But the attitude of far lefties such as John Pilger is no less pernicious because it highlights a patronising attitude towards ethnic minorities. Pilger expects all black and brown people to be revolutionary brothers and sisters, and if they veer away from that stereotype, it can only be because they are pawns of a wider conspiracy. For them, it must be impossible to imagine that ethnic minorities might become successful on their own talents or aspire to be powerful without an obsession with racial solidarity. If anything, it highlights their own need to accentuate racial differences and say the actions of anyone from an ethnic minority should be "true" to their race rather than themselves.
The far left was always going to be disappointed with Obama, because he was, and is, unlikely to follow their radical agenda. But playing the Uncle Tom card is really little different from white racists assuming that an Obama presidency would mean the rebuilding of black militancy or a decline in the country's moral standing. There is an presumption that only these white socialists know what's best for poor ethnic minorities who can't think for themselves.
Some defending Pilger have said that Obama is trying to write black people out of history and adopting the language of the "white ruling classes" of solidarity and patriotism. But this ignores the fact that Obama explicitly brought in that history during his victory speech, tying the civil rights movement to the present by saying that America had a tremendous capacity to renew and change.