Denouncing low expectations of Obama: because he's "Black"

In the Chris Hedges article entitled “The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic” Cornel West describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.

We circulated the article and received comments written both on Ezili Dantò FB pages and many more emailed directly by the Ezili Listserve about this West critic which have ranged from: “I knew he was a Wall Street sycophant before the election” to “I think we should give Obama a chance”:

– 1. One Black man wrote:

-“I did not vote for the man and I am not a fan! The minute that Mr. Obama had “popped” up into the scene; like a good citizen, I dug into his background to see if I could find something, just a little bit of something to trust in all the hypes; and I did not find anything that would make me accept as true, his slogans, and that of the man himself. Derided as a white man in a black face, I knew all too well back then, that he would be the product of a powerful machinery, elected to maintain America’s imperialistic marches to conquer the world; and they had found in Mr. Obama the man they were looking for. I was not fooled then, that is why I am not disappointed.”

– 2. Another “Black” man went for the

Al Sharpon-type shield:

– “we should be grateful to have a brother in office after 500 years of fck slavery. i stand in line for hours waiting to vote for this dude one of the greatest adrenaline ever. if u missed it …it’s ok but it was worth it making godanmmm history to be a part of it, it’s something unexplainable…give the brother a chance Afrika…

I just wanted to add some thoughts to this dialogue. Ezili HLLN is not so enamored with West as some “progressive” and that’s why we circulated his critic. No. We’ve had our difficulties with the Left and Right Wingers – as you all know who have read Bandyo, Malfini and the Mongoose.” In 2004, for instance, Cornell West wrote a book called “Democracy Matters” Yet, when pro-democracy Haitians at HLLN asked where was his public objection to the destruction of democracy in Haiti, he, like most, remained silent. Just one example. However, we still found the critic of Obama by West, captured in Hedges article right now, worthy of circulation. Not to legitimize or “embrace” the messenger, but the content/overall message and to note the, uhmm, “Left” or “Liberal” disenchantment. Critical thinkers will understand the difference.

Obama has brought the world the same and arguably perhaps even worst than Clinton/Bush. Worst psychologically also because his being “Black” provides a moral cover – like the UN occupation of Haiti or Colin Powell’s 9/11 assertions at the UN (of Iraq’s MD) provided a moral cover – for doing US imperialistic bidding the UN is carrying out in Haiti or in Iraq. Obama, being a “Black” man at the White House doesn’t mean it’s no longer the “White House.” But, Obama provides a moral mask for imperial rampages. Obama’s partial Black lineage is used as a shield for Empire to continue its previous practices with less criticism because he is “Black” and from a historically oppressed social group.

In effect, Officialdom’s key stakeholders use Obama’s election as a shield against social justice claims from Black people in the US and worldwide who argue the Euro-US system’s inherent economic and social discrepancies.

Fortunately he may be just a one-term wonder. It is much better to deal straight up with a fascist than the masked ones. Black is more than a socially constructed race of people, it is a culture. And that culture is anti-imperialist, about community wealth, community good, common good, human values, soul, living in harmony with nature and other sentient beings and to endure the unendurable with grace. Subconsciously, if not directly, those who voted for Obama, of all gender, race and creeds, where hoping for that culture to have some resonance… That’s why he was given the Nobel peace prize before he even proved himself. He has failed and cowardice is ugly. He is but a new label on the old imperialists, white dominance bottle. Be well, and thanks again all who have commented on this Ezili Dantò FB page for sharing your thoughts on this.

Further dialogue may take place by making comments here for everyone to participate together at this website posting.

Ezili Dantò of HLLN
May, 2011
They’re is lot the powerful can do with a bayonet. But sitting on it is another matter.” – Haitian parable

Forwarded by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

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Join the Ezili Network and Listserve

Obama, Us and the Others: The Problematic of being president by Dr. Maulana Karenga (Original Pdf download)

Obama’s empty promises to Haiti – Change did not come (written in 2009)

Why Liberal Sellouts Attack Prophets Like Cornel West

Criticizing Obama and the Established Order: Complexity, Compromise andConsequences by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Dr. Cornel West: “Obama becoming puppet of Wall St Oligarchs”


2 thoughts on “Denouncing low expectations of Obama: because he's "Black"

  1. Yes, I completely agree with you, we cannot stay silent when Obama did not respect the Haitian People by encouraging the Continuation of Mediocrity in Haiti. Today in the World, the real Dragon Lady is Hillary Clinton,supporting the grand Dons and Oligarchy in the World. We cannot continue to support Obama, when He himself has no respect for us. He has no respect for the progressive people and the intelligent people in Haiti. We must start the process of Impeachment against Obama. This is too serious.
    . While Haiti produces Gaspard to help him, where is Gaspard when such action is occurring with the CIA fixing up elections in Haiti.
    DR Frantz Delva


  2. Frankly, it strikes me as naive to think that Obama or anyone else, for that matter, could or would intend or be able to change the status quo. “Change” is used as loosely as love and revolution and, in this country, mostly has to do with trucks and hair color. The upending of capitalism and imperialism is not something likely to happen in our lifetimes. The kind of massive reeducation that would be required to develop a critical mass that would rise up against the machine is greatly undermined by all the social ills that relegate the poor to subjugated status, not to mention our own participation in the scheme. We, the people, buy the hype more than anyone and while it is undeniable that the recent fiscal crisis (and the state of the world, generally) was/is precipitated by the greed and avarice of the financiers and politicians, there will never be a resolution as long as we the people keep buying SUV’s and houses we cannot afford, wearing athletes’ jerseys and mimicking celebrity as though we are “in the club,” and dumbing down with Dancing with the stars and cheaters and NBA and NFL and housewives of Atlanta and continuing to numb our minds with our worship of celebrity and materialism and on too many occasions, Jesus, Allah and other opiates and weapons of mass distraction. I know I am guilty, esp with respect to the negro ball playing leagues–the only difference between me and the lumpen being that I KNOW I’m participating in my own oppression, while most people DON’T know.

    Although we can certainly identify the source of all these pernicious features of capitalism and imperialism, the fact of the matter is we are also participants in the scheme to oppress us, many of us happily and ignorantly so. None of the out-front leadership over the past 100 years has ever been talking about changing the economic system, only vying for position to get more of the crumbs. Obama would not have been elected if he was presenting anything wildly different than what already exists. Observe the colossal pushback he has gotten, confirming that racism continues to be a most effective tool in the oppression of poor people. Let’s not act as if Obama is the messiah–didn’t you get the memo–the rapture didn’t happen. In addition to decrying all the things Obama is NOT–an important and necessary tactic to be sure–we’ve got to figure out a different dialectic that resonates with the people and offers an alternative to what we have. Given all that one must compete with on this score–and I don’t mean to sound hopelessly cynical here–GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. In the meantime, I’m just trying to work on myself, in the hope that such efforts on my part will one day make a difference, even as the efforts of our ancestors made the difference, though they had no expectation or evidence of change on the horizon.

    Obama is who he is and if you keep looking to the very system that oppresses you to somehow get it right, that would be insane. Head of the killing machine? That’s what he signed on for! What we must recognize is that, as was true with legalized segregation in the US, black people stopped riding on the back of the bus when WE got tired of riding on the back of the bus, you feel me? When we finally get tired–of all of it–that is the moment we will rise up to strike down the machine. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…


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