[News] Mumia Abu-Jamal on President Obama

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Nov 13 18:20:17 EST 2008

November 13, 2008

The Meanings of Victory

[col. writ. 11/04/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

     The count has been called and Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. has 
become the 44th President of the United States of America.

     But, in truth, history will record him as #1 - the first 
African-American president.

     It is undeniable that this is a singular political achievement, 
a work of impressive political skill, and (we must admit) a gift of 
the political gods.

     Among friends, in the privacy of a prison visiting room I've 
often made the following half-joke.  Obama wins handsomely, and in 
his acceptance speech, flush with victory, loaded with 'political 
capital', he would open by saying, "My fellow Americans -- first and 
foremost, I want to thank the one person who made my election 
possible (if not inevitable): George W. Bush!"

     I always got a laugh, for like all good jokes  the truth makes it happen.

     And the truth is, without the blunders of Bush, Obama would've 
been an also-ran.  His fundamental issue, which set him apart from 
the rest of the Democratic pack, was his early opposition to the Iraq 
War.  That gave him a wind that carried him far and long beyond his 
competitors, who were, for the most part, half-hearted war supporters 
-- or worse, people who supported the war only because to not do so, 
would've harmed their political careers (or so they thought).

     That wind carried him to the Oval Office, the grandest prize in 
U.S. politics.

     But what does it mean?

     We cannot deny its symbolic value.  In millions of Black homes, 
his picture will be placed on walls, beside Martin, John F. Kennedy, 
and a pale painting of Jesus. I'd be that quite a few African homes 
(especially in Kenya) will also boast his smiling visage.

     But beyond symbol is substance, and substantively, some scholars 
have defined Obama as little different from his predecessors. 
Political scientist Clarence Lusane, writing in a recent issue of The 
Black Scholar pointed to the money men behind both Obama and the 
Democratic Party, and noted the following:

    The promotion of U.S. hegemony, expansion of markets for U.S. 
corporations, security-based multilateral relations, protectionist 
trade policies, and a focus on terrorism will likely be key 
priorities demanded by the major political and financial backers of 
the Democratic Party. In other words, in a number of key areas, an 
Obama administration would echo the policies of both George H.W. Bush 
and Bill Clinton." *

     Yet, symbols are powerful things.  Sometimes, they have a life 
all their own.  They may come to mean something more than first intended.

     History has been made.

     We shall see exactly what kind of history it will be.

--(c) '08 maj

{Source: Lusane, C., " 'We Must Lead the World' : The Obama Doctrine 
and the Rebranding of U.S. Hegemony, " The Black Scholar, [v.38: n.1] 
(Spr. '08), p.3.}

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

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