Racial Solidarity in Misery
Who won on November 6? “If maintaining a degree of racial solidarity is a victory, then both sides – those that were solidified by their whiteness, and those that were solidified by their Blackness – I guess you can say that they both won that,” said Columbia, South Carolina, activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray. “Every economic and social indicator since Barack Obama got elected is in the negative.” Gray is author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics.
Wealth Wins Big
The issue of “poverty was almost completely missing in the campaign,” said author and political analyst Paul Street. “Wealthy people own this political system: they own the economy, they own the society, the own the government, they own the politicians.” Street is author of The Emperor’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power.
Blacks to Become More Invisible
Reflexive African American loyalty to President Obama reminds Dr. Anthony Monteiro of Malcolm X’s critique of Black affection for President John F. Kennedy: “We put him first, and he put us last.” The same goes for Obama, said Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “And us being last will be even worse in his second term, because he does not need the Black vote again. Black people will become more invisible.”
Capitalists Running Scared
President Obama’s preventive detention law and his plans to introduce “a new legal architecture” on national security in his next term, show that U.S. rulers live in fear of the people, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “When the state has to show its hand in such a heavy-fisted way, it is clear that they are anticipating a severe crisis for which they do not have a response,” said Yeshitela.
Seattle Likes Socialists
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative candidate for the Washington State House of Representatives, won 27 percent of the vote on November 6. It is no longer taboo to campaign openly as a socialist, said Sawant, a professor of economics at Seattle Central Community College. “Times are changing, it’s not the Cold War propaganda era, anymore.” She attributes the party’s success to “the massive crisis of capitalism and the anger that people are feeling” at the financial oligarchy.