There are three branches of government. You learn them in grade school: executive, legislative and judicial.
What you don’t learn is that when one of those branches gets occupied by a black president, the other two branches rip him to shreds like he’s Cinderella.
Think about it: Obama is pretty (or, in this case, handsome), came from meager circumstances, and suddenly catapulted into his (fore)father’s favor. Like Cinderella, his image is golden – or at least, it had to have been, since few other black men could have survived the mudslinging of American presidential elections. Obama is Cinderella-special, and he happened upon America like a fairy tale.
Since then, his two sisters (let’s call them Legislative & Judicial) haven’t been able to get over it.
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Quiet as it’s kept, they’re livid with Obama.
As part of their revenge tactics, they ensure he’s overworked. If he accomplishes anything good, they push the goal post just a little bit further.
Every action he takes is a problem for his sister, “Legislative.” He tries to pass health care with her, for example, and she responds: “No, Cinderella, no!” (Of course, as the story goes, he manages to pass health care anyway).
But, it doesn’t stop there. When it comes to the other branch of the American family, the Judicial branch, Obama never seems good enough. When he appoints the first Latina to the Supreme Court, you would think it would be a celebration for Judicial, but instead Obama is reprimanded: “No Sotomayors, no!” When he courageously appoints another woman, Elena Kagan, everyone screams: “She’s too liberal! She’s not liberal enough! No Kagans, no!”
“Do more, Obama. Work harder, Obama. Even when it’s out of your hands, Obama, sweat blood, Obama!” the sisters scream.
Everyone in the House wants Obama alone to clean up every mess–and do it in record time. Clean up Wall Street, they tell him! Stop the BP oil leak! Repair the health system! Fix the auto industry! Afghanistan is a mess! Show more emotion! And, while you’re at it, show the nutty salesperson who keeps knocking at the door your birth certificate.
You think I’m making this story up, don’t you? Well, if you don’t agree with my account that Obama is Cinderella, then at least agree that the “first black” anything or anyone naturally has a much harder time than the usual picks of the lot.
Black models have to work harder for bookings, black entertainers have to work harder for castings, black academics have to work harder for tenure, and so on and so on. It’s simple mathematics. When you’re seen as rare or unfamiliar, you have to work insensibly hard for others to understand you and your glory.
It’s an unfair and ridiculous human phenomenon, but even Chris Rock experiences it every day. In a 2008 performance, Rock recounted: “[My only three black neighbors are] Mary J. Blige, one of the greatest singers of all time, Denzel Washington, one of the greatest actors of all time, and Jay-Z, one of the greatest rappers of all time.” My white neighbor? “A dentist. And he isn’t like the greatest dentist in history either. I had to host the Oscars to get that house in my neighborhood — a black dentist in my neighborhood would have to invent teeth.”
Same thing with Cinderella. She had to work above and beyond her ugly little sisters and find a way to marry the head of the land, in order to have a happy ending. Same thing with Obama. He had to one up Cinderella and become the head of the land. Good luck, Mr. Executive. I, for one, wish you well.
Pretty Obama. Ugly politics.
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