Obama’s Crooked Game

Barack Obama thinks he’s a magician. Magicians have always been very popular, so it’s no mystery that millions of people are fascinated by the man, and especially that millions of African Americans are desperate to see him pull off the biggest trick of all – become president of the thoroughly racist United States of America.

Obama is smart, but his basic game plan is quite simple. Knowing full well the group most hostile to Black progress in the U.S. has always been white males, he aims to neutralize much of this demographic by assuring them an Obama presidency would be aggressively race-neutral. In practice, that means Obama ascribes all racial offenses to the past, where the only guilty white people are dead. The accumulated white wealth and privilege that is the result of hundreds of years of racist exploitation also was due to actions (crimes) of people now mostly dead. Obama forgives the dead racists, and has never expressed any intention of readjusting the ten to fifteen to one disparity in median white to Black household income. Yes, Obama knows perfectly well that wealth disparity, if not aggressively dealt with as a racial problem, will take centuries – if ever – to disappear. But Obama accepts the racial status quo as a fait accompli that can only be altered by methods that do not penalize living white people who benefited from their dead ancestors’ crimes. In practice, this means Obama would leave American race relationships frozen in time.

White men, the recipients of the most unearned privilege, wealth and power over the four centuries of English-speaking settlement (theft) in North American, therefore have nothing to fear from Barack Obama. Obama makes it quite clear that he not only considers white men’s riches to be sacrosanct, but he believes every word of the mythical origins of the white settlers who seized power from the British Crown. These men were “farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787,” said Obama. No mention of slaveholders or slave traders in the bunch. By dishing out a historical narrative of race in America that omits the theft of the continent and genocide of Native Americans Obama tacitly accepts the lie that most European settlers were escaping religious persecution – a fairy tale that even children’s schoolbooks seldom tell anymore – and pretends that the whites acquired Indian lands by legal means. But what’s the point of arguing about such matters, since everyone involved – especially the Indians – is dead.

Having taken “off the table,” so to speak, almost every aspect and resource of American life that over many generations created a thoroughly racist society, Obama then encourages Americans to engage each other in mutual self-help, all the while deftly avoiding any speech that might upset whites, especially males, jealous of their privileges. “I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.” What does that mean? Nothing, except that people should be nicer to each other and avoid hurting anybody’s feelings by bringing up racial privilege.

Obama’s central message for white consumption, here, is that everybody’s story is equally compelling, whether you are the grandchild of slaves or slaveholders. This is sometimes called “moral equivalence,” and is especially favored by whites of European immigrant descent who remember how hard their fathers worked at jobs that wouldn’t hire native-born, English-speaking Blacks. But hey! Everybody’s families have had problems, right? Forgetaboutit!

Obama claims his political beliefs are based on an “unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people.” Of course, he never asks white people to acknowledge, let alone give up an iota of privilege in order to even the score after all these years, so we’ll have to accept the existence of this vast reservoir of decency on faith.

Even Obama can’t deny that slavery was an evil institution – although he abhors the very idea of slave descendants making claims to present day remuneration for their dead relatives’ free labor. After all, that would tend to create unnecessary tensions that might stand in the way of the quest for change. The quest for change should be calm, quiet, cost nobody anything, and allow everyone to leave with a good feeling.

Preserving good feeling requires that Black people avoid at all cost telling the truth about the United States. Euro-Americans have an absolute right to tell bald faced lies, especially at the expense of Blacks. That’s Obama’s version of democracy – the sacred right to lie, especially about dead people.‘

Obama’s great friend and once-mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright has gone beyond the pale, and represents a one-man threat to racial harmony in the United States. Rev. Wright went a lot farther than speaking out “against perceived injustice…They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice.” Oh, no. “Instead” Rev. Wright “expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic.”

Let’s take this slowly, so as not to distort Obama’s core beliefs. He denies that racism is or has been “endemic” to American life. The MSN Encarta dictionary defines “endemic” as “characteristic of a particular place, or among a particular group, or area of interest or activity.” Since slavery was legal in every single colony that became the United States in 1776, it is safe to say that slavery was “endemic” to the original United States. Nevertheless, Obama is outraged that Rev. Wright has the nerve to “elevate what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America” – in other words, Rev. Wright is more angry about slavery than the nice things that white folks did for Blacks during and after slavery. What those nice things were, Obama doesn’t mention, so we’ll have to take that on faith, too.

“Reverend Wright’s comments,” says Obama,” were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.”

It is at this point that I suspect Obama is playing stupid, but maybe he’s just too sophisticated for my limited understanding. It appears he’s saying that Rev. Wright and other Black complainers are responsible for divisions in the nation. If memory serves, it was white folk who extended Jim Crow and all manner of racial division to every aspect of American life, including the toilet bowl, but Barack Obama maintains Blacks have become the present day divisionists. Exactly what year that happened, he doesn’t say. However, this great division by Blacks has, according to Obama, interfered with “two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change.” Black America overwhelmingly opposed the two most recent wars; I suppose that amounts to creating divisions. Blacks haven’t blown up anything on the scale of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, but maybe our constant complaining about racism scares people into fearing we have divisive intentions. We must admit, however, that high Black unemployment and home foreclosures, as well as high infant mortality and shorter life spans, tend to clutter up the landscape with unattended Black bodies, alive and dead, a source of unnecessary divisions in society and stinking to high hell in the warming climate, for which we are also culpable. We should all thank the eloquent and wise Barack Obama for pointing out our collective failure to keep track of all these excessive, bloated Black bodies.

“Rev. Wright is more angry about slavery than the nice things that white folks did for Blacks during and after slavery. What those nice things were, Obama doesn’t mention?

One has to admit, Obama worked extra hard to earn such an historically unprecedented proportion of white male votes. He admonishes us that “to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.” Obama would have us cease and desist all criticism of what might appear to be racist behavior, since there always exists a small chance that a few of us might be mistaken. Such mistakes by Blacks could cause climate warming to go entirely out of control, not to mention war with China.

Quite understandably, white males appeared to love Obama’s “race” speech. No wonder. Every conceivable mode of eliminating racial disparities has been methodically taken off the table by the Illinois Senator. We are left only with an opportunity to conduct a “dialogue” about race, as long as we do so politely and without a hint of redistributive thought or intention.

Marlin Adams seems to have figured out Obama’s complicated racial diplomacy. “Barack Obama, as the Grand Mediator, is proposing a racial settlement agreement, Black folks get acknowledgment of our historical struggles, and recognition of that legacy’s impact on our condition; White society, for its willingness to listen, gets a cease and desist of the criticism of America’s racial past, and full allegiance to a White ethnocentric version of the future.”

So far, I have heard nothing of facilitating the release of some of the one million Black men and women held captive behind bars on any given day in America. Any references to crim I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light?e – or innocence of crime – causes great stress among many white males. Therefore, the Black American Gulag, the largest on the planet, is ineligible for dialogue.

Malcolm X, in the year before he was assassinated, found himself and other Black notables under pressure to “sit-down” (rather than stand up) and have calm deliberations about what should be presented to white authorities. Sounds very much like Obama’s admonitions that Blacks and whites engage in some meaningless “dialogue.” “They’ll have you sitting in everywhere,” said Malcolm. “It’s not so good to refer to what you’re going to do as a ‘sit-in.’ An old woman can sit. An old man can sit. A chump can sit. A coward can sit. Anything can sit. Well you and I been sitting long enough, and it’s time today for us to start doing some standing, and some fighting to back that up.”

But then, Malcolm was not a modern Negro like Senator Obama. Neither was the great Frederick Douglass, who had little patience for idle sitters or time-wasting dialoguers. Called upon by white “friends” in Rochester to speak on the 4th of July, 1852, Douglass delivered a speech that would have caused Barack Obama some sort of seizure:

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Clearly, Obama would conclude that Frederick Douglass specialized in unnecessary racial divisions. However, the illustrious Mr. Douglass was an efficient speaker, who did not waste words on fools, no matter how well-meaning. When whites demanded that Douglass convince them just how bad slavery was, he recoiled. “I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light?”

In the same manner, what is it about pervasive racism in American life that honest people do not already understand? What does Barack Obama think is within acceptable bounds of dialogue, and what is not? Is he aware of some racial mysteries that have evaded the rest of us? To tell the truth, Obama couldn’t manage to keep his own hind parts from being singed when he tried to find some middle ground between the vicious, thieving, genocidal, slaveholding God revered by most white Americans, and the truthful Black narrative of four centuries in an American hell.

Barack Obama has literally nothing to contribute to such a conversation.

Glen Ford is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, where this article first appeared. He can be contacted at: Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com. Read other articles by Glen, or visit Glen's website.

43 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. E. R. Bills said on March 28th, 2008 at 8:13am #

    wow, Mr. Ford. your blinders continue to amaze me.

    several years ago, scientists taught a monkey to paint. left to it’s own devices, what do you think the monkey painted first?

    the bars of it’s cage.

    we are not so far removed from our anthropoidal cousins that we don’t do the same thing. most of us never get past the bars of our cage. we obssess over obstacles and persecutions, past, present and future. we allow the bars around us, real or imagined, to govern us, define us, warp us. and we often disregard, ignore or refuse to acknowledge the cages and bars that plague others, white, black, brown, male, female, homosexual, etc. I submit that we’re more than the bars of our individual cages and that we should work together to reform the entire prison.

    unfortunately, Mr. Ford’s writing is an anthem for separatism and extremism, and he presents it with the narrow-minded zeal of any separatist, elitest KKK mouthpiece.

    surely he has more to contribute to our common causes. surely his formidable rhetoric could be better put to use.

    he all but comes out and says Obama is a pathetic Uncle Tom–but Obama is no more an Uncle Tom than MLK or Bob Marley or Tiger Woods. And Malcom X, especially after his visit to Mecca and his multiracial awakening would not have condemned Obama–he would have been behind him 110%.

    Is Ford’s “Black” Agenda crafted towards progress or divisiveness, frustrating societal impotence and inflammatory separatism? regardless, his writing is hard to wade thru, apply constructively or consider relevant in the big scheme of things.

    it’s a bummer his talents are wasted on tunnel vision.

  2. hp said on March 28th, 2008 at 9:38am #

    Glen, you’re your own worst enemy.
    You don’t convince or enlighten people by beating them over the head with how horrible they, their parents and their race is. Especially if it isn’t true and in a majority of cases, it isn’t.
    In case you haven’t noticed, for every poor black person there are a hundred poor white people.
    Just as poor, just as irrelevant, just as dissed.
    None of them owned slaves, lynched anyone or got rich on the backs of blacks.
    To beat these people up and expect results is gonna get you nowhere quick.
    What do you think of the hidden fact that a higher percentage of free blacks owned slaves than did whites? Ask the average person on the street and they’d think you were crazy. It’s true though. Less than TWO percent of whites owned slaves, Glen. TWO percent! You’ll condemn 100% of whites, past, present and future for the sins of those two percent?
    One would think that even one black owning slaves would be unthinkable. Think again.
    Oh, and slave holding among many Native American tribes was also matter of fact.
    As was slave holding in Africa, China, Rome and Greece.
    The truth sucks Glen. And for a lot of people; white, black, red and yellow, life sucks too.

  3. Maxwell Black said on March 28th, 2008 at 10:05am #

    I would like to ask E.R. Bills this: do rich white people fight for their personal interest at the expense of other groups? Do they fight to have their culture and version of historical events dominate the minds of all? I could go on…

    My point is that from the days of slavery to now, whenever black people simply point out the obvious systemic racism in this country and fight for their collective interest they are regarded as..GASP…ungrateful! From the slave ships, to the ghettos or to death row, no matter how awful the situation black people are told to “turn the other cheek.”

    Even when somebody like Glen Ford, who maybe isn’t directly oppressed, wants to speak out in solidarity for those who are, he is called an “extremist!”

    “Come on Glen Ford, hop on the love train of one-sided togetherness! If we all hold hands and sing ‘We shall overcome’ some love will trickle down to South Central and Mumia’s prison cell.”

    So E.G. I’m all for “reforming” (smashing) the entire prison, but I won’t condemn Ford for honing in on the black agenda. All any of us can do is fight from where we stand.

    In this case it isn’t absurd to paint the bars of a cage. The cage is real.

  4. Micah Pyre said on March 28th, 2008 at 12:32pm #

    Unbelievable, the first two comments from E.R. Bills and hp in this thread.

    I have to guess that they are Obama supporters, and perhaps even paid or voluntary “blog police” who roam the political blogs and sites to counter any posts or essays which criticize Barack Obama.

    Mr Ford has hit bullseye after bullseye in this essay, and naturally that incenses an Obama supporter or someone who intends to gain financially or connection-wise (the currency of DC is connections — for the purpose of climbing career ladders).

    Anyone who sees Barack Obama as an agent of change is deluded. Mr Obama has capitulated to the Bush-Cheney Agenda at every opportunity since he gained a seat in the US Senate. He did not advance the cause of impeachment, despite many counts provable against Mr Bush and Mr Cheney. He did not refuse to provide further money disbursements for conducting the Iraq project that Mr Bush and Mr Cheney are pursuing. He did not refuse to grant immunity to the mercenary contractors like Blackwater. He did not refuse to grant immunity to the telecom industries for their unConstitutional spying on Americans. He did not refuse to let Mr Bush distort the purpose and practices of the FISA courts.

    Let us look at Mr Obama’s financial supporters. They are from the same segments of American society that support Mr Bush and Mr Cheney. They are large corporate business entities, and they are extremely wealthy individuals. None of them has any financial interest in seeing the present course changed. Therefore none of them would put money behind a candidate who would change the course. This is self-evident.

    Let us look at Mr Obama’s advisors. His primary advisor on matters of foreign policy is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Mr Brzezinski is a supporter of the Bush-Cheney Agenda. How will this man’s advisory efforts result in a change?

    And most damning of all is Mr Obama turning his back on the eloquent, passionate and well-informed sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What purpose is served by denouncing Reverend Wright? The only purpose served is to obscure the truths told by Rev. Wright. That is the ONLY purpose. Mr Obama claims it is about “unity” at a time when we need “harmony.” Any person who is thinking clearly knows that unity cannot be achieved where there is injustice, long-felt and never properly addressed or repaired.

    American power never yielded without a struggle, a struggle of words (using emotionally charged rhetoric, as did Fredrick Douglass and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and a struggle of resistance — a refusal to accede where there are pleas for “unity.”

    Mr Obama is a charlatan. He does not represent change. He represents continuation of the status quo ante.

    If any Black person of voting age in America wants to see a Black person in the White House, that person ought to consider supporting Cynthia McKinney. Ms McKinney demonstrated that she did not want to pursue the Bush-Cheney agenda, and for her efforts she was hounded with false reporting in the press and other “news” media, and railroaded out of her seat by the Georgia Democratic Party — by her own party! Ms McKinney introduced impeachment papers and worked to get them heard. Ms McKinney worked to repair our current problems.

    Mr Obama will not.

    The posts of E.R. Bills and hp want us to ignore the truth about Barack Obama. They want to get people behind Obama. The result of such support is a continuation of the Bush-Cheney Agenda.

  5. HR said on March 28th, 2008 at 1:13pm #

    Great article. Some of the responses show just what a dream world many continue to live in, completely deluded to reality, or perhaps pretending they are, or maybe it’s a conscious effort to hide their own intolerance. Racism is rampant, and still endemic, in the U.S. and lurks barely beneath the surface, ready to break through at the slightest scratch. It includes racism against blacks but is not limited to them, applying as it does to anyone who is not pink-skinned. It occurs throughout the society, from the (self-imposed) ignorant to the PhD.

    A newcomer to the “circle”, any group, is subjected to a test of sorts, a feeling out. Little hints, like reference to stereotyped behaviors or physical traits, or references to Affirmative Action or welfare or laziness, are dangled and the response of the newbie noted. If the response is accepting, in no time at all, racial epithets enter the conversation, as trust is established, and the charade is dropped. The minority of choice here in the Rocky Mountain region is the American Indian, followed closely by Latinos. One the West Coast, they include blacks, Latinos, and Asians. And so it goes.

  6. Eric Patton said on March 28th, 2008 at 1:24pm #

    I can only assume E.R. and hp are both white.

  7. hp said on March 28th, 2008 at 2:00pm #

    Ditto, Eric.

  8. Elizabeth said on March 28th, 2008 at 2:01pm #

    Thanks for such an insightful article.

    It’s not easy to wake up from the lies and illusions we’ve been conditioned to believe since childhood.

    One of the truths not addressed in our history books pertains to the reality that a certain small group of wealthy privileged white male businessmen, through the generations have used deceit, force, dishonesty of epic proportions to seize power that doesn’t belong to them. And although we continue to see them as legitimate and allow them to take from everyone else, including of course other white males who are in the same position as the rest of us – to be used, maninpulated, swindled and exploited by this same group of plunderers, one would hope more of us will see the writing on the walls and stop them before the entire planet is destroyed.

    We all have to wake up. We all need to break out of our comfort zones and reach out and get to know others who are different from us and/or from different backgrounds and cultures. We need to stop allowing ourselves to be abused and squeezed by these wealthy businessmen at the top and we need to begin expanding our hearts, our minds and our concern for one another.

    With regards to the article. Of course Obama is a tool. So is Hillary and so are the rest in Washington who choose power over persons and material wealth over true happiness and meaning in life. Its an empty life that they have been seduced into believing will someday bring them happiness, which they never ever find.

  9. dan e said on March 28th, 2008 at 3:08pm #

    hp, you disappoint me. ER Bills, thank you for providing a perfect example of what BAR exists to combat: rampant stupidity.

    Assume Nothing, hp: betcha plenty your Poor White friends DID, or their parents did, actively participate in Lynching Bees & all other sorts of racist behavior activity. But all this is so corny. All this ground been gone over and gone over, books, essays, monographs, UN committees, classes, seminars, encounter grps, over and over.

    You got some issues need to deal with, hp. I like you, lotta the stuff you post — but you got to get more hipper in certain areas. We got Joel Kovel to help Jews overcome their Inner Zionazi, but dunno who to recommend to help you overcome Whiteyism. Maybe somebody else will step up the plate?

    ER Bills I dont like you at all, whatever color you aren’t. Just my subjective opinion of course, I AM entitled to esspress my opinion, right? My opinion is, you either a flaming racist or a Uncle Tom, in spades. You make as much sense re Politics as my dog makes re Hegel.

    & I ain’t got no dog:)

  10. Kay said on March 28th, 2008 at 4:13pm #

    Thank you Glen – for hitting the nail on the head for me. Although I have to say I thought Obama’s “race speech” was laden with more honesty than I expected, it was still mostly a disappointment.

    I felt he could have expressed his ideals about “unity” and “helping each other” without denouncing or disavowing Jeremiah Wright’s comments, which were 100% accurate. The man’s mentality is not a relic of the civil rights movement. I myself hold the same views, a 33 year old hispanic woman who educated herself on the history of America. As far as Rev. Wright’s comments, all I can say is: we hold these truths to be self-evident. Naturally, I don’t think we should stay trapped in this mindset or harbor/nurture hatred, because it does not good, doesn’t change anything. But I think the reverend is within his right to preach what he thinks it’s important for his congregation.

    Now, one thing I detest is when whites compare black prejudice/racism to white racism. If 90% of the black population (and this is not the case AT ALL) were racists against whites, it would be 1. fully understandable, and 1. JUSTIFIABLE. Remember, blacks were the ones oppressed/murdered/psychologically crippled, not whites.
    And yet still, I think most blacks are open to white folks, even in African nations and tribes, you still see blacks welcoming white folks into their communities. Whites are not like that. You can still go to European nations and encounter outright racism. So there is something to be said about racism being endemic to white people.

    That is not to say there aren’t many conscientious folks of European descent, but we’re making a specific point here.

  11. Eric Patton said on March 28th, 2008 at 4:52pm #

    hp wrote:
    > Ditto, Eric.

    Dude, all you have to do is click on my name right above this sentence to be redirected to my ZSpace page — and a picture of my warm, smiling mug.

  12. hp said on March 28th, 2008 at 5:35pm #

    Lets see, what did I do wrong to be so quickly judged and found deviant?
    Oh yes, I told Mr. Ford that, in my opinion, beating people over the head with the same stuff over and over is counter productive. The same thing dan e said. Gone over and over.
    Next, I pointed out the fact that free blacks, indians, chinese, greeks and romans all held slaves. Not that it’s ok because only a insane person would think that. I simply said 98% of whites never held slaves. Is that bad? I’d think it was a good thing. Then dan e accused my relatives and friends of being racists with nothing to base that on except, well, I don’t know. I guess he assumes all whites are automatically racist. a racist thought if there ever was one. Did anything I’ve ever said on my previous posts ever lead anyone to believe anything but the opposite? Whether you all like it or not, think it doesn’t matter or not I’m telling you I grew up with blacks across the track, over the bridge where I lived. They were my neighbors, ny friends and still are. You all need to check your knees for excess jerking.

  13. hp said on March 28th, 2008 at 5:47pm #

    Eric, you’re a fine looking fellow.

  14. Calm said on March 28th, 2008 at 8:38pm #

    The president of America is simply a salesperson.

    And, with the crumbling economy, it would be important for America to have an extremely good Salesman in the White House.

    It is Take-Away-Time in America. Whoever the next president is, he/she will be the first president to hold office while America’s credit rating was downgraded.

    It is gonna take a damn good salesperson to explain why all the promises made to the Working Class by the Corporatist Elites need to be cancelled and broken. We can expect the new president to be described as “Strong” and “Decisive” as he details and “Sells” this sad truth to America.

    The new president will need to explain to American’s that they are “Stupid” and made the “Stupid Mistake” of depending upon the social security net which the corporations promised during the past 50 years. (Rich Folks only make “Insured Mistakes” and “Wrong Investments” …. not “Stupid Choices” like Poor Folks make.)

    The next president will be met with riots on the streets and that is why all the anti-terrorism legislation has been introduced.

    U.S. Terror Watch List Surpasses 900,000 Names, ACLU Estimates
    By Ryan Singel
    February 27, 2008
    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/02/us-terror-watch.html

    For 10 years of Republican rule, nobody screamed about the financial burdens facing America. It is only when a Democrat seems assured of becoming president, that all the financial experts are crawling out of the woodwork. When CNN names a show “Financial Security Watch” and “Economy 101″.

    The economy was very bad in the 60′s and the press sold the world “Kennedy” as the next coming of Christ. The whole world was quite prepared to commit mass suicide for Kennedy while we crawled under our desks in grade school as he threatened the world with a nuclear holocaust.

    The economy was quite bad during the late 70′s and the media sold us all a God Fearing Ronnie Ray-Gun …. and when the chips were down, and the country was suffering, both Ronnie and Nancy were trippin’ off to see an astrologer and a Tarot Card reader. The president was entertaining the demons which his own christian bible screamed against. Ronnie Ray-Gun even scheduled his meetings or summits with Gorbachev by an astrology chart.

    But, he was a damn good salesperson and myth-making material.

    I believe that it is only Barack Obama who has the “credibility” or the “Salesmanship” expertise to talk America into not rioting.

    Calm

  15. Hue Longer said on March 29th, 2008 at 4:42am #

    hp, the answer to your position is right in the Ford piece. Poor white folks (who’s indentured servant great grand daddies dream of owning another human was never realized) still have privalege…it’s shit, but it’s still there.

    How many poor white folks throughout US history have assaulted black folks for threatening to take their table scraps?

    It seems that you play right into the con…you yell righteously at the plantation owner, but yell louder at the “freed” slave

  16. Max Shields said on March 29th, 2008 at 7:51am #

    AP Obama: “Sen. Barack Obama said Friday he would return the country to the more “traditional” foreign policy efforts of past presidents, such as George H.W. Bush, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
    At a town hall event at a local high school gymnasium, Obama praised George H.W. Bush — father of the president — for the way he handled the Persian Gulf War: with a large coalition and carefully defined objectives.”

    So, that’s the “change” candidate? I read the transcript for the Democracy Now back and forth with Obama and Goodman. He refers everything to a “speech” he gave. He’s nothing but a string of speeches and retro-empire foreign policy, capitalist health care (minus the universal), empty headed economics (absolutely no understanding of what makes economies work beyond the neoliberal rhetoric which is a well documented failure), never ran anything more than the speechifying campaign we’re witnessing. So Obama is what?

  17. Max Shields said on March 29th, 2008 at 7:59am #

    Does Obama know what Ronny Reagan’s or G. H. W. Bush’s foreign policies were? Can he spell Iran-Contra? Granada invasion? El Salvador? I mean we could go on with this Reagan/Bush legacy of imperialist military invasions. So this is Obama’s foreign policy?

    Obama is a rather immature fellow for one heading toward fifty. I heard the Mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, on Bill Moyers’ Journal. He’s head and shoulders above Barack Obama on every level. He’s a mature 38.

  18. hp said on March 29th, 2008 at 9:03am #

    Hue, putting words into my mouth where none are there is a bit pretentious, don’t you think.
    I may be getting on a bit but I don’t recall yelling at anyone about anything.
    I have been yelled at, however. And accused by people who can read minds, or at least think they can. Perhaps they’re reading their own minds?
    What I hear is people chomping at the bit to prove their superior morality. Tsk. Tsk
    What do you know about table scraps, Hue?
    What do you know about indentured people dreaming about owning another person?
    That’s incredibly insulting and pretentious.
    If you find privilege in one man’s shit being bigger than another’s, well, have at it.
    Nothing about individuals, this time, but next time you’ll be expounding on the merits and highly principled declaration of individual justice.
    It’s called hypocrisy, Hue.

  19. Deadbeat said on March 29th, 2008 at 9:28am #

    You should read what BAR (nee Black Commentator) wrote about Cory Booker. Ford has disdain for Booker as well since he is a foil for the right IMO even more so than Obama.

    The Right’s aim is to subvert, not convert, Black America. Ample funds have been made available to create confusion as was evident during the past year’s electoral contests in New Jersey, Alabama, and Georgia. Corporate interests poured $2.8 million into Cory Booker’s attempt to unseat Newark’s Sharpe James, outspending the mayor by half a million dollars. The same network, supplemented by a furious assault from pro-Israel lobby groups, knocked out Representatives Earl Hilliard and Cynthia McKinney, outspending these incumbents by 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively (documented by the Center on Responsible Politics). In all three races, corporate media were actively allied with corporate cash, providing millions of dollars in free, shamelessly partisan coverage.

  20. E. R. Bills said on March 29th, 2008 at 9:34am #

    dan e, et al:

    first, I don’t get paid for my opinions or stand to benefit from a black man being president. I am, of course, assuming we can call Obama a “black” man. Like Marley, Tiger Woods, etc, he’s a mix, but I think he still qualifies.

    second, I perhaps mistakenly assume that readers and writers in this discussion assume that the changes we’re all looking for will probably only come incrementally and through a broad, diverse consensus. In my opinion (subjective opinion, that is), Obama is a good first step. He may not be Cynthia McKinney, but he’s been smart enough to play the game and he’s on the verge of becoming president of the United States. those of an especially more radical ilk wouldn’t have got this far, so they wouldn’t have done us much good.

    Obama (correctly or incorrectly) symbolizes change and has an opportunity to pursue real change. will he? perhaps not. I hope he does. Dan E. and G. Ford would have us believe that Obama is simply a more polished Clarence Thomas; I simply don’t believe that’s the case. I think he’s scare’s neocons. I think they see he’s playing the game and playing well–so he has a real chance to succeed. He’s like the Tiger Woods of American politics right now. . . and this scares the hell out of the old country club crowd.

    It he hadn’t have played the game, he wouldn’t be where he is today. What if he becomes president? Isn’t possible that there’s more to him than the game-playing? He’s moving a lot of people. He’s liable to have an incredible mandate. What’s wrong with giving it a chance?

    Somewhere in the Dan E’s and G. Ford’s and the Black Agenda’s agenda, you’d think there would be a plan to support a black candidate for president. Especially a guy that’s been smooth enough to get this far, making the right political moves, firing people up, winning people’s hearts–black, white, brown, etc.

    Dan E–As far as your distaste for my opinion, I encourage you to look up my stuff on this site. I write about as regularly as Mr. Ford but with less emphasis on my own cage bars and more on the one’s we share.

    In my opinion, we need a presidential candidate embraced by a diverse coalition. Anarchy would be nice, but impracticable. And the firebrand you and Mr. Ford are looking for will not be elected in our lifetimes, black or white.

    Showing all your cards up front is simply stupid. What if Obama is a brilliant “curveball?”

    Don’t bite on how far the ball has careened out of your strike zone. Stay in the box and look for it over the plate.

    And finally, I am white. So what? Blacks don’t own a monopoly on suffering or degradation or injustice in this country. And many whites are doing just as much or more to bring about change than blacks or hispanics. In fact, the biggest black movenment these days is hip-hop–and it completely buys into the white, corporate system of materialism, superficiality, exploitation, big money worship (bling-bling), etc–which, at this point in our history, is a more destructive force than racism (unless all you can see is the bars of your cage).
    I have more in common with AFrican-Americans than I do the elitest frat-boy white guys that run this place.

    obama is wisely nuanced and he’s our best hope–right here, right now–for a “black” agenda, a new agenda, a change in the way things are done. don’t condemn him for the games he’s had to play to get where he’s at. give him the benefit of the doubt because he’s one of us.

  21. hp said on March 29th, 2008 at 10:06am #

    Is it irony that one should suffer slander for a moments dissent? Perhaps this place should be called Dissident Voice, nonconformists keep out!

    Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”
    Mark Twain

  22. Eric Patton said on March 29th, 2008 at 10:15am #

    No one’s keeping you out, hp, nor your comrade E.R.

    And for the record, Black Agenda Report and Black Commentator are different sites. The former is run by Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon, the latter by Bill Fletcher. And while BC is good, BAR is much better — though not, it would seem, for hp and E.R.

  23. KR said on March 29th, 2008 at 10:16am #

    Sure, my ancestors did not enslave people in America. But the white privilege I have today is a result of other white people enslaving Africans and stealing the land from indigenous people. There is no way around that fact.

    There is also no way around the fact that those historic actions have impacted present-day populations of black , Native American and Pacific Island people, among others. These groups are disproportionately more impoverished, more imprisoned, and have more health problems and shorter life spans than white people. The stats don’t lie. When your ancestors were robbed of all land and labor, the effects run down through many many generations, particularly when racism is perpetuated in various forms through the present day.

    It seems like it’s okay to inherit the mantle of history when there’s something to be proud of, but we shed it conveniently when it’s stained.

    I think Ford poses a very important question. What are white people willing to sacrifice in order to try to make things right?

  24. Deadbeat said on March 29th, 2008 at 10:17am #

    I agree with hp’s sentiments and his intended arguments.

    IMO Blacks need to build alliances especially with Latinos since they are facing discrimination and racism and face similar historical oppression. African American needs to link up with black Latinos especially.

    Clearly there has always been “white [male] privilege” but the degree of the privilege gap is a much more modern problem. I would recommending reading the book “When Affirmative Action Was White”. The gap between whites and blacks increased dramatically AFTER WWII.

    In order for Roosevelt to pass Social Security for example certain job categories that were primarily filled blacks were omitted. Black were denied many of the benefits from the GI Bill. In other words in order to smash the working class after WWII, the rulers not only bribed the working class but also split the working class by races. So the ruling class bought off whites.

    I think the issue of “white privilege” by writers like Ford misses is the real point and their rhetoric become more divisive than informative. The real issue is working class manipulation by the rulers. What the white working class is now facing is a rollback of their “privilege” and this is why they have “resentments”.

    I think it is counterproductive for Blacks to be demanding an “equal access” to receding “privilege” that whites have are receding and continue to recede.

    I think Blacks going forward needs a different strategy. African American only represent 12% of the population and Latinos are growing in numbers. Therefore I think that Blacks will need to find ways to form alliances with Latinos especially black Latinos and other oppressed groups.

    At this point whites will have to on their own recognize the false opiate of race. Perhaps that realization will occur as their economic fortunes continues to sour or perhaps not. There ultimate problem is the lack of working class awareness among whites who were fed nationalism and racism as replacements.

  25. hp said on March 29th, 2008 at 11:10am #

    Eric, I was being knocked on the head and thrown in jail before you were even born. For activism. Not just blogging and spouting off while sipping lattes and playing with an I-pod.
    In fact you’re obviously too young and silly to know, much less remember, what the word ‘comrade’ really means.

  26. Max Shields said on March 29th, 2008 at 11:54am #

    I happen to generally agree with Ford on Obama because he picks up on the brownish neoliberal fellow passing himself off as CHANGE!

    Beyond that it’s a case by case thing. If Ford goes off the deep end and thinks white people are the devils work (and he may think that) or that HIV was put into Black people’s food supply as part of a white conspiracy then…all bets are off. I try not to run with idiots and lunatics (at least not for long) regardless of pigment.

    Racism is like a religious war. It will end when the participants on all sides are thoroughly exhausted. Until then Oprah seems to be doing ok.

  27. Max Shields said on March 29th, 2008 at 12:10pm #

    That Oprah thing reminds me that racism has nothing to do with skin pigment. Does that help?

  28. hp said on March 29th, 2008 at 12:26pm #

    Well said, Max.

  29. Deadbeat said on March 29th, 2008 at 4:02pm #

    Max I agree with you. But the question is how to form alliances. The left itself is fractured on the issue of race and we’ve seen that here not just on the issue of black-white but on Zionism as well.

    I am in agreement that Ford’s critique is valuable identifying Obama’s neoliberalism however Ford, when he wrote for Black Commentator, supported Howard Dean’s campaign after he addressed race during his campaign in 2004. Thus why did Ford rave over Howard Dean but is stringently critical of Obama? Ford didn’t consider backing Ralph Nader in 2004 nor has BC thrown any real support to both Nader or even McKinney.

    Ford demands and critique about Obama are IMO extremely unrealistic and to some degree tiring since we all know that Obama is running for POTUS. What does he expect? You have bend over for Zionism, you have to salute the flag, you have to kiss babies and kiss ass. So what is Ford really offering as solutions? Lesser evilism is a reality and if the election had come down to Clinton vs McCain, the neo-con agenda was the real winner anyway and the real plan.

    I don’t think Ford should change and run to support Obama but why the hypocrisy? Was Dean any different from Obama? Dean didn’t have a universal health care plan either. There really is no difference between Dean and Obama only that Obama has gotten much further than Dean this time around.

    Ford and BAR has also been very tepid on the issue of Zionism within the U.S. In fact I’d say that Rev. Wright spoke more truth about Zionism as a problem inside the U.S. than anything I’ve read from Ford. They, like the ISO, isolate their critique of Zionism as an Israeli problem rather than examining it as a U.S. problem. Perhaps if they took a more radical position and really pushed the issue against their white counterparts on the left who pursue the “War for Oil” rhetoric then they would be taking a much bolder position. The issue of race is about ALL form of discrimination and attacking all form of supremacist thinking. This is what Rev. Wright spoke about in his “God Damn America” sermon.

    IMO if Ford is going to profess consistency from Obama he should also display it in HIS rhetoric as well.

  30. Eric Patton said on March 29th, 2008 at 4:20pm #

    hp wrote:
    > Eric, I was being knocked on the head and thrown in jail before
    > you were even born. For activism. Not just blogging and
    > spouting off while sipping lattes and playing with an I-pod.
    > In fact you’re obviously too young and silly to know, much less
    > remember, what the word ‘comrade’ really means.

    Wow. You sure put me in my place.

  31. hp said on March 29th, 2008 at 5:23pm #

    Eric, I accept your apology. Now go get me a double latte. And no lollygagging around..

  32. Max Shields said on March 29th, 2008 at 5:50pm #

    Deadbeat, for me Ford is not the issue. Obama is. Obama has been touted as one thing and he for all intents and purposes a perpetuation of everything that we know as the mainstream machine – ready to police and invade with immunity. There is no difference between him in Hillary Clinton (unless fantacy is what you’re after). And it is that fantacy that needs to be exposed.

    Once the Dem field faded to two, all differences faded. There is no disagreement on anything meaningful. So, if you hate Hillary for her positions, the mirror image is Barack Obama. They are both a product of the same system; slight makeover in style as if that matters. McCain is the mad hatter. But the problem is not McCain, it’s what the Dems got out of their primary – bobbsy twins on policy. Nader is the alternative for sure or McKinney. I really believe that people want nothing to do with the 3 of these pols but elections aren’t about that.

    Obama is not hope, he’s not change. He has yet to display courage when faced with the opportunities he’s been presented. As such he is a very paltry candidate indeed. Loosing sight of that is a mistake; and if Mr. Ford can keep that in front of some of us of a while all the better!

    Howard Dean?

  33. Hue Longer said on March 29th, 2008 at 6:30pm #

    people aren’t wearing enough hats

  34. dan e said on March 29th, 2008 at 10:13pm #

    Well well well. Such confusion. Let’s see, this started as a piece about Obama by Glen Ford. Next this ER Bills character appended his crock of nonsense, to which I said Hohum, movin’ on — only to find another pile of nonsense by a guy I’d been starting to admire, a guy whose nom de keyboard I’d taken to be the initials of a well known writer I happen to have a scraping acquaintance with. Hehe, as it says at the end of the verse to Lush Life. think Johnny Hartman: “I was wrong; Ah, I was wrong…”
    Well, hp, maybe you grew up runnen with the bros. as a teenager, but I don’t think you been spenden much time on the scene lately, or you’d have had your coat pulled to some this jive attitude before now.

    This is not to maintain that everything Bro. Glen writes is the correct line gospel that can’t be questioned. I myself complained to him about what I thought was over-enthusiasm about Dennis Kucinich; then I thought, well, maybe I was being a lil hasty on the basis of not much knowledge of DK himself, esp. since Cynthia had a gd word for him. Now lately he seems to have subsided back into relative obscurity, so I’m reserving judgment till it makes any diff.
    Not sure when I started reading Blk Commontater; don’t remember any Dean stuff, but if he did praise Dean & I’d heard about it, I’d have took issue with him on that. I dunno, how intelligent people can buy into creeps like Dean & David Cobb when it’s so obvious who they are, it’s all over their faces: Cop! Kleagle Manque! Look Out! Hide de crystal ball by de fence, so dey woan fine no evydense!
    I mean some them liars, it’s not obvious what they angle is right off, but Howard Dean? come on.

    Anyway, a fact is, that African Americans along with Native Americans are the target of organized campaign of Genocide in the US. Course they been killen off many Injuns as poss since Clumbust saled the Ocean Blue, but they put a value on African/Black labor power. Up to recently; now they got no use for Surplus Labor, got more than they can use. Why train/educate a US Black to do a job when you can get somebody trained at the expense of the Gov’t of Pakistan, Gujarat, Ireland, Yugoslavia, P. I. etc etc. Why hire Blacks to wash cars when you can have “illegals” do it for half the $$.

    Blacks are 12pct of the USian pop. but are half the Homeless. Visit yr local Sallie, see who’s there. Yes, they locken up a lotta Latinos too, Indans even more, lotta pore wyts too. They doen a lotta up-locken, period. So far they more restrained than the CCP which is more into firing squads than Pelican Bays, but it’s just as insane. Aim seems to be a Guantanamo in ever county.

    Every black person is well aware that Black Usians are a target like never before. Even a slave was considered too valuable to destroy if you didn’t have to. But now a Black life is less than worthless, it’s a nuisance.

    Anybody don’t realize that fact has been keepen to their Own Kind too much. Spenden too much time lissenin to White Lefties and Greens.

    Yes, other groups are also oppressed. Old wyt beatnixes have a hard time getten decent false teeth. But no groups has been designated for Elimination, period, but Blacks & Natives.

    But it’s interesting, this here phread: one post Max has A right, but B is fucked up, next time he’s got B right on but A is just silly.

    Max, hp, deadbeat, first one then the other. You guys tryna drive me nuts?

    This ER Bills I put in the same category as the late unlamented “Jaime”, remember him? LOL:) M. McNiven is not as colorful but equally off the wall. In my oh-so-humble Opinion, which Lincoln having Freed The Slaves, I have a right to express, right? Thank you:) No seegar, Mr McN.

    Well, wich I cd go over each mistatement one by one, but got other things to do.

    Well, maybe eventually all these well intended and by no means totally stupid folks will all get turned heading in the same direction. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up, at least for a while:)

  35. John Wilkinson said on March 30th, 2008 at 8:31am #

    I do not buy the 2% solution. If 2% owned slaves, that means pretty much everyone who could afford it — had lots of land. If the vast majority of rich white people owned slaves, that means the poor ones, if they could afford it, would have done the same — it was in the white psyche at the time. And when the slaves escaped, the other ones — the white employees of the master, the police, the white passerby who saw the escaped slaves — much greater than 2%, would snitch on them or cause them to be apprehended (which meant severe punishment or hanging). Most of the whites were giving their silent approval of the system. Yes, there were exceptions. The underground railroad was so underground, precisely because the majority down south supported that system.

    Let’s not forget the lynching parties, the black barbecues, that the common folk participated in, even after the slavery was abolished. Let’s not forget the back of the bus policies. And what happened to those — black and white, who tried to oppose the system in the 60s. Let’s not forget all those white people — none of them rich, lining up in front of that school to prevent those black kids from attending. And nowadays, there are all kinds of coded messages that are racist, that politicians use, and esp. down south that seems to be almost a requirement to get elected. What can be made of the draconian sentences for possession of crack cocaine (used by blacks), vs. the lenient ones for the powder cocaine (used by whites); the constant stories of police shootings, etc. In Washington, DC, it’s mostly the blacks who are the victims of gun violence, and they’re the vast majority of the population, while the whites (living in gated communities) complain to the Supreme Court about the restrictive gun laws.

    From my own personal experience — I don’t know how many times I’ve heard racist jokes or horrible, hateful, bigoted things from the white people I came accross. In college, chance acquaintances, neighbors — without any provocation by me. Why would they think I’d enjoy hearing this, other than being white, like them? And I can tell you, the poor people seem to be more bigoted than others, maybe it makes them feel OK to look down on someone.

  36. John Wilkinson said on March 30th, 2008 at 9:08am #

    And let’s not forget the Tuskegee study, in which several hundred poor, illiterate black people were denied treatment for syphillis, just so the researchers could study the disease progression (the disease is torturingly fatal if untreated). (Another segment which is held in awe — doctors, undeservedly, they have on quite a few occasions done highly immoral things).

    It’s not going off the deep end to assume that our govt is capable of this. There are a million of articles on this site how the US govt did this or that dastardly thing abroad — and they did. But all of a sudden, it’s going off the deep end to question where AIDS came from and how it spread so rapidly. And yes, there is no direct proof for the AIDS thing, I agree. And yes, of course, the AIDS epidemic did not just affect the blacks — maybe the Rev. was referring to anyone who’s downtrodden.

    But yes, the response to the crisis was severely delayed. So, no, they didn’t put it in the food (who said they did), but maybe it was the case of “benign” (or not so benign) neglect. And it would perfectly go with the aims of the crazies here who are obsessed about sex, about denying sex or any pleasure to those not rich enough, and to using sex as a weapon to divide and subjugate the populace, as they are continuing to do. The same crazies who pushed us into Iraq, etc.. And they’ve shown and are continuing to show that they can effect incredible destruction here and abroad.

  37. Gary Lapon said on March 30th, 2008 at 3:21pm #

    “They divided both to conquer each…Both are plundered and by the same plunderers. The slave is robbed by his master, of all his earnings above what is required for his physical necessities; and the white man is robbed by the slave system, because he is flung into competition with a class of laborers who work without wages.”

    –Frederick Douglass, talking about black slaves and poor whites

    I agree with him, and I think one can say the same thing about racism today.
    Rich whites benefit from racism. They can pay their black workers less, and use racism to bust unions to pay all their workers less, etc. Yes, you have a lot of poor and working class white people who are racist, and that racism needs to be opposed. But where does the racism come from? Which class did it originate from? Did poor whites make the laws, own the printing presses, design the curriculum in the schools, preach from the pulpit, sit in the halls of government, etc.? No. A lot of them bought into and still buy into a system of racism that is against their material interests, although obviously to a lesser extent than blacks, but against their interests nonetheless.

    How about we shift the focus towards how we can realistically build a movement against racism? Say all the white people, the majority of whom are working class, sacrifice (give up their privilege, etc.)? Will that make blacks any better off? How? On the other hand, I can see, both in a possible future and in the history books, examples of making arguments to working class whites and blacks that both will be better able to improve their lot if they band together, oppose racism, and organize. Don’t let racists off the hook, but don’t assume that the interests of working class blacks and whites are opposed, either.

  38. Gary Lapon said on March 30th, 2008 at 3:24pm #

    p.s. Of course, the privileged whites (and the few members of the ruling class who aren’t white), those who run society and benefit from racism, should give up their privilege, but will have to be made to…by non-privileged whites, blacks, asians, latinos, and all others organizing and struggling.

  39. Allan S. said on March 30th, 2008 at 4:51pm #

    Reading thru grouchy Dan E’s convoluted posts above, I’m reminded of what Edward Abbey wrote in his Preliminary Remarks to “One Life at a Time, Please”":

    “Very well. If there’s anyone still present whom I’ve failed to insult, I apologize. Cheers!”

  40. Max Shields said on March 30th, 2008 at 6:39pm #

    Why is it becoming ever so apparent that racism is either a much bigger thing than White and Black Americans or a little side show as we go down the precipace?

  41. hp said on March 30th, 2008 at 9:30pm #

    Makes me wish I was born in Sweden. Or Norway. But then if I moved to America I guess I’d catch racism. Either by symbiosis, association, accusation or just plain spite.

  42. Barbara Deutsch said on March 31st, 2008 at 12:39am #

    A friend commented to me that Barack Obama, in recent speech about “racism” which I have not read, chastised Palestinians, using pointedly racist terms.

  43. Max Shields said on March 31st, 2008 at 6:43am #

    Barbara, while I’m not sure about your source, your point seems to be the issue. Unless you live in a homogenous region – and even than it’s conceivable that discrimination by class or by some other distinquishing inheritance – you are bound to find degrees of ill-treatment.

    It is impossible not to note the clear facts regarding longevity, illnesses, incarceration, income, violent deaths and on and on; that are correlated to being a minority, to being an African American, and to be an African American male.

    These statistics are powerfully consistent and irrefutable as best I can tell. In a word, we have racism in America. But racism is an abstraction because there are many white people who suffer in similar ways. So, it is not that all blacks suffer from these statistics but it appears than more blacks than whites.

    For some it is best to think of this as systemic racism rather than a collective white on black racism. To get to the “hearts and minds” of people can be impenetrable. A systemic approach changes the dynamics and as they say “the hearts and minds will follow”; or at least the conditions will reduce the symptoms. But will racism ever really go away? Some form of discrimination seems inevitable.

    But even with what we have – a systemic view – when the dust settles, we see that the lack of solidarity between these whites and blacks given their shared conditions is astounding. Where are the community organizatizers and activists, the labor organizers with regard to poor and disenfranchanised Americans? How about extending that to world-wide. Poor whites have more in common with people in Latin America than they do with many in the burbs of the US.

    Obama may have experienced some discrimination and haven’t most white people as well – perhaps not because of their being white. But he is not part of the numbers touted as exemplifying racism. Racism is about an elite oppressing a non-elite. How was Obama oppressed?

    While we can remember and should the legacy of slavery, it tells us nothing about how we take our next step. A system that colonizes it’s cities and perpetuates a numbing social service system that creates invalids of the people who live there, needs to be understood in terms which terminates the condition, not a rotation of the same phrases as if shouting racism will change a thing.

    Max (:

  44. Tom Lloyd said on December 10th, 2008 at 7:31pm #

    Hi. Tis my first visit to your newsletter. It’s obvious that your self description as a “radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice” is in error. What you should say is ” a radical racial anti-everyone who isn’t black newsletter devoted to hatred and the self serving “we’ll get even with you bastards” cash machine. If you think that the “black man” deserves all this pity and special treatment, and is justified in hating the world and needs to be compensated, maybe you should study up on some history.

    All of mankind has a very, very long history of mistreating other humans and life forms. Quite possibly black skinned men invented slavery. Does the color of skin on a soulless perpetrator of human misery really matter? Perhaps you should spend some of your radical energy trying to help some of the slaves of todays world. People all over this world who are enslaved at this moment by vile black men, white men, yellow men, red men, all men. Why don’t you take a 10 day tour through Somalia and have one of your tantrums there. I’m sure every slave owning black warlord will see the wisdom of your “whitey done us wrong manifesto” and promptly become an upright champion of global human rights. Then he’ll probably cook and eat you. When guys like you become rabid, as you are, humanity loses. I know there’s cash in whipping that old dead “white” horse, but are you really serving humanity, or are you serving yourselves. Are all men equal, for better or worse, or is it really only black verses white?

    Perhaps at one time you were idealistic and helpful. Now you are a prime cause of the problem. It’s clear that you have now become what you might once have hated most, a propagator of human strife and misery, a hate monger. It must be the cash in it and the self delusion of importance that led you to give up on the noble cause of helping humanity, and to embrace hatred. It’s obvious that you are full of hatred, and that you want “whitey” to pay. That’s the low road pal, the easy road. It isn’t the “white man” or the “black man”, it’s the human man. You know that. YOU KNOW THAT. You also know that it’s a disservice to the “black man”, that you claim to represent, to have become such a volcano of self serving hatred. Go ahead and direct deposit those checks, but you, and humanity itself, can do better.

    Tom Lloyd,
    Idaho