An Open Letter to President-Elect Obama
by Saab Lofton
Picard: I sincerely hope this is the last time I'll find myself here.
Q: You just don't get it, do you, Jean-Luc? The trial never ends.
--from All Good Things, the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation
That's right, I said it: You're welcome. How is it that the man of the hour -- the first black American president-elect -- owes some obscure radical? Simple. Good cop/bad cop. Given that America is virtually a police state (call the A.C.L.U., Amnesty International and an organization called The Sentencing Project fo' mo' info), we the people are CONstantly inundated with movies and TV shows which make cops look undeservedly macho and sexy -- so I'm sure you've seen this dynamic in one form or another: The bad cop scares the suspect into cutting a deal with the good cop. Well, as Sally Kohn, project director of the Movement Vision Lab at the Center for Community Change, put it so well, "Malcolm X and the Black Panthers made King and others' demands seem 'reasonable' and thus politically acceptable to center-right elites."
And yes, the same can be said about our relationship. Think about it: Only a decade ago, white supremacists stripped James Byrd Junior buck naked and drug him across three miles of dirt road in Texas (even Bill Clinton called it "an act of evil") -- do you REALLY think the product of a black man and a white woman of all couples would've stood a snowball's chance in Hell at winning the White House were it not for SOME force from the grassroots prodding white America towards you? Change always comes from the bottom up. As I said, you're welcome.
But don't just thank moi, thank the left-wing in general. The myriad of good people who got their asses beat by the pigs protesting; trying desperately to get your precious attention -- all so the poor/oppressed they represent could finally have the many problems besetting them seriously addressed and solved. Last night (this being written on Guy Fawkes Day, 24 hours after your historic victory) you claimed, "government can't solve every problem," but we both know that's an excuse. On January 20th, 2009, you'll become the single most powerful person on Earth. If you truly wanted to tax the rich and end the war(s) so we the people can afford a Greenpeace version of F.D.R.'s New Deal, thy would be done.
So the question now is will you break the hearts of all those cute white girls I've seen all year long wearing your buttons and T-shirts; gallivanting about as if you're a 1970s cult leader or an adonis from ancient Greek mythology? Are you really about "hope" and "change" or are you just what the commies suspect -- merely a multicultural makeover that'll further mask American imperialism?
Makes no difference to me one way or the other. I endorsed/interviewed the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney (as I've endorsed/interviewed Ralph Nader in the past) because I saw right through you from the onset. Oh, you're good -- and as a mixed blooded master orator myself, I know talent when I see it, but it's a damn shame you sold out a long time ago. Shall I review your past like the Dickensian Christmas ghost that I am ..?
You voted for the 2006 version of the Patriot Act.
You voted for the Secure Fence Act, authorizing the construction of a 700 mile wall along the Mexican/American border.
You stated you won't rule out invading Iran.
You stated that you'd enter Pakistan in order to attack al-Qaeda even without Pakistani approval.
You actually praised Ronald (SIX letters) Wilson (SIX letters) Reagan (SIX letters)!
Given the apocalyptic damage Reaganomics did to the black community (read Professor Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States when you get the chance), that last one was especially sick, but let's go back to the whole invading Iran thing: On Thursday, October 9th, 2008, Maya Schenwar of truthout.org reported that House Concurrent Resolution 362 would've called for a blockade of Iran that "virtually guarantees military confrontation," according to University of Minnesota Professor Cyrus Bina and Col. Sam Gardiner (ret.). Alas, who saved the day (once again)? Schenwar reports the following ...
"Falling from shoo-in status to widely rejected legislation within the space of four months, a resolution that would have opened the door for a naval blockade on Iran was officially shelved at the end of September, after several of its cosponsors withdrew their support. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman has promised not to bring the bill, House Concurrent Resolution 362, before the committee until concerns about the text are addressed. Given the scare-tactic-laden climate of the past eight years, 362's journey is remarkable: it represents a forceful effort by members of Congress -- prodded by grassroots groups -- to turn back the tides of impending war ... grassroots efforts crescendoed, with thousands of messages sent to Congress about the resolution. National advocacy organizations' alerts were picked up by local groups, prompting an unusually large number of constituents to request personal meetings with their representatives ..."
... I love it: "Prodded by grassroots groups." Kinda like how I (the bad cop) prodded whites towards you (the good cop) with my website, comics and novels. Maybe the pen is mightier than the sword after all ...
Make no mistake, YOU'LL be prodded quite a bit in the years to come, my friend. If the peace movement kept Emperor Cheney from invading Iran, keeping an overrated house negro such as yourself in check shouldn't be too much of a problem -- unless of course, the left continues to suffer from what Greg Bates (the author of Ralph's Revolt: The Case for Joining Nader's Rebellion) referred to as "delusional relief" and allows you a most undeserved honeymoon. Your feet will be held to the fire, as the old expression goes, and I for one will be on your case like Batman on a mugger. Tax the rich. End the war(s). Then create living wage, eco-friendly jobs with the resulting revenue. And if FOX News starts calling you a socialist (as if that's a bad thing) let me know so I can show those fascists what a socialist really is ...
Speaking of, FOX and other mouthpieces for the rich/powerful will claim you're proof that racism is supposedly dead (so the already-colossally-spoiled won't ever have to deal with anything uncomfortable). Well, in 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Commission noted that half of America's homeless are black, and in 2007, Haider Rizvi stated on commondreams.org that, "African Americans and non-White Hispanics are still about three times more likely than whites to be poor." So when those horrid statistics change, then crow about how we're living in some colorblind utopia. Until that magic moment, kiss the blackest part of my ass!
One last thing: Now that you've won and all, why don't you publicly apologize to Rev. Wright for having dissed him like a redheaded stepchild in an old English melodrama, huh? Be a brothah, why don't cha ..?