Professor, economist and top reparations scholar Dr. Sandy Darity has never been one to mince words about the state of Black America. The Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy at Duke University, Darity has gone on record in the past to criticize former President Barack Obama’s legacy as it relates to Black people. In an op-ed in The Atlantic, as well as an interview with CBC, Darity gave some of the reasons for his critiques.
Here are seven quotes from top reparations scholar Dr. Sandy Darity on Obama’s legacy and Black America.
“I don’t view Barack Obama’s practices as having saved the American economy. … I was hoping that his response to the crisis would take the form of direct actions on behalf of the folks who were most severely harmed by the downturn.” —Dr. Sandy Darity
“I think there’s a certain kind of temperament that is characteristic of Barack Obama that is non-confrontational and in some respects is relatively passive. He certainly is not willing to talk about — in a very open and direct way — the nature of racism in American society and how it has continued to affect Black America . . . He’s a person of moderation, in a situation that required something much more dramatic.” — Dr. Sandy Darity
“The failure of Barack Obama to explicitly and openly confront discrimination and racism in American society left the door wide open for the ascent of a strong and virulent white supremacist movement in the United States that has put somebody in the presidency who is appointing people to cabinet positions who are openly hostile to the prospect of racial equality.” — Dr. Sandy Darity
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“I think it will be two-fold. I think there will be a symbolic legacy, associated with the importance that many people attach to the breakthrough of having a black man elected as president of the United States. But, unfortunately, I think the substantive consequence of his presidency will be the rise of the Trump regime.” — Dr. Sandy Darity
“I had a queasy feeling about Barack Obama’s candidacy from the moment I heard his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech that lifted him into national prominence.” — Dr. Sandy Darity
“Having a black president oppose reparations does not help the cause, particularly when that black president makes the case that an important source of black disadvantage is black folk’s own behavior. But black America should have paid attention to the experience of post-colonial black Africa and the Caribbean; leaders who look like you do not necessarily act in ways that benefit you.” — Dr. Sandy Darity
“He invoked the claim that black kids are less likely to work hard in school because they’re afraid of being accused of acting white. This has always struck me as a very, very peculiar argument and a very dangerous one.” — Dr. Sandy Darity
“It has been damaging to have Barack Obama, a black man speaking from the authoritative platform of the presidency, reinforce the widely held belief that racial inequality in the United States is, in large measure, the direct responsibility of black folk.” — Dr. Sandy Darity