“Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.”—Lucy Parsons
History is both a guide into the past and an important unfinished road map for the present and future.
The ordinary everyday people’s history of struggle in the United States and throughout the world is a long, illustrious, and protracted one. This history is ongoing and includes Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people. Nevertheless, when history’s lessons are buried and ignored, the results are inevitably devastating.
In this year of 2012, the United States has once more entered into an intensified period of election hype, or what can more accurately be described as the ‘election’ con game. The evil of the two lessers (i.e. the Democrat and Republican parties) are once again distracting, lying, and hoodwinking the people by feigning political skirmishes with one another even as both of these systemic symbiotically-joined political parties keep people locked into the mindset of a spurious left/right paradigm of perpetual systemic servitude in this nation.
While the corporate-owned Republican Party continues to be brazen in its support for the corporate/military elite of this nation, the Democrat Party—with its current de facto war mongering, blood soaked, corporate-owned standard bearer Barack Obama—engages in a stealthy, less brazen and very effective form of emaciating everyday ordinary people. Worse yet, there are certain iconic figures who know better but who have apparently chosen to portray Barack Obama—and by association the Democrat Party—as the alleged champions of the people. Sadly, one such iconic figure in this context is Angela Davis, whom it appears has lost her natural mind by actually declaring that Barack Obama “identifies with the Black radical tradition.” This declaration by Angela Davis is not only sad but, just as importantly, it is grossly inaccurate and demeans and distorts the ongoing struggle on the part of Black, and indeed justice-loving people of all colors, for political, economic, and social equity. It cannot be left unchallenged.
Glen Ford, executive editor of BAR (Black Agenda Report), is right on point in his recent piece entitled, Angela Davis Has Lost Her Mind Over Obama, wherein he writes, “Black Freedom Movement icon Angela Davis tells people that Barack Obama ‘identifies with the Black radical tradition’—as if everything he has written, said and done in national politics has not been a repudiation of the Black radical tradition.” In so doing, Prof. Davis “is repudiating herself, her history, her comrades—all in a foolish attempt to artificially graft a totally unworthy Barack Obama onto a place he not only does not belong, but most profoundly does not want to be.”
Has Angela Davis forgotten, or is she ignoring, the fact the Barack Obama, once in office scrapped (even the official discussion of) single payer universal health care? Has she forgotten or ignored the fact that Barack Obama’s bloody wars and continual military forays into Pakistan and Afghanistan, etc., have earned him the well-deserved title of the ‘predator drone missile’ president? Has she forgotten that Barack Obama, as president, supported the trillion dollar criminal ‘bail out’ of the U.S. corporate elite whose blood-sucking practices are emaciating everyday people of this nation and the world? Has Angela Davis somehow forgotten Barack Obama’s bombing of North Africa? Has she forgotten that Barack Obama signed into law the draconian National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA of 2012) which provides for the indefinite detention and disappearances of U.S. citizens inside this country without charge, trial, or legal representation etc.? Has she forgotten Barack Obama’s authorization of extrajudicial murders of U.S. citizens abroad and his continued support for kidnapping and torture as part of the U.S. program known as ‘extraordinary rendition’? Has she forgotten that Barack Obama has done nothing to seriously address and alleviate the plight of political prisoners held in prison gulags throughout the United States? Has she forgotten “her [own] history?” Indeed, has she lost her natural mind “over Obama?!” Sadly, it would seem so.
If anything, the wily Barack Obama stands in very real opposition not only to the “Black radical tradition,” but also to the radical (i.e., root) traditions of people of all colors in this nation and throughout the world who hunger and thirst for self determination, transparency in government, actualized justice, and an end to corporate/military hegemony.
Ignoring reality, including the reality of our own histories, plays into the hands of the systemic Democrat and Republican parties. It is obvious to politically conscious persons in this nation that elections are nothing more than a well contrived farce—a con game rigged against the people. It is also obvious to an increasing number of people that the U.S. ‘main-stream’ (i.e., corporate-stream) media is a pathetic joke which long ago abdicated even the pretense of relevant, honest, and in-depth reporting; and this is precisely what the corporate controlled Democrat and Republican parties count on: a woefully uninformed, misinformed, distracted, and easily manipulated populace.
We everyday people must remain vigilant, learn from, cherish, and guard the legacy of our histories of struggle for a more just and humane nation and world. We can ill afford to “repudiate” history and lose our minds. To the contrary, we must embrace our histories remembering that history truly is both a guide into the past and an important unfinished roadmap for the present and future.
Times are challenging and perilous. Remember: Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one, as we continue in this long and protracted collective struggle on behalf of ourselves, each other, and Mother Earth. ‘Free your MINDS and change the SYSTEM.’
Onward, then, my sisters and brothers. Onward!
Intrepid Report Associate Editor Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil / political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, the San Francisco BayView newspaper, the Black Commentator, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.)