And being patient has its limits. However, his remarks indicate discomfort with more radical tactics in achieving it, reducing them to petulant zeal and not a legitimate strategy among the broad scope of tools needed to dismantle oppressive systems. While discussing Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King as examples of patient progress, he freezes them in time. Over time King became more radicalized and questioned integration. Or go back further: despite the negotiations and patience of abolitionists in the s, it was a steady stream of black uprisings, and an entire civil war, that gave abolition laws and the Emancipation Proclamation any teeth.
Pragmatic approaches can coexist with more radical politics. Obama is committed to a notion of reaching across the aisle that may have seemed necessary in , but not so much in The labor movement is experiencing more worker strikes now than in the past 40 years. But Obama has not accepted this evolution. As people demand universal policies for basic needs of shelter, food, freedom from police terror, and economic security, and when wealth inequality is the worst in a century, Obama has to reckon with his own questions.
How is his form of calling out — scolding black, young and progressive movements — bringing about change? Is he part of the solution or part of the problem? For many Americans, the normalization of genuinely leftwing policies is providing the hope and change Obama campaigned on. This is the time for him to finally help achieve it. Play Video.
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