I was so impressed by a comment from “Janice” on my blog about Gabby’s hair that I decided to do a follow-up today. Janice observed (quite accurately I think) that “society has programmed black people to hate themselves.” And that’s one reason America’s election of a black president is so important. Barack Obama, whose father was from Kenya and whose wife is an African American from South Chicago, is head of the world’s most powerful country. And that sends an inspiring message to non-white people everywhere.
Barack Obama is not ashamed of his “nappy” hair. Look at the picture above. How cool is that?
Do you see how it provides eloquent assurance to all little black children that they, too, with the hair God gave them, could grow up to be the most important person in the world?
Of course you do!
To me the Obama presidency transcends politics. I interpret it as a message from the Almighty.
One reason for the vitriol and spite that the Obamas have endured is the presence of a black family in the White House. Not so much Obama himself; he is half-white and was once described as “clean and articulate” by a Democratic primary opponent (who shall be namesless because I believe he has a good heart). I think it’s Michele Obama’s mother that provoked the racist rage. She could be the matriarch of any number of African American households.
Of course it’s not just black people who have been programmed to hate themselves, although they’re the most obvious example of the pernicious phenomenon. The “free market” thrives on self-hatred. We are all – white, black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever – submitted to a barrage of propaganda designed to make us so self conscious that we will buy an array of unnecessary products. Women with straight hair use curling irons; women with curly hair rush to buy “relaxers.” Women with small breasts yearn for “enhancements”; women with large breasts get surgical “reductions.”
And who among us, male or female, wouldn’t like to lose a few pounds? (Unless we’re thin, then we want to gain weight.)
We are all victims of relentless and pervasive propaganda. But I agree entirely that black women are the most vulnerable to this kind of vicious exploitation. Given the unspeakable oppression that African Americans (and African Jamaicans) have endured over the centuries, they could not be otherwise.
As Janice observes, the “free market” entrepreneurs have created “a billion-dollar industry that is in the hands of Arabs, Koreans and Indians.”
Perhaps the industry’s days are numbered now that America has a “nappy headed” president with a black family. Perhaps all African Americans will see themselves (or their children) in the White House some day.
Meanwhile, Janice, seeing the situation as clearly as you do, how could you not vote for Barack Obama in November? How could you petulantly throw your vote away on an incnsequential candidate when by re-electing President Obama you could not only protect America from a pack of outrageous looters and bigots but also reinforce the message to the Gabby Douglases of the world that there’s no shame in “nappy” hair.