Bernie Sanders Against Reparations

2206 Words 9 Pages
Despite priding itself to be a nation that champions freedom, democratic values, and equality for all, America possesses a deplorable and shameful history in the maltreatment and devaluation of black lives. In Why Precisely Is Bernie Sanders Against Reparations, Ta-Nahesi Coates asserts that because “from 1619 until at least the late 1960s, American institutions, businesses, associations, and governments—federal, state, and local—repeatedly plundered black communities,” reparations are a necessary, “indispensable tools against white supremacy.” Though critiquing Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, Coates’ assertion regarding the federal government’s supposed atonement for the perpetuation of black inferiority can and should be applied to …show more content…
As a result, America was naïve to believe that his entrance into office would transcend the nation- one that was originally founded on the devaluation and enslavement of nonwhite lives- into a post-racial society. The black community, in specific, was overly idealistic to believe that Obama’s presidency would magically abolish the white hegemony and black inferiority that has plagued the nation before it’s independence in 1776. Although symbolizing hope and racial progress for millions of lives, especially the lives of African Americans, Obama’s embodiment of an iconic negro, failure to address racial issues that disproportionately affect black lives, and own repetitive pronouncement of being America’s president confirm that, despite the hopes and expectations of African Americans, the improvement of black lives was not a primary goal in Obama’s presidency. As a result, African-Americans should not rely on Obama to enforce the improvements they’d like to see; instead black leaders and community members should devise new tactics that will effectively address and advance their objective to enhance black …show more content…
This shortcoming opposes the political ideology of black nationalism, in which proponents such as Malcolm X embodied strength and power for the Black Power Movement, and problematically promotes the naïve notion of colorblindness in colorblind ideologies. Dawson, in Black Visions, defines black nationalism to “include support for African-American autonomy and various degrees of cultural, social, economic, and political separation from white America. Race is seen as the fundamental category for analyzing society, and America is seen as fundamentally racist.” Depicted as an opponent of this black political thought, Obama emphasizes America’s unity and oneness in a variety of his speeches. For example, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama confidently asserts, “Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and a white America and a Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” Obama resurfaces the nation’s unanimity in his 2008 Yes We Can speech when he says, “In this country, we rise and fall as a nation, as one people.” Beautifully crafted, both speeches inspired nationalistic pride; however, Obama’s repetitive parallel of Americans, white and black individuals in particular, problematically ignores the

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