The reason many of us have been critical of Barack Obama’s outrageous $400,000 speaking fee is that it robs us of a fantasy: that sooner or later, the first black president was going to use his considerable powers, in or out of office, to help the economic ravages of the poor, who are disproportionately black.
That Obama’s project was or ever would be racial and economic justice was always a dream – and the sooner we let go of this and recognize Obama for who he is and what he does, the better we’ll all be.
Some people who disagree with me believe I am racist for not lauding Obama’s right to cash in on the presidency the same way the Clinton and Bush dynasties have. I will never deny the representational and psychological value of having had Obama in the Oval Office and his beautiful black family living in the White House. I always liked the guy immensely, even as I’ve criticized the politician.
But when it comes to the economics of systemic racism, I don’t think anyone should earn $400,000 an hour, and I certainly don’t worry about criticizing black people also earning that obscene sum. I’m much more concerned with factors of economic racism such as why white people have 12 times the wealth of black people; why black families would need to work 228 years to build the wealth of white families; why the median wealth of single black women is $5 and how the economic crash of 2008 was an apocalyptic theft of wealth from black homeowners to Wall Street which was never prosecuted.
- Obama Is Using His Presidency to Cash In, But Truman and Carter Refused
- Wall Street Firm Paying Obama $400,000 Faced Internal Controversy After Pocketing Huge 9/11 Settlement
- Barack Obama’s Net Worth Surges After Leaving the White House
- Barack Obama: don’t go chasing Wall Street cash