that number is the simple fact that blacks feel Barack Obama didn’t do anything for them as President…while also making life harder for them by taking away the white guilt they depended on for years.
“This is a big deal. Ain’t nobody talking about it. But it’s real. He’s in big trouble over this, but sadly we’re all in trouble too”, I remember one Thinker telling me as we were leaving the restaurant and saying goodbye last night. ”I don’t know what we’re going to do now that white people aren’t scared of us any more. A lot of people are going to have to fend for themselves and it ain’t gonna be pretty. The magic’s all gone because they used it all up. And what did we get out of it? Nothing. Not a damn thing”.
So much for predictions, eh?
Of course, I used to hang out on the West Side – not the South Side.