Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
Malcolm X on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Malcolm X on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

When astute political commentary from a half century ago eloquently describes the current political conundrum it means we’ve been stuck in a bad place for a long time. Do we really want Malcolm’s observation to apply four or eight or twenty years further into the future?

Malcolm X on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

It’s that time again, it’s presidential election season, and as we hear every four years, THIS is the most important presidential election of our lives. The fact that you’ve heard that before should tell us something. It should us that in presidential years, many old things becomes new again, often because so much of what we’re told IS new is really pretty old.

Malcolm X has been dead now a half century, dead for more years than he was ever alive. But since at least one of the tricks and traps deployed to fool, frustrate and neutralize our grandparents’ right to vote hasn’t changed much we might want to listen carefully to what Malcolm’s words in the aftermath of the 1964 presidential election.

If Johnson had been running all by himself, he would not have been acceptable to anyone. The only thing that made him acceptable to the world was that the shrewd capitalists, the shrewd imperialists, knew that the only way people would run toward the fox would be if you showed them a wolf. So they created a ghastly alternative. And it had the whole world — including people who call themselves Marxists — hoping that Johnson would beat Goldwater.”

Like today’s Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was a truly reprehensible and frightening figure, who had opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned racial discrimination in public accommodations, and who favored the use of nuclear weapons to defoliate the Vietnamese countryside. Also like Donald Trump, Goldwater never really stood a chance of winning the election. Goldwater the wolf was buried beneath a Johnson landslide, carrying only 6 out of the 50 states. Republican officeholders are running away from Donald Trump not because he’s a racist bufoon but because he’s expected to lose states Republicans are accustomed to winning.

The fox, Lyndon Baines Johnson went on to start a war in Indochina that killed three million Vietnamese alone. LBJ defoliated the Vietnamese countryside with millions of tons of Agent Orange instead of nukes, causing hundreds of thousands of hideous and gruesome birth defects that continue to this day.

The wolf and the fox this year are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Trump is a real estate con man, a racist and a hyper-entitled sexual predator who talks about building walls and banning Muslims. Fortunately for us all, Trump has never been in government. Hillary has scarcely ever been out of government. She’s fronted for Wal-Mart, executed bloody regime change in Libya, brought US troops to Ukraine on the Russian border, and publicly itches for a showdown in Syria. Thanks to Wikileaks there is copious evidence that Hillary’s public stands on a wide range of issues from charter schools to so-called trade agreements, to fracking and social security stand in stark contrast to the promises she makes to the powerful.

Just as it worked 52 years ago, the overwhelming defeat of her wolvish opponent will give Hillary the appearance of a mandate. But the margin of Hillary’s victory provides those of us on the left an unprecedented opportunity. It means there is no need for those who imagine themselves on the of jobs, justice, peace and the planet to ride to Hilllary’s rescue and ensure the defeat of Donald Trump. Trump has already beaten himself.

This election is our best chance to break out of the decades-old two party trap and build a new political force, a new political party. The Green Party is the only peace party, the only party that stands for people and planet over profit, and our only opportunity to vote our hopes, not our fears. It’s time to choose.

We vote Green and build Green, we can consign the political conundrum Malcolm X eloquently described a half century ago to the garbage can of history. Or we can vote for Hillary, and Malcolm’s words will be as applicable four or eight years or twenty years from now as they have been for the last fifty. For Black Agenda Radio I’m Bruce Dixon.

Direct download: 20161026-bd-wolves-and-foxes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

An African Stampede Out of the International Criminal Court?

“Of the six cases that are currently, or soon to be, on the docket of the ICC, all involve indictments against Africans.”

After 14 years, the neocolonial judicial farce of an International Criminal Court may be unraveling. South Africa has joined Burundi in serving notice that it is starting the process of withdrawing from the ICC. The decision by President Jacob Zuma’s government has caused panic in the West, which fears it might touch off a mass withdrawal of Africans from the ICC at the African Union Summit meeting, in January. There were similar fears of a mass African walk-out when the ICC indicted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for crimes against humanity, in 2012. The International Criminal Court dropped those charges two years later.

From its very inception, in 2002, the ICC has been a court for Africans only, a tool of the United States and the former colonial powers. Of the six cases that are currently, or soon to be, on the docket of the ICC, all involve indictments against Africans. It is as if the only high-placed criminal politicians in the world live in Africa.

South Africa says it is saying goodbye to the ICC because the court interferes with its national sovereignty. For example, South Africa styles itself as a peace-maker on the continent, and reserves the right to host talks between feuding parties, even if one of them has been charged with crimes by the ICC. Such was the case when Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir visited South Africa, last year.

In Rwanda, the International Criminal Court has acted as a prosecutorial service Paul Kagame, the Tutsi dictator. Despite abundant evidence that Hutus were also massacred during the Rwandan civil war, and that Kagame’s forces deliberately provoked the bloodbath, the ICC prosecuted only Hutus and opponents of the Kagame regime.

“Washington is not even a member of the ICC -- and never will be, since the U.S. is unwilling to be judged by any global authority.”

This year, the ICC seemed to be getting ready to indict the current Hutu president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, who has been targeted for regime change by Rwanda and its super-power protector, the United States. That’s when Nkurunziza decided to get out of the ICC.

The U.S. is the most hypocritical player of all, when it comes to the International Criminal Court. Washington is not even a member of the ICC -- and never will be, since the U.S. is unwilling to be judged by any global authority. The U.S. voted against creation of the court when the issue came up for a vote at the United Nations, in 1998. Yet, Washington uses the ICC as a threat against African leaders that resist U.S. domination – like Burundi’s President Nkurunziza.

South African President Jacob Zuma can count on his African National Congress legislative majority to support a withdrawal from the ICC. It’s a welcome move on Zuma’s part, but it doesn’t make up for South Africa’s vote, five years ago in the UN Security Council, for a “no-fly zone” over Libya. That shameful surrender to U.S. pressure resulted in the overthrow and death Muammar Gadaffi, a great friend and material supporter of the South African liberation movement. Let’s hope that Zuma is now signaling that he will pursue a foreign policy that is more independent of the United States.

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: 20161026_gf_ICCSouthAfrica.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT