|The Obama Spectacle
History, Hypocrisy, and Empire
By Larry Pinkney
January 29, 2009 "BlackCommentator" -- January 22, 2009 -- The so-called democracy of the powerful U.S. elite continues to live up to its legacy of hypocrisy and deceit.
Now that the spectacle of the Barack Obama coronation as the “American” Empire’s first African-American emperor has run its course, and many, many millions of dollars have been spent on self-adulation by the power elite of this nation, the huddled masses will necessarily be compelled to return to a system of no universal, single-payer health care, increasing joblessness, insatiable corporate / military greed, homelessness, de facto racial disparity & discord, police brutality, a burgeoning U.S. prison population, and endless U.S. wars abroad. For yet again, this nation will have done what it all too often does: perverted its promise, including the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., into a hypocritical nightmare of gigantic and historic proportions.
For the majority of Black, Brown, White, Red, and Yellow peoples, the “dream” to which the late Langston Hughes referred [in the poem A Dream Deferred] has not only been “deferred,” it has been obscenely and grotesquely disfigured and distorted into something almost beyond recognition. Barack Obama’s presidency is not a step forward nor is it a step towards the fulfillment of the struggles by Nat Turner, John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so very many others. Rather, he is the slick pro-apartheid Zionist antithesis and perversion of the fulfillment of these struggles.
Barack Obama has already begun to repeatedly and shamelessly call upon the people of this nation to make “sacrifice[s],” as if the everyday people of this country have not already made enormous, heart rendering sacrifices. How about having Obama’s elite corporate backers in Lockheed, Goldman Saks, and the insurance and banking industries make some meaningful, ongoing, and painful sacrifices?! How about reversing the government’s criminal financial bail out of the big corporations [which government bail-out Obama enthusiastically supported], and passing those billions upon billions of dollars back directly to the everyday people of this nation - no strings attached?! How about immediately stopping all U.S. wars of aggression, and bringing our men and women in uniform home right NOW - no strings attached?! So many of these men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of so-called U.S. “national security,” which false “security” has meant their being the perpetual working-class cannon fodder for Halliburton and other avaricious corporate components of the U.S. “military / industrial complex.”
Barack Obama, though the first African-American “presidential” figurehead of the U.S. Empire, is actually the last best hope of continuing U.S. international hegemony under the fake cloak of democracy and justice at home and abroad. Therein is Obama’s appeal to the political and economic ruling elites. He is a conscious, willing, and potent tool of the power elite, and should be understood and dealt with as such. He is neither a progressive, nor a leftist or socialist. He is a cynical opportunist and a shrewd politician, who cloaks his double-speak in glitzy so-called “progressive” sounding rhetoric. He is arguably the most dangerous U.S. politician, to the actual economic and political well being of everyday people of all colors, thus far in this 21st Century.
A reader of The Black Commentator recently reminded me of what is undoubtedly the most important, defining, and yet perhaps the least known speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is the speech that Dr. King delivered on April 4, 1967 at the Riverside church in New York City, precisely one year before he was shot down in Memphis, Tennessee, under the auspices of the U.S. Government. The speech is titled, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. Every discerning person who peruses this speech will quickly realize what a perversion, of the struggle for justice at home and abroad, the pro-apartheid Zionist Barack Obama really is. We can and must do so much better.
The installment of Barack Obama as U.S. president has not ushered in a “post racial” era in this nation. To the contrary, it has ushered in a heightened economic, political, and yes racial hypocrisy, which the masses of Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow peoples will ultimately not ignore.
The paraphrased adage, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, that: “You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time” is absolutely correct. And even though the U.S. corporate media (including CNN and PBS) is unabashedly complicit in their de facto mission to “fool the people,” the legitimate needs and aspirations of the people can be contained for only so long; Obama or no Obama.
To the people of this nation of all colors and ethnicities who are losing your jobs, your homes, and your families…to those with no health insurance… to those who cannot afford to send your children to college…and to those languishing in prisons… this writer says: Place not your faith in the rhetoric of politicians or the false promises of such cynical opportunists. Place your faith in yourselves and each other, in your / our ability to discern the difference between rhetoric vs. reality, and in our determination to find and create ways of organizing and coming together to bring about real systemic change dedicated to everyday people and not the corporate blood suckers of the peoples of this nation and world.
To the long-time freedom fighters, including Assata Shakur, Reverend Edward Pinkney (no relation), Leonard Peltier, the SF 8, and so many others who have held on and struggled for collective justice for so long, and to all political prisoners everywhere, this writer says: Please keep holding on, for the time is approaching when your struggles will
be rewarded and that proverbial “day of reckoning” is hastening hither, sooner than some may realize.
To Cynthia McKinney, Rosa Clemente, and Cindy Sheehan: Thank you for your ongoing and brave examples of what it means to be truly for-real and in service to the people and not the blood sucking corporate / military / prison apparatus.
To the young people of this nation and world be you Black, Brown, Red, White, or Yellow: This writer understands your legitimate rage and your desire for a better world. You have every right to want a just and humane world. YOU are humanity’s present and future. YOU are why so many of us have struggled and died so that we might live through you. YOU must carry this struggle on.
To the peoples of Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, and elsewhere: Know that the peoples of the U.S. do not hate you and that those of us who are socially and politically conscious stand with you in your just quests to live free and strong, unfettered and unhindered by U.S. hegemony.
History does not repeat itself. People repeat history.
Let us commit and re-commit ourselves to the struggle for systemic change in this nation, and not be duped by this latest dose of U.S. hypocrisy in the person of Barack Obama.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book). Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.