Allow me to present these questions to you directly:
1. What is your position, and more specifically, what do you suggest as an alternative to voting for the president, and
2. If you are a non-African American living in Canada, what dog do you have in this fight? What is your purpose of arguing that AFRICAN AMERICANS should not vote?
I was in a debate on an African American Facebook page about Barack Obama and the upcoming US 2012 presidential elections after I had posted this insightful article by Black Agenda Report: “Tired Old So-Called Leftists Give Same Old Excuses For Supporting Obama in 2012“. Of course the Obamabots (one in particular) took exception to the article and my continual opposition to the presidency of Obama. Par for the course, the strategy of “killing the messenger”… since it’s impossible to discount or refute the message… was employed by the Obamabots. Those in opposition to the Obama administration are termed “ignorant, turncoats, snitches and yes… Herman Cain!” (that last one really hurt, ’cause I consider myself much better looking than Herman…lol!)
The fact is though, I don’t take it personally. First, I am fully aware that there are two political plantations in America that most African Americans have enslaved themselves to. These “Plantation Negroes” would gladly give their lives (and some do) to defend their white master’s Democratic and Republican plantations to the detriment of their own self-interests as a community. Second, I’m not an African American, so I have no allegiances to either plantations, nor do I have an emotionally distorted/biased attachment to Obama just because he is Black.
Therefore in reality I have no “dog in this fight”. To be honest, I do get a somewhat juvenile guilty pleasure in riling up the Obamabots (especially one in particular), so whenever I get an opportunity to do so, I will post an anti-Obama article and he always takes the bait. Regardless, the fact is I do expect Obama to easily get re-elected. Why not? Under his administration, the rich have gotten richer, poverty levels are at an all time high in America, and American Corporate Imperialism continues to be expanded and entrenched militarily throughout the “Black and Brown world” unabated… by the 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate. Other than cosmetic and media manufactured differences, both Obama and Romney are pretty much the same guy. Obama has clearly stated that he is not the President of Black America, however his actions are clear that he considers himself the President of Corporate America, Hispanic America, Jewish America and Gay America.
I was asked the above questions by an admitted Obama supporter on the Facebook page. These are legitimate questions that I am happy to answer. In regards to the first, the plantation negro only envisions two choices. If you don’t reside on one plantation, then you must belong to the other. If you don’t support Obama and the Democrats, then by default you must support Romney and the Republicans. However, I do see other alternatives.
One is not to vote for either party. Both political plantations are corrupt and under corporate control, so they are in no way committed to serving the interests of the majority of the electorate… and African Americans in particular. It’s also counter-productive (as well as foolish) to take the approach to vote for the lesser of two evils. In the words of WEB Dubois: “I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no “two evils” exist. There is but one evil party with two names…”
However, if one does believe that engaging in the current political process is the only avenue to address African American concerns, then why not field your own candidates under the banner of your preferred political plantation to influence your party and government policies for your own self-interests… sounds familiar? Whether their power was real or perceived, the handful of elected “Tea Party” legislators have been able to influence the policies and direction of the Republican Party, as well as that of the Obama administration. For as long as they have been around, why hasn’t the Congressional Black Caucus been able to have this type of impact within the Democratic Party, nor with the Obama administration? Could it be they are in reality just a group of “Plantation Negroes” whose purpose is to be stooges for the white masters of their Democratic plantation? If so, then they all need to be replaced. They are the real “turncoats and snitches”!
A third alternative is to get off the plantation altogether and research the policy positions of third party and independent presidential candidates. During the 2008 presidential campaign, if I was an American, I would have voted for Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente of the Green Party. Interestingly, when I discussed with the plantation negroes who were going to vote for the then presidential candidate from their Democratic plantation, Barack Obama, the idea to support the McKinney and Clemente ticket… a Black and Hispanic woman whose political platform and policies were more in line with their interests, they all had the same response: “they won’t win”. Well that’s the classic American attitude… it’s not about principles… it’s all about winning!
The second question posed I find interesting. Isn’t it ironic that an American would ask what is my “purpose” in expressing an opinion on their electoral process!? Since World War II, which country has interfered most in the electoral processes and outcomes of African and Caribbean nations!? Which nation has continually assassinated our elected leaders that they couldn’t control and rigged elections to install the ones they could? Which nation has financed armed rebellions against our democratically elected governments, destabilized our countries economies, sponsored sanctions and embargos against our nations, vetoed United Nations efforts for our empowerment and encouraged our genocide by deed or silence? All for the purpose of corporate greed! The good ole USA! So let’s see if I understand this correctly: it’s quite alright for Americans to interfere in our political affairs abroad, but we… those of African descent in the motherland or diaspora… have no right to offer any opinion nor criticize your corrupt, corporate driven political plantation system? Such is the audacity of the plantaion negro.
As I discussed in my previous post: “African American Arrogance“, those of us of African descent outside of the USA are painfully well aware that “Black Americans are still Americans”. Most embody the American imperialistic worldview and display their American arrogance in their dealings with other people of color. It is therefore no surprise that African Americans make up a significant portion of the US armed forces and have no problem doing their patriotic duty by invading and killing other Black and Brown people for the glory of American Corporate Imperialism. In fact, the first commander of AFRICOM, created by President George W. Bush on the recommendation of then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to militarily recolonize Africa for American interests, was an African American, General William E. “Kip” Ward. See also:
These two African Americans, “Plantation Negroes” from opposing political plantations, have this one thing in common. They are both warmongers who brought death, disease and destruction to the nations of Black and Brown people in the name of American Corporate Imperialism. Isn’t it also ironic that African Americans fear that voter i.d. laws are a strategy being employed by the Republicans to deny them of their right to vote, while these same African Americans are literally the foot soldiers of the American strategy to deny those of African descent worldwide, the right to vote for the governments of our choosing. The chickens have indeed come home to roost.
Therefore my answer to the question: “What is your purpose of arguing that AFRICAN AMERICANS should not vote?”, is the same as the (African) American soldiers and military helicopters I saw as a boy growing up in Jamaica, engaged in a supposed “drug war” against the supporters of the anti-US and pro-Castro political party, for the benefit of the pro-US government. I do so because I can.
The world of American politics, especially presidential politics is blatantly and unashamedly opportunistic. It’s all about hype, slogans and who can capitalize on the latest story capturing the short attention span of the fickle public in the 48 hour news cycle, and/or trending within the world of social media.
Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich can learn from the master politician, President Barack Obama, on how to jump on an opportunity like a pit bull on a 4 year old. When Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke on February 28th as a “slut” and “prostitute” for voicing her support for birth control during an unofficial House Democratic hearing, 2 days later she got a call from the President asking if she was “okay”. The parents of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was murdered in a racial motivated shooting on February 26th, has received no call (as yet) from the President to ask if they were “okay”… and they probably won’t.
See… Obama knows he needs the white woman vote to get re-elected, so he strategically decided to show empathy for Fluke’s hurt feelings when she was called a couple of derogatory names. On the other hand, he knows he’s got the Negro vote sown up, so why would he need to show any concern for their pain? Why risk his re-election by being accused of showing favouritism (i.e. sympathy) to people with the same skin colour as him in their time of grief for their murdered son… a grief caused by the imbedded racist attitudes of the “other” people he needs to support him for a second term in office?
The Republican contenders should take a page from Obama’s playbook and call Martin’s parents to offer their condolences. They should also put on a hoody, have a bag of Skittles in one hand and an Iced-tea in the other, take a pic and post it on their Facebook page with the caption: “We’re All Trayvon Martin!” Sure it’s blatantly insincere and strategically opportunistic, but that’s what American politics is all about. It’s about taking advantage of the hot story and manipulating the story line for your own benefit. After the Fluke affair the media was on them, particularly Romney, for not calling Fluke or publicly admonishing Limbaugh, especially after President Obama did so. By calling the Martins, maybe the media… and African-Americans… may finally wake up and realize that “Barack Obama doesn’t care about Black people”. The republicans may even get a few more black votes.
Hmmmm… I doubt it.
- Canadian Senator Talks Race Relations
- The Economist: How To Build A Religion
- Black Yoda: Straw (Colored) Man Arguments
- Truthdig: The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Recalls Obama’s Fall From Grace
- Breaking Brown: barack obama doesn’t like black people (and that includes troy davis)
- “To All” – A message from Troy Anthony Davis
Seen over at Truthdig
“The poor will always be with us…” Matthew 26:11
There are one group of people that Americans hate more than foreign terrorists. The poor within their own borders. They would rather send millions of dollars, as well as their armed forces, to assist and relieve the sufferings of the poor and disenfranchised in distant lands, than to help the poor on their own soil. Americans are not alone in this. The poor, wherever they are, incite the hatred and disdain of their fellow citizens, particularly their government. They are usually blamed and scapegoated for everything from economic downturns to epidemics of disease. They have always been the fodder for wars, cuts in government spending and dubious medical experiments. They are not only exploited for their manual labour, their bodies are also marketed as sex slaves and organ farms for the perverted rich, and their neighbourhoods tourist destinations for the curious advantaged.
The real source of this hatred though lies in the fact that for the elite, the poor are a constant warning that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”… fish rots from the head down. They are the beacon which illuminates the darkness of whatever “noble lie” social harmony is built upon. They are the kindle that a spark for revolution will ignite to burn away the illusion of political stability. There is also an intense societal fear and loathing for those who advocate for these hated poor and direct the beacon to expose the architects and beneficiaries of these sacred falsehoods.
“When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the President can easily bailed out the banks and capitalists, but has done nothing to help the poor, they call me an “uncle tom”.
I have always been a fan of Travis Smiley. I have recently developed a great amount of respect and admiration for Cornel West. I may not always agree with their positions, but there is no doubt that they are principled and honest (Black) men who have a sincere love for Black people, and are committed to the cause of the poor, the exploited and the disenfranchised. Regardless of this… actually because of this… I knew they would become pariahs within the African-American community, particularly with the Negro intellectuals and celebrities, when they announced that they were going on a 2 week, 16 city tour to bring attention to the plight of the poor and President Obama’s lack of any policy, initiative or plan to address their situation… especially the African-American poor, who have been hit the hardest by the housing crisis, unemployment and recession (here).
“If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding…” Zora Neale Hurston
I have hence read all sorts of articles questioning their motives, demonizing and vilifying them, as well as calling them all sorts of names, because they took a stance for the poor by demanding that Barack Obama, the President of the United States, the most powerful (Black) man in the world, do something substantial for them, instead of offering empty rhetoric, the noble lie that “a rising tide lifts all boats”. These are the same poor black people who blindly and emotionally supported his bid to the White House, believing that he was their promised messiah, the embodiment of the change they could believe in. (I always mused that if your boat has holes and is filling with water, wouldn’t a rising tide make it sink faster).
Although America is always quick to profess to the world their noble lie that it’s the “land of free speech”, there has always been consequences to bear when one exercises that right and criticizes the government, especially the President. The blacklash against Smiley and West by the African-American community reminds me of the reaction to the Dixie Chicks by their fellow Texans, as well as political conservatives, when they criticized George W. Bush, during a concert in England, 9 days before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” The backlash was intense and fierce. They were ostracized, lost fans, had concerts cancelled, received hate mail and death threats. I highly recommend their documentary of that period: “Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing“. In the same manner, President Obama’s supporters would rather “Smiley and West: Shut Up and Coon”.
I have also read a few well balanced articles, not necessarily supporting Smiley and West, but supporting the cause of their Poverty Tour, as well as questioning the failure of President Obama to get up, stand up and fight for the human rights of the poor of his nation. I for one cannot speak to what is truly in their heart, but history has shown time and again that when the elites and their self-serving minions are fighting with all their might to kill (discredit) the messenger(s), the foundation of the message is built upon truth… and those in power will do whatever it takes, will stop at nothing, to perpetuate the sanctity of their noble lie.
“The pursuit of truth attracts critics”