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What is the current US corporate media-induced
frenzy, regarding the so-called “Obama phenomenon,” really all
about and why, at this juncture in history, has it become increasingly
so important for corporate America’s global military/industrial
apparatus to have a male face of color as the figure head at
The actual function of the US corporate media
and its allies is to control,falsely depict, and
shape opinion. It does not exist to inform honestly
the masses of people in order that they/we might truly be an
informed people making informed decisions in our
own best interest. Grasping this reality is essential to understanding
how and why the US corporate media acts in the fashion it does.
The perpetual objective of the US corporate media
and its minions world wide is constantly to distort, disinform
and thereby disempower and control. Thus, anyone who dares expose
the actual avaricious interests of the corporate media and its
masters, in favor of the masses of people, such as does former
US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, is vilified, marginalized
and/or ignored by said media. Cynthia McKinney is a time
tested champion of the people who has demonstrated time
and time again that she is no pawn of corporate America’s military/industrial
complex. Like the late and beloved former US Congresswoman Shirley
Chisholm, Cynthia McKinney is “unbought and unbossed.” She does
not have to make a case to the American people about her ethnicity
or Blackness, as the essence of who and what she is, is amply
demonstrated by her many years of active commitment to
the struggle for political, economic and social justice for
all people: Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White.
McKinney has left the morally and politically bankrupt Democratic
Party in favor of building and supporting a real grass roots
coalition across this nation that is committed to attaining
real power for and to the people. Nevertheless, don’t
plan to ascertain much about her US Presidential campaign or
the concomitant "Power To The People" coalition from
the US corporate media, for this is not in their interest.
You will, however, learn about Cynthia McKinney’s campaign and
the "Power To The People" coalition over time, as
the incessant whispers of every day people grow into the roars
of active political coalition building. This is all about real
empowerment: exposing, stopping, and ultimately systemically
reversing the insidious gains made by the de facto war profiteers
and their blood-soaked and greedy corporate partners. This is
not about raising false “hopes” or “dreams.” This is about people
collectively and actively struggling to take control
from the corporate maggots of the military/industrial complex
who profit from the deprivation and misery of the vast majority
of people in this nation and on this planet.
It does not take a rocket scientist to understand,
immediately and intuitively, that the very same (and in many
respects worse) US corporate media that overwhelmingly
vilified both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X right
up to the time of their assassinations, continues today to be
no friend of the majority of the people, be they Black, Brown,
Red, Yellow, or even White. To the contrary, the US corporate
media promotes the interests of the corporate power elite by
promoting those who represent those interests.
A Black American reader of The Black Commentator
recently wrote to me concerning Barack Obama: “With Obama
the system is employing a bait and switch tactic. On
the surface the guy looks like he represents all that is new
and hopeful, but he is a product of the corporate culture and
that is where his heart and interests lie.” In my opinion, this
reader’s observation is correct.
When observing the cynical strategy of Barack
Obama’s US Presidential campaign, particularly as it relates
to Black America, and ultimately to America as a whole, I am
reminded of the words of Malcolm X when he said in relevant
part, “A man who tosses worms in the river isn’t necessarily
a friend of the fish. All the fish who take him for a friend,
who think the worm’s got no hook in it, usually end up in the
clear about this: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was brutally murdered
on April 4, 1968, in the context of his active and outspoken
support for the massively exploited sanitation workers
in Memphis, Tennessee, and his crystal clear and adamant
opposition to the US war in Vietnam. Dr. King was fundamentally
despised by corporate American media and the US military/industrial
complex. To portray this otherwise is simply not the truth,
and it is accurate that those who do not know their history
assuredly are bound to repeat it. We can ill afford to be hoodwinked
by the US corporate media and its allies.
Yet, when researching who US Presidential candidate
Barack Obama’s campaign advisors are, it is clear that they
come from corporate America and the military industrial complex
and who today remain, more than ever, the de facto enemies of
economically exploited and oppressed Black, Brown, Red, Yellow,
and White peoples. [Reference: Obama and the American Dream,
by Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD, The
Black Commentator, January 10, 2008, Issue 259]. We
must ask ourselves: are we about to be the “fish” who “end up
in the frying pan” of corporate America’s military/industrial
Whereas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. abhorred
the US war in Vietnam and elsewhere in the world, Barack Obama,
cloaking himself in the guise of being a “peace” candidate,
has repeatedly stated his support for “unilateral” US military
actions in other nations. He has indicated that he opposes how
the US is waging the war in Iraq, not the US waging of this
bloody, illegal, and amoral war itself. It should be
reiterated that Obama has clearly stated that he would wage
this war “better,” more effectively. This is not the
position of a candidate of PEACE. It is the position of a candidate
promoting aPIECE of war.
US corporate media clips and sound bites of
Barack Obama, shamelessly and hypocritically mimicking and
invoking as his own, the legacy of the murdered Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. and other Black American women and men freedom
fighters as if he embodies the struggle for justice
and equality of Black, Brown, Red and other disenfranchised
people in America, is patently utterly obscene.
The blood and collective memory of millions
of Black women, men, and baby slaves in America
Of Denmark Vesey & Nat Turner
Of many tens of thousands of America’s Black
Of the - four little Black girl - victims
of the heinous 1963, church bombing by white racists in
Of the brutal murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm
X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmett Till, and so many untold
others of Black America
- to this very day - cry out for justice.
And this ongoing struggle is by no means embodied by Barack
Simultaneously, the hollowness and unadulterated
cynicism of Obama’s false claim that “America is one nation,
one people” is not only inaccurate, it is deliberate distortion
of the reality of social, economic, and political inequality
in this nation. Such rhetoric represents how Barack Obama
seeks to “bamboozle” and negate Black America, other people
of color and indeed all of America. It is a terrible
charade supported and propagated by a significant segment
of the corporate media and a back handed slap in the face
to Black America. Moreover, this is also becoming obvious
to a growing number of white Americans. There is absolutely
no way that Barack Obama and his corporate and military advisors
could not know that it is the hopes and dreams of all
Americans, and most especially those of us who are Black,
Brown, and Red, who are cynically being played upon [i.e.
pimped] by this Obama rhetoric. Neither Americans nor the
peoples of the rest of the world deserve any more of this.
in mind that Barack Obama is perhaps, more than anything,
a trojan horse candidate for corporate America, its
media, and concomitant military industrial complex. Thus,
a significant portion of the US corporate media is currently
about the business of attempting to pimp us all, regardless
of our color, on behalf of Barack Obama - sort of like an
equal opportunity exploitation on behalf of the US corporate
power elite. Of course, Barack Obama is by no means the only
candidate being backed by this corporate power elite, but
he is, at this juncture, the darling of the US corporate media;
this should give us all pause for thought.
Obama revels in stating that he is the offspring
of a “Kenyan” father and a white American mother, as if that
somehow, in and of itself, is significant or is a qualification
for the US Presidency. It is not. Nor does it have any relevancy
whatsoever with respect to the important policy questions
that he has not seriously answered.
Why does he support using “unilateral” US
military actions in other nations?
Why are his top advisors from the power elite
of corporate America and the US military?
Why did he not oppose the de facto
racist, anti-Black and Brown, so-called Gang Abatement Act
- S456 - in the US Senate?
Why does he deny the existence of a “Black
America,” while simultaneously attempting to garner its
Since he highlights that he is of a “Kenyan”
father and a white American mother and he was raised essentially
by whites, why is he any better qualified than a politically
conscious and time-tested Black American of Black American
parentage raised inside Black America to understand and
relate to the pressing concerns of Black Americans or, indeed,
What does he intend to do about the infamous
past and ongoing US Government COINTELPRO [Counter Intelligence
Program] and COINTELPRO-type activities to frame, discredit,
imprison and often murder those US citizens deemed as political
enemies inside America, itself?
Does he support reparations to Black Americans,
the descendants of slaves in America?
Does he actually believe that poor
and disenfranchised people throughout America are being
“coddled,” as he has indicated he believes about the people
Other than rhetoric, what qualifications
and specific actions make him substantially different
from his Democratic Party competitors and better suited
for the office of President of the United States?
Who specifically are the corporate
donors to his campaign and how does this influence him?
Is his demonstrative loyalty to the
people of the United States or actually to the corporate
These represent only some of the serious questions
that the US corporate media has not pressed Barack Obama to
Moreover, as the son of a “Kenyan” father who
ultimately left America and returned to his native Kenya, Barack
Obama should certainly be poignantly cognizant of the fact that
the true and courageous foot soldiers and every day people of
the Kenyan movement for national independence from British
colonialism and Western imperialism were, in fact, sold out
by bourgeois nationalists who were masquerading as being
of and for the masses of the Kenyan people. This, coupled with
the still-ticking time bombs of ethnic tensions - which were
deliberately manipulated and exacerbated by past and ongoing
Western imperialism - continue, in one hideous form or another,
to afflict, horribly, Kenya as a country and the entire African
continent as a whole.
some before him in his father’s native Kenya, Barack Obama in
America has demonstrated that he is very solidly in the
camp of the bourgeoisie of 21st century Western imperialism.
Thus, the recipe for disaster in the Barack Obama scenario of
America is ever so clear, notwithstanding America’s enormous
proclivity for national and international subterfuge, trampling
upon the sovereignty of selected nations, and resorting to military
adventurism at the drop of a hat. This is further exacerbated
by candidate Barack Obama’s repeatedly stated willingness to
utilize “unilateral” US military force in other nations [i.e.
military adventurism], that would, no doubt, delight the corporate
and military elite but continue to utilize vast amounts of people
in America and on this planet as nothing more than expendable
cannon fodder. The most effective way to substantially reduce
terrorism and other bloody conflicts is by refraining from spreading
it by our own actions, not by any “unilateral” or "get
off my planet by sun down" approach to terrorism or other
disputes between nations. Perhaps Black, Brown, and Red peoples
in America, due to our collective histories on this continent
dealing with genocide, slavery, and territorial thievery, know
the accuracy of this assertion better than most. Unfortunately,
Barack Obama apparently does not.
Bluntly stated, Black America, in conjunction
with other people of color, and indeed with all politically
conscious persons of goodwill, must make a viable pact with
each other no longer to accept the superficial rhetoric of any
candidate, whether it be Barack Obama or anyone else. The “proof
of the pudding is in its taste,” not in its outward appearance.
Far too much is at stake. Far, far too much.
Much needed and real systemic “change” will not
be brought about by the Democrat or Republican Parties or by
any of their representatives. To expect such a thing would be
like expecting the fox to tell us truthfully who ate the chickens.
We must take our destinies into our own hands. It is time to
be creative in this struggleand stop “going for
the ghost.” It is, as Malcolm X said repeatedly, time to stop
being “bamboozled.” It is the year 2008, and time that we realize
that cosmetic change is no change at all.
Systemic change demands that we reject the superficial
in favor of doing what is real. That is what this people’s struggle
is all about.
Board member, 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. 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) Click
here to contact Mr. Pinkney.