Obama’s rhetoric

The speech of Barack Obama that drew widespread applause is reproduced after the next couple of paragraphs. I found the speech well crafted, appealing to passion and has an element of soothing calmness that has become characteristic of Democratic Party. His intention is clear, to win and be emergent in the power politics. And to garner the required support, he resorts to his own American Dream.

Are we soon being reduced to irrational passive dreamers who fancy that multicultural plate will on its own arrange itself neatly with social order even without folks interfering with the political-economic design?

Well, here is what Obama thinks: Read More

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Studying Obama representation

I found on email a refreshingly different critique on Barack Obama by Malik Al-Arkam. The self-adulation must stop, the author hints. And the same person cannot serve the oppressed and the oppressors at the same time, for the interests will clash eventually, Al-Arkam emphatically states.

This may be politically incorrect, but it is politically very relevant.
Mr. Obama’s rosy rhetoric ignores American apartheid:

To be sure Mr. Barack Obama has many admirable qualities. He is a Black man who has worked long and hard to elevate himself in an intensely racist society. He loves his wife and daughters. He has a social conscience. He has worked to secure civil rights for the downtrodden in Chicago. As a African-American who also beat the odds by fighting my way out of the segregated South and going on to earn an honors degree at Harvard College and as one who lived in East Africa, I can identify with Mr. Obama in several ways. However, an objective analysis of Mr. Obama’s well-crafted keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention reveals that there is a huge gap between his rosy rhetoric and the harsh realities of American apartheid.

He stated: “It’s that fundamental belief–I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper–that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family….There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America, there’s the United States of America.” How sharply do those words contrast with the findings of the 1968 Kerner Commission Report: “Our nation is moving towards two societies, one black, one white–separate and unequal.” For those of you who are too young to remember what was really going on in the 1960s, here is a brief summary from History Matters: “President Lyndon Johnson formed an 11-member National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in July 1967 to explain the riots that plagued cities each summer since 1964 and to provide recommendations for the future.

The Commission’s 1968 report concluded that unless racial oppression was remedied, the USA faced a ‘system of apartheid’ in its major cities. The Kerner report delivered an indictment of white society for isolating and neglecting African Americans and urged legislation to promote racial integration and to enrich slums– primarily through the creation of jobs, job training programs and decent housing.” In 1998, three decades after the report, former Senator and Commission member Fred R. Harris co-authored a study which concluded that “the racial divide had grown in the ensuing years with inner-city unemployment at crisis levels.”
On a personal note, I was in the White House on June 13th 1967 when President Johnson Lyndon Johnson enthusiastically announced the appointment of Mr. Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. I happened to be standing just a few feet away from Johnson and Marshall, close enough to see the pupils of their eyes. I was there to receive a Presidential Scholar Award.

At that moment so many of us thought that we were finally moving up in America, after centuries of brutal slavery and decades of violent discrimination. How naive we were and how expert was the American ruling class at manipulating us with symbols and rhetoric.
As a political scientist and scholar who has lived in the inner cities of New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago and Boston, I am one of many who knows that in 2004 the masses of Afro-Descendants are suffering more from mal-education, high unemployment, drug addiction and Black-on-Black violence than they ever did in the 1960s. Since I have lived in Boston for the past ten years and witnessed the deterioration of so many of our youth, despite the sincere efforts of some educators, activists and organizations, I find it very ironic that Mr. Obama portrays Senator Kerry as a saviour for a “united” America which is now more divided along race and class lines than ever before in recent decades. The truth is that during all the years that Kerry and Kennedy have been in the Senate, the living conditions of most of our people have sharply declined.

If you want detailed scholarly confirmation of today’s worsening racial oppression, please visit www.blackcommentator.com and read its excellent current series entitled “The New American Apartheid.” Then visit www.AllForReparations.org and learn more about the hidden Reparations Movement which has been unfolding inside the United Nations for the past twelve years, a Movement which the U.S. government has worked hard to strangle and which the white mass media, including the Boston Globe, has arrogantly refused to cover. On the AFRE website you can read the interventions of activists who have testified before the Human Rights Commission about the devastating effects of long-term and on-going U.S. policies of ethnocide and forced assimilation.

According to Mr. Obama “the true genius of America (is) a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. “No, sir. The evil genius of the white American ruling class is its ability to be the world’s greatest human rights violator while hiding behind the facade of liberal democracy. President Bush and Senator Kerry are both members of the top one percent of the U.S. population which owns close to 50% of all private wealth. They lose no sleep at night over the fact that in the richest country on Earth nine million people are unemployed and forty-three million have no health insurance. Nor are they ashamed about the fact that 60% of all the prisoners in America’s jails are Afro-Descendants. Like President Bush, Mr. Kerry fiercely opposes Reparations for African-Americans while fiercely supporting both broad Reparations and massive military aid for white Israel. In conclusion, I hope that one day Mr. Obama will learn that no man can serve the oppressor and the oppressed at the same time. And that if profits no man to sell his soul for the sake of mere riches
and fame.

Peace Be Unto The Righteous,
Malik Al-Arkam
www.AllForReparations.org

Political lessons for a perpetual Black activist

Alton H Maddox Jr. writes about the Political lessons for a perpetual Black activist, for the AmNews

As Black leaders are biting off their fingers waiting for the start of the Democratic National Convention later this month in Boston, I will be reminiscing about Johnson versus Goldwater in 1964. Because Georgia allowed persons to vote at 18 years of age before the 26th Amendment, this would be my first vote in a presidential election.

This election would introduce me to the politics of fear. Barry Goldwater would nuke the world. Lyndon Johnson was the Great White Hope. The same modus operandi is in play today. Only President-select George Bush can save the United States from another 9/11 attack. Homeland Security is busy disseminating color-coded alerts.

My father gave me some advice for the next presidential election in 1968. Like myself, he never experienced any obstacle to voting in Coweta County. The reason was simple. Georgia used the white primary system and county officials were indifferent to Black voting preferences. A white, male segregationist would win every election.

His advice was simple: You should always vote for a Black person if the opportunity presented itself. Voting for white males had been an exercise in futility. My opportunity to vote for a Black presidential candidate presented itself in 1968. Dick Gregory was on the ballot. This was probably a first in the South.

I voted for Gregory even though the Gregory vote, like the Ralph Nader vote in 2000, probably defeated the Democratic presidential candidate. My vote, however, was consistent with the 1960s agenda of Vote Black! Buy Black! and Think Black! Tricky Dick Nixon was elected president and he ushered in Gov. George Wallaces states rights platform.

By 1968, I had learned another valuable lesson: Politics is not about whom you send home. It is about what you bring home. The return of Muhammad Ali to the boxing ring is a perfect example. No state would issue him a boxing license. Georgia did, even though Gov. Lester Maddox vowed that Ali would only fight in Georgia over his dead body.

Ali did fight in Atlanta because of the political and legal skills of State Senator Leroy Johnson, who was the first Black elected to a state legislature in the South since Reconstruction. Using Black political clout, Johnson was the political kingpin in Georgia. Most white politicians kowtowed to him.

Without his endorsement, Sam Massell would never have become the first Jewish mayor in Atlanta. Johnson was no slouch, however. White politicians had to pay off their political debts. Aside from political slaves, political creditors know how to enforce a debt.

Because Georgia was without a boxing commission, Johnson knew that Maddox had no any jurisdiction over boxing. That being the case, he directed Massell to issue Ali a license to fight in Atlanta. For Ali, the rest is boxing career.

For me, politics started in the 1960s. I envisioned Blacks in Georgias Black Belt securing and exercising political power. I went to the Voter Education Project seeking funding. Both Vernon Jordan and John Lewis once headed the VEP which, I later learned, had secured funds to persuade Blacks that the political process was superior to urban rebellions.

VEP gave me the shock of my life. My proposal was rejected because it was too Black. Voting was not intended to give Blacks political power. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 only gave Blacks a political presence. Black power was out of the question.

This same strategy was employed in 1866. Rather than to write a citizenship provision in the Constitution, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Newly freed Blacks protested and Black soldiers refused to participate in the toys for guns program.

This protest prompted Congress to author the Fourteenth Amendment, as an equalizer, to get guns out of Black hands. Congress never intended to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, and the rights under them are illusory.

After the political debacle in 1876, Jim Crow was crowned. Voter fraud in Florida precipitated the Hayes-Tilden Compromise. Seven years later, the Supreme Court invalidated the Civil Rights Act of 1875. History repeated itself in 2000 and, in 2007, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 will expire. We must study political and constitutional history.

I will be watching the Democratic National Convention with great sadness. Every Black elected official in New York will be enthusiastically endorsing the Kerry-Edwards ticket because white men told them to do so. This is white paternalism and Black treason.

None of them would confront Eliot Spitzer, the state attorney general, over Spitzers takeover of BUFNY or my illegal, protracted suspension from the practice of law. Spitzer will never tolerate any Black confronting white authority. Through voting, we are endorsing our own oppression.

To add salt to an open wound, Spitzer is supervising the writing of the National Platform for the Democratic National Convention. He intends to do nationally what he has already done locally. His views on race can be found in his argument before the states highest court: New York should not finance education beyond the eighth grade for Black children.

I am inviting all Black elected officials and Black leaders to stand with Kermit Eady and me before they trek off to Boston to bless the Kerry-Edwards ticket. More importantly, they should come out and outline, in detail, their political agenda for the Democratic National Convention and any retaliatory action to be taken if their agenda is rebuffed.

Attorney Chokwe Lumumba, who is also facing a disbarment proceeding in Mississippi, will be the keynote speaker. Trans-Atlantic Productions will be showing a critically informational film on Tawana Brawley and the unveiling of www.reinstatealtonmaddox.com.

It will all take place at the Oberia Dempsey Center, 127 West 127th Street in Harlem on Wednesday, July 21, at 7 p.m. Kudos to Sis. Karen Mason for the website and Sis. Clara Jones as media liaison. For further information call 718-834-9034.

Gil Scott-Heron’s B Movie

Gil Scott-Heron’s B Movie From the album “Reflections” has the lyrics that will stir hearts souls. No wonder he is the Soul Singer.

From gun control to corporate wars, Scott-Heron does not spare anything. And thats the reason why his revolution could not be televised. Here is the rest new poet (declaring the dawning of a new age):

Well, the first thing I want to say is…”Mandate my ass!”
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Offerings

What will I give thee, you are the gift to me

How much to adore thee, you mean the love for me

When each moment spent are the times cherished

To wish you well, which day be chosen by me?

 

The night’s a façade, the day conceals

And my gladness, the stars too miss

My feelings how can they know

Those greetings on sale and marketed gifts

 

Who I pray and worship for you?

Where do I seek your well being?

What do I add to bedeck your day

When what I have is you as blessing?

 

No poem can ever suffice to note

Or a painter’s brush can ever coat

The shine of my eye, the pride in my heart

Words too feeble, and colors delicate

 

Have loved you to know you

And known to have loved you

If life has some things to crave for

Its to live my life beside you

 

Never in want will you be, for you are the spring

Of all happiness unbound that human life can bring

Your commitments for people in need will soon be fulfilled

Keep up the fine work, the wary World will surely yield.

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet