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Black is Back! A Coalition to Fight the Powers that Be – Including Obama

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justice and peaceby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Black leadership is paralyzed, white “progressives” are still drunk on ObamaL'aid, and much of the purported anti-war movement fears to confront the nation's First Black President. As historically the most reliably anti-war and pro-social justice ethnicity in the United States, African Americans have a special role to play in the late capitalist drama. “To free our people’s hopes and dreams from oblivion, we need a coalition dedicated to the proposition that Black is Back.”
Black is Back! A Coalition to Fight the Powers that Be – Including Obama
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The election of Obama as president has undermined our solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world as well as our own efforts for liberation.”
If we are to head off political and existential disaster, it is critical that Black-led formations reassert themselves to reverse the paralysis that has engulfed the Black Liberation, anti-war and anti-corporate movements since the ascension of Barack Obama. The evidence has accumulated in fearsome abundance: rather than unleashing the pent-up energies and aspirations of those who suffer under the rule of profiteers and militarists – most especially, African Americans – Obama’s rise has led to wholesale surrender of Black and “progressive” leadership to the financial and war-making interests embraced by the First Black President.
“’Black is Back’ is a statement of the re-entry of African people into political life independent of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party,” reads the Call to build the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. At an organizing meeting in Washington, DC, more than a dozen “leading anti-imperialist African diaspora activists, artists, journalists and organizations” (including this writer) agreed that “the election of Obama as president has undermined our solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world as well as our own efforts for liberation.”
African Americans have long struggled under the institutional weight of the Democratic Party, whose priorities have not coincided with our own for most of the last 40 years, if ever. Deployed as bloc voters once every two or four years and dismissed and disrespected every single day in between, African Americans have endured countless betrayals, all the while postponing and diluting our own demands in deference to a party that slides inexorably Rightward. To that historical burden of misplaced deference has been added the First Black President, whose very presence has succeeded in politically lobotomizing many of the most active elements of Black leadership. If we are to reverse the damage, we must act in the spirit of the slogan, Black is Back!
The First Black President's very presence has succeeded in politically lobotomizing many of the most active elements of Black leadership.”
Obama preached peace, then enlarged U.S. wars. He championed the language of universal health care, while sabotaging its most fervent supporters. He moves his lips to criticize the bankers, then puts tens of trillions of the people’s dollars at their disposal. He orates on the pain of poverty, and in the next breath proclaims that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” He blames African underdevelopment on internal corruption while relentlessly militarizing the continent through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). He panders to the most base white prejudices by calling Black men boys and singling out African Americans as models of bad morals and work habits.
Oprah was dead wrong: Obama is not The One. He is not even an ally; he is an obstacle that must be struggled against, a formidable bulwark of finance capital and imperial barbarism.
While Obama defends his wars and his bailouts, and African American leadership expends all its energies defending the president, the Black agenda is left with hardly any defenders at all. It is as if African American aspirations were sequestered in some dank basement corner of Obama’s White House, never to be seen or heard from again. To free our people’s hopes and dreams from oblivion, we need a coalition dedicated to the proposition that Black is Back.
Obama is an obstacle that must be struggled against.”
White “progressives” and anti-imperialists are also in need of a Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Historically, African Americans have been the most reliably anti-war and pro-social justice ethnicity in the United States. Blacks have opposed U.S. military adventures abroad for as long as the major polling outfits have surveyed African American opinion. A February 2003 Zogby poll showed only 23 percent of Blacks favored George Bush’s planned attack on Iraq, versus 62 percent of whites. A solid majority of white men backed the invasion even if it would result in thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties. Only seven percent of African Americans supported war under such circumstances. African Americans have always been deeply suspicious of U.S. motives in the world, and are least likely to dehumanize the Other.
These sentiments are rooted in Black historical experience – and are now in profound conflict with the warlike policies of the First Black President. It is the job, first and foremost, of African American anti-imperialists to confront Obama’s militarism. This would nullify excuses from non-Black activists who claim that fear of alienating Blacks makes them reluctant to directly challenge Obama. When we Bring Back Black, we advance the struggle of all peoples.
In the absence of a militant Black critique and challenge to Obama, the Black conversation devolves into angry counterattacks against the likes of Glenn Beck, and little else.”
As racist whites transfer their hatred of African Americans to the person of Obama, far too many Blacks have forsaken their traditional causes – peace, economic justice and social equality – to circle the wagons around a politician that is fundamentally opposed to the historical Black agenda in all respects but one: upward mobility for Black politicians. In the absence of a militant Black critique and challenge to Obama, the Black conversation devolves into angry counterattacks against the likes of Glenn Beck, and little else. Meanwhile, the objective circumstances of our people deteriorate on an unprecedented scale as a direct result of White House policies and the policies of previous presidents that Obama has embraced. As the Call for a Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations puts it:
“While Obama has opposed the demand for reparations for African people in the U.S. for the history of slavery, exploitation and terror, he has handed over trillions of dollars of the taxpayer’s money to the banking elite. Meanwhile millions of African people have lost their homes after being targeted by these same bankers for subprime mortgages that result in the loss of billions of dollars of African community wealth in the form of mass home foreclosures.
“While more than a quarter million jobs are being lost in the U.S. monthly, African people face 15.9 percent official unemployment. African teenagers with 38.9 percent unemployment are jobless at four times the overall U.S. unemployment rate.
“In the U.S., where Barack Obama also told us that racial exploitation and oppression are no longer factors in life, the black-white health gap costs the lives of more than 83,000 African people each year. Additionally, African men in the U.S. are incarcerated at rates eight times higher than white men and one out of three African males in his 30s has a prison record. One out of eight African men in his 20s is now in prison or jail on any given day.”
These are facts that speak directly to the African American condition, and resonate among all conscious elements of our people. The rapidly worsening Black domestic situation, growing theaters of war and threats of “regime change” abroad, and a multiplicity of global crises demand “re-entry of African people into political life independent of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party,” as called for by the newly formed coalition. Black is Back!
The Black is Back Coalition (see list of participants, below) will soon announce the date of its inaugural rally in Washington, D.C. For information, contact:
Chioma Oruh 202.320.5542 asi.na.chair@gmail.com
Rosa Clemente 646.721.7441 knowthyself@mac.com
Jared Ball 202.997.0267 freemixradio@voxunion.com
 
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
Coalition participants as of September 12:
Omali Yeshitela, African Peoples Socialist Party (APSP)
Dorothy Lewis, NCOBRA
Cynthia McKinney, Green Party
Ayesha Fleary, APSP
Chimurenga Waller, APSP
Stic Man, Dead Prez
M-1, Dead Prez
Ousainou Mbenga, APSP
Abdul Alim Musa, Masjid al-Islam
Ona Zena Yeshitela, APSP
Omawale Kefing, Burning Spear
Curtis Gatewood, NAACP
Raheal Rayza, University of Toronto
Norman Richmond, Toronto
Luwezi Kinshasa, APSP
Chakanda Gondwe, APSP
Pam Africa, Free Mumia Campaign
Brother Riley, Uhuru Radio
Rich Piedrahita, APSP
Jared Ball, VoxUnion Media
Chioma Oruh, SPSP
Sister Olevette
Rosa Clemente, Green Party

Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report. 

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Comments

And one year after this post

And one year after this post was written, the statement “Obama is an obstacle that must be struggled against" is still as big a problem for the black community and liberals as it was then. Question is what are we going to do about it?
Marisa,
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Lame

This group is the typical result of uneducated, bored, ignorant people that form together due to their lack of knowledge. You people do nothing to help anyone out, so why should anyone even bother listening to you. It doesnt matter to me really, your group will make no difference anyway. I have plenty of African-American friends...at least mine do something instead of just bitch and nag. Do you people think everything should just come free for you in this life? Try working for something for a change, or making a difference instead of trying to rely on others to do it. Get over skin color, we are all Americans...your group needs to start acting like one...oh wait...you dont know how. If I had to guess, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are in your little "tree house club" as well, since they always are just a part of the problem and not the solution. Quite a coincidence....

Obama is Bush

I'm new - I'm just trying to get some straight answers. I keep on seeing this Glen Beck name being mentioned over and over. Who is he and what lies has he told? I know about Rush linbaugh , Shawn hanity and Michael Savage.
I agree Obama has done nothing to create jobs, I see nothing but more and more people out of work.  I see nothing but Bush policies being continued if not increased. patriot act still in place, Warrentless wire taps still in place, Obama sent more troop into a pointless Afagan war when he took over. Health care for ALL - I believe it when I see it. Hundreds of billions of dollars went to bail out white wall street, MEGA banks, Big Corporate car companies and nothing came to my neighborhood. We are hurting more now than the last eight years.
I want someone to tell me I don't see what my eyes tell me I am seeing, I what someone to tell me I dont hear what I am hearing. Obama is just Geaorge Bush in a diffrent suit.
Who is this Glen Beck that everybody is talking about?
 

I Have Always Been with it...O.M.N.I

It is not a movement against any other group.  Rather it is a movement to save African Americans.  We have for too long looked at every other group to link arms with us but, we have neglected our responsibilities to our community. We are a loving and welcoming people but, part of being responsible  is taking care of ourselves.
 
It is about time that something like this will take place.  I am proud that this magazine is promoting this cause.  Our debates and concerns should not be manipulated, and  washed down with a beer, a photo op, and a handshake.  We must bring a movemnt substance to Obama's office and if we must embarrass Obama then, so be it.
His ego is his worst enemy.  Too many African Americans are celebrating the victory at the expense of the mission.  Now, I support Obama quite often on certain issues but, I have yet, to see one petty piece of legislation that has been aimed at addressing the African American community.  Yes, he is Amrica's President but, America continues to rebuke him and he keeps running to them.  He's a glutton for punishment (lol).
 
By the way,  great Article!

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To build a lasting foundation for America’s economic prosperity and security, we’ll organize around the core challenges facing Americans and their families — energy, health care, and education. By acting together, we can overcome the obstacles that for too long have prevented real change on the critical issues that Americans face day in and day out. Now is the time to leave behind the status quo and build support for real solutions to ensure that President Obama succeeds in fulfilling the promise of change. Read more about the challenges we face and the solutions that will get us back on the road to long-term prosperity.

you have my support

It is as if African American aspirations were sequestered in some dank basement corner of Obama’s White House, never to be seen or heard from again.
 
Amen.  The ugly truth of the Obama administration, and Federal power generally, is that the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina showed how the Federal Government feels about African-American hopes and dreams, about African-American domestic needs, about African-American representation at the Federal Government level.  The only Af-Am voices allowed in the Fed Govt are those who want to continue the corporate-socialism trend... Eric Holder, Susan Rice, Barack Obama, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Michael Powell.
 
Cynthia McKinney was ejected.  Rev Jeremiah Wright was called a buffoon. 
 
The treatment of the poor Af-Am sections of New Orleans, that's a perfect thumbnail sketch of what Af-Am people around the nation can expect from our Fed Govt.
 
Best of luck to the Black is Back! movement.

black is back

An impressive coalition, very impressive.  I am with you all the way, just tell me what I can do, I can put an insert in the current issue of my bulletin, which I will be distributing more than a thousand copies.  'This is what I have been waiting for.  You have my unconditional support, for what it is worth
 
Right on brothers and sisters, right on

black is back

An impressive coalition, very impressive.  I am with you all the way, just tell me what I can do, I can put an insert in the current issue of my bulletin, which I will be distributing more than a thousand copies.  'This is what I have been waiting for.  You have my unconditional support, for what it is worth
 
Right on brothers and sisters, right on

Between a "Ba rock" and a hard place

I hope Black is Back, especially since the "Post-Racial" Era has come and gone as swiftly as "Hope" and "Change."  In addition to being bought and sold and instinctive "climbers" many so-called Black and Progressive leaders are at their wits end as the "Post-Racial" Big Lie has been deeply exposed.  Thanks to Glen Beck and his acolytes and the 1st Amendment.  The White Nationalist Movement has remained agile in transforming itself.  The former White Citizen's Councils are now known as the Council of Conservative Citizens.  The skinheads and Kluxers claim they are not anti-black, just pro-white.  The viccitiudes of language is a m*****f******er in an Imperialistic Society.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Conservative_Citizens
 
The willingness, the volition to abdicate critical thinking has put Black Americans between a "Ba Rock and a hard place."  While Jimmy Carter and other pols are now saying in public what they've been thinking in private, Obamageddon says it ain't about race."
 
And it is true that not all of the Right Wing anger is about race, but a healthy portion of it is.  We're in the "damned position" in that regardless of what WE think of Obama's Regressive Genes, a vocal minority of Whites direct their anger and hatred at Obama whom they symbolize with the larger Black population, if not a representative of all things "other."  Because we know the not-so-closeted racists are directing their bile at Blacks in general in their critique of Obama the impulse is to defend him.  But we know he's a Trojan Horse and to defend him would bring us continued disastrous policies. 
 
So while vapid Blacks and phony White Progressives banter on about Obama being the culmination of MLKs dream, the (would be) card carrying members of the White Citizen's Councils are turning up the heat and threatening violence, many desiring Obama suffer the same fate as MLK.  What makes some "Liberals" bat shit crazy is that the Teabaggers have some legitimate greivances although their insanity and lack of critical thinking makes them resort to racist symbolism to express it.  Marxism and socialism and "radical" have long been dog whistles that speak to race, emanating from the historical ties between communists and some Black Liberationists, however tenous and short-lived were those ties.
 
Indeed, it has been the self-professed "Black Nationalists" at BAR that have been most vocal in their criticism of the Trojan Horse named Obama; who were not as mystified by race as they were mollified by his DLC credentials and his OPEN REFUTATION OF BLACK HISTORICAL CLAIMS AND EXPERIENCES!!  Stepping on Rev. Wright should have been a wakeup call, just like claiming the "surge succeeded beyond my wildest dreams" should have been a wakeup call.  Increasingly the "Liberal Blogosphere" is taking the gloves off viz Ba Rock Obama.
 
When has (or will) Ba Rock Obama venture in the the "ghetto?"  When will he deliver a "town hall" in the hood?  What will he do to memorialize Katrina victims? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, but it should be a wakeup call when the President and his minions say, "It's not about race." So why bother with you hood rats?  Many folks predicted that Obama would be more dangerous than McCain because of his Trojan Horse status, and he has proven the biggest threat to Liberalism and Progressivism than Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America.  Further, all indications are that with him we are well into GWB's 3rd Term.  What puts us between a "Ba Rock and a hard place" is that Obama and his DLC acolytes have ushered in an era of right wing politics at a time and place, at a moment in history, when they could have destroyed the Right Wing, using all the spoils sytems and instrumentalities of government and laws at their disposal.  So remember while you whine and moan about "defending" the President (and I understand the matter of projection) just remember that the President doesn't give a damn about defending you, whether that "you" is gay, Black, Jewish, atheist, Hispanic or White, so long as that "you" is someone advocating for genuine progressive policies.
 
I hope and pray Black is Back because we have been historical standard bearers of true liberalism in the US of A.  Should it come as a surprise (or disappointment) that it turns out that the "Black Nationalist Agenda" is nothing but a poor, working man/woman agenda?   It's the white boys who are shooting and blowing up shit, and attempting to subvert and undermine a democratically elected government, not the Black "radicals."  LOL



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