Obama Hashes MLK

Fresh off yet another paean to Ronald Reagan, and not long after trashing his own minister for saying that racism and illegal US wars exist, Barack Obama chose the 40th anniversary of the most tragic assassination in American history to make nonsense of the life and struggles of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here’s Obama’s general explanation:

The struggle for economic justice remains an unfinished part of the King legacy because the dream is still out of reach for too many Americans.

So, in other words, Obama’s version boils down to this: Once you’ve reached “economic justice” for yourself, you’ve “reached” MLK’s dream.

What misrepresentation, in both directions. Not only does Mr. Obama shrink Dr. King’s inherently collective dream of a fair, egalitarian, democratic, and peaceful society down to the size of a raisin the sun, but, by making the “dream” about mere personal economic comfort, he once again does exactly what his massively over-rated “race speech” did — it lets the smug and the comfortable off the hook for their own share of our collective situation. “I’m comfortable, so Dr. King’s dream is real for me!”

At best, this reduces MLK’s dream (which was actually a challenge, if you have an ear and a brain) to the long-running, insipid, selfish “American dream” propaganda line. That particular dogma has always been designed to get people to take their suburban possessions as a reason to abandon all but the most stupid and apathetic form of ethics and politics.

But, wait. As always with the “major” candibots, it gets worse. Not only does Obama want to shrink MLK down to his own puny scale, but he blatantly tries to get you to believe that his own past, present, and future sell-outs are somehow compatible with anything MLK ever said or did. King called for democratic socialism and honest racial reconciliation in America. Meanwhile, here’s what Obama would have you think he called for:

[T]hat we’ll be able to find a job that pays a decent wage, that there will be affordable health care when we get sick, that we’ll be able to send our kids to college, and that after a lifetime of hard work, we’ll be able to retire with security.

“Affordable” health care? Seriously? No wonder Obama feels compelled to call MLK’s prescriptions — demands for a society-wide “radical redistribution of economic power” and genuine, practical repair of the crushing damages of racial slavery and Jim Crow — “modest dreams.”

But, wait. It gets even worse than this! It couldn’t possibly be a speech by an aspiring “mainstream” politician without this steaming pile of de rigeur excrement, could it?:

While Obama talked about increasing the number of police on the streets, expanding after-school and other programs and rebuilding the economy to give young people alternatives to crime and hope for the future, he also told the public that government can’t do everything.

“Men, you have to take care of your children,” he said, noting that his own father left him and his mother when he was two.

Echoing an issue that former Vice President Dan Quayle was ridiculed for when he raised it in the early 1990s, Obama said that parents must marry.

Here, the words won Obama a standing ovation.

“One of the forgotten aspects of Dr. King’s legacy is how he demanded personal responsibility as well as societal responsibility,” Obama said.

From the mountaintop to the toilet bowl…

Michael Dawson is author of The Consumer Trap: Big Business Marketing in American Life (2004). He is the publisher of the blog The Consumer Trap, which aims to expose capitalism, marketing and market totalitarianism. Read other articles by Michael, or visit Michael's website.

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  1. OBAMANATION said on April 8th, 2008 at 5:41am #

    Associated Press: Playing defense for Obama: Karen Hawkins and Christopher Wills of the Associated Press quilty of Wright-wash! In their articles Hawkins and Wills avoid any mention of the main tenets of “Black Liberation Theology that form the foundation and belief system of the Trinity United Church of Christ. AP pair purposely avoided any mention of inflammatory items in weekly bulletin articles published by the Church.

    Nowhere in the story’s 1,200-plus words was there any mention of the Church’s belief system, which was outlined by McClatchy’s Margaret Tavel on March 20: Obama’s church pushes controversial doctrines. Jesus is black. Merging Marxism with Christian Gospel may show the way to a better tomorrow. The white church in America is the Antichrist because it supported slavery and segregation. Those are some of the doctrines that animate the theology at the core of Obama’s church.

    Wright said basis for Trinity’s philosophies is the work of James Cone, founded the modern black liberation theology movement out of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. Particularly influential was Cone’s seminal 1969 book, “Black Theology & Black Power. Cone wrote that the U.S. was a white racist nation and the white church was the Antichrist for having supported slavery and segregation.

    In the July 22 bulletin, in the “Pastor’s Page” section, the Rev. Wright gave two pages of space to a colunmn by “Hamas TERRORIST Mousa Abu Marzook. The column originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times, which came under heavy criticism for running it. Among Marzook’s many whoppers: A number of political parties today control blocs in the Israeli Knesset, while advocating for the expulsion of Arab citizens from Israel and the rest of Palestine, envisioning a single Jewish state from the Jordan to the sea. CAMERA.org wrote at the time that “that no Israeli parties in government advocate the ‘expulsion’ of Arabs; one calls for voluntary transfer.”

    A June 10 bulletin article, also in the “Pastor’s Page” section, was written by terrorist sympathizer Ali Baghdadi. Among other things, Baghdadi wrote I must tell you that Israel was the closest ally to the White Supremacists of South Africa. In fact, South Africa allowed Israel to test its nuclear weapons in the ocean off South Africa. The Israelis were given a blank check: they could test whenever they desired and did not even have to ask permission. Both worked on an ethnic bomb that kills Blacks and Arabs. The KKK, on its worst day, never accused the ethnic groups it hated of attempting to concoct a “white bomb. Rev. Wright not only allowed these hate-filled diatribes to appear in TUCC’s bulletins but supports as does Obama.

    **The Conservative Times: Exclusive: Obama Connection to Terrorists Revealed
    March 22, 2008 by Jim Kouri, CPP vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.


    Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden would be praying for an Obama victory because it would help the militants win in Iraq. Article by Citizen Wells 3/08,
    Obama has a dual citizenship with Kenya. Obama is an anti-Israel, pro-pan-Arabian Islamic-socialist who has ties to Marxist Libyan President Muamar al Gadaffi, and a Syrian tycoon, Antoin Rezko, Saudi Arabian Scheiks and Rezko’s “close friend” Nadhami Auchi, the one who gave Obama fundraiser money (and helped to buy his mansion): Iraqi billionaire, global arms dealer, Nadhmi Auchi, was Baathist best friends with Saddam Hussein, and the main financial backer (from funds stolen from Oil for Food Program0 for Saddam’s – Iraqi -Saudi oil pipeline, and who stood trial with Saddam Hussein in 1959 for conspiring to assassinate Iraqi President Qasim.

    Also marxist Nicaragian President Daniel Ortega is on the front line supporting Obama for the revolution of changes and then there is hard core anti-Israel, pro-Palestine PLO Enforcer Rashid Khalid, (Obama was on Kalidi’s Woods Fund. Obama was a memb er of the Woods Fund with communist domestic terrorist Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground who bombed the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol among other things and their organization raised money for anti-Israel programs, and also AAAN, for Arabs and then there is especially Kenya – where in August 2007, Obama went to Kenya to support his E. Germany communist educated cousin Raila Odinga for Kenyan Presidential election, who claims coincidentally to also be a Christian who signed NAMLEF and other pacts wutg radical muslims who set churches filled with Christians on fire, and macheted them in the streets, causing a political and religious mini-civil war over the MUO.

    all of Obama’s mentors, buddies, political affiliations, organizational memberships and all of his hard core militant muslim family members, like his brother Abongo (Roy” Odinga who hates America, and their communist grandfather who ran with Russia and hated America, not to mention his socialist connection to his profound childhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party, CPUSA, and Obama’s endorsement by the Black Panthers. Obama titled his book “Audacity of Hope,” after Pastor Wright’s sermon about the need to destroy capitalism and the middle-class at the hands of the rich white people and the west.

  2. Rich Griffin said on April 8th, 2008 at 5:51am #

    My dislike of Barack Obama grows day after day – big sigh!! Why have people fallen in love with this snake-oil salesman? His personal comfort is what I see every time I see a picture of him. It’s all about HIM. AND you know what? he’s a male chauvinist, heterosexist monster, too. If, and it’s a big if, he becomes President, mark my words, we are in for a tough four years of betrayal and Reagan-Bush I type policies, that got us into the mess that is Bush II to begin with. I’d be happier with the more transparent (and more likable in my view) Hillary Clinton; I’m not saying to vote for her, only my own thinking about who should win given that my candidates won’t be “allowed” to win.

    Be sane – Vote for third parties!!

  3. Michael Dawson said on April 8th, 2008 at 8:56am #

    Nice try, Obamanation. If only it were true that there were strong affinities between Obama and Cone and other lefties. Alas, that’s about as plausible as Bush’s revolving war excuses.

    Meanwhile, who are you influences and heroes? Let’s guess: William F. Buckley, Bull Connor, and a certain Herr Hitler?

  4. rosemarie jackowski said on April 8th, 2008 at 10:05am #

    Michael…Good article. Thanks. I do not recall Obama saying that parents must marry. I do agree with him if he said that parents should take responsibility and care for and love their children. Marriage has become irrelevant because it fails to protect and provide for children. Marriage is a social and/or religious institution.
    In my view, one of Obama’s failures is his disrespect for the issues pointed out by Rev Wright. Obama’s candidacy is a lost opportunity to expose the economic injustice that permeates the US.

  5. Michael Dawson said on April 8th, 2008 at 10:43am #

    Thanks, Rosemarie.

    The problem with the “take care of your kids” tripe is that it begs the real question, which is take care of your kids under what conditions? Everybody believes in taking care of children. Only some of us believe that providing decent economic and educational conditions for doing so is a social responsibility. Dr. King certainly believed that. Obama, apparently, either does not or is willing to shove his belief down a hole in order to obtain power.

    Notice how Obama also says that noticing injustice — not the existence (and the usual “patriotic” non-acknowledgment) of injustice — is what’s “divisive.”

    Pretty sick stuff.

  6. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 11:49am #

    The answer is: under every condition. If at all possible. And no Michael, everyone most certainly does not think that. Everyone does not believe in taking care of children.
    What blanket coverage bullshit.
    How obvious is it there are hordes of men who could fucking care less about kids. Any kids.
    You know what else is also pretty sick stuff?
    Creating kids in the first place knowing full well you have no intention of caring for them even if the ways and means are available.
    And one sick step further is to ignore ways and means which are as readily available as soap and water, to prevent conception.
    Is that too much to ask?
    Or is anything, anything at all too much to ask?

  7. Michael Dawson said on April 8th, 2008 at 12:51pm #

    Beautiful, hp. You don’t like deadbeat dads, so you don’t mind punishing their children.

  8. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 2:25pm #

    You’re a punk Michael. I never said that and you know it. Typical jive talk.
    I said don’t YOU dare lie and say these miscreant fathers CARE about their kids. They don’t care and you know it. They don’t care about anybody but themselves and you know that too.
    Most of them don’t even come close to the lofty standard of ‘deadbeat dad.’
    I notice you didn’t address your blatant distortions. Typical also.
    What a punk you are . And a liar.
    Making excuses, blaming others for these cretins.
    You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
    You’re the one punishing the children if anyone is.
    Condoning and abetting these so-called fathers.

  9. Michael Dawson said on April 8th, 2008 at 2:32pm #

    HP: Every human life is sacred, eh? Obviously not to you. Go to hell, you immoral fascist creep.

  10. rosemarie jackowski said on April 8th, 2008 at 2:34pm #

    My view is a little out of the mainstream. I believe that every child has the right to live in a home with at least one parent who is present. That means that I don’t think that “day care centers” are the best place for children. Caring for a child should be respected work that is covered by Social Security etc. Many Feminists trivialized “women’s work” and placed an inflated value on working for corporations.

    In the 1970s I founded “Justice for Children”, which was the first organization to focus on the economic/legal rights of children. At that time, 37 million US children were living in poverty because they had been abandoned by the main wage earning parent. Either deadbeat parents should be held responsible OR society at large should pick up the slack. As it is, the children pay the highest price. Many are latch key children etc.

    Of all of the candidates, Nader rates the best when it comes to children.

  11. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 2:38pm #

    You’re a real professional good time charlie plastic banana, Mikey.

  12. Michael Dawson said on April 8th, 2008 at 3:04pm #

    Rosemarie, why does it have to be either/or? Why not both? “No child left behind,” as they say.

    But the whole thing goes much deeper than just parenting. It also has a great deal to do with school funding and social class in general.

    Have you seen the book by Ann Crittenden, _The Price of Motherhood_? It’s right on your point.

    Hp, you’re a total ignoramus reactionary douchebag.

  13. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 3:23pm #

    And you’re a fake intellectual chow hound.

  14. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 3:27pm #

    A pseudo-intellectual windbag who won the ‘lottery.’

  15. Hue Longer said on April 8th, 2008 at 3:37pm #

    I’m against the kids but support deadbeat fathers, bring them home now!

    hp is not a fascist, I agree with much of what he says on most issues except race—where he does look a bit reactionary.

    I liked the article by the way

  16. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 3:44pm #

    Rather odd that race was not mentioned once.
    Nor was any reference to not caring about children or to the ‘sacredness of human life.’
    All said was the cretins who father kids and don’t give a shit are cretins.
    Mikey just couldn’t handle the thought of these miscreants being called cretins, let alone suggesting they may be slightly responsible for their disgusting lack of honor and decency.

  17. Hue Longer said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:07pm #

    I didn’t say it was mentioned, just offering my caveat for agreeing with things you say

  18. Timber said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:09pm #

    I don’t know, I just think running a Democrat whose name is so conveniently similar to “Public Enemy Number One” and whose middle name is Hussein has always seemed like a dumb idea.

    But aside from that, Obama is clearly following a proud Democrat position of making vague, optimistic-sounding declarations without having the courage to refer to history or make specific policy suggestions. I firmly believe that an Obama presidency, rather than being an agent of change, will instead serve only to convince wishy-washy liberals and Democrats that the policies they’ve complained about for the last eight years weren’t so wrong after all. It will legitimize the crimes of the Bush administration, and undermine any remaining efforts to implement real change.

    And though I’m not defending hp’s theofascist ranting, I’ve spent a bunch of years working and living alongside blue-collar, low-income guys of every race and background, and the unfortunate reality is that some of them refuse to practice any kind of personal responsibility when it comes to family planning. As long as the culture continues to treat simple reproduction as a miraculous event and a mark of manhood, some losers will see being a babymaker as a status symbol, regardless of what happens with the child after it is conceived.

  19. Max Shields said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:13pm #

    Martin Luther King, Jr, was an American radical, brilliant thinker and orator. He was NOT a politician.

    Rosemarie, in many respects that’s true of Nader as well.

  20. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:26pm #

    Hue, yes, I realize that. I was attempting one last gasp at reality, I reckon. Reflex.
    Thanks for being honest.

    Timber, why, when you say it, is it not ‘theofascist ranting,’ but when I say it, it is? I didn’t realize being a little blunter equaled a skid into theofascism, what ever that is.
    Where does the theo part come in?
    Was I mean mouthing God too, or praising him?.
    I fail to find that either.
    Either I’m writing in invisible ink or you guys are seeing things.
    I mean, c’mon, I know it’s a little boring around here but no need to embellish for my sake.

  21. rosemarie jackowski said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:37pm #

    Michael…I agree. It can be both – the parents and the community. My point was that the way it is now, no one has the ultimate responsibility. Proof of that is the number of abandoned and economically deprived children. To me personally, I don’t care how or who supports children. I only care that they be supported. If society decided that the government should provide all of the support for children, that would be fine with me. I am familiar with “The Price of Motherhood”. I think the author was interviewed on C-span. She makes some good points. There was something I did not agree with, but can’t remember now what it was. I think she might have seemed a little too right-wingish, maybe.

    Max…You are right about Nader. I guess that’s why he doesn’t get enough votes to beat the other guys. He is NOT a politician. Nader is one of the nicest, most genuine people anyone could know. He is truly a Statesman, and definately not a politician.

  22. rosemarie jackowski said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:39pm #

    On second thought, everyone seems a little too right-wingish for me.

  23. Hue Longer said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:44pm #

    you’re such a hippy, Rosemarie

  24. Michael Dawson said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:47pm #

    Well, Crittenden has a very yuppie-ish vantage point, and mostly complains about lawyers and journalists who are mothers being put on “the mommy track.” But her larger point is that feminism needs a third wave, one that demands parenting be counted and paid as the crucial, highly-skilled labor it is.

    And, yes, if you care about children and the future of the country, the point is to do whatever it takes to give all children an excellent childhood. Immoral jackasses like “hp” would rather just bash on absent fathers, and pretend their harangues are adequate to the problem and its ethics.

    And the problem isn’t just childhood, either. It’s class. Why do you imagine the lower-class folks act differently, Timber? Either they are an inferior sub-species, or their conditions are brutal and make them depressed and impulsive. If it’s the latter, then why don’t we as a society do what it takes to raise the conditions? That’s what they do in the rest of the rich countries, and it works.

  25. Michael Dawson said on April 8th, 2008 at 10:36pm #

    Check out Timber’s report above of your racist essence, hp. Given that he defends you from your own obvious fascism, I presume he’s a reliable conservative source. As if one is needed, given your obvious hatred of people below/other than yourself.

    Enjoy your Klan meeting tonight.

  26. Sunil Sharma said on April 9th, 2008 at 12:41am #


    Argue the points of the article like an adult, rather than dish out ad hominems against the author (e.g. punk. liar, pseudo intellectual, etc.). If you’re not capable of doing that, you’ll be banned from the Comments board.

  27. Sunil Sharma said on April 9th, 2008 at 12:46am #

    Same goes for you, Michael.

  28. Mike McNiven said on April 9th, 2008 at 12:57am #

    Thank you Mr.Dawson for this brave analysis! Dr.King would have never endorsed Obama and or praised Reagan! His message of unity was the unity of the victims of the dominant system in the US, not unity of the ruling classes and the poor of this country. How the so-called “well educated” of this country is fooled by Obama — as the pollsters are telling us — says a lot about our “education system” too!

  29. Max Shields said on April 9th, 2008 at 1:14pm #

    Someone said to me this morning that Americans don’t believe in education in the sense of enlightenment or critical thinking. Extreme capialism has no use for education of that sort. It’s all about process; what can you do for me to make money?

    So Mike McNiven I think that’s why this country is “fooled by Obama”.

    There is an element, however, who are what we might agree of as thinkers. Michael Lerner seems to see in Obama a Robert Kennedy, a MLK , the Civil Rights Movement and the 60/70 anti-war movement all wrapped up in one. Lerner represents a sliver of so-called progressives who are willing to forgive Obama all of his equivocating and weak kneed positions, for some grand notion of an educated black man as head of state and for them that trumps almost everything else. I’d call it white guilt except we see it among black intellectuals for what appears to be the same “reason”. So, Obama can talk about support of a Reagan foreign policy and align with the old anti-60s Republican/Yellow Dog Dems and get away with it – these “progessives” are totally deaf to what Obama says as he leans to the right with endless Iraq occupation.

  30. Chris Crass said on April 9th, 2008 at 1:56pm #