This is my final post and in this post I would like to talk about the way Noam Chomsky portrayed Obama and the assertion by Noam Chomsky on future of Obama administration based on his cabinet. Race of Obama was not mentioned much by Noam Chomsky but there are constructive criticism on Obama and his cabinet members. Although I like Obama, it is important that skepticism is necessary in creating a better democracy. The things that Chomsky talks about are much different from the things that the mainstream media talks about Obama’s cabinet members. Chomsky seems to have a great knowledge and backgrounds about this issue. Chomsky talks about real implications of American democracy and its future.

Firstly, Chomsky praises the election of Barack Obama and having a black family in the White House is something that people have never imagined. Chomsky never predicted this incident to take place and he talked about reasons of Barack Obama rising up to the power which are due to the activism during the 60s, economic crisis which is taking place at the moment ,and the marketing of “Obama Brand”.
In America, it is hard to see the real progression and changes due to the evidence that business sector is controlling the politics. Chomsky gives a person named Tom Ferguson who wrote a scholarly work called Golden Rule: the Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems which argues and predicts that the elections are the moments when the groups of investors are collate to invest to control the state. This theory gives very predictive state of how the policies are continued by the state throughout the time. Exceptions of this theory is proved in many countries such as Bolivia, Haiti, and others where people with almost no resources organized a grass movement to vote for someone who represent them and fight against pre-existing status quo. America is not one of the exceptions in changing the current political stream. Moreover, Chomsky argues that the presidency of Obama is due to the activism during the 60s and economic crisis which we face today. The activism during the 60s changed and civilized America and its culture through giving equal rights to the citizens and the Great Society programs. This type of activism leads to development of our culture to be less racist than the system in the Europe. Also, Chomsky is intrigued by the fact that when the economic crisis is taken place during the time of existing political party, the opposition party always wins by the landslide. Nevertheless, it was not the case for this election. Obama only won by 8 million votes and if there was not economic crisis which took place after this year; Obama may not have won his election.

The marketing of “Obama Brand” is fascinating to understand. Chomsky has a very distinctive idea in separating two ways of the grassroots movement. The first one is a group of people who construct their own political agenda to push and pick their own candidate to run the office. Obama’s grassroots movement was a different type. This is a known fact that Obama gathered and organized many people by introducing his idea to implement the ideas. The latter form can not push changes because there are differences between rhetoric and action by the politician. The only way that people can bring changes is through the activism similar to the 60s, when people constructed and organized their own mass popular movement to fight for changes.

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In this post, I posted the interview by Shelby Steele who is a research fellow at Hoover Institution and he wrote a book called Bound Man which he argues that Barack Obama would not win the election ,and the interview was done after the election of Obama. Steele makes interesting claim that Obama has a characteristic of Louis Armstrong, which Steel called bargainers mask. The term is important in understanding Obamas candidacy in the perspective of Steel because it explains the cultural impact, not political impact of Barack Obama winning the presidency and it further differentiates Obama from a person like Reverend Jesse Jackson. Rev. Jackson as Steele described is more confrontational black person who pushes white guilty of past segregated society and slavery which were done by the white people. In the other hand, Obama is a black man who is willing to give white people who are stigmatized as racists an opportunity to prove that white people are not racists in America without a confrontational manner. Thus Obama used white people to support him in return he gave them a new historical moment that can document the progress of America in terms of race relation.

Moreover Steele believes that race still matters in America because Obama got elected to presidency, though he was for tax raise. It is interesting to think about this issue because Americans do not like paying taxes and politicians are afraid of talking about tax raise. Steele is a conservative and he doe not seem to be likening the tax raise. However, Steele does not talk about the fact that during the campaign, Obama said frequently that he is going to raise tax on five percent of wealthiest Americans, not every Americans. This fact was never mentioned by Steele and he was using Obamas tax policy to support his claim that the race was the most important matter in Obamas candidacy. It is interesting to see the claim by Steele that Obama is guided by moral authority to usher Americans to the new politics of governmental intervention. This claim seems to be seriously false because there are governmental interventions in many sectors of American life and Steele does not account in making judgments through the misleading policies which were proposed for last eight years and its unpopularity ,and its connection with the presidency of Barack Obama.

However, Steele makes a good claim that under represented poor people will not be changed by the governmental interventions and the social programs that assist them. The only way that black poor people is going to change is when they are exhausted with their sufferings and raise up to fight against the sufferings and ask for social changes. It seems to be true that government can not solve every problems that poor and under represented people are facing, it is up to them to fight against injustice to earn fairness and justice.

Week 10
Cornel West: two path of black leadership

This clip was taken place at the Columbus Circle Borders Bookstore in NYC on 23rd November, 2008. West again gave me the wisdom of the black leadership and its definition. Basically, there are two leadership of black identity; first leadership is associated with element of governing, and the leader is in the process of governing and is in the part of democratic process. Second leadership comes from the justice and people who are willing to sacrifice whatever they have in order to fight for justice. The ladder leadership is what West is asking from the politicians to recognize and follow because unarmed and unconditional truth allows sufferings to speak and the second leadership includes people like Ghandi, MLK, Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, and so forth.
After West differentiated the leadership offered by Barack Obama and other black leaders. Then he talked about mainstream media and how it handled in creating the false image of Obama’s presidency as quote “post racial election”. West disagrees with the term “post racial”, because white people voted for Barack Obama should not be considered post racial, just as black people voted for white presidents for decades is not considered post racial. West simply describe the white people who voted Obama for his qualification, not his racial identity are not gone beyond race, but are less racists. I agree with everything he says and continue to say about “colorblindness”. It is absolutely true that the term “post racial” is arbitrary term because race is judged by our visual sense. Anyone who are not blind can see the color of people’s skin.
Basically after that West talked about Jeremiah Wright and the mainstream media’s fault of creating a false image of Wright and so on.

It is interesting to see Cornel West in CNN as a commentator because he does not seem like the type who would show up at CNN, meaning his view does not seem to fit in the mainstream, because his view on Obama’s victory is not distorted and seems very truthful. The clip was the comment after the victory of Barack Obama by Cornel West and I found the similar aspects spoken by Dr. West and Mumia Abu-Jamal (from the week 7) which is the symbolic image of Barack Obama and the uncertainty of Obama’s administration. Since Obama will not be the president until his inauguration, West talks about things that Obama need to achieve and the thing that Obama achieved by the winning this historical election.

As I mentioned earlier that West and Abu-Jamal share the idea that the symbolic image of Barack Obama has huge impact on children regardless of their color. Moreover, West and Abu-Jamal both share the fact that they both talk about substantive approach in discussing Obama’s presidency such as the formation of Obama’s cabinet, his policy toward the 3rd world countries, and his senior advisors. West does not talk about his preference of how Obama should form his administration, but he seems to want the same political goals which were stated by Abu-Jamal. The goals are the betterment of the poor black working class and the different attitude of the U.S. when it comes to its foreign policy. Abu-Jamal was very much impressed by the community organizing and how the organization of the citizens is the only way to keep the government in check. In the other hand, West talks about the same aspect in the clip, but in a different way by saying that the only way to bring the change that people want is by mobilization of the citizens, pressuring the Obama administration to further achieve what as the people need. Although, they are both talking about community organizing but Abu-Jamal was talking about Obama’s ability to organize and West talks about the mobilization of the people is needed during the Obama administration.

                Overall, it seems to me that Cornel West is more hopeful and trustful of Barack Obama than Mumia Abu-Jamal, because Abu-Jamal is doubtful that Obama is going to bring significant change that he eagerly talked about during the campaign because of the constraint of the state and the pressure from the corporations to shape the policy the way they want. Also, Abu-Jamal talks about the enormity of the tasks which are given to Barack Obama in the midst of many crises. However, West seems to think that Obama has the potential and unique ability to bring changes that people deserve. Though, West asks for many things for Obama such as representation of the poor blacks, the people from the 3rd world countries, and etc.

If you check out the week 7, the second clip, you can acknowledge the similiaries and differences between Cornel West and Mumia Abu-Jamal as I mentioned in this commentary.

October 12, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama

IF you think way back to the start of this marathon campaign, back when it seemed preposterous that any black man could be a serious presidential contender, then you remember the biggest fear about Barack Obama: a crazy person might take a shot at him.

Some voters told reporters that they didn’t want Obama to run, let alone win, should his very presence unleash the demons who have stalked America from Lincoln to King. After consultation with Congress, Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, gave Obama a Secret Service detail earlier than any presidential candidate in our history — in May 2007, some eight months before the first Democratic primaries.

“I’ve got the best protection in the world, so stop worrying,” Obama reassured his supporters. Eventually the country got conditioned to his appearing in large arenas without incident (though I confess that the first loud burst of fireworks at the end of his convention stadium speech gave me a start). In America, nothing does succeed like success. The fear receded.

Until now. At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.

All’s fair in politics. John McCain and Sarah Palin have every right to bring up William Ayers, even if his connection to Obama is minor, even if Ayers’s Weather Underground history dates back to Obama’s childhood, even if establishment Republicans and Democrats alike have collaborated with the present-day Ayers in educational reform. But it’s not just the old Joe McCarthyesque guilt-by-association game, however spurious, that’s going on here. Don’t for an instant believe the many mindlessly “even-handed” journalists who keep saying that the McCain campaign’s use of Ayers is the moral or political equivalent of the Obama campaign’s hammering on Charles Keating.

What makes them different, and what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies, is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin. Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist.” He is “palling around with terrorists” (note the plural noun). Obama is “not a man who sees America the way you and I see America.” Wielding a wildly out-of-context Obama quote, Palin slurs him as an enemy of American troops.

By the time McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” it’s no surprise that someone cries out “Terrorist!” The rhetorical conflation of Obama with terrorism is complete. It is stoked further by the repeated invocation of Obama’s middle name by surrogates introducing McCain and Palin at these rallies. This sleight of hand at once synchronizes with the poisonous Obama-is-a-Muslim e-mail blasts and shifts the brand of terrorism from Ayers’s Vietnam-era variety to the radical Islamic threats of today.

That’s a far cry from simply accusing Obama of being a guilty-by-association radical leftist. Obama is being branded as a potential killer and an accessory to past attempts at murder. “Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family” was how a McCain press release last week packaged the remembrance of a Weather Underground incident from 1970 — when Obama was 8.

We all know what punishment fits the crime of murder, or even potential murder, if the security of post-9/11 America is at stake. We all know how self-appointed “patriotic” martyrs always justify taking the law into their own hands.

Obama can hardly be held accountable for Ayers’s behavior 40 years ago, but at least McCain and Palin can try to take some responsibility for the behavior of their own supporters in 2008. What’s troubling here is not only the candidates’ loose inflammatory talk but also their refusal to step in promptly and strongly when someone responds to it with bloodthirsty threats in a crowded arena. Joe Biden had it exactly right when he expressed concern last week that “a leading American politician who might be vice president of the United States would not just stop midsentence and turn and condemn that.” To stay silent is to pour gas on the fires.

It wasn’t always thus with McCain. In February he loudly disassociated himself from a speaker who brayed “Barack Hussein Obama” when introducing him at a rally in Ohio. Now McCain either backpedals with tardy, pro forma expressions of respect for his opponent or lets second-tier campaign underlings release boilerplate disavowals after ugly incidents like the chilling Jim Crow-era flashback last week when a Florida sheriff ranted about “Barack Hussein Obama” at a Palin rally while in full uniform.

From the start, there have always been two separate but equal questions about race in this election. Is there still enough racism in America to prevent a black man from being elected president no matter what? And, will Republicans play the race card? The jury is out on the first question until Nov. 4. But we now have the unambiguous answer to the second: Yes.

McCain, who is no racist, turned to this desperate strategy only as Obama started to pull ahead. The tone was set at the Republican convention, with Rudy Giuliani’s mocking dismissal of Obama as an “only in America” affirmative-action baby. We also learned then that the McCain campaign had recruited as a Palin handler none other than Tucker Eskew, the South Carolina consultant who had worked for George W. Bush in the notorious 2000 G.O.P. primary battle where the McCains and their adopted Bangladeshi daughter were slimed by vicious racist rumors.

No less disconcerting was a still-unexplained passage of Palin’s convention speech: Her use of an unattributed quote praising small-town America (as opposed to, say, Chicago and its community organizers) from Westbrook Pegler, the mid-century Hearst columnist famous for his anti-Semitism, racism and violent rhetorical excess. After an assassin tried to kill F.D.R. at a Florida rally and murdered Chicago’s mayor instead in 1933, Pegler wrote that it was “regrettable that Giuseppe Zangara shot the wrong man.” In the ’60s, Pegler had a wish for Bobby Kennedy: “Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow falls.”

This is the writer who found his way into a speech by a potential vice president at a national political convention. It’s astonishing there’s been no demand for a public accounting from the McCain campaign. Imagine if Obama had quoted a Black Panther or Louis Farrakhan — or William Ayers — in Denver.

The operatives who would have Palin quote Pegler have been at it ever since. A key indicator came two weeks after the convention, when the McCain campaign ran its first ad tying Obama to the mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Rather than make its case by using a legitimate link between Fannie and Obama (or other Democratic leaders), the McCain forces chose a former Fannie executive who had no real tie to Obama or his campaign but did have a black face that could dominate the ad’s visuals.

There are no black faces high in the McCain hierarchy to object to these tactics. There hasn’t been a single black Republican governor, senator or House member in six years. This is a campaign where Palin can repeatedly declare that Alaska is “a microcosm of America” without anyone even wondering how that might be so for a state whose tiny black and Hispanic populations are each roughly one-third the national average. There are indeed so few people of color at McCain events that a black senior writer from The Tallahassee Democrat was mistakenly ejected by the Secret Service from a campaign rally in Panama City in August, even though he was standing with other reporters and showed his credentials. His only apparent infraction was to look glaringly out of place.

Could the old racial politics still be determinative? I’ve long been skeptical of the incessant press prognostications (and liberal panic) that this election will be decided by racist white men in the Rust Belt. Now even the dimmest bloviators have figured out that Americans are riveted by the color green, not black — as in money, not energy. Voters are looking for a leader who might help rescue them, not a reckless gambler whose lurching responses to the economic meltdown (a campaign “suspension,” a mortgage-buyout stunt that changes daily) are as unhinged as his wanderings around the debate stage.

To see how fast the tide is moving, just look at North Carolina. On July 4 this year — the day that the godfather of modern G.O.P. racial politics, Jesse Helms, died — The Charlotte Observer reported that strategists of both parties agreed Obama’s chances to win the state fell “between slim and none.” Today, as Charlotte reels from the implosion of Wachovia, the McCain-Obama race is a dead heat in North Carolina and Helms’s Republican successor in the Senate, Elizabeth Dole, is looking like a goner.

But we’re not at Election Day yet, and if voters are to have their final say, both America and Obama have to get there safely. The McCain campaign has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and inciting vigilantism, and each day the mob howls louder. The onus is on the man who says he puts his country first to call off the dogs, pit bulls and otherwise.

Source : http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/opinion/12rich.html?sq=barack%20obama&st=cse&scp=15&pagewanted=print

Critical Commentary:

After the two years of presidential election, there were many things that were said by the both parties. The various noticeable aspects regarding the McCain/Palin campaign was written by the New York Times consisting of the racially motivated negative campaign which was run by McCain and Palin. The article was written a month before the election but it seems to stress the everlasting issue which may have not ended yet.

The article gives a precise fact that there has not been a single black Republican governor, senator, or House member for 6 years. It seems to be partly because of the indifference of the Republican Party’s platform when it comes to the people of color. It seems to me that the fact has the reason which has its base in the historical and political characteristic of the Republican Party. Many republicans were against the Civil Rights Movement and there were connected with various racists groups. Also, the Republican Party is too far to the right that it is compatible and similar to the National Front Party in France. There is no doubt that the party has its racists and xenophobic value and disregard the fact that America were created by whites and blacks who came from the different continent.

Now the election is over and Barack Obama is the president elect and will be the 44th president of the United States. Obama emphasized the unity and bipartisanship between the Democrats and the Republicans to further achieve his goal. Obama seems to have forgotten racially motivated rhetoric which was used by the McCain/Palin Campaign. The author stresses the various points, discussing this issue, further making points that the racial politics will be constantly used during the campaign. As a matter of the fact, the racial politics was used throughout McCain/Palin campaign, there were many negative campaigns which were divisive and should have been condemned.

It seems to me that now I think about the McCain/Palin Campaign was that they created the false image of Barack Obama throughout the campaign. As the author put it “the old Joe McCarthyesque guilt-by-association game”, and the statements were said by Sarah Plain that Obama is “palling around with terrorists” and also she slurred him as an enemy of American Troops. The sad part about this nonsense talk is that many people across the United States believe this nonsense as the truth. The America is still divided, Obama only won by eight million votes, and he was lucky by the fact that the stock market crushed during the campaign. It seems to me that the Republican pundits will attack Obama with their racially motivated slurs when they see the chance and it will probably happen as long as the Republican Party platform remains the same.

Mumia Abu-Jamal critically breaks down the presidency of Barack Obama through the process of Obama’s campaigning effort and his black identity. Abu-Jamal focuses the fact that there have been many black candidates ran for the presidency, mostly from the 3rd party. The black predecessors of Obama were black liberation, socialists, anti-war activists, or civil rights movement activists and the detractors of Obama tried to give those images to Obama during the campaign, but it is hardly true for Obama as Abu-Jamal stated. It seems to me that only way that for Obama to earn the credit of being a good black president to Abu-Jamal is that Obama need to end the US imperialism, corporate greed, and stop the wars. Abu-Jamal strongly spoke about the doubt in bringing the change that people need because of Obama’s stance and many things he said during the campaign.

Another clip of Mumia Abu-Jamal talks about the presidency of Obama and praises the strategy and ability of Obama to mobilize people. The memorizing part was when Abu-Jamal talked about the power of community organizing and how it is the only way in overturning the system, because the mobilization of the people can only bring the change that America desperately seek, not the politicians. Abu-Jamal gave a credit to Obama in his ability to organize a community. Abu-Jamal believes that the real change has not come yet, he mentioned the change in this clip as well, but explains it in a very bold manner, giving the examples of "unchanged situations after the change" which happened after the apartheid in South Africa and integration after the Civil Rights Movement. Those examples show that in the ownership society where you do not have capital, you are on your own. This idea has been defranchising and marginalizing the black communitiy, because they are on their own. The governement is indifferent the financial hardship of the black community. Therefore, four years of presidency by Barack Obama will have no effect on allocating the wealth to the poor. The elites have been getting tax cuts for decades and they began their political control since the very foundation of this country. It is inevitable for Obama to not meet the expectation set by the mainstream media and the people.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2008/02/05/obama_race/index.html

 

This week we are to highlight a related website connected to my issue which is about Barack Obama and his racial identity. I came across very interesting article relating to my issue at www.salon.com. The title of the article is called “Biracial, but not like me” by Gary Kimaya. In the article, Kimaya analyzes the difference of Obama and himself as a biracial person in America. Kimaya did not want to acknowledge himself as Caucasian or Asian. Kimaya lived his life as he called “colorblindness” and refused to give a second thought on his biracial identity. However, Obama was different; he grew up by his white mother and never experienced how the black people are living in this country, so he decided to be a community organizer to experience blackness in America. After a quest of experiencing Black America, Obama created and rebuilt his new identity which is now being used for his political ideals which are unity and reconciliation. The article goes on as mentioning Shelby Steele and his way of defining Barack Obama’s racial identity which I believe is too complex to even understand what he is trying to say about Barack Obama but Steele’s interpretation is that Obama switches his identity from black solidarity to a universal identity time to time. I think Steele is just jealous that Obama is going to win the election and his argument dismisses the fact that Obama is a transcendent figure who will influence positively on many biracial people as well as the people of color in America. It seems to me that this is only the start of the new beginning and Steel seems to be caught up in the moment. Anyways, this article is really good in understanding Obama’s book “Dreams from my father” and what it means to have a biracial identity in America.

Cornel West is one of my favorite intellectuals in the United States and in this clip he talks about Barack Obama and his race, American foreign policy, and Jeremiah Wright.

West praises Obama and what he has accomplished as an African American, a possibility of access to white house and regeneration of better democracy in the United States. West sees this phenomenon as a way in which it is shaking down the history of white supremacy in America and Obama may bring new perceptions to people regarding African Americans. West also raises a possibility of better democracy and Obama’s representation of working class poor in general.

West then makes a legitimate criticism on Obama through socratic and prophetic notions of which stress unarmed truth and unconditional love for the people especially the ones who are living in a stricken poverty and ones who are invisible in American political arena. West believes that the way Obama shapes policies have liberal consequences which may represent the help of working people in America. However on the other hand, West urges Obama to focus more on problems associating with poverty and corporate greed, and West raises a point that Obama may surrounds with pundits that does not put the working class people in a center piece of their policy shaping. Therefore, Obama’s support of the working class people can just be rhetoric to win the election.

I think it is very important to understand that West represents every working class people regardless of their race and his critique of Obama is universal in a way that he talks about structural constraints such as Imperial American policy and the interest of corporate elites shaping foreign and domestic policy. These things are something that Obama must fight against in order to represent the working poor in America and abroad. It seems to me that West is never bias when he talked about Barack Obama and his race, he seems to be truthful in his articulation of Obama, and raises the core concern that many intellectuals are concern about.

According to West, the case of Jeremiah Wright and Obama distanced himself from Wright was because of a political implication due to the fact that majority of people in this country are white. Also, no matter how much the truth Wright talks about, majority of white Americans are insensitive to the “vantage point of the truth”. The truth which West defined it as God is not under the flag but above it. God is against all the injustice committed by America and this point was manipulated and disregarded by the mainstream media.

In week 4, I would like to discuss the medium of conservative journalism by Sean Hannity which analyzes Obama’s identity. Although, this is not a discussion of his racial identity, I think it is important to talk about how conservatives are trying to discredit Obama through his radical black and white associates. I found out that it is very different structure than of Omali Yeshitela, the way conservative journalists discuss Barack Obama. Hannity analyzed Obama’s early political career in context of the community organizing and the grassroots movement, and how those things are interrelated with the political radicalization through important radical political personas.

Sean Hannity, who is a prominent conservative commentator, investigated Obama’s post college record to further make his point that Obama became radical through the influence of political personas such as Saul Alinsky, Rashid Khalidi, William Ayers, and Louis Farrakhan. Those figures seem to have no relevant or identical political belief but Hannity seems to have hired bunch of investigative journalists to make connections among those radicals and Obama to make his point. Also, Hannity uses those political figures to make connection to Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro and how Obama may support those leaders because he was a part of the grassroots movement , which was aimed in trying to help poor communities in Chicago.

The narrator presented the relationship between Barack Obama and William Ayers and how close they were. But in fact, internal reviews by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, The New Yorker and The New Republic have said that their reporting doesn’t support the idea that Obama and Ayers had a close relationship. They were met through a non-profit organization to help impoverished people and also Obama and Ayers were both professors at the University of Chicago.

Moreover, Hannity gets deep on Jeremiah Wright’s liberation theology and its origin. Hannity uses quotes relating to Wright’s black liberation theology but it is taken out of the context. Without leaving the detail of liberation theology, Hannity emphasizes the fact that what Wright was preaching, was Christian Socialism and it was originated in El Salvador and Nicaragua.  Also, Hannity uses conservative Cuban American, Jose Diaz-Balart to further make claims and coins terms like “Anti-American” and “Pro-Marxist” to describe liberation theology. I think this kind of rhetoric leaves out the historical context of how liberation theology was created and how it was used as a tool to empower people who are getting fucked over by the United States through its global exploitation and commodification of human resources. I think Hannity misses the big picture and are stuck up with his belief that America is the only country that exists in Earth. Again, from the clips, you can see Wright’s controversial several second speech, preaching “God Damn America.”, but in fact if you see the full context of the speech, he meant that the God is for the whole world, not just for the U.S. and if the U.S. kept screwing over other countries through its neo-colonial agenda, then God will damn America. That was what he meant to say and it is unfortunate to see that it is being mishandled by the conservative media.

I think Hannity presented the position which is very different from Omali Yeshitela, because Yeshitela argued that Obama serves White Power and Hannity argued that Obama is a radical who wants to overthrow this country through black liberation movement. Honestly, I do not know who to believe in terms of this wide ranging information from radical left to right. But one thing I know is that Hannity’s information came from the personal network that Obama had in his early political career and Yeshitela’s idea came from the structural problem of the state. I think they both serve their political agenda and it is up to people to decide whatever they want to believe.

 

This week I picked a controversial speech by Omali Yeshitela, a chairman of African People’s Socialist Party, regarding Barack Obama and his racial identity. From the speech, Yeshitela listed different opinions which African activists are confronted with regarding Barack Obama. Some people who raised the possibility that the race is no longer a primary issue in American political life which is evidenced by Barack Obama’s success. Some people who criticize the US imperialism believe that Barack Obama will do only what the system allows, which means he would be just as same as any other U.S presidents that were ever elected. Obama will represent the same coercive power structure of the US neo-colonial policy to impose the same international sanctions to oppress and bring misery to citizens from 3rd world countries. There will not be reforms on the UN, World Bank, or IMF by Barack Obama to help building better international community. The fact is Obama does not control economy, therefore he will continue the US imperialistic policy over other powerless countries to exploit and destroy their economy and culture. Yeshitela seems to be in stand with the people who believe that the US imperialism was designed to serve the white ruling class in America and that Obama also is subservient to the white imperialistic power in America due to deeply rooted policies of the past.

Moreover, from the website http://uhurunews.com/feature-obama.epl , you can see that the national finance chair of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, Penny Pritzker, who as they claim was an architect and an engineer of sub-prime mortgage. The reason that those activists focus on sub-prime mortgage crisis is that many people believe that it is targeted on African and Latino communities in America because they are the ones with low credit scores. One of the activists asked Obama regarding subprime mortgage crisis and his respond was political, and a bit ambiguous in terms of how is he going to undo the subprime mortgage crisis. Obama actually responded arrogantly at the end by saying that the activist should run the office for himself, or vote someone else, if he does not like his answer.

                 From what I observe from Pan-African activists, I hear deeply rooted concerns regarding Barack Obama and what it means to have a black president in America. Malcolm X once said “”Back during slavery, when Black people like me talked to the slaves, they didn’t kill ’em, they sent some old house Negro along behind him to undo what he said.” This statement seems to fit in the situation that we experience today. In late 60’s and 70’s there were MLK, Malcolm X, and Black Panthers who supported radical changes in government, but they were failed due to assassinations against them. And now we see Barack Obama who is in a part of corrupt system called “Democratic party” and is getting support from people in the midst of biggest economic crisis that the US ever faced. While many Africans and Latinos living in the US are suffering the most by sub-prime mortgage crisis, Barack Obama seems to continue to represent the white America and its imperialistic policy, which are supported by both Democrats and Republicans. This notion is evidenced by 700 billion dollar bailout plus 150 billion pork bill which was passed recently to help the financial corporations rather than those citizens suffering from the foreclosure. Therefore, Yeshitela believes that the cycle will never stop unless there is an emergence of a new authority besides Democratic Party and Republican Party.

 

 

 

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