Via Daniel Larison, here’s a little something from Michael Young: “For a man supposed to embody the triumph of an African-American community long denied its freedom at home, Obama has been unusually reluctant to employ American power – military, ideological, and diplomatic – to assist those abroad denied their freedom.” Larison sort of glosses over this part, preferring to dismember the guy’s actual foreign policy criticisms as is his bailiwick. But really, this is sort of a shocking thing to say when you think about it. Because people who look like Obama used to be slaves, Obama must become a full-fledged liberal hawk to rid the world of all oppression? Not only does it imply that Obama is some sort of race traitor for not going neocon on us (for the record, Young’s a white guy), but it’s such a meaningless and stupid criticism when subjected to a modicum of thought. Do Irish people, who suffered under autocratic British rule for several centuries, have to support every resistance movement with whatever means possible on pain of forfeiting their Irishness? I’ve got news for Young: there’s no group of people that hasn’t ever been under the yoke of some other group, if you go back far enough. At one point, pretty much all of Europe was under the yoke of the Roman Empire. The Middle East had several empires, including the Ummayads and Abbasids, that spanned all of the Arabian Peninsula and Northern Africa. And in Asia there was Genghis Khan. So this criticism applies not only to African-Americans, but to literally everyone on Earth. Not to mention dozens more. Well, that settles it, then. Clearly, the entire world must attack Iran to appease Michael Young.

I seriously don’t see how people can honestly claim that race has nothing to do with criticisms of Obama. Okay, maybe not all of them. But you see it in so many ways, many of which are subtle, like in these sorts of expectations of how Obama ought to behave because he’s black. Really, it’s just Young saying how he thinks black people should see the world and putting it on Obama. Which he apparently is willing to just toss out there under the assumption we’ll be interested in it. Hey, Mike, Pat Buchanan beat you to this shtick by a few decades!

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