by Amiri Baraka We are in a country whose rulers brought Africans chained in the bottom of ships to be sold into slavery for hundreds of years and now 145 years after chattel slavery formally ended and a multinational coalition, Afro American, Latinos, Asians and progressive whites elected the first Afro American president we have to debate whether racism still exists in this society. It is amazing that Americans can fool themselves so long and so often about the evil that they have done and continue to do to other Americans and the world.
To endure citizens so convinced of their own intellectual capacity seemingly earnestly arguing that racism has nothing to do with criticism of Obama’s attempt at Health Care Reform, or most things for that matter, has nothing to do with him being half Black is too ludicrous to consider, especially if one has viewed the signs in Washington, with the president of the United States depicted as a Witch Doctor with a bone in his nose and a hammer and sickle as caption. Or to witness a rotting patriot of the confederate flag shout, “You Lie” at the President of the United States. No one ever dared to disrespect the master liar, Bush 2 with such, though to prove how the rest of the world is much less deceived about that world than the defective American mind. Remember there was a brother in Iraq who threw his shoe at Bush, for which I celebrated, “Happy Shoe Year!”
What should be considered however is, from the beginning of this racial holocaust that has enveloped the world, certainly since the fall of Mali and the defeat of the Moors in the 15th century. 1492 is not only the date of Columbus’ venture for treasure across the daunting Western Ocean, treasure and glory, both sanctioned by Papal Bull, what evil force has been behind it all. The inexorable and relentless search for maximum profit, which has always been the moral code of monopoly capitalism.
What makes the whole scenario of resistance and criticism fly about Obama, a person almost universally praised just a few months ago, is the base of this criticism originates not just with race but with profit. Only 42% of white Americans voted for Obama. Yes, they wd have preferred McCain, among the most foolish, just because he was white, but among most of the disingenuous, that preference was because they felt McCain would have made their money, especially their super profits, safer.
Need we mention that the Media represents that same disingenuous skulking crowd of losers? The media fiend Rupert Murdoch had the racist treachery to portray Obama as an ape being shot dead by policemen. (For which he should have been charged with treason by the Attorney General, it is a federal crime to simulate the murder of the President of the US.) It is very important to understand how the Media, newspapers, radio, television, magazines, films have mounted an unrelenting tirade against Obama.
Dobbs and his “Birthers” mount an endless tirade nightly. Nothing is more vicious than the Daily News except, of course, Murdoch’s trashy Mirror. But then, The Post, The Wall St. Journal, The Village Voice, Channel 9, 5 and 11 are also owned by this same Australian Zionist. It was Bush 2 that allowed this greedy hoard of media to be grabbed by one fanatic, before that it was against the law for one group, certainly against one corporation, to own different forms of the media. They could own television but not television and print media. Since Bush it is possible for one corporate monster to grab all a forms of the media and thus dominate popular opinion with one mindless cry.
In fact it was the media, Glen Beck, who introduced the current racist dimensioning of the Obama administration by calling Obama a white hating racist. Even though Obama, much to the irritation of many of his constituents , has scrupulously avoided outright condemnation of the racial taunting which surrounds him straight out or in code from various sides.
But this is clearly the way the Corporations will fight against Obama. The same way they were, until the last days, relentless supporters of the lies, economic embezzlement and cries for war, and twin wars and rugged , i.e., mindless, solipsism that characterized the Bush administration. This pervasive withering “influence” is how they direct and force the nation in directions that only benefit the 6/10ths of one percent that own the land, the communications, the banks, the factories, the food , the water, plus the means of production!
The corporate powers were divided to some extent about Bush because of his phenomenal failures. Although they were deeply involved, as Bush made certain, in the looting of US public funds , the fact that this excessive theft could not be hidden and covered, and that ultimately they would have to face this, plus the failure to resolve the wars in some kind of commercial stability created enough contradiction among the corporate dogs so that the Obama
But make no mistake, 911 was used as a pretext to directly occupy the “middle east”. This is why there is still no clarity on the who, why and how of that attack. Osama bin Laden who is supposed to have led the deed has not even been seriously tracked. His family was flown by the FBI out of the US the day after. Without even a question? Mildly curious people already know that the Bush family and the bin Laden family were business partners since the 60’s. (See the book, “The Family of Bush & The Family of Saud”. And this collaboration has been worth billions of dollars. This is how globalism worked before the term was turned into a confirming cliché of what is happening with interlocking corporate criminals in the last few years.
But what Obama faces is the defense mechanism of monopoly capitalism, its undermining, lies, used to galvanize and organize the ignorant, the racist led by their well paid and well advertised running dogs. Who in their right mind would listen to Sarah Palin about anything, yet her shrill craziness about “death panels” as the reason she opposes Obama’s Health Care Proposal actually flew across the media. The only force that provides the engine for this opposition is the Insurance companies who are protecting their high profits. What the media does is victimize the ignorant and inject the backward with racial chauvinism. But they are simply representing their owners.
What the failure to even look for bin Laden, when half the world knew he was hiding out in the Pakistani tribal areas and instead invading Iraq confirms for many of us that it was about the oil all the time. It was not the probably mock defensive counterattack on the site and origin of a 911 terrorist attack on the US that set off those wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but the determination of Corporate greed to station themselves where the oil was and so dominate it. The cutting up of the oil spoils among the big oilies certainly demonstrates that.
So that whatever Obama does he must “consider” the desires, the direction laid out by monopoly dictates. The health care struggle is a clear example of this. No matter how utterly silly it might seem, ignorant people fighting against their own interests, it is clearly a demonstration of the power of monopoly.
The economic crash in the US should be the most open example of the obvious power of monopoly capitalism even to the destruction of the nation itself. A several billion dollar surplus in the US treasury turned into the largest deficit in history. The new Klan always talk a good game about fiscal responsibility, usually while they are cheating on their wives. Marx said in the 19th century that the bourgeoisie would continue to extract more and ever more wealth from working people until they could not pay their bills and hence the banks would fail. This is the story of what just happened here in the US, and through the connections of globalism, punished the rest of the world. This was also Monopoly Capitalism’s gift to Obama, though at the same time one of the reasons he could get elected, the people’s rejection of the Bush status quo.
Just before Obama was inaugurated I wrote in the newspaper Unity & Struggle, the headline of which read PRESIDENT OBAMA: NO BAILOUT, NATIONALIZE THE BANKS AND AUTO INDUSTRY, “For close to a TRILLION DOLLARS We don’t want ‘Oversight!’ We Want Ownership! Why should we pay a trillion dollars to the rich so they can stay rich? You can’t call them management because it’s obvious they can’t manage.
“If these people running these corporations want to tell us about ‘The Private Sector’, ‘The Free Market’ and other delusions of monopoly capitalism, its ok, let them go play in the traffic. But once they blow it, and even endanger the well being of the American people themselves, then we are fools to keep giving them our money so they can throw it away on their life style and the delusion that somehow big capitalism has a long term life expectancy. …The people need to take control of these faltering industries, cut out the fat and the foolishness, let the workers run them and they and the US own them. Why should we give these millionaires our money so they can stay rich while 6000 people a day are being foreclosed?”
But Obama did bail these people out even though a couple weeks later Workers at Republic windows in Chicago, largely immigrants, seized the Republic Windows Plant because the company could not receive credit from Bank of America, even though BoA had been one of the banks bailed out by the Obama administration, presumably to extend credit such as this. My own response to this was “The BoA execs should have been led out of their offices in handcuffs”. Because these vultures of high finance private enterprise certainly cannot be trusted. “All they want to do is stay rich and live fabulously while we labor and scrape.”
The problem is that while Obama does have some admirable social democratic ideals, he must toil in a society that is controlled historically, both emotionally and structurally by the monopoly capitalist engines of imperialism’s most rapacious creature US corporate America.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is another example of Imperialism’s power as well as ensuring the US continuing engagement in the Middle East. Imperialism needs Israeli occupiers to limit the indigenous people’s self determination and thereby allowing imperialism (US Corporations) to dispose of the region’s resources as they want. Despite the Gaza massacre and the historic failure of Israel to abide by any of the UN’s resolutions that Israel return to its pre 1967 borders and that they stop building settlements on Palestinian land, they continue because they are supported by imperialism , particularly US Oil giants and it’s rightist minions.
Obama states again and again that Israel must stop building these settlements but they continue, Israel invades and creates a military apartheid regime in Gaza, but Netanyahu still has enough support, and from the same people who supported Apartheid in South Africa, to divert attention by playing a duet with Iran’s Ahmadinejad about the Holocaust.
Racism , national oppression , the oppression of women, survive, because they are profitable to the 6/10th of 1% who own the land, mineral wealth, communication, transportation, the means of production. Some others, the middle management, who support these evils are being paid, the rest are ignorant. You can imagine, for instance, that since the majority of whites did not vote for Obama, that facing the coalition of Afro-Americans, Latinos., Asians and progressive whites, would set up the most ignorant Americans to respond to the cry,”We’ve got to get our country back!” which the media propagandists push, since what is true is that the US is no longer “White America”. No, it is multi-national multi -cultural USA.
That is why I am so insistent on educating the people about the tragedy of the Weimar Republic, in Germany, the last democratic government before Hitler. After World War One, the German people elected a social democrat as President. Then the socialists, the communists, the social democrats, the unions, the progressives, the left in general began to fight each other about whether the government was socialist enough. In the meantime, Adolph Hitler was organizing and in 1933, after the Reichstag was burned to the ground, Hitler and the Nazis seized power.
Hitler was not some demonic genius lone wolf, he was supported by some of the same corporations that still exist in Germany, Krupp,Thyssen, Schacht. Though they wd downplay now American corporate leaders also admired and supported Hitler’s rise DuPont, Union Carbide, Westinghouse, IBM, ITT, JP Morgan and many many more. Their profit is not a religious figure, they have no morality, no God, but Money!
Obama’s most important and most daunting task is the Regulation of Monopoly Capitalism. He must find ways to shut down their anarchistic dismissal of the common good, the needs of the masses of people in order to make their profits and super profits. The attempted regulation of the banks was much too timid. At the point of the recent crash there was a great opportunity to nationalize (that dirty word) both the banks and the auto industry. It might sound crazy coming out of the mouths of the paid stooges in the media, but these same kind of thing has been done in Europe since World War 2.
It’s obvious that the corpses will wage maximum struggle about this just as they are doing around health care reform, which raises Mencken’s axiom that you can never overestimate US citizen’s ability to resist bit time con persons. But Obama must find ways to stop the flow of capital out of the country, stop the abandoning of factories and the outsourcing of jobs, which reduce whole cities to near ghost towns.
Immigration, is another huge problem, since the corporations favor the flow of non documented workers for the same reason they do anything else, to make super profits by being able to pay these workers less, and at the same time undermine the American workers’ attempts to raise their standard of living (just as they did with the black immigrants pitting them against white workers in the earlier part of the 20th century). But we must not go for the ghost, we must still seek to unify into multinational united fronts, in the same way we united to elect Obama. Again, this is not “White America” it is multinational America, and we need a People’s Democracy, a United Front Government, not one dominated by Monopoly Capital.
The Senate and the House Representatives are mainly filled with lobbyists for Monopoly Capitalism not representatives of the People. We do not even need a senate, just a single house, based on one person, one vote. Obama handicaps are the monopoly capitalist media and the character of the governmental body itself, willed as it is with lobbyists for the same monopolists. Plus the deeply ingrained racism of the white America and some in Black America as well, Mr. Steele , the Real Public Coon, or the Negro lady in Martha’s Vineyard who criticized Obama for not “reaching out to the Black elites”, who characterized Michelle Obama as a “Ghetto girl” should make that clear.
But Obama’s strength is the strength of the multinational united front that elected him. That is a basis for struggle for a People’s Democracy, which is the next step in our needed movement toward actual socialism.
Amiri Baraka Address @ Fla Intl University 09