Barack Obama and the “End” of Racism

What life has taught me
I would like to share with
Those who want to learn…

Until the philosophy which hold one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war, me say war

That until there are no longer first class
And second class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man’s skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes
Me say war

That until the basic human rights are equally
Guaranteed to all, without regard to race
Dis a war

That until that day
The dream of lasting peace, world citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion
To be pursued, but never attained
Now everywhere is war, war

And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes
that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique,
South Africa sub-human bondage
Have been toppled, utterly destroyed
Well, everywhere is war, me say war

Bob Marley

Barack Obama deeply troubles me. As a Mexican who grew up in a Black neighborhood in the U.S. at the height of the Black Power era, I absorbed Black people’s rage — their righteous rage with the aim of justice and, ultimately, with the aim of healing — until it had sunk into my very bones. It was not a rage aimed at me; and no one “taught” it to me, no one schooled me in it. School was just everyday life in a Black senior high; for example, school was having my own personal cop who stopped me every time he saw me, the first pig who ever took me to jail. I didn’t try to act Black; I didn’t try to talk Black; I never tried to walk Black or dress Black; I didn’t even particularly listen to Black music outside of Motown and funk — the crossover stuff.

So, I was a little stunned and more than a little confused when, as I entered my 20’s, I had to confront how different I was from people in the white world and in the Mexican world. I didn’t realize it as a teenager, of course; It was just natural. But as I came into deeper contact — and sharp conflict — with the world I had not grown up in — the world outside of the working class area that people now would call the “ghetto,” I came to realize that while I had not adopted Black culture, I viewed the world through a Black lens; and since I had only been a kid when I developed the lens, there was little about it I could articulate, and almost nothing I could find to help me illuminate my experience of what post modernists and other people who long to go slumming these days now call “the borderlands” — a phrase they ripped out from under Gloria Anzaldua, a Chicana lesbian feminist writer, poet and cultural theorist. They talk about “alterity” and “difference,” and it’s nothing more than chic poses and impotent cultural elitism by those who have no authentic experience of what difference really is.

Growing up on the border I grew up on was not exotic; nor did I think of it as a kind of crucifixion or torment. It was just normal. The Black world and my odd presence in it were just normal. The sense of torment would only come later, when I learned that I reacted to white middle class bullshit — the “polite” evasions of naming the daily realities of power and pain that characterize the white middle class — just the way any Black youth of my time would have reacted. They dumbfounded and enraged me. It took a long time to get that they are not just outright phonies, straight-up deliberate hypocrites, almost every one of them — but that they don’t see and that for that reason, they are very dangerous to those who do. My reality was not their reality.

Today, I am blessed to have a radical white friend, Tim Bennett, who gets this clearly. He calls white people like this “Not-Sees.” His pun is intentional. But I didn’t get the white world at all as a kid. They just enraged me. Not one of them talked straight, as far as I could see. The “nicer” they were the more they enraged me.

The real torment came later, when I had to learn, not only to see, but to fully articulate what I see. And for someone in my position, there were very few guideposts then for me to follow. I had to learn for myself and largely from myself which part of me was which, what was Mexican, what was absorbed from white culture, and what was Black in how I experienced myself and the world I lived in. It’s easy now; I can switch culture and tone like switching a channel or clicking a link. I can do it, but usually I don’t bother; I just come from where I am at the moment, secure in who I am and what I know about the world and the dynamics of it that I am meeting in the moment. I rely less on my own tone than on understanding and knowing how to listen. Then, however, it was all sheer suffering.

I came from both inside and outside the Black world. My reality was Black reality, a Black world — and even at that it wasn’t really mine, in a sense, although I grew up in it. The Mexican community wasn’t quite mine either: I was lacking in the proper resepto, and there was nothing — or very little, of the agachado in me. I was arrogant, a sinvergüenza. Besides, my Spanish was poor. White people very often had no idea what to make of me; I felt they instinctively feared me, and I despised their thinly veiled brutality.

I reacted to the world like a Black youth, not as a Mexican or white youth would react, and I didn’t understand it.

When I was 16, I used to buy The Black Panther newspaper at a little convenience store across from the local supermarket on what is now called Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. It came to haunt me. I always bought it — for a quarter — from the same brother. Then, one day, I was listening to the radio. The pigs had the local Panther headquarters under siege. There was a shoot-out. I don’t know what may have happened to him, but I never saw the brother again. And I never talked to anyone about it. There was no one to talk to. It never occurred to me to talk to anyone about it. As I said, I had no teacher. I was just a kid, I wasn’t Black, and no one in my family cared — just me. I remained silent. Millions of people from the oppressed nationalities in the US remain silent; and it’s not just that white people don’t care about oppression — it’s that we are punished for speaking out, for saying what we really see.

Here’s one simple example. About half the workers at my place of employment are people of color. Supervisors are hired in-house, as a rule. The boss is a “liberal” white woman in a company whose work is devoted to “liberal” causes. She came to our office after busting a union on behalf of the company in another city. In her first year and a half here not a single person of color became a supervisor. In my case, she tried to fire me; she sent my case to the corporate president and the corporate lawyers to see if they could fire me for having organized a union in another, similar workplace in the past. I came to work every day for four and a half months last year not knowing, if, that day, I would be fired. That’s the way it is, that’s the atmosphere white Amerikkka — liberal and conservative alike — has created for poor people and minorities.

Yes, of course, those of us who work there are the working poor. The “passionate” liberals who run the company act like they never heard of a living wage — but there is a shelf in the kitchen with “free food” for the people whose paycheck didn’t stretch far enough this week. It’s bought with money the liberal boss solicits from the workers. No one says anything. We all know the nature of the white liberal façade; We all know we’ll be punished if we speak up, if we demand equality in hiring or a raise, much less a living wage. So, our rage simmers in a pot with a tight lid. There’s one guy, though, who has blown up at work a couple of times over racist incidents at work. He’s one of the company’s most productive employees. I was told by a lower level supervisor that he was passed over for a promotion only because he’d gotten angry on the floor about racism; he’d created “conflict.” He wasn’t trustworthy.

So we stay silent, as a rule, on the job. We stay silent as a rule, in the white world.

Barack Obama is the living symbol of our silence. He is our silence writ large.

He is our Silence running for president –

With respect to Black interests, Obama would be a silenced Black ruler: A muzzled Black emperor. A Black man at the head of the White Amerikkkan State — one who’s unwilling to speak truth to power, but more than willing, like a Condi Rice or a Colin Powell, to become that power and to launch wars of aggression against other people of color.

In Obama’s case the targets will be Iran (which he has threatened with “surgical” missile strikes) and Pakistan, rather than Iraq. That’s the only difference between Obama and Rice and Powell, or Bush, for that matter.

Even ABC News notes that “Obama, one of the more liberal candidates in the race, is proposing a geopolitical posture that is more aggressive than that of President Bush.” Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan, in a column entitled “Obama, the Intervensionist,” cites Obama’s claim that “he wants the American military to ‘stay on the offense, from Djibouti to Kandahar.’” To help the empire stay on the offensive, and despite the fact that US military spending is breaking the bank at over $1 trillion a year, and far outstrips the spending of any potential imperial rival, Obama wants to beef up military spending, adding 65,000 troops to the Army and 27,000 more Marines beyond the obscene levels already under arms in the so-called “War on Terror.”

That’s another matter. Most of us at my workplace, for example, don’t want to become that power, we don’t want to lord it over others or punish them if they disobey the corporate rules, much less the rules of Pax Amerikkkana. We don’t want to “succeed” that badly, not badly enough to sell our souls and boss around — and certainly not kill — people who, we know, suffer every day just like we suffer.

Nor do we want to be cops — pigs — or to be the commander in chief of pigs, be they local police or the cops of the world. No one imagines themselves the commander.

We’d like things to be better in our personal lives, of course, if we could have them better and still feel clean.

And that’s the Obama equation. Keep your Black/ Brown mouth shut and you can “succeed.” And you can still feel “clean.” Here we have the real story behind Obama’s portrayal of his squeaky clean-ness. Yes, Black man, yes, Black woman, you can have power in this killer-racist system and stay “clean.” In Obama’s carefully constructed image lies a symbolic resolution of a profound inner conflict that all people of color in the US face in their daily lives.

Obama plays the role of a Black Cinderella. He does for Black folks what Cinderella does for girls. He shows that oppression and silence can be good for you — at least if you are the one the prince chooses, or if you are the one who gets to be the prince. It’s total fantasy. It’s a glass slipper that will break at the arch and be turned on us like a broken beer bottle or a jagged-edged knife; the same knife Obama has threatened to turn on the people of Iran and Pakistan.

But, he’s getting over with it, if for no other reason than that the inner conflict I’ve described remains largely unconscious for oppressed people in the US. That’s why one Black poet, spoken word artist Darian Dauchan, wrote a piece called “Damn You Barack Obama You Pretty Mothafucka.” It’s because Dauchan was trying to sort it through. Even though he fails, he buys into the Obama myth; nonetheless, he had to sort it through as best he could, because Obama is the walking illusion of the realization of an impossible dream; the dream that in white racist Amerikkka a Black man could be judged on the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

There is, of course, a racist subtext to Obama being called “pretty”; it’s the subtext of internalized racism and the imposition of an internal color-caste system within the Black nation itself, a color-coded stratification held over from the era of slavery — the era of the “mulatto, the “half-breed,” “quadroon” and “octoroon,” a caste system in which “whiter” is better -– smarter, “prettier,” more worthy, etc.

The rest of the racist subtext is this: Obama, with his extraordinary intelligence and presence (by any standard), is, in the eyes of white Amerikkka,(and, according to the standards of the so-called “Enlightenment,” which still rule the thinking of Euro-Americans) the half-white, and thus, half-redeemed “Black savage” — “redeemed” by his “white blood”, “civilized” by it – redeemed by his relative whiteness — ultimately redeemed and refined by the white nation itself.

The question from the Black perspective has been posed as to whether Obama is “Black enough” — which is to say, “Is he loyal enough to the Black nation? The more decisive question, viewed from the white electorate’s standpoint, at least, is this; “Is he white enough, is he loyal enough to whiteness and to the white nation?” That’s why the question of his religion, and of his Arabic name, are points of attack and vulnerability from the standpoint of the more openly racist and xenophobic sectors of the white public. That’s why his “patriotism” is also questioned, unlike any white candidate. After all, everyone in the US knows that people of color with Arabic names are the enemy. It doesn’t matter, apparently, how many nukes Obama wants to hit Iran with, he’s got to stand up and recite the pledge of allegiance to prove he’s not a terrorist — at least not an anti-US terrorist.

Obama is not being judged on the “content of his character” — the question of how his character is perceived in a racist nation and, conversely, among a colonized African people, is a question that is sociologically inseparable from the color of his skin.

Many people, nonetheless, think Obama is the realization of Dr. King’s dream. The power of this archetype is immense. It’s why the completely empty catch-phrase “Change” works for him, and it’s the deeper reason for the quasi-religious wave of “Obama fever.” Obama is Cinderella and King’s Dream rolled into one. He’s even had the myth of Kennedy’s so-called “Camelot” invoked on his behalf. For many, he’s not only phenomenally charismatic, but irresistible. There’s even been talk of an “Obama Cult.” [The comments at this link, many of which attack the essay, are every bit as interesting as the essay itself.]

But, if Obama is the realization of King’s dream, then the price of the dream is silence. And, as the slogan goes, “Silence = Death.” If Obama is the realization of King’s dream, then the price is silence about the oppression of Black people and the abandonment of the millions locked away under the conditions of mass incarceration that have replaced Jim Crow. If Obama is the realization of King’s dream, then being Black means being white; then Black is white, or at least it’s Black on white terms. It’s a Blackness that dare not speak its name.

Obama’s shot at the presidency doesn’t signal the end of racism in the U.S. It is made possible, rather, by the new form racism itself has taken, a form that offers a prison cell to poor people of color, and, for the middle class, on the other hand, an Apartheid-style pass card stamped “SILENCED.”

The functioning of this new dynamic of racism is plain to see in Obama’s attitude toward the newest persecuted “Other” in U.S. society — Brown migrants. On one hand, in one of his most impressive moments, he very rightly called attacks on migrants “scapegoating” (although he failed to critique NAFTA or US Imperialism at any level.)

His campaign even lifts and translates the migrant chant of “!Si Se Puede!” into English as “Yes we can,” and uses it as a slogan. (Obama himself has been a prime beneficiary of the mass opposition of the wrongly labeled “New Civil Rights Movement” in 2006 — the pro-migrant movement that not only cracked open and deeply divided the Republican Party so severely that it has not been able to re-group, but that also put white Amerikkka on notice that a it would never get by with making instant felons of millions of Brown people, and that openly racist persecution, at least, would not be tolerated from Republicans or anyone else.)

Obama favors driver’s licenses for the undocumented, but he’s all for the Apartheid Wall being built on the US side of the Mexican/ US border. Obama is willing to issue pass cards to migrants who make no trouble, since — after all — they’re here, for god’s sake.

Obama’s attitude toward brown migrants is the much the same as that of white liberals toward the Black middle class. It’s much the same as the attitude of the white ruling elite toward him. Keep up the racist wall, but give the “trustworthy ones” a pass. In the case of the Black middle class, the “trustworthy ones” are the ones who maintain silence about oppression. In the case of immigrants the “trustworthy ones” are the ones who have “learned English”, and “ have paid a fine,” as Obama puts it, for the violation of having been driven from their countries by hunger — by the gutting of their nation’s economies by the global capitalist empire headquartered in the U.S.

Even more telling is Obama’s refusal to recognize the right of Palestinians to return to the land stolen from them by Israel during the Nakba of 1948– the disaster of the birth of the Israeli regime. Obama supports and promotes the character of Israel as an exclusively Jewish state — in other words, as an Apartheid state, a Jim Crow state that not only keeps Palestinians separate, but which uses its military might to bomb them at will.

Like the Israelis themselves, Obama wants a separate Palestinian state — separate, but certainly not equal.

There can be no authentically autonomous Palestinian state located on the border of a nuclear-armed Israel — only a subjugated state militarily controlled by its neighbor – its oppressor. Such a state can be nothing but a Bantustan. In the meantime, while the whole world condemned the recent Israeli closure of Gaza, including a cut off of electricity that impacted its hospitals, Obama asserted that “Israel was forced to do this.”

Obama knows the rules of the game, after all. He is the rules of the new race game; his candidacy itself is a manifestation of the new system of racism.

He knows how to make white Amerikkka feel good about the status quo, here and abroad.

There’s a reason for that.

If he told the truth, if he stood up for justice, and on that basis, authentic healing, he couldn’t be president.

Under those circumstances, if he’d attracted any measurable attention, much less the global attention he’s gained today, more likely be dead.

Like King.

Like Malcolm.

Dead, like Steven Biko of the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania / South Africa, or Fred Hampton from Chicago.

Or imprisoned for decades, like Nelson Mandela was.

But Barack Obama doesn’t have that kind of vision and courage.

And he’s not, in the end, even a street activist. He’s been bought. What kind of “street activist” or “community organizer,” after all, ends up a millionaire?

One who won’t say what white people don’t want to hear.

What white Amerikkka doesn’t want to know, Obama is not about to tell them. That’s a large part of why they like him; it’s key. Whites don’t want to know, as a rule, the actual conditions of Black America, just as the German people, as a rule, didn’t want to know the actual conditions of the Jews and Gypsies, even as the smoke of the crematoria drifted through their streets.

Here’s one part of the core truth that Obama is silencing:

The U.S., which has roughly 6% of the world’s human population, imprisons 20% of the world’s prisoners. The vast majority of those it imprisons are men of color. American Indians have the highest incarceration rate on the planet. Black men have the world’s next highest rate, although their absolute numbers make up the largest group of US prisoners. Mexicans and other Spanish speaking Natives in the U.S. have the third highest rate of imprisonment of all the world’s peoples.

According to a report from MSNBC, about 16% of black men in their twenties who are not college students are currently either in jail or in prison, while almost 60% of black male high school dropouts in their early thirties have spent time in prison.

Human Rights Watch notes that in the U.S., “Nationwide, blacks are incarcerated at 8.2 times the rate of whites. That is, a black person is 8.2 times more likely to be in prison than a white person. Among individual states, there are even more extraordinary racial disparities in incarceration rates. In seven states — Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — blacks are incarcerated at more than 13 times the rate of whites. Minnesota has by far the highest disparity — blacks in that state are incarcerated at 23 times the rate of whites. In the District of Columbia, blacks are incarcerated at 34 times the rate of whites. Even in Hawaii and Vermont, the states with the smallest racial disparities in incarceration rates, blacks are still incarcerated at more than twice the rate of whites.”

But to hear the mainstream media spin it, racism in the US is over.

After all, Barack Obama might be president of the US.

To hear Barack Obama tell it, “There is no divide that we can’t bridge.” The easiest divide to “bridge”, of course, is the one you pretend doesn’t exist, the one you never mention.

White Amerikka wants to believe it is innocent — that racism is over. It doesn’t want to know that its rulers solved the “problem” presented to them by the end of Jim Crow segregation and by the eruption of the Black Power movement by replacing the de facto chains of Jim Crow with the even more literal shackles of mass imprisonment.

Obama rejects the Black militant stance — even the pro-Black stance of Dr. King or Reverend Jackson — not only by distancing himself from Jackson, but, much more importantly, by remaining silent about the fact that the white imperial ruling class met the challenges they faced with the end of segregation and the rise of the Black Power movement by flooding Black streets with crack cocaine and guns — creating a “gang problem” out of nowhere — then by inventing “The War on Drugs” and “The War on Gangs” to carry out the greatest mass imprisonment in human history, a campaign more Draconian and Machiavellian than anything most dictators, even the demonized Saddam Hussein, ever dreamed of.

The isolation engendered by a quarter-century of the War on Drugs and the War on Gangs — which is actually a war on poor people of color in the US — is overwhelmingly intense. It’s suffocating: and the silence about the war on poor people of color in the US has been punctured only twice: first, by the Los Angeles rebellion in 1992, and secondly by the mass marches of millions of Brown people protesting the State’s efforts to retroactively turn even more millions of migrants into instant felons in 2006.

The war against the oppressed nationalities in the US is real. In the ghettos, the barrios and on the rez it’s a palpable phenomenon: Millions of families are missing their sons and daughters. Again, their children make up roughly 20% of the prison population of the world, again — not just of the US — of the world.

But for white Amerikkka, it may as well be taking place in Baghdad, not next door. They know a little about what’s up in Iraq, of course, but not about what is happening to much more intimately, right next door, and in their names.

Barack Obama, in the meantime, says that the invasion of Iraq was misdirected. It was the wrong war. The Empire’s real enemy, he says, lay elsewhere.

He says nothing at all about the War at Home against his own people.

It’s not after all, that racism is over. It’s that whites imagine that they can now be at peace about it — that the race war in Amerikkka is over as a two-sided affair. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report, in a fascinating and important debate with Michael Eric Dyson, says the Obama campaign is “relentlessly sending out signals to white people that a vote for Barack Obama, an Obama presidency, would signal the beginning of the end of black-specific agitation, that it would take race discourse off of the table.” Ford says, “Barack Obama does not carry our burden, in addition to other burdens. He in fact promises to lift white-people-as-a-whole’s burden, the burden of having to listen to these very specific and historical black complaints, to deal with the legacies of slavery. That is his promise to them.”

An exhaustive NAACP report indicates that there is very little difference between the stances of Obama and Clinton on issues important to Blacks. Others have noted the centrist nature of the Obama campaign more broadly. Black legal scholar Vernellia Randall, of the University of Dayton, Ohio, says that Obama has No specific plan for addressing institutionalized racism, and that he doesn’t even acknowledge the issue. (Others have noted the centrist nature of the Obama campaign more broadly.)

In the white imagination, Barack Obama represents, not the “End of Racism” (racism has an experiential, existential meaning for only the barest sliver of the white population), but, he represents, rather, the end of the struggle to end racism.

The “End of Racism,” like the End of History proclaimed by Francis Fukuyama with the fall of the Soviet Union, is meant to signify and hail the end of polarization and struggle, a final assimilative victory in which the antagonist (Communist or Black, respectively) is absorbed into the benevolent embrace of the white capitalist empire — there to disappear as a problem — even as a distinct entity.

Obama, in this context, can be viewed as a kind of Gorbachev, a figure that surrendered the sovereignty and independence of his nation, opened it to overt capitalism, collapse and chaos, and who, in the process, became the darling of the capitalist world; who became, in the West, at least, a figure representing “reconciliation and peace” — not capitulation and betrayal.

In the Amerikkkan imagination, Obama signals the co-optation, not of the pseudo-Marxist Soviet style socialism, but of the drive for Black liberation, autonomy and self–determination — the end of Black Nationalism, of the Black nation as a distinct people with a distinct history, distinct needs, a distinct culture, a distinct oppression and a distinct agenda. It signifies the supremacy of the white nation over the Black nation, just as the so-called End of History is meant to signify the supremacy of capitalism over all anti-capitalist potentials for organizing society.

The only awareness most whites have of racism comes as a result of the immediate and very short term impact of the struggle of peoples of color upon their consciousness. The silencing of that struggle means only the end of its painful intrusion into white awareness — not the end of racism as an omnipresent, violent burden on the oppressed, not the end of racism as omnipresent oppression and degradation. As noted above, Obama has no plan, and thus, it is fair to say, no intention of ending systemic racism in the US. It’s easier to pretend for popular consumption, that it no longer exists.

Barack Obama is priceless. If he didn’t exist, as the saying goes, they’d have had to invent him. And, no matter Obama’s subjective intentions — white people did just that in their imaginations and in setting the social terms of the New Racism. The very best one can say is that Obama’s let them get by with it by pandering to it. I’ll leave the worst one can say to you. It’s closer to the point, and to the truth.

It should be more than clear by now that Barack Obama will not save us. But neither is the point to expose the man as an individual, or even as a hypocrite, betrayer or oppressor. The point is to see him in context, within the limits of the system, the matrix, the cultural and political environment in which he arose and in which he operates. It’s not that Barack Obama, per se, is worthless, it’s that none of the dreams in us that he speaks to so deeply in us can be fulfilled under the system of oppression he is an expression of and that his candidacy concentrates in visible form.

There is nothing wrong at all in the hopes we have that Obama’s rhetoric speaks to. The problem lies in what Herbert Marcuse called “repressive desublimation — a hope, a need, that has been buried and denied by an oppressive system, is allowed some room to breathe, then co-opted and redirected back into a form that ultimately reinforces the oppressive system that denied and suppressed out hopes and needs in the first place. That’s what Obama represents.

He speaks to our dreams of connection, of reciprocity, of balance, sanity and a noble way of life. He speaks to our hope for a world worth living in, to our hope for the future generations that have been crushed for decades now under the heel of the Bush regime and its predecessors. The enormous energy for change unleashed in the 1960s has been buried deeper and deeper under the weight of oppression, and, especially for the last 7 years, under the weight of the most cynical, sadistic, apocalyptic regime of our lifetimes, a regime that has embraced a vision of global destruction and that has denied every life-giving hope.

The Bush regime was and remains an expression of a conscious plan by the far right — especially of the Christian fascists under the leadership of Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation and co-founder of the Moral Majority — to crush everything that came to life in the upheavals of the cultural revolutions of the 60s era. They meant, as they consciously expressed it, to counter the counter culture, the culture of hope, and offer a new “hope” of a “purpose driven life” in the context of the old traditions of oppression. They meant to, as they put it, “reframe this struggle as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between good and evil” along traditional Christian lines.

The Christian Fascist strategist Eric Heubeck wrote, “We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment’s rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today’s American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement.”

The regime of Bush the Lesser was the pinnacle of this effort; he carried the agenda as far as it could go, before it began to fracture and collapse under the weight of its own madness — before it met the determined resistance of society’s most vulnerable, scapegoated and openly stigmatized targets, as they marched in their millions refusing to be victims. The combined force of the Christian fascist juggernaut, the repressive powers of the State, and the US war machine looked unstoppable until it met this opposition at home, and until it met the mad and fierce resistance of the people of Iraq who have, however chaotic and horrifying their tactics, refused to be conquered. With these events, the aura of invincibility and unstoppable momentum was destroyed, the lid of repression began to crack, and what had been suppressed in us rose again to the surface. Literally, in terms of time in office, and as a sweeping reactionary social agenda, the Bush regime is coming to an end. With its end, inevitably, comes a wave of hope and euphoria.

This is the wave Obama is riding, the ocean of energy he is trying to steer into an acceptance of the same old deal, the same old wars, the same old systemic racism, packaged as if it were something new. This wave of energy is not something he’s inspired, it’s something he’s riding and that he is uniquely qualified to channel toward his own ends — which are not our ends.

As we have seen, Obama doesn’t represent peace — he represents an expansion of war and the power of Empire. He’s even more extreme on this than Bush himself, except in his public rhetoric. He doesn’t represent the real and legitimate needs, desires and hopes of Black people — he refuses to speak openly of the most fundamental issues affecting Black people. He doesn’t represent the “end of racism,” but the perpetuation of oppression in a new guise.

Obama doesn’t represent a new system or the new way of life we dreamed of and fought for and that has been suppressed; he represents the old one. He represents a system that is fundamentally rooted in exploitation, oppression and destruction on a global scale, and he is living proof that no fundamental change for the better can, or will, come about under the system he represents and upholds. It doesn’t work that way. To tell the truth is to betray the system, and he can’t bring himself to do it, even though he is far too conscious not to know it.

Attaining authentic freedom requires, as its barest starting point, the naming of what keeps us subjugated. What keeps us subjugated is the very system Obama wants to rule. The system, even with Barack Obama as its first Black emperor, is not our hope. It’s our enemy, the enemy of the world, and, because this system is rapidly undermining the ability of the planet to foster and sustain life, it is the enemy of all Life on Earth. This is exactly the understanding that the Christian fascists like Weyrich and Heubeck wanted to crush out of our awareness, and the lack of such awareness is exactly what Barack Obama depends on if he is to remain a symbol of the impossible dream that the system can be something other than what it is.

Juan Santos is Los Angeles based writer and editor. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Juan, or visit Juan's website.

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  1. joe rose said on February 13th, 2008 at 6:06am #

    Next president is gonna be this McCain fella. Obama will get the nomination by grace of the mainstream media (mm), but it has been so directed cause he is extremely vulnerable (religion/race) to the propaganda directed to the most base political insticts of the people (nationalism, tribalism). Thus once in the presidential race we are going to witness some pretty nasty smearings directed to Cinderella Obama.

  2. Michael Hureaux said on February 13th, 2008 at 6:28am #

    Wow. That’s exactly what I’m talking about, brother. The creepy part of Obama’s ascendency rests in the old maxim that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. I’m watching all kinds of people who I’d previously thought had some critical thinking skills cave under this Obamania business. I had a hunch this was coming when I watched his speech at the convention four years ago, my wife and I both sat and took it in and looked at each other and said, almost word for word, “He’s good, he’s very good”. The rakish JFK style jabs, the clearly studied rhetorical grace. What better gift to the empire than JFK in sepia?

    All last year, numerous discussions with people from the old new left who told us, “He’ll never get a shot at it because of racist US etc”, to which we maintained, “But what better figure to have out there than one to restore faith in the imperial project, but someone with a black face? They managed to live with Powell and Rice, why not Obama?” And damn few could give us a serious answer, other than, “Well, even if he wins, he’ll never get through his term alive”. And now, some of the very same people try to dialogue with us breathlessly in the wake of every new Obama victory. Of course, it’s hard not to partially get swept along sometimes, after all, who doesn’t mind seeing the Clinton machine take it in the teeth? But that’s the genius of the Obama project. At the end of the day, it’s less about who or what he is, than who or what he isn’t, which is why he gets away with such vapid sloganeering as ” Change we can believe in”. It’s almost like being in Campfire Girls sometimes. First there was hope, now there’s faith, soon he’ll be talking about love.

    It’s the perfect set-up. It’s heads I win, tales you lose. It’s “give the brother a chance”, it’s “he’s not as bad as McCain/Clinton”. All of his frivolous comments about using missiles to take out purported Iranian nukes, or attacking Pakistan, that’s all water under the bridge. A kinder-gentler new world order. What a set-up.—M. Hureaux, Seattle

  3. Mike said on February 13th, 2008 at 6:46am #

    Response to comment from Joe Rose above:

    You are wrong. The mainstream media, along with Wall Street and the military establishment is supporting Hillary, even above McCain. If Hillary happens to lose the nomination they will support McCain. The mainstream media alone has the power to choose the leader. The rest of your comment is meaningless.

    To the author I feel sorry for you. I don’t have the time to explain it but you just don’t get it. You have the intelligence to write well but no wisdom. You need some love otherwise you are going to die a bitter old man.

  4. Maxwell Black said on February 13th, 2008 at 11:23am #

    I am simply blown away by this. This is probably the most important piece I have read this entire “election” cycle. I’m not sure what sort of “wisdom” Mike thinks Santos needs. I’m going to tell everyone I see today to check this out. Viva Santos!

  5. Deadbeat said on February 13th, 2008 at 12:08pm #

    This is a very important topic and I don’t have time right now to explain that while I agree sentimentally with the author, I think he may be making a tactical mistake.

    We shouldn’t blind ourselves to the realities of any politician running to rule the United States of America. That being said it is clear that Hillary Clinton is the establishment candidate. The difference with Obama is that his campaign has been one of inclusion and his message has been one of participation. That message opens the door for many citizens to get involve and perhaps hold the candidate accountable.

    Primarily it opens the door to ENGAGE other citizens. Because the left is institutionally weak and divided they cannot mount a corresponding campaign. Through the Obama campaign I have been able to engage citizens and have been able to voice to them my opposition to the War in Iraq. These are citizens who in ordinary times would never engage a leftist. So since the Obama campaign has enabled a crack in the cement there is an opportunity to try to seep some of these ideas in.

    In the end it is up to the people to maintain the momentum and hold these candidates accountable and to continue their pursuits and agitation.

    Rahul Mahajan of Empire Notes has an excellent analysis that I think provides an excellent counterpoint to the author. Check out his 2/11/08 blog entry.

    Empire Notes

  6. E. R. Bills said on February 13th, 2008 at 1:07pm #

    Tell us when the spaceship bearing your perfect world lands and remakes the nation, the people, the planet. If you read Dissident Voice, obviously you think there are things wrong with the existing institutions, systems, etc. You should simply know and remember that Marat’s means (and ends) were failed. Change usually only comes incrementally and we have to start somewhere. I’d say Obama is a possible start and moreso than the rest. You obviously don’t have a better idea, just complaints. Complaints that folks who turn to an information source like Dissident Voice are very familiar with.

    As Harry Truman once noted, any idiot can kick down a barn.

  7. hp said on February 13th, 2008 at 2:44pm #

    Truth is it’s human devolution, not human evolution.
    No fixing that.

  8. DavidG. said on February 13th, 2008 at 4:16pm #

    It seems a terrible paradox, a Catch 22 situation.

    America will never elect a black American as President and, if Obama defeats Billary and ends up being the Democrat candidate, despite the disaster of Bush, they’ll elect McCain and the Fascist fiasco will continue.

    America appears stuffed!

  9. Michael said on February 13th, 2008 at 6:17pm #


    Thank you!! I have read other articles you have published on your website and they are always dead on. This article is a comprehensive analysis of the web of racism that we live in. I intend to share your article as widely as I can, i,e., to the few who are willing to see “The horror, the horror” (Apocalypse Now).


  10. Michael Hureaux said on February 13th, 2008 at 6:29pm #

    It’s not a matter of bitterness, as some have suggested above. If the mass movement that many think Obama’s candidacy has ignited takes root beyond the convention and election day, well and good. I’d love to see any of us with a pronounced allergy to the old guard be completely wrong. I don’t think it’s going to go that way, though. The “democratic” party does not belong to that mass movement, and a lot of the old school has Obama’s ear in a big way, up to and including one Zbigniew Brzinski- who was the brainchild behind much of this mess we see in Afghanistan and the Caspian Sea region back during the Carter years. Beyond that, there are Obama’s connections to companies like Archer Midland and other parts of Agri-Business, which sees a whole new market in the agricultural land of the 3rd World for Ethanol. The development of such a market might seem environmentally sound to the idealists among us, but they’re continuing to ignore the role of imperialist pressure on the so-called third world, and the ever-present willingness of land based juntos to ignore the needs of their people in favor of an export product like ethanol. These connections were documented pretty solidly in a Harper’s Magazine write-up on Mr. Obama a little over a year ago. There is also the uncomforable reality of Obama’s reassurances to AIPAC, his professed willingness to launch a missile strike on Iran in order to prevent that country’s alleged acquisition of a nuclear weapon- which, by the way, has turned out to be a load of shit. Mr. Obama’s avowed commitment to the war on terror and its possible extension into Pakistan remain one of his more controversial moments in this campaign,and one which, it’s unfortunate to say, many of his supporters continue to downplay.

    And I think it’s attention to nagging details like this that the current mass support for Obama ignores, which to me, underscores everything Brother Santos said here. The difference between the movement of forty years ago and the one that exists now is that the “new” left was fresh, had learned from the old left, had new thinkers like Mills and Marcuse and de Beauvoir to learn from. The Obama phenomenon, on the other hand, is postmodern, and, near as I can tell, flush with the arrogance of new political blood who insist that it’s all going to be different now that they’re here to show us all the way. Well, we all made that mistake. The question is, what do you have in your toolkits that we haven’t seen before? And the resounding answer I have to come up with, after having listened to Obamania talk for a long time now, is absolutely nothing.

  11. Michael said on February 13th, 2008 at 8:23pm #

    Superb article and superb comments by Michael Hureaux.

    Top advisers to Obama

    Former Amb. Jeffrey Bader, President Clinton’s National Security Council Asia specialist and now head of Brookings’s China center, national security adviser

    Mark Brzezinski, President Clinton’s National Security Council Southeast Europe specialist and now a partner at law firm McGuireWoods, national security adviser

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser and now a Center for Strategic and International Studies counselor and trustee and frequent guest on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, foreign policy adviser

    Richard A. Clarke, President Clinton and President George W. Bush’s counterterrorism czar and now head of Good Harbor Consulting and an ABC News contributor, sometimes Obama adviser

    Gregory B. Craig, State Department director of policy planning under President Clinton and now a partner at law firm Williams & Connolly, foreign policy adviser

    Roger W. Cressey, former National Security Council counterterrorism staffer and now Good Harbor Consulting president and NBC News consultant, has advised Obama but says not exclusive

    Ivo H. Daalder, National Security Council director for European affairs during President Clinton’s administration and now a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser

    Richard Danzig, President Clinton’s Navy secretary and now a Center for Strategic and International Analysis fellow, national security adviser

    Philip H. Gordon, President Clinton’s National Security Council staffer for Europe and now a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser

    Maj. Gen. J. (Jonathan) Scott Gration, a 32-year Air Force veteran and now CEO of Africa anti-poverty effort Millennium Villages, national security adviser and surrogate

    Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary of defense from 1981-1985 and now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, informal foreign policy adviser

    W. Anthony Lake, President Clinton’s national security adviser and now a professor at Georgetown’s school of foreign service, foreign policy adviser

    James M. Ludes, former defense and foreign policy adviser to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and now executive director of the American Security Project, national security adviser

    Robert Malley, President Clinton’s Middle East envoy and now International Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa program director, national security adviser

    Gen. Merrill A. (“Tony”) McPeak, former Air Force chief of staff and now a business consultant, national security adviser

    Denis McDonough, Center for American Progress senior fellow and former policy adviser to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, foreign policy coordinator

    Samantha Power, Harvard-based human rights scholar and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, foreign policy adviser

    Susan E. Rice, President Clinton’s Africa specialist at the State Department and National Security Council and now a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser

    Bruce O. Riedel, former CIA officer and National Security Council staffer for Near East and Asian affairs and now a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser

    Dennis B. Ross, President Clinton’s Middle East negotiator and now a Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow, Middle East adviser

    Sarah Sewall, deputy assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance during President Clinton’s administration and now director of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, national security adviser

    Daniel B. Shapiro, National Security Council director for legislative affairs during President Clinton’s administration and now a lobbyist with Timmons & Company, Middle East adviser

    Mona Sutphen, former aide to President Clinton’s National Security adviser Samuel R. Berger and to United Nations ambassador Bill Richardson and now managing director of business consultancy Stonebridge, national security adviser

  12. Max Shields said on February 13th, 2008 at 8:30pm #


    You said it all. One need only look at the smiling, applauding warmongering Ben Nelson over the shoulder of Obama to see the picture unfold.

    The image of Obama as President and how it will triangulate the African American community is as some one said abouve (but I take it from The Heart of Darkness): the horror the horror!

    Great post

  13. Max Shields said on February 13th, 2008 at 8:48pm #

    Deadbeat, did you miss Juan’s links to Obama’s foreign policy.

    Liking Obama over Hillary is pretty much a personality distinction. So,, creating a coalition between neocons and neoliberals (and a strong case can be made that Obama has done just that) is a healthy coalition? We’re not talking about Bobby Kennedy or John Kennedy or Martin Luther King, none of whom where ever compared to someone else, by the way. The latter is the first clue of authenticity or the lack there of.

    The truth as best we can tell has not changed with time, is that what we know makes the Dem choices pretty paultry.


  14. Barbara said on February 13th, 2008 at 9:54pm #

    quoting Michael Hureaux:

    “. . . Obama’s connections to companies like Archer Midland and other parts of Agri-Business [intent on taking] agricultural land of the 3rd World for [the ruinous scam of] Ethanol . . . documented pretty solidly in a Harper’s Magazine write-up on Mr. Obama a little over a year ago.”

    I would be grateful to Mr. Hureaux if he would please supply the date of this no. of Harper’s.

  15. Maxwell Black said on February 13th, 2008 at 11:11pm #

    “The longing for rest and peace must itself be thrust aside; it coincides with the acceptance of iniquity. Those who weep for the happy periods they encountered in history acknowledge what they want: not the alleviation but the silencing of misery.” –Albert Camus

    This is what Obama’s “Change” is about.

  16. Hue Longer said on February 13th, 2008 at 11:46pm #

    I think of that “Because I’m a Liberal” song whenever I listen to white Democrats backing Obama

    Jaun, after reading your piece, many good liberal Democrats are saying …

    “I don’t understand all the fuss…as a white liberal, I’m very happy to learn from Mr. Obama that racism is 95% over…and for my tortured guilt, this means I’ll be voting for my brotha!

    We are all in the same boat
    It’s people power not black power
    I watched “Roots” 5 times
    The Cosby show was awesome”!

  17. Max Shields said on February 14th, 2008 at 6:28am #

    Mr. Black, nothing like Camus to get it on the button! I would say desparation has led to this Obama thing. I use to think that next to a Republican repeat Hillary would be the worst thing to happen to the White House…now I see it’s self-deception that trumps even that image.

  18. Kay said on February 16th, 2008 at 12:37pm #

    You compare Obama t0 other “black leaders” which is completely unfair. Barack Obama grew up in the US- Kansas (very white), Hawaii (very Asian) and in Indonesia. His world view is completely different than any other black person in public office at present. I would argue your opinion about him as a candidate you would hesitate to support if you didn’t drag his ethnicity into it (he’s 1/2 white and 1/2 African, born in the US).

  19. nullifidian said on February 25th, 2008 at 1:50pm #

    Idiots who use the term “Amerikkka” are automatically tuned out. There are good points in this article. Too bad they are obscured by terms like this, and moronic descriptions of the Mexican border fence as a “wall of apartheid”.

  20. erykah said on February 29th, 2008 at 9:45pm #

    While Santos raises some pretty pertinent issues, he is woefully misguided and his argument is terribly flawed. I will not take up a lot of space outlining the flaws in every argument; I will simply choose a few. First, to assert that Obama doesn’t care about the plight of Blacks is wrong. Santos sites as one of his sources an NAACP survey which showed no difference in Clinton’s and Obama’s stance on ethnic issues, but this is insufficient evidence for which to draw any conclusion. Interestingly, while Obama has outlined a plan to bridge the wealth and achievement gap that exist between whites and blacks ( this plan includes other minorities as well including Latinos) on his website; you see no such plan on Clinton’s site. In fact, Clinton takes no official position on this issue but plays it safe by pandering to moderates and the middle class. According to Obama’s official position paper, he outlines his plan as follows:

    • Increased funding for the Community Development Block Grant program
    which provides housing, job training, and other services to
    impoverished urban areas.
    • A $1 billion, five-year expansion in job and career training programs
    for low-income Americans.
    • The creation of a series of “Promise Neighborhoods” across
    America patterned after the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York
    City. Low-income families in these promise neighborhoods will be
    o ffered parent counseling, childcare, job training, healthcare, financial
    advice, afterschool programs, technology training and other services to
    help them escape the cycle of poverty.
    • An expansion of the Head Start program for preschool children in
    high-poverty areas.
    • An increase in the maximum Pell Grant award for low-income college
    • Expansion of the Nurse-Family Partnership where nurses visit low income
    expectant mothers at home to ensure that they receive proper
    prenatal care.
    • An increase in the earned income tax credit which will allow low income
    working families to keep more of the money they earn.
    • A proposal to increase funding for the Jobs Access and Reverse
    Commute program so that low-income workers can get to their jobs at
    a reduced cost and the children of these workers can receive free public
    transportation to childcare facilities.
    • The establishment of an affordable housing trust fund that will produce
    14,000 new units of a ff o r d a b l e housing for low-income families
    each year.
    • Increased access to capital for blacks and other minorities through
    Small Business Administration programs.
    • Job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and
    employment opportunities for people who have been incarcerated.
    Since blacks are five times as likely as whites to have been in prison,
    these programs will disproportionately benefit African A m e r i c a n s .
    • To further raise the minimum wage rate and the child tax credit.

    As Theodore Cross stated regarding Obama’s plan in his recently published article in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education titled, “Barak Obama is the Superior Candidate for African American Voters,” ” Obama has put a lot on the table, maybe too much.
    Nevertheless. . .here. . .is an elaborate and unqualified proposal to use presidential power to deal with some of the most severe problems of A f r i c a n Americans and other minorities. ”

    Mr. Santos should go to Obama’s website and check it out before he declares Obama’s compliance in a conspiracy of silence. Mr. Obama loves black people and it comes through in his 2 New York Times bestselling books, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2005). He is not afraid to speak out on the issues. He is an astute politician who knows that in order to win the nomination and subsequently the presidency, he has a walk a racial tight rope so that he is not branded as the black candidate and thus end up on the heap pile of unsuccessful black candidates who came before him. He has learned well that while “in your face “ activisim may help you win the battle, you will still lose the war. King and the Black Nationalists of the 70’s used those tactics which yielded government appeasements, but left the order of white supremacy in tact. Santos may well disagree with his methods, but to brand him as an Uncle Tom who will gain the presidency only to sell Blacks and other people of color down the river is a heap of nonsense.

    Second, Obama was indeed an effective organizer in Chicago. However, he is also a Columbia University and Harvard Law School graduate. His wife, Michelle is a Princeton and Harvard Law School graduate. Neither one of them came from wealthy families. When you are Black in this country and do not have the wealth of your white counterparts to fall back on, you need to become a millionaire to pay for all that education. Neverthless, both he and his wife left the corporate realm and took on civil rights cases to enforce the rule of law. Obama’s bank account does not negate his ability to perform grassroots organizing. In fact, his campaign just reached the million donor mark. He has raised more money than any of his opponents, none of it public, all of it grassroots.
    Third and last, Obama is also aware of the issues regarding Empire and the protection of human rights for all mankind. While many were backing away from the issue of torture, including McCain, a former Vietnam POW who endured five years of torture, Obama spoke out against it. According to Naomi Wolf’s article, “Why Barak Obama Got My Vote,” just published yesterday in the Huffington Post, “Of all the candidates running now, he is the leader on understanding the threat to the Constitution and actually taking action, not just mouthing soundbites, on the need to deny torturers space in our nation and to restore the rule of law.

    Wolf references an article, “Lawyers for Gitmo detainees endorse Obama.” Wolf notes that “In the article, reporter Charlie Savage notes that ‘More than 80 volunteer lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees today endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s presidential bid. The attorneys said in a joint statement that they believed Obama was the best choice to roll back the Bush-Cheney administration’s detention policies in the war on terrorism and thereby to ‘restore the rule of law, demonstrate our commitment to human rights, and repair our reputation in the world community. The lawyers who signed this letter — prominent names on the list included Washington lawyer Thomas Wilner, retired federal appeals court judge John Gibbons, and retired Rear Admiral Donald Guter, who was the Navy’s top JAG officer from 2000 to 2002 — applauded Obama for having stood up in 2006 against aspects of the Military Commissions Act. Unfortunately, his fight was ultimately unsuccessful — which is why we are all still in danger. But unlike other candidates he truly fought and he understood the nature of the danger: ‘When we were walking the halls of the Capitol trying to win over enough Senators to beat back the Administration’s bill, Senator Obama made his key staffers and even his offices available to help us,’ the lawyers wrote. ‘Senator Obama worked with us to count the votes, and he personally lobbied colleagues who worried about the political ramifications of voting to preserve habeas corpus for the men held at Guantanamo. He has understood that our strength as a nation stems from our commitment to our core values, and that we are strong enough to protect both our security and those values. Senator Obama demonstrated real leadership then and since, continuing to raise Guantanamo and habeas corpus in his speeches and in the debates.'”

    Wolf further notes that, “Senator Clinton also opposed the law. . .She gets the danger; many of her colleagues do too. But this issue requires bold language and action. Senator Clinton has not foregrounded the issue of the subversion of the rule of law in her appearances or speeches; and I am very VERY sorry to say that she did not oppose torture until he [Obama] opposed it.”

    Wolf concludes, “I say this with regret: She and her husband really know how to run a country; they delivered eight years of peace and prosperity. I know her to be a skilled politician and motivated by sincere love of country. Mrs. Clinton would be a terrific executive — in a stable democracy. But that is not enough right now. These are times that should try men’s souls — and women’s also. In a closing society, a leader has to be willing to face down evil, engage it and call it by its name.”
    You can read Wolf’s article in it entirety at

    For the sake of time and space, I think I will stop here as I believe I have sufficiently argued my point. Santos conspiracy of silence theory just simply doesn’t hold water. Well, at least not in this case. So folks should move on as there is nothing to see here. We’ve got a fight on our hands. Obama well understands that far more that any candidate running today. If you read and engage what he says, you will know that he will be the first to tell you that we have a long way to go before we get to the end of racism. But in the same token, the lens he is looking through doesn’t see race as the end all and be all of political discourse and activism. A very hard lesson Black folk ( I am one of them) are going to have to learn. He is the real deal. He truly wants to bring about change. Santos and the rest of you should join the movement and say with him and me “Yes we can!”

  21. bluerose799 said on March 10th, 2008 at 1:16pm #

    Obama is promising us things that he doesn’t Have or and can’t Control.
    He sounds so ridiculous that I’m thinking. Is this an Election or a COMEDY or CACOPHONY?
    Maybe he thinks that Americans are Illiterate, Ignorant or Mentally Insane.

  22. Dominic Jermano said on March 11th, 2008 at 7:48am #

    Barack you need to support Impeachment of Bush and Cheney. You are the one standing in the way. He killed innocent families in Iraq, and you do not support Impeachment; makes you an accessory to their crimes. You become a murderer like them. You become a racist bigot like them. I have great respect for you Barack, but on this one you are wrong.

    You have Conyers and Scott and all the Black Congress Members mesmerized following your anti-Impeachment stand. You are doing more harm to the country than good, by not supporting Impeachment. We need Impeachment to free the people from not only this horrible administration, but for the years of atrocities that have been going on. Go here:

    We are at the whim of Presidents who always get away with crimes because Impeachment is not recognized as a successful correct standing verdict. If we had such a success, Presidents would be limited in their powers, and rightly so. They have no right to kill innocent people from lying Wars. That is wrong.

    You should be speaking about nonviolence, and ending the nuclear program, and getting foreign countries to follow that lead. They will. They would rather use the money for their people and in good society, instead of supporting the monster nuclear industrial complex.

    I don’t want you to accept the blood crimes from White America. Those crimes are theirs. Keep yourself unsullied…and follow the Lord. Martin Luther King is using me to get through to you. He is very much alive. Those who support war will perish from this world. Follow Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus himself, and you will come to see that glorious light of truth and well being. McCain is a murderer. The Lord knows how many children he maliciously killed in bombing raids over N. Vietnam. He targeted a school of children and killed them all. Instead of serving time in Prison he is running for President. This is quite insane. Our country is divided now by 4 parties? Republicans, Hillary, Obama, and the Independents. Independents would support Impeachment, Hillary would support impeachment because she is practical, and would see vindication for the false outrageous Impeachment proceeding they brought against her husband Bill. His acts had nothing to do with National Security…yet his acts of love are chastised, while Bush’s acts of murder are revered. This is insanity. Sex is not worse than murder, yet America has the distinction of making sex worse than murder. It is not right. Now they are making a big deal over Governor Spitzer, and his encounters. Actually Sex is freedom of speech, as the congress has passed in concern to Larry Flynt. And I know that our religious ideals say that pornography is wrong, and adultery is wrong, and I would agree, but I think murder is worse. There needs to be less pornography on the web, and less to do about politicians getting demonized because they had a sexual encounter. That is a violation of privacy, and really who cares? It harms no one. It just stirs trouble up between Church and State.

    If you support Impeachment it will bring more people to unifying American, than the divisions that exist today. Republicans need to accept the mantle of Impeachment, because they are truly in the wrong. I ask you to rally for Impeachment, and not make yourself a member to the history of Presidential Criminals. If you do not we are headed for a worse scenario, because now race becomes an issue in the Impeachment process, and it will divide America further.

    I ask you to go for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney. I also ask you to share the ticket with Hillary, as a gesture of unity. If you continue to divide for the nomination, people will go for McCain, from Hillarie’s camp. You will lose the election. If you became the VP with her, it would unite the party and there is a window of opportunity to bridge the difficulties. When you impeach Bush and Cheney, that will set America on a good course and things will dramatically change. Believe me Barack. The world awaits justice to come to America, without it our world is in bondage to an America that gets its way, by the use of intimidation and getting away with murder. This is not a happy way to have the world. The Lord would not want that….

    I am working for you, when you see your senses and understand the real meaning to lead a country. It means justice for the people who have suffered from Bush and Cheney, and all the years past of innocent people killed by American bombs.

    If you do not seek Impeachment it confirms to me you support the crimes of Bush and Cheney, and I will have to oppose you, by now seeking the Impeachment of Barack Obama. I am praying for you brother. Don’t make me your enemy.

    Human welfare is an interesting topic that you and Hillary are ignoring in this election. Why are you pitting Black America against Women? Why are you forcing us to choose between a black man as being the first President and a woman to be the first President? Is that fair to us?

    The Republicans really like this because it is something we stupid Democrats have done to divide the party. Why are we doing this at a time in history when we need to come together to end the war, and help our disenfranchised people?

    You are right you have more delegates, but not that much more and you may have slightly more in the popular vote, but not that much more. You don’t have enough to win the nomination. It is becoming a stalemate.

    My question to you is since you are a Christian; you believe there is God and Jesus Christ right?

    So tell me Barack which one are you? Are you the 1st meaning God since you are in the lead, or are you 2nd since God created Jesus? Whatever your greedy or personal ambitions are, you are failing to realize that being number two or the VP is not a losing position. Many know that VP Cheney is the President telling GW what to do. Many know Jesus as number 2 is quite the best.

    I fail to see why you want to divide the Democrats, unless you are really a Republican hell bent on destroying the party and dividing it. Mark my word Barack; Hillary supporters will jump to McCain, not to you when the election comes in November.

    You and Tom Daschle have a fun joke claiming someone in the number 2 position is asking the number 1 to be the VP is more than disconcerting, because you forget the voters on this in the party. That being; you pit us and bait us to prove whether we are racists or not. We are all bigots if we don’t vote for you, and we continue to disenfranchise women rights for it.

    You should be fixing problems like this, not using them to your advantage and making the people choose thereby causing a riff in our cultural community. Your lack of identifying this shows your arrogance to the people who end up being forced to choose.

    I support Hillary because Bill and Hillary proved they have done it before. They made you to where you are today, and you forget that. Hillary has been a Senator longer than you. You are lying that you did not vote for the war. You were not even a Senator then when the issue came to vote. Why are you lying? Clearly she has more experience than you.

    Without Bill and Hillary, truly where would you be? Maybe not in Politics I bet. I also realize that we whites fought in a civil war to give blacks freedom. Lots of white people died for you. But no one has died for women in this country. They are used as sex objects, and never respected in the office place, just like your demeanor in wanting to be the first, instead of looking out for others.

    I truly wonder how many sex scandals there would be if a woman was in charge. I think there would be none.

    They have been men in the Executive Office from George Washington to GW Bush. I fail to see any change to that if you become President, since you are also a male. You are using your race as a ploy to get in office, without considering what you are doing to women rights in this country.

    But wouldn’t it be great to join and stop this division you are stirring , by embracing not only woman rights, but also black Americans in being the first Black American Vice President.

    It would join the party and assure victory in November, without the fear of losing Hillary supporters.

    Don’t say the opportunity didn’t come and was not asked. Your failure to do this, and you end up losing in November with a divided Democratic party, you will feel more than regret. We will hate you.

    All I know is politicians like you who do not take responsibility for the moment due to race and sex discrimination, are not leaders but sadistic #*$% who torment the people to choose between race and sex. I am beginning to hate you now, because clearly Hillary recognizes this and you clearly don’t.

    With Gods Blessing,
    Mr. Dominic Jermano

  23. because i choose to live said on July 17th, 2008 at 2:09am #

    Although my quandaries are long, but my abilities to transpose them onto this journal are lacking and so will thus be short.

    Santos. you entered your article with true voice and conviction providing a sustainable foundation for your premise that Obama, almost as if in black-face, will, in the end, merely be that. And so i was engulfed clearly to the end of the article. Still, I could feel the harshness in your voice regarding all things white. And i think to myself: well if all i have with which to indict santos is a thumbs down for being harsh, then i should go no further. but i do not based on any what he has persented, but rather where he is leading.

    It seems that i am simply afraid that we will become too polarized- a responsive militaristic black side and a responsive militaristic white side, so much so that it will be as if the only way to live on the planet will be for blacks to live on on side, whites to live on another and then filling in the “others” on whatever section that hasn’t been completely ravaged by the whites and blacks during the process of “confronting” each other and then separating.

    It seems i am also nodding to Erykah’s response as well and, indeed, i am in the sense that there are ways in which Obama must go about getting the things he wants if he is to get them at all, lest he loose their attention and thus permission( however scandalously ridiculous).And that Obama’s narrative should be that of another black man whose plight seems more audacious in and of itself is unfiar on the grounds that even though as a product of systemic groupthink and unified slogans of coloredness, still as individuals, our own eyes, ears, nose, mouths and hearts should grant us the valdity of our own perceptions as just that-our own, and thus cannot be downplayed on account of not being enough of anothers’ narartive, in much the same way that no one can take the voice of santos a a living voice within what he perceived to be a part of or apart of the black community, regardlesss of his color.

    But for all intensive purposes, it seems that Erykahs statement can take me no further because it misses the most important part, which santos hinted at in the beginining and ending. That obama may or may not be for black people is not enough for me. That problem lies not in whether he is leading us or pretending to, its that either way, he, like everyone else on the ballot is leading america or amerikkka, the human race in search of the empthy values, the values that trumped our country earlier, the values set in by Affluenza that helped to secure in us that it is okay to rise to the top for the sole purpose of consumption. That , obama, not uniquely on his own, but rather like eveyone else who reaps the benefits of this lifestyle, wants to “secure” this country not ultimately for the tranquility of our souls to sustain ourselves on modest lifestyles, but to consume. It is the egenda of eveyone who is permitted to be heard on the mainsteam media to get us to buy into the buying and selling that ultimately sells ourselves in to the market of buying and selling. And with this creed we as people who after years of unjustified oppression, yes, desire to rise our standards, yes, but have begun to do so in such a way that mirrors the same mehtods of those who ignited the oprression. We have been bred to be successful not to sit back and breath in the circumventing air and experience our spectacular earth and neighbors. We hae been bred to consume it by the drones. Advancement and enlightenment does not mean owning a home.It does not mean driving a brand new car. It does not

  24. because i choose to live said on July 17th, 2008 at 2:17am #

    mean that because we were once opressed that we should feel it justified to now oppress the next generation of our anatomy beyond our borders. Although, our retention for knowledge is infinite, our planet is not. And because the bulk of Obama’s policy’s, not unlike any others, unfortuntely for his for his opposition and fortunately for his supporters, no matter how courageous, refuses to address that our future as human beings lie not in what we can buy, take or use up, but in how we balance with all of the forces in equalibrium with all sides, then Obama is truly no different from any other of us who wants to change america yes, but only in such a way that change has become synonymous with consume.

    in deep respect to all of u including obama, a great orater, and i’m sure a great individual.

  25. Cait Bagley said on October 6th, 2008 at 7:10am #

    I really enjoyed this peice. It really expresses the difference between being racist and being honest. I believe that many African Americans think that US citizens owe them something. When really they are just mad about their ancestors. Now do not get me wrong I do not believe in Racism, I believe it is a very rude and discriminate thing. Therefore, I’d love for you to send me more information on the subject.
    Thank You,
    Caitlain Bagley

  26. Andrea Luchetta said on January 14th, 2009 at 12:55pm #

    Dear Mr. Santos,

    I’m contacting you because I have the opportunity of writing an article for “Il Manifesto”, one of the most important Italian daily newspapers, about Harlem’s vote in the last presidential elections.

    The idea comes from a walk I had in Harlem, during which I met some activists of a local association, fighting for the racial equality, who showed a quite skeptical attitude toward the president-elect. I found such attitude particularly interesting, as in Italy the “black” vote (I apologize for the rude categorization) has always been portrayed as unanimously pro Obama. The rhetoric of the “end of racism”, of the “Change” has impressed here as well…
    I believe that what you have written presents a very interesting and alternative point of view about the issue, as it goes beyond the simple electoral rhetoric.
    Therefore, I would like to have the opportunity of having an e-mail or telephone interview with you, in order to get a more complete outlook.

    If you were interested, please, answer me as soon as possible, since the article has to be ready at least a couple of days before Obama’s installation.

    Thank you very much for your attention. Best regards,

    Andrea Luchetta

  27. Leslie Radford said on January 25th, 2009 at 3:43am #

    Juan Rafael Santos of the Aztlan Mexica Nation Harmony Keepers/American Indian Movement, my brother, passed into the spirit world on Thursday, January 22. That gentle, fierce, loving, brilliant, poetic soul outgrew the shackles of his body and this realm. He is on his way to take his place with the ancestors so he can be with us all. He has found life in balance, but he is not resting, not Rafa. He’s writing and laughing and righting great wrongs and showing us all the way to the Fourth World. He has joined the spirits where he can even better shine his truth-revealing light, rescue our Mother Earth, and inspire what he took to calling a Green Renaissance.

  28. Leslie Radford said on January 25th, 2009 at 3:44am #

    Juan Rafael Santos of the Aztlan Mexica Nation Harmony Keepers/American Indian Movement, my brother, passed into the spirit world on Thursday, January 22. That gentle, fierce, loving, brilliant, poetic soul outgrew the shackles of his body and this realm. He is on his way to take his place with the ancestors so he can be with us all. He has found life in balance, but he is not resting, not Rafa. He’s writing and laughing and righting great wrongs and showing us all the way to the Fourth World. He has joined the spirits where he can even better shine his truth-revealing light, rescue our Mother Earth, and inspire what he took to calling a Green Renaissance. Listen for him.