Illustration for article titled Obama: Divide and Get Re-Elected

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, commentators and everyone in between have reacted this week to President Obama's "stop complaining" speech to the CBC, in which he told members, "Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We've got work to do."


In a piece for Uptown magazine, Charles Ellison argues today that the divisive aftermath of the remarks might just be exactly what the president needed. Read an excerpt here:

Politically, objectives were achieved on a number of levels in light of President Obama's re-election bid. Openly chiding disenchanted African Americans is a time-honored national tradition, thereby suppressing any suspicions the President is "too Black" at the expense of his White majority. It's a masterful stroke of bait and switch.


It's also a way to gain his rather disheveled, unemployed and battered Black base back by letting them do political dirty work. The noise from the masses can be loud enough to drown out the voices of his critics and naysayers. In reality, it's like a nasty political encore of Jumping the Broom with age old class conflicts bursting like exposed pimple.

The week long Black national conversation on "the speech" — followed by a persnickety BET interview — was exactly what the President and his political team wanted: for folks to talk about him in a context that wasn’t related to the jobless rate …

Through [the] sermon, the President effectively rallied his troops. The critics are being put on notice to move out of the way.

Read more at Uptown magazine.

In other news: The Most Infamous Public Housing Projects.

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