Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

Honor Dr. King (and Real Black History): Oppose Obama’s Wars

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Dr. Martin Luther King who was assassinated in Memphis, April 4, 1968, broke with a Democratic president over the “giant triplets” of militarism, extreme materialism, and racism. Obamite revisionists must, in effect, gag the actual Dr. King to make him compatible with the current resident of the White House. They portray all of Black history as preparation for Inauguration Day, 2009. The true voice of MLK, the anti-warrior, is silenced for Obama's sake.

 

Honor Dr. King (and Real Black History): Oppose Obama’s Wars

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

If you believe the revisionists, the whole of Black history has been a series of supporting acts leading up to the Main Event: the First Black U.S. Presidency.”

Every year, African Americans pay respect to Dr. Martin Luther King on the anniversaries of his birth and death. Since 2009, however, these occasions have been put to the service of a revisionist and essentially obscene narrative that portrays the great triumphs and sacrifices of the Black Freedom Movement in general, and Dr. King’s life work in particular, as mere preludes to the ascension of Barack Obama to the White House, four decades later.

This narrative finds expression in the fast-buck language of t-shirts that photo-shop Dr. King shaking hands with Obama, a digital miracle achieved by erasing Malcolm X from the actual photo – a huckster’s trick that amounts to a kind of political assassination of both Malcolm and Martin, and of Black history. We hear the twisted narrative in the popular post-2009 rhyme: "Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Obama could run, Obama ran so our children can fly!" What the rhymer is saying, is that Rosa Parks and Dr. King and a whole people in motion – all the sacrificing, dying, theoretical agonizing, political strategizing and, sometimes, sheer terror of the struggle – were simply a prelude to Barack Obama’s inaugural ball. Dr. King’s and Malcolm’s lives – and thousands of others – were snuffed out so that one day we would have those pretty pictures of Barack and his family in the executive mansion. What the revisionist narrative and the little poem really mean, is that the whole of Black history has been a series of supporting acts leading up to the Main Event: the First Black U.S. Presidency.

Of course, if that really were true, then we would already have arrived at the end of Black politics and history. Ironically, this is what Black people’s worst enemies would also like to believe.

Dr. King would oppose the Obama administration’s foreign and domestic policies, just as he broke with the much more liberal President Lyndon Johnson.”

Once you have bought into the revised history of Black people from Rosa Parks to the present, once all of the players from the past have been aligned in ways that make Obama inevitable, it becomes all but impossible not to believe that these dead ancestors would enthusiastically support the First Black President. Especially Dr. King, the most widely revered ancestor.

However, we knew Dr. King; he is probably our most documented – and self-documented – Black leader. His words, his writings, his life, testify to the certainty that Dr. King would oppose the Obama administration’s foreign and domestic policies, just as he broke with the much more liberal President Lyndon Johnson. Dr. King would see clearly the “giant triplets,” as he called them, at work in this administration: racism, extreme materialism, and militarism. It is an administration bankrolled by and in service of Wall Street: the most extreme materialism. Obama has expanded the theaters and technologies of war, and claimed the sole right to determine who shall be killed anywhere on the planet: militarism at its worst. And Obama is so intent on protecting white supremacy and privilege, he pretends it doesn’t exist: that is some deep racism.

Dr. King, like anyone else, would like to be remembered for his actual battles and beliefs. But you can’t celebrate Obama and celebrate Dr. King at the same time, and so the Obamites revise history and put a gag Dr. King – so that he can’t denounce Obama as a warmonger from the grave.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20120404_gf_MLK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EDT