During the election much was made of the Obama candidacy in the context of the cultural myth of the “magic negro,” a figure in film and literature who aids the clueless white protaganist and helps advance the plot of the drama through preternatural wisdom or even a touch of genuine magic, with a bag of tricks from which he can pull inspiration, platitudes and even miracles. Think Will Smith in Bagger Vance or Morgan Freeman in more roles than you can count. The tradition even goes back to Bill Robinson holding Shirley Temple’s hand and sharing his wide-eyed wisdom with the curly-headed waif. And it’s okay to use the term because it was coined by Spike Lee.
With a nation in crisis and lacking leadership, it’s understandable that people would turn to someone who made all the promises which politicians always offer, backed up by the additional weight of this pervasive cultural stereotype which we seem to have come to believe in on a subconscious level. Obama took on the mantle of the Deus ex Machina who would solve all of our problems for us with a wink and some wisdom and a touch of magic and it helped him win the election, though it may have set up some unrealistic expectations.
In reality Barack Obama is not a literary convention and he’s not magical. He’s not even Morgan Freeman. He’s a real person with real limitations in the real world. He has come to the presidency at a time of enormous challenges and he clearly has no magic, no preternatural wisdom and maybe no more of a clue than the average white guy. Perhaps most troubling is that President Obama may be buying into his own PR. He seems to think he actually has magical powers, because it would take magic or a miracle for the nation to survive the massive level of debt which he has laid upon it — more than $34,000 for every man woman and child in the nation.
In his first 100 days in office President Obama and his spend-happy playmates in Congress have obligated the nation to more spending and more debt than George W. Bush, whose literary counterpart might be Simon Lagree, was foolish enough to engage in during two terms in office and while fighting two expensive wars. We’re in a hole so deep that with a shrinking GDP there isn’t going to be enough money to pile up so we can climb out of it without the intervention of some supernatural force. Debt is very real and the “magic negro” is a device of fiction. It’s time to stop wishing for magic and start looking for real solutions.
Where is the money going to come from? Not from the Chinese who have already sworn off further US loans. Not from the Europeans who are in even bigger financial trouble than we are. Not from businesses who are shutting their doors or relocating offshore. Not from the people who are already taxed to their knees. No. After 100 days of magical spending and maniacal promises, there’s just one thing left in Obama’s bag of miracles and it looks like a baby. A baby which represents all of the future generations who will be born into debt slavery as little more than revenue generators for the bloated debtor state which Obama will leave behind as his legacy. I think I can hear that baby crying.