Barack Obama's "Revolution"

Submitted by Yardbroom

Vertie Hodge, 74, weeps during an Inauguration Day party near Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Houston on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 after President Barack Obama delivered his speech after taking the oath of office, becoming the first black president in the United States. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran

Vertie Hodge, 74, weeps during an Inauguration Day party near Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Houston on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 after President Barack Obama delivered his speech after taking the oath of office, becoming the first black president in the United States. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran

It is reasonable to ask how could I use the word “revolution” in reference to Barack Obama’s victory in the American presidential elections, particularly when he was elected in a democratic process.  I have used the word revolution here to mean: “a far reaching and drastic change, in ideas or methods.”  I must therefore establish by evidence this far reaching change in ideas or methods, which I have made the main focus of this submission.  May I also add this revolution although about black people or people of colour, is also about how they – black people or people of colour – are perceived.

At the beginning of the 20th century there was conflict about the right procedure to adopt for the advancement of black people in America.  This disagreement was not confined to W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) and Brooker .T. Washington (1856 -1915)  only, but it cannot be denied they had a major input in the ideas and methods thought necessary, to advance the aspirations of black people.  It was Du Bois who formed the NAACP ( National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People ) which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Brooker T Washington started the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, (now Tuskegee University) which concentrated on the teaching of skills to black people to give them a worthwhile occupation and an avenue to progress.

Du Bois advanced the view that injustices suffered by black people should be confronted, there should be no compromise.  Brooker .T. was all for advancement but it was limited, as he suggested black people should not over-reach themselves, but concentrate on what was within their compass.  We should be careful not to be trenchant in our condemnation of both men as we must take cognizance of the attitudes prevalent in that period.  Du Bois had no such restriction and he was scathing of Brooker .T, calling him the “Great Accommodator.”  Those whose imagination was able to leap the period in which they lived should be accorded special admiration, it would be disingenuous therefore not to give some praise to Du Bois who felt that black people were capable of anything the whites were, and with his intellectual acumen, he was sure of the ground on which he stood.

Brooker T. said confrontation was suicidal: “that confrontation would lead to disaster of the outnumbered blacks.”

Nevertheless confrontation was still advocated at a later period by Elijah Muhammed ( 1897-1975) leader of the Black Muslims, the teacher of Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan.  He even went further preaching the Black Separatist Doctrine.  This led him to instruct his followers to avoid the Draft, advice which resulted in a sentence of 4 years in a federal prison.

It is easy to see that the confrontational aspects of W.B. Du Bois’ ideology had some merit, but it could not deliver all that blacks wanted.  However, the idea that they – blacks – were capable of, and therefore should aim for the highest positions in the land which they were intellectually capable, was not a pipe dream.

Brooker. T’s idea that confrontation is suicidal was later proved with the Black Panthers.  This is not to suggest that the Black Panthers and the Black Power period had no impact, as they surely highlighted the frustrations of black people to injustices.  Particularly those in the deep South who were denied the vote and had the colour bar to contend with.

How was this chasm to be bridged.

Dr Martin Luther King (1929-1968) a Baptist Minister was able to garner “liberal white” support for his Non Violent campaigns.  The sight of a large number of whites marching, protesting and putting themselves at risk under a black banner changed the dynamics of the situation.  Although the “non-violent” aspect of this movement was rejected by some blacks, the ability of the movement to muster a high level of white support was a turning point in race relations in the U.S.A.  The boy – Brooker.T. Washington- born into slavery of a black single mother and a white father was not “completely wrong.”

So sure was Dr. Martin Luther King that race relations would improve in the U.S.A. that he was able to prophesy on 28th August 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington:…“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”…

Thus the groundwork for Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign was laid.  He introduced the idea of “change”.  Not only change in the change of the Bush Administration and the way America viewed the world, and the way the world viewed America, but an undefined way in which black people should be seen and regarded.  This change as far as “most” blacks were concerned was diametrically opposed to the separation advocated by Elijah Muhammed and the trenchant confrontation of W.D. Du Bois.  It was also a rejection of a craven attitude and “some” aspects of what was advocated by Brooker . T. Washington.  It naturally follows that the views of the Black Panthers and dare I say it, the idea of going back to Africa.  The clarion call of Marcus Garvey are milestones along the way, but not totally accepted by the “majority” of blacks.

Although Dr. Martin Luther King was not mentioned in the inauguration speech, he stood like a colossus over the ceremony.  There have been few times in history when an absence has been so overpowering.  The unseen and unmentioned who was there.

The change which has enabled President Barack Obama to enter the White House was not sudden, it came over time.  Nourished by free thinkers, stubborn men/women, violent men/women and even those with a subservient attitude, but mainly by those who had the wisdom to see that working together is better than working apart.  There is much to be done, but the revolution has started.

Barack Obama is not a God, no intelligent person thinks he is, neither is he a Messiah, he is an ordinary person like all of us, but with a great intellect and the natural ability to lead.  Most importantly others are prepared to follow him.  He is black – he knows he is, and thinks he is – with a white mother, that is good enough for me.

In our euphoria – rightly so – at his achievement we must not forget those black bodies, whose skeletal remains are tangled in the weeds of swamps in the deep South.  Others whose charred remains were grotesquely bent in churches purposely set alight.  Young boys and girls who were spat on, kicked, beaten, felt the hot breath of baying dogs in their faces, as they walked scared amongst adult mobs, on entering segregated schools in the South, they all paid a price.  Contributions also came from whites who with disregard for their personal safety in the dead of night, made bumpy progress motoring on dirt tracks, to support blacks in their efforts to vote, in the South, they too laid the ground work for Barack Obama’s revolution.

0 responses to “Barack Obama's "Revolution"

  1. Obama: Regime Rotation

    The arrival of the Obama administration will not fundamentally alter the course of military expansion accelerated during the Bush era. The origins of these policies do not lie uniquely in neoconservative ideology. While the election of President Obama may offer new opportunities for progressive forces to delimit the damage, their space for movement will ultimately be constrained by deep-seated structural pressures that will attempt to exploit Obama to rehabilitate American imperial hegemony, rather than transform it.

    Indeed, the radicalization of Anglo-American political ideology represented by the rise of neoconservative principles and the militarization processes of the ‘War on Terror’, constituted a strategic response to global systemic crises supported by the American business classes. The same classes, recognizing the extent to which the Bush era has discredited this response, have rallied around Obama. Therefore, as global crises intensify, this militarization response is likely to undergo further radicalization, rather than a meaningful change in course. The key differences will be in language and method, not substance.


    Obama and the Economy: Déjà vu?

    As for Obama’s ambitions for tackling the financial crisis, even a scathing New York Times editorial noted that President Obama’s economic team, put together to tackle the economic and financial crisis, consisted of the very same people who had “played central roles in policies that helped provoke today’s financial crisis.” These include Tim Geithner who as president of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York “helped shape the Bush administration’s erratic and often inscrutable responses to the current financial meltdown, up to and including this past weekend’s multibillion-dollar bailout of Citigroup”; and former World Bank chief, Larry Summers, who “championed the law that deregulated derivatives, the financial instruments – aka toxic assets – that have spread the financial losses from reckless lending around the globe.”

    Obama and the Transnational American Business Class

    One needs to look beyond the rhetoric to get an idea of what Obama really means for the world. Analysis of Federal Election Commission data on the largest financial donors to both the McCain and Obama presidential campaigns reveals that they were almost entirely sponsored by the same banks, financial institutions and corporations (except Obama received significantly more corporate financing than his rival McCain). This suggests that US policies have, and will continue to, broadly represent the insecurities and interests of Anglo-American capital – and further, that American business classes actually favoured Obama and provided him the finances and expertise to produce a power-house media and publicity campaign.


  2. @J….You all over this damn piece like a rat on cheese. When you come on this blog you should check your petti emotions in the same draw as your petticoat and knickers. Just mention the word abortion and you go bonkers. Let white women have abortions if they want to. Do you overstand the implication for black people on this planet if our women continue to have abortions? You seem to spend so much of your damn time getting into the personal life of this subject that you know for sure that his mother was an anthropologist. FYI..when you do clandestine work for a foreign government you qualify as a missionary or an anthropologist and there isn’t much difference between a spy and an anthropologist because in these two professions you doing a lot of digging, snooping and reporting back. Some call her an anthropologist others call her a spy. Get ya damn facts straight and while you’re in other people’s personal lives how about digging into your and find out if ALKEBULAN has any significance/relevance to YOU.


  3. Green Monkey

    I interpret you to be saying, and correctly so, that Obama is just another political puppet…..or poppet as we would say in Barbados.

    What Obama revolution what?!


  4. Hopi wrot e”When you come on this blog you should check your petti emotions in the same draw as your petticoat and knickers.”

    But Hopi I live in Barbados where it is lovely and warm all the time. Why would I need a petti coat or any kind of coat for that matter. I don’t live in the cold white north.

    You just vex because I have read Mr. Obama’s biographies and you have not.

    You would like if I was an ignorant, uneducated person whom you could decieve wouldn’t you?

    But that ain’t happening ‘boy hey.



  5. Dear Hopi you wrote “ALKEBULAN”

    I don’t know who ALKE-BULA is.


  6. The ‘Clico’ bail out by the T’dad Central Bank, is just a mild ‘tremor’affecting the US and other countries, that will ultimately devastate our Caribbean states.

    Our PM, just like all the other world leaders, choose their ‘words’ very carefully, while addressing the people so as not to create panic, i.e., Thompson said the ‘ecomomic trouble’ I think he said, but he deliberately avoided saying ‘crisis’ which it is!

    The coherence of ‘facts’ all coming and converging together at this ‘season’ in the history of humanity, first emphatically stated in God’s Word, the Bible, (see Matt.24), and the sinister, evil, AntiChrist, ‘New World Order’ who have planned this ‘One World Government’ for a long time, working behind the scenes, to bring about ‘economic’ collapse of the US economy, and by necessity ALL other world economies, without WHICH, they CANNOT usher in the ‘One World Government’ and the masses of Americans and other people from around the world, think and believe that ‘Obama’ will and can ‘turn’ things around for the betterment of all!

    What utter deception! No lie or deception, whether it be, political, philosophical, moral or spiritual, IS more dangerous, than when it is couched, veneered, and presented in some degree of ‘plausibility’ [seeming reasonable or probable] exactly what Obama has done, extremely ‘persuasive’ but Oh’ so very deceptive.

    To be very honest, I don’t know why, or what the significance is behind why a ‘black’ man has been finally elected President of America in this most turbulent of times; and I say this from an entirely eschatological biblical perspective; as many others, black brothers especially are also asking this question!


  7. Of more importance than Obama’s so called revolution surely!

    Jesus is coming to earth again; what if it were today?
    Coming in power and love to reign; what if it were today?
    Coming to claim His chosen Bride, all the redeemed and purified,
    Over this whole earth scattered wide; what if it were today?
    Glory, glory! Joy to my heart ’twill bring.
    Glory, glory! When we shall crown Him King.
    Glory, glory! Haste to prepare the way;
    Glory, glory! Jesus will come some day.
    Satan’s dominion will then be o’er, O that it were today!
    Sorrow and sighing shall be no more, O that it were today!
    Then shall the dead in Christ arise, caught up to meet Him in the skies,
    When shall these glories meet our eyes? What if it were today?
    Faithful and true would He find us here if He should come today?
    Watching in gladness and not in fear, if He should come today?
    Signs of His coming multiply; morning light breaks in eastern sky.
    Watch, for the time is drawing nigh; what if it were today?


  8. Obama is having a revolution alright!

    Fortunately, the real Messiah and Savior of the world will do a better job!


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