12 Jun 2008

Is Obama's Victory Ours?

'Real change that you could believe in' would be an end to Empire, and an end to wars for corporate greed, not just a change of the shade of the political managers.'

This is politics, electoralism is not ultimately political unless it does this. Election victories have to be about changing structures, winning ideas not just getting nice people into the same nodes to transmit the same electricity of power.

It is about having a project, not about swapping personalities, the kind of change needed is profound and difficult.

Any way on to the prophet himself.

Is Obama's Victory Ours?
[col. writ. 6/5/08] (c)'08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

With the attainment of the required delegates to claim the Democratic Party's nomination for U.S. president, Sen. Barack H. Obama (D. ILL.) has written a new page in American history.

For by so doing he succeeds where Channing Phillips, Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, Sr., and Al Sharpton could not - by gaining the necessary delegates to demand nomination.

Of course, there have been numerous Black candidates for president, but these have been third party efforts designed more to raise issues, to organize or protest than to actually win elections. Some of the best known have been Eldridge Cleaver (former Black Panther Minister of Information), Dick Gregory, Dr. Lenora Fulani, and the former congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney.

But this is a different kettle of fish, for Obama's candidacy is the closest to make it to the winner's circle.

What also distinguishes Obama from his predecessors is he doesn't come from civil rights, Black liberation, socialist or anti war movements. (He often remarks at speeches, "I'm not against all wars, I'm just against dumb wars")

Indeed, although his detractors may try to paint him as a leftist liberal this is hardly true. On issues both foreign and domestic he would've been more at home in the Republican Party of his senatorial forebear, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. For though he is Black by dint of his African father, he has studiously avoided Black political groups in his long, harrowing climb to the rim of the White House.

He has studiously avoided the very real and long standing grievances of Black America. In fact, he tried to run a 'post-racial' campaign until Sen. Hillary R. Clinton (D.N.Y.) (and her rambunctious husband, former Pres. Bill), brought race front and center during the Super Tuesday February primaries, by trying to pigeonhole him as 'the Black candidate'.

This primary wounded Obama, and as he won in the delegate count, he also lost a number of primary states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are necessary for a win in November.

Politics is the art of making people believe that they are in power when in fact, they have none.

It is a measure of how dire is the hour that they've passed the keys to the kingdom to a Black man.

As in many American cities, Black Mayors were let in when the treasuries were almost barren, and tax bases were almost at rock-bottom.

With the nation's manufacturing base also a thing of history, amidst the socioeconomic wreckage of globalization, with foreign affairs in shambles, the rulers reach for a pretty, brown face to front for the Empire.

'Real change that you could believe in' would be an end to Empire, and an end to wars for corporate greed, not just a change of the shade of the political managers.

That change, I'm afraid, is still to come.

--(c) '08 maj


Fidel said...

God damn America, eh? Very constructive.

I see Raul is bringing in capitalist wage structures as if he's just thought of them. Whatever next? An end to his homophobia?

Anonymous said...

your grasp of american political history might be a bit misinformed. and your conception of what race means in america certainly is. obama may be just another politician, a new boss same as the old boss, but his landmark campaign is not a omen of imminent American apocalypse. in fact, the acceptance of a "pretty brown face" into a remarkably exclusive political arena marks a fantastic change in the way americans relate to each other and their own history.

additionally, while obama may have avoided controversial black organizations, he did forgo a lucrative career in law in favor of working with communities poorly represented in local politics, predominantly black neighborhoods. he doesn't shy away from his paternal heritage, but he isn't caught up in an anachronistic struggle that has long ceased to produce real change.

glad there are blogs out there like yours, but get all the facts before perpetuating this anti-American cynicism tainted with racism.