The ethical truth that’s so hard for us to face is that we have a black man presiding over a modern empire that we all live inside and benefit from. The quiet question is what are we celebrating when we celebrate Obama as imperial leader?
A friend sent me that in a text message (don’tcha just love the 21st century, back in the day that would be sent in some sort of parchment letter) and it’s damning question for Americans, particularly Democrats–and even the African American community that gave overwhelming support–just what are we really celebrating?
Well, I think in a nutshell, we’re celebrating hope.
Obama, as most admitted, campaigned on this non-tangible idea of hope. It was definitely pie-in-the-sky feelings that were invoked as a means of selling his hardcore tangible policies such as health care, drawing down defense spending and the greening of this country, and various tax policies. And it worked, as Michael Eric Dyson said earlier in the first panel of the 2009 State of the Black Union “They called him Marxist, they called him a terrorist…but daggumit, they callin’ him President now!”
The issue at hand is that whomever was elected President of these United States would be inheriting that which is the American Empire.
Often times, we fail to employ empire-speak. Empire-speak is the subtleties of jingoism that have crept into the ethos and culture of our everyday lives. Empire-speak is saying that health care is a privilege and not a God-given human right. Empire-speak is endorsing the Patriot Act because it keeps us safe from the terrorists. Empire-speak allows for us to let George Bush and Dick Cheney go unchecked for the last three years and enter and illegal war that we just now received a plan on how to get out of Iraq. Empire-speak allows for FoxNews to still be on the air; and creates the atmosphere for which people like Don Imus can still be rehired for the same type of job. Empire-speak allows for the evangelical Christians and the religious right to be pro-life, but not campaign for legislation that maintains a healthy life, and would rather for citizens to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
This is what Obama is inheriting.
In fact the American people elected him, just as they elected George W. Bush in 2004.
So, in the spirit of the State of the Black Union on the last Saturday of Black History Month 2009, what are we really holding Barack Obama accountable for: is it maintaing our current way of life via Empire or are we really asking Obama to perform a change on society? Let us remember change comes at a price; as the old foreboding phrase goes, “Freedom isn’t really free.”
I’m sure most conservative readers on this blog, yes, hello to you out there, would never connect the dots as I have and would call me a lunatic for doing so, but this is the world as I see it, and many others. Much of our way of life experienced by ALL Americans those who came by voluntary and involuntary immigration over the years has been at the expense of others in this country and throughout the world. Let us remember, the US is the same country, who under Bill Clinton sent U.S. Troops to remove and kidnap and democratically elected president in Haiti. For whatever reason the US thought this was prudent, I have no idea and it doesn’t behoove the president of a small country like Haiti to lie on the U.S. gubbment, so, I’m betting this is real story. Not to mention Mogadishu in Somalia with the whole Black Hawk Down crap that Clinton got us into as well.
The imperialism power seat that Obama has assumed is what’s allowing him to make the decision to keep 50,000 non-combat troops in Iraq.
If that aint the oxymoron of the century. How can troops be non-combat?
Regardless of Obama closing Gitmo (still haven’t figured out how the US occupies an island that we do ZERO trade with and they haven’t launched an attack against us–can someone say GrandHu$tle!!!), we still have bought into the empire mindset that the occupation of other lands will prevent us from being attacked by “those who hate America.”
Let me pause here because I’ve yet to here concrete evidence via the media that has linked the Bush administration to preventing another 9/11 type of terrorist attack. I guess it’s the old 1984 mentality imposed by Big Brother that we have to “get them before we get us.” Or even better yet the idea put forth in the movie Minority Report which proved the ultimate flaw of the human will; there’s nothing existing that proves that we will ultimately commit any said act. Intentions are ultimately a figment of our will; the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
That being said, I hope President Obama finds it within his heart to run and anti-Empire administration, and to even do away with the ideal of being a benevolent dictator, but rather an individual who was elected by majority to manage the interests of the American people NOT at the expense and on the backs of those deemed unworthy by the Empire.
Your thoughts and comments are still more than welcomed below.
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL