By Michael Harriot
Last year at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Obama joked that he didn’t have a Presidential “bucket list.” Instead, he told the audience that he had a “something-that-rhymes-with-bucket list.” Since then he has done the electric slide in Kenya, released dozens of federal inmates imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses, given speeches at two historically Black colleges, sang Amazing Grace at the church where Denmark Vessey led his slave revolt, dropped the mic and gave the universal Black, “much love” sign to Larry Wilmore after the comedian told him “we did it, my nigga.”
Whether you subscribe to the theory that the hostility toward President Obama was racially motivated or not, it is hard to argue that he faced unprecedented opposition to every move he made. Alongside the normal resistance of the political machine was the reality that America’s first Black president had to walk an ever-present tightrope. Any obstinance or tenacity could get him labeled as an “angry Black man.” When he postulated that a high-school kid killed by a neighborhood watchman (even though the child had committed no crime) could have been him 35 years ago, his remarks were called “incendiary.” When he talked about police brutality, the people whose entire platform is reeling back “big government” and curbing interference of the State called him a provocateur.
It is clear President Obama has now entered the nebulous area where his political influence has waned, but he still holds the powers and accoutrement of America’s highest political office and leader of the free world. He is now free to make decisions unencumbered by the usual political motivations of re-election, polling numbers, or fear of his Blackness. As this freedom takes hold, it is becomes increasingly evident that Barack Obama doesn’t give a fuck.
In the vein of this realization, we have assembled a list of suggestions for President Obama now that his fuck supply is officially depleted:
Have a cookout on his last day in office – Not a “beer summit” or a “barbecue”–I’m talking about a real Black cookout. Who would want to be the most powerful man in the world’s most powerful country, if you had to go eight years without a burnt hot dog off the grill? Get Michelle’s mama to make some potato salad and let Sasha make the Kool-Aid. Make sure the cookout is bi-partisan, too. Not only because we need political unity in Washington, but also because I want to see how confused and scared Paul Ryan looks trying to figure out why Obama is so hostile when he slaps down the “big six” and screams “Domino, motherfucker!” I would put a photograph of Obama and Joe Biden playing spades (just to 350) against Eleanor Holmes Norton and Elizabeth Warren on the wall in my living room. We know Elizabeth Warren would never renege, and Joe looks like he can play. When it gets late, he should sneak off and smoke a joint with Bernie Sanders. He doesn’t even have to ask anyone to clean up afterwards…
It’s not like he’s gonna get his security deposit back anyway.
Choreograph an exciting entrance – One of the regrets I have of the Obama Presidency is that he still hasn’t received a proper entrance. The closest he has come is when he marched down the hallway to announce that American forces had killed Osama Bin Laden. One of the lesser known perks of being held in high esteem in Black America is that you get dope entrances. Choirs march in during the pastor’s anniversary. The heavyweight champion gets walk-in music. Even Arsenio emerged backstage from a silhouette. I’m not saying that the president needs to enter a press conference with fireworks through a hydraulic trap door (although that would be kinda dope)–but how about having him march in to the State of the Union with a choir behind him singing Hail to the Chief? I know the song doesn’t have any words, but believe me–any enterprising young choir director could write lyrics in one Monday night practice. Perhaps something equating the Presidential and the Holy Ghost powers. I’m just brainstorming here, but you get my drift.
At the very least, he could roll in like this:
Issue late-term pardons: I’m sure there would be outrage if the President freed Mumia Abu Jamaal or pardoned Assata Shakur, but he should go further. He should free O.J. I believe O.J. killed Nicole Brown Simpson, but he essentially has a life sentence for going into a room and ordering some guys who stole his stuff to go into another room. They called that kidnapping. That’s how they do Black men–they can always convict you for something. I don’t even care that O.J. would be free from jail, I just know it would make a lot of white people’s heads explode. Do you remember how hilarious the Caucasian outrage was after O.J. was found innocent the first time? They were crying in the streets screaming about the injustice of the legal system. We laughed because we knew how it feels. Sigh… Good times.
Give one of the weekly Presidential Addresses from the barber shop – I don’t think that most of America appreciates the fact that Obama keeps a fresh line-up on his low Ceaser. In fact, most of America needed that last sentence translated for them. I know Obama must keep a tight schedule, and he could alleviate this by combining his weekly touch-up with his weekly televised address. I’d love to see him leaned back in the chair with that weird paper band around his neck and a cape over his front, while he talked about the national deficit. Especially if he let people chime in, because there’s always an unheralded Black genius in every Barbershop. He might inadvertently stumble across the solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict live on TV while waiting for his barber. Oh yeah, he’s going to have to wait his turn. The rules to Black barbershops are even higher than Supreme Court precedent. He doesn’t get to skip the line. He’s just the President – not Jesus.
Quit – As a reward for 8 years of loyalty, let Joe Biden serve as president for one day, but don’t resign–Quit. Leave the job like a pissed-off Black employee. Hold a joint sessions of Congress and go off on everyone. Tell the Republicans how they doomed their party by using racism as a political tool to coalesce a narrowing base. Tell the Democrats how their spinelessness has disillusioned the minority voting base they take for granted. Tell them how their intransigent party loyalty hurt the country. Call them “motherfuckers.” Curse a lot. Tell them you never liked them anyway. Tell them that you really want to see what they’re going to do without hate and race to bolster their political arguments. When you’re almost finished, light a Newport, clear your voice, and tell them to kiss your Black ass. Then lean in close and say:
“Fuck all y’all. I quit this bitch!
Make sure you fist bump Michelle as you’re leaving.