Obama '08-Act Like We Know
By Amiri Baraka
The anti-Obama claptrap from Black people is most times Negro trickery, either they are with Bill 2(Hillary)-I read there's even a Negro for Biden-or else like the anarchist-minded folks who come on the Super Left, they are so militant they opt for passivity & content themselves with merely calling their perceived enemies names. The mask of the foolish juvenile delinquent left who sees no progress in doing anything but name calling.
That's how you got rid of David Dinkins, he was too conservative, so you hooted and hollered until you got a real militant, Adolph Giuliani & here we are today w/ yr boy the billionaire mayor whose nose opens wider each day at the sight of Obama running. Like Rock & Roll, it needs our inspiration!
But it has got to be clear that the less we do, the less we can expect Obama to respond to us. It is the fundamental reaction of most politicians that they respond to the sharpest presence, although we shd know that under the capitalist election shenanigans, it is always money that speaks loudest, which is why one of our constant calls in trying to transform the U.S. political culture, is that we demand all private monies be eliminated from elections. In fact the first of our ongoing political tasks is to relentlessly call for the transformation of the U.S. Political culture! The elimination of the Electoral College, One Person, One vote, to eliminate the anti-democratic Winner-take- all system. The abolition of the Senate to be replaced by a single (unicameral) House of Representatives. Restoration of voting rights to ex felons. Elections of a single day, direct democracy i.e. voting at the workplace, school & compulsory voting? If taxation is compulsory, voting shd be too.
But those are a few of the tasks to be taken up by an energized Black population and in alliance with a Left Block of the broadest population no matter what happens ultimately to Obama. Yet it is the most obvious infantile left-anarchist error that haunts our movement, to constantly be talking about Revolution and not even participate in one of the most obvious ways of seizing some power.
I have heard seriously flawed arguments that Obama is not "Black enough"! You better be checking out his politics not his melanin. Though w/ an African father and very Black grandmother, he is probably closer to the Mother land than most of us straight out Black Americans, for whom our direct connection with Africa was over by the 19th century.
Plus, is Hillary or Edwards blacker? Despite some deluded Bloods I know who called Bill Clinton "the lst Black president," is that why he passed that crime bill, wasted welfare & established states' right on many social programs?
We are the people of the double consciousness, both Black & American, but if we understand Du Bois' equation properly we shd know that means that we struggle for equal Citizenship rights as well as Self Determination!
To support Obama is to grasp both ends of that double consciousness, aware of the contradiction but also the dialectic that makes that social twoness of use to us.
But we must understand that we are now at a stage of struggle for a People's Democracy, a Revolutionary Democracy, where our maximum accomplishment at this stage of struggle wd be a United Front Government, based on an alliance of multinational workers, the progressive petty bourgeoisie, farmers, all democratic forces and even with the shaky national bourgeoisie. Such an accomplishment wd still be a transitional stage, but an incrementally closer step toward socialism.
National oppression, racism, the oppression of women and gays will never cease until monopoly capitalism is put under control and then depowered and then eliminated. But we cannot airbrush or dismiss as unnecessary all those stages that will one day enable us to do that.
The mass support of Obama by the national Afro American movement, especially its progressive sector, will reinvigorate our struggle. We cannot merely stand on the side lines and be chumped-off, mumbling as one super-militant sister in DC recently read in a poem putting down Hillary & Obama & ending "Only the white man will win." A White racist cd've said that! Is that all we're good for now?
The Republican Right has co-opted the Negro as a bow to the civil rights movement. Slicker than the Democrats, Condoleeza, Tom Ass and The Colon have been energized like that battery operated rabbit to delude the lowest of us here & around the world. That somehow that represents real democracy. We must enter into that mainstream struggle & make our own demands, utilize the pressure of our needs & our numbers. We are almost 50 million people with the 16th GNP in the world...almost 600 Billion dollars a year. We have the muscle and the money We need to make our move.
A massive Afro American presence around Obama's campaign shd be utilized by us not only to renew the Afro American struggle, but also as a method of recreating the reality of a national Afro American political assembly, democratically elected from all 50 states, able to support our friends, oppose our enemies in whatever way we see fit!
With such a presence we cd have stopped the Bush seizure of power in Florida & so prevented the Ohio recurrence. The Black American must have a self-determined power base and the ignition spark can be brought into focus and perhaps one ignition spark can be supplied by our consolidating a correct relationship to the Obama campaign. No matter what America does in the nomination or election!