Barack Obama versus Black Self-Determination

barack_obama-525385520.jpgOne of the great ironies of the current campaign season, is the assumption by so many Black voters that by supporting Barack Obama for president, they are making a real contribution to African American self-determination. Nothing could be further from the truth. The candidate, himself, is mightily opposed to the principle of African American self-determination, as he revealed in great detail and beyond doubt in rejecting Rev. Jeremiah Wright's narrative on America's origins. Obama also has no more respect than other corporate politicians for ObamaLecturnprinciples of international law and the sovereignty of nations. Should he win the presidency, U.S. militarization of African will continue, as will American bullying of its Latin American neighbors.

Obama and the Essence of Critical Support

ImageThe color line has not been shattered. It has been further bent. It has been rendered more complex by the rise of a nominee for the Presidency of the United States of America who is of African descent. His emergence challenges the history of the USA, even if his politics are not on the Left. The fact that he was forced, through events, to articulate the clearest and most eloquent analysis on race in the USA by a mainstream politician, made this campaign particularly significant. What is even more significant is that Senator Obama is correct: this campaign is not actually about him, but it is about a very deep desire on the part of millions of people in the USA for change. How that “change” will be defined is not primarily a question for who gets elected in November. It is a question for those of us in the field who have contending visions for what the USA and the world should look like.

African Liberation Day

ImageAfrican Liberation Day has become an institution throughout the African world. It is a day when all people of African ancestry should come together. Whether you were born in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Jamaica, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Belize, Bahia, Canada, Cuba, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Paris, or Chicago, as long as you are Black, you are an African, with a common heritage, and a common set of conditions.

The Perils of Racial Solidarity

ImageIs it really the duty of us all, as African Americans to keep quiet about the wars in Africa and Iraq, to shut up about the credit and housing squeezes that are swallowing the wealth of our communities, to be silent about police killings and the continued transformation of America into a carceral state that locks up an absurd proportion of its nonwhite population?  Where are we really headed if our duty as African Americans at this time is to bury all our grievances, to be quiet and not disturb white people, in order to "let Obama do what he has to do?"   

Obama, Wright, and How the Post-Civil Rights Generation Will Rise to Power

 ImageWhen the Black Freedom Movement withered away from disuse and neglect, it left a generation of enthusiastic young activists-to-be with unprecedented "access" to white dominated institutions, but no movement with which to affiliate. What's a determined mover-and-shaker to do? Get a job, that's what. While the author's friends settled in as corporate lawyers, management consultants and other odd jobs, she was fortunate enough to become - for a time - a "professional feminist" working for "reformist" non-profits. But financial pressures pushed her towards academia, and the realization that "I and others in my group" are "repositories for the Civil Rights generation's left-over hopes and dreams." Barack Obama, she now understands, has been the "symbolic beneficiary and repository" of those dreams - which is not the same thing.

Jeremiah Wright Speaks Out!

ImageJeremiah Wright responds to his critics in an interview on Bill Moyers Journal. This PBS Program demonstrated a level of journalism and background that has been absent in the rush to derail the candidacy of Barack Obama. the network news shows have not taken a single step to provide any balance to the blatant distortion of the work that this pastor has done over the 40 plus years of his ministry.

"Z" is for Zimbabwe: Turmoil & Silence as a Country Potentially Unravels

ImageMuch of Black America stopped discussing Zimbabwe after its liberation in 1980; at least, we stopped discussing it for a while. After years of regular coverage of the liberation war, details regarding Zimbabwe became harder to obtain as attention shifted to struggles in Mozambique, Namibia, Angola and South Africa. Not to be misunderstood, it was not that facts were being withheld for us here in Black America, so much as we paid less attention to developments, and did not dig for information.