The arguments Donald Glover is making here is nonsensical. Barack Obama wanting to become president, and then actually becoming president did not make it any more harder than it already is on Black people in this country. If I aspire to be in a socioeconomic position that has always been held and favored by whites, but have not been reluctant about embracing my racial identity, nor shy about confronting racism, then why would my experience appear to be making it harder for black people? Actually it is quite the opposite. We could only be seen as contributing to setting a new precedent by doing away with stereotypical perceptions and disabusing ourselves of the dominant framing of racist ideologies. The fact of the matter is that there remains far too many unnecessary obstacles for a person of color to have to course and navigate through if the goal is to live up to one’s potential.
Comparatively speaking, Glover has badly misspoken about the current plight of Black people in this regrettable instance. Apparently you can be a talented celebrity figure and be misguided and unenlightened at the same time. The lived experiences of police brutality today being captured and shared in the advent of social media and video technology should not be mistaken as worse than those Blacks that have perished or have had endured a far worse quality of life in the past. Undocumented stories do abound and do evidence a racial strife that was far more prolific in the past, especially when such egregious incivility was sanctioned eras ago–when conditions were comparatively more hostile for Blacks.
Any period between the end of the Civil Rights Era and prior to the election of President Obama should also not be confused as some dormant period of hospitable racial relations either. That would be asinine. There has always been a persistent struggle and fight for civil rights and equal justice at work that contribute to our advancement. Therefore, and again, Obama’s presidency is a continuation of that and cannot be seen as making it worse for Blacks.
This apparent “let down” of the first African-American president that some people have mistakenly grief-stricken themselves into being is puzzling to me. This idea that President Obama has “done nothing” or “can’t do anything” is contextually deceiving in terms of expectations. Without going into much detail, I will sum this up conclusively as this. It is highly improbable for change on the magnitude of 1) receiving reparations, or 2) ending institutional racism, or 3) ending racism period in a majoritative democracy like this one in one fell swoop of electing the first black president of the United States. Many so-called Americans are still in denial, quite uninformed, and have unwittingly or wittingly subscribed to the dominant frame (the white frame) as they continue to reap the tremendous benefits sown (with white privilege, affirmative actions, and appropriations in tow) from a racialized and violent American history and society.
In fact, what this presidency has shed light upon is what has often been hidden in the dark from plain sight or has been glossed over in reporting. The institutional racial discourse has now rightfully received far greater attention and extensive examination than it has ever before, which brings us definitvely much closer to finding a resolve to racism in the future for humanities sake. But simply put there is just a whole lot of misinformation and misinterpretations being rambled off in this somewhat influential and popular “Breakfast Club” interview.