Will We See Change We Can Believe In?

From The RampartsJunious Ricardo StantonWill We See Change We Can believe In?“Since the 1960's black’s consistent level of voter participation indicates that they steadfastly believe that their voting power can significantly change their life conditions. This will not happen, though much effort and expense go into black voter registration and get out the vote projects. Blacks have successfully put black and white candidates into high government offices by voting in blocks. But blacks have failed to buttress their block voting with other forms of power building activity... Even when blacks vote blacks into office, their ballot box victories do not necessarily translate into improved social and economic conditions for black people. ”- Claud Anderson Ed.D Black Labor White Wealth The Search for Power and Economic Justice page 34It’s supremely ironic Barack Hussein Obama is being inaugurated as the forty-fourth president of the United States of AmeriKKKa having won on a platform of “Change We Can Believe In” one day after the national observance of a holiday honoring the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the greatest change agents of the twentieth century. I say ironic because Black folks hail Obama as a “black” man given our experiences with the color cast “one drop rule” that has haunted AmeriKKKa since its inception. Obama’s Kenyan father directly links him to Africa, so he is black in that sense yet philosophically and politically Obama is far removed from Martin Luther King on the major issues such as war, and economic justice.It’s true Obama is “black” in that his father was an African but pragmatically for him to campaign for the US presidency, he had to run as a candidate for all the people. Yes he is extremely intelligent and has a background as a community organizer which served him well during his historic campaign for the nomination and presidency, however that being said will the changes he supposedly represents be good for Africans in AmeriKKKa? Will the change he advocates improve our lot or will it be the same ol’ same ol’, rhetoric but no action?Many blacks liken Obama’s election to the fulfillment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the elimination of AmeriKKKan color cast, apartheid and oppression and the realization of black empowerment. But if we go back and examine what Dr. King was battling for: racial and economic justice, unfettered inclusion into the “mainstream” and the social, political and economic fabric of this country, King finally wondered if he was not “integrating” us into an AmeriKKKa he likened to a burning building, an edifice in moral collapse. At the time of his assassination, King was convinced AmeriKKKa was on the wrong track. He courageously spoke out against the Vietnam War which made him persona non grata in the corporatist media and government circles. He like Malcolm X before him, linked US racism and state sanction terror with global imperialism, militarism and oppression. When he was murdered in Memphis, King was supporting black sanitation workers who were struggling for a living wage, validation and recognition as men as well as unionized workers.Prior to his murder, Dr. King was working on a Poor People’s Campaign to galvanize, mobilize and radicalize the dispossessed, maginalized and disenfranchised to demonstrate and put national pressure on the US government to alter its public policies on poverty and war. By bringing attention to the enormous costs of the Vietnam war, the egregious drain on the nation’s resources and the devastating moral consequences of imperialism around the world and their impact domestically; King antagonized the reactionaries who wanted to hold onto the status quo. King vexed the ruling elites, the war profiteers and the military-industrial complex. When he called for a radical redistribution of wealth in AmeriKKKa, King in effect signed his own death warrant and placed a bull’s eye upon himself. Yet he did so with courage and the certainty his faith would carry him on. He became a role model for courage, determination and purpose.Barack Obama was called a child of “post racial” AmeriKKKa. Post racial? Perhaps we should ask the family of Oscar Grant the young black man killed by an Oakland BART officer on January 1, 2009 about post racial AmeriKKKa. The truth of the matter is while he is “black” by the one drop rule, Obama is not a black man in the sense he has experienced the vicissitudes of life like the average black man born and raised here. Obama was not raised black. Barack Obama was raised by his white grandparents. There are countless black men his age who have experienced varying degrees of color cast, abuse and inequality Barack Obama knows nothing about. As eloquent as Obama is, he never articulates issues such as these, because he can’t. His rap encourages hope and a belief in “AmeriKKKan ideals” many blacks have never experienced.Blacks admired Obama’s eloquence but did not really get on this band wagon until they saw whites supporting him and saw him winning in white states like Iowa. Once he demonstrated he could garner white support and win, grass roots blacks jumped on board while the black political elites tended to support Hillary Clinton. Will the loyalty and almost idolization of Obama by most blacks extrapolate into polices they can be proud of that will benefit us?Thus far Obama has demonstrated he is no Martin Luther King. It is painfully obvious he is not willing to challenge the system to radically reform itself. Look at his last votes as a US Senator. He voted for the bail out which is turning out to be the biggest scam and wealth transfer in the nation’s history. He had to know it wasn’t what they told Congress it was. He voted for Bu$h’s telecommunications bill which gave them immunity from breaking the FISA personal spying law which effectively prevents Bu$h from being prosecuted for breaking that law. Obama opposed the invasion of Iraq as a state senator yet he voted for its funding time and time again once he got in the US Senate.Obama unabashedly supports the war in Afghanistan despite the fact the Taliban poses no threat to the US and the US government refused to provide Taliban leaders with concrete evidence bin-Laden was actually involved in 9-11. By the way he still supports the bombing of Afghanistan despite the fact Osama bin-Laden has been dead for years. He also supports expanding the bogus War on Terror into Pakistan, thus violating yet another nation’s sovereignty.Obama took the side of Georgia in their recent aggression into South Ossetia and he has remained totally silent about Israel’s heavy handed assault on Gaza. Is this change from the status quo? Does this signal a new day? Not in my book. Some blacks uncritically plead for us to give Barack Obama a chance, give him the benefit of doubt, let him get in then see what he does. That’s all well and good. However I agree with Maya Angelou when she says, “When they show you who they are the first time, believe them.” Only time will tell if the Obama administration means change that will benefit all of us or whether he will continue the class warfare, sanction the corruption, rape and plunder of the taxpayers like the Bu$h-Clinton-Bu$h administrations have engaged in for years.-30-
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  • Things are what they are. All we can do is think for ourselves and provide an alternative to the okey-doke put out by the corporatist mind control apparatus and their lackies in the Negro media. Read Amos Wilson's Blueprint For Black Power especially chapter 11 where he addresses the failure of black media. Stay strong!
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