#IHaveADrone (And No Damn Respect)
If you wanted to embrace your inner Dudebro today on Twitter, look no further than #IHaveADrone. Apparently, hundreds of people have decided to co-opt the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic moment at the March on Washington on the day of its 50th anniversary by tweeting about DRONES!!! while President Obama addressed the crowd. This hashtag distills the typical civil libertarian’s fatal flaw: believing that he will cease to exist if he is not screaming about his pet issues. No matter how tasteless the timing, no matter how offended the audience, the Dudebro’s existential fear compels him to prioritize his issues over yours constantly. And that’s the thing about #IHaveADrone: it’s useless except to re-center everyone’s conversation on the priorities of (largely) white civil libertarian dudes. And on the day Black people are celebrating the March on Washington, there is simply no excuse for that.
Presidents do lots of things, good and bad. President Obama has done lots of things, good and bad. It’s the nature of the job that they cannot do everything right. President Obama, like other presidents, has implemented a destructive and imperialist American foreign policy which has resulted in the deaths of civilians. He has this in common with literally nearly every President in U.S. history. It isn’t right, but it isn’t unique. President Obama has done bad things and he is certainly not perfect.
President Obama is also this country’s first Black President. The fact that a Black man can, as President, address a crowd assembled to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington is of enormous significance. Those gathered there and following on Twitter deserve to enjoy this moment. People at the March on Washington should get to look at 2013 and beyond and say: this work is awful and wrenching, and for every two steps forward, there’s a step back, but there’s been progressive momentum in the last 50 years. Activists need moments where they see their efforts are working. They get very few of them and can burn out very quickly without them. President Obama is not standing before the crowd taking credit for anything, or campaigning, or making promises; he is an American and part of the Black community, and he is celebrating the progress of the past 50 years among that community. That progress is certainly not perfect.
What would the Dudebros prefer? That Black Americans ignore the President’s presence at today’s March, or his speech, because he has done bad things? Why? Because Dudebros really, really care about DRONES!!! and don’t want to listen to what Black Americans really, really care about. Is it disingenuous for any American to enjoy a moment of reflection on society’s progress, because ALL of the progress has not yet been made? American foreign policy has many problems, and its general disregard for civilian life in other countries is one of them. It doesn’t erase the Obama Administration’s policies that have resulted in civilian deaths, however, it does make someone a dick for insisting on pointing it out TODAY.