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Medals to Birmingham's 4 Little Girls, Sleazy Billionaires to the Cabinet: Brand Obama VS Real World Obama

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by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The president signed off on medals for the 4 little girls murdered in a Birmingham church bombing 50 years ago. In the same week, he justified the secret drone murder of Somali, Yemeni & Pakistani children, appointed a union-busting, gentrifying Chicago billionaire to his cabinet and justified further drone wars with another secret legal memo. Which is the real Barack Obama, and where does all this come from?

Medals to Birmingham's 4 Little Girls, Sleazy Billionaires to the Cabinet: Brand Obama VS Real World Obama

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

It's been a big holiday weekend for both Barack Obamas, the illusory Brand Obama that tens of millions voted for, as well as the all too real president of austerity, privatization, and lawless war.

Brand Obama kicked off the weekend promising yet again to close the infamous US prison camp at Guantanamo, sort of, maybe soon, if Republicans would only let him. The following our symbolic president signed off on the Congressional Medal of Honor for each of the 4 little girls who were murdered in an infamous 1963 Birmingham church bombing. And earlier in the week he'd delivered the commencement address at Atlanta's Morehouse College, the insulting content of his remarks aside, a priceless photo-op.

Meanwhile this week the real Barack Obama appointed a sleazy billionaire who was an early sponsor of his career his Secretary of Commerce. The real Barack Obama called for the imposition of a “no fly zone,” an act of war in plain language, over Syria, and in the same speech in which his alter ego, the presidential brand sort of promised to maybe try and close Guantanamo. The real very real president flatly justified burning Somali, Pakistani, Yemeni and other children with the near infinite expansion of drone warfare, “signature” killings and other unspecified practices such as the sending of a second missile a few minutes after the first to pick off those who come to rescue any survivors, based on legal arguments contained in yet another secret memo. The real president also passed the holiday with no action on catastrophic levels of black unemployment or dwindling levels of black family wealth, which have fallen off a cliff since 2007.

The symbolic president, at the signing for those Congressional Medals of Honor, let loose some lofty remarks about the sacrifices of 50 years ago making it possible for them to do whatever they were doing that day. Brand Obama didn't acknowledge that some of the families of those 4 little girls, and of others permanently injured on that day, have publicly stated they'd prefer compensation. That might have spoiled the moment. Unlike the very real president and the victims of racist violence half a century ago, brands only live in their created moments, and in the cloudy imaginations of those who mistake them for reality.

But we shouldn't give Obama and his handlers all the blame. Brand Obama sits atop more than a generation's worth of black politics in which the black political class has leveraged the historic tradition of black opposition to unjust foreign war and domestic oppression to promote the very things a previous generation's black politics stood against. Long before anybody heard of Barack Obama, the black political class created an brand for itself inextricably tied to the supposed triumph of the Freedom Movement of half a century ago, as if that movement was truly victorious. In fact, the historic Freedom Movement which successfully confronted Jim Crow in the south never found suitable and convincing answers, or even whole explanations for black urban poverty, gentrification or economic inequality in the north. It wasn't as though figures like King and Malcolm X, to name just a couple, were not eagerly searching for ways to address these issues.

We should remember that in 1966 there were fewer than 10 blacks in Congress, and only a smattering of local officials and state legislators. There were a handful of black generals and diplomats, and damn few black faces high on the corporate track or in elite higher education. All that changed rapidly after 1968. The turn toward a broader confrontation over these issues seems to have been averted at the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies by the granting of corporate and government affirmative action, contracting opportunities that made a small cohort of black millionaires and a larger one of aspirants, and the bringing into existence of the current black political class. It was the emergence of this class that played a major role in demobilizing black America, cutting off the tendency toward popular mobilization to confront economic inequality in favor of celebrating the victory over Jim Crow and living vicariously through the shining careers of new black politicos, corporate lawyers, millionaire contractors and others.

It's upon the shoulders of black contractors and black appointees, black judges and generals and cops and prosecutors, not those of the martyred girls of Birmingham, that the real Barack Obama stands. The real president sits atop a bankrupt class of black misleaders who have achieved few or no significant victories apart from their own illustrious careers the last four decades and counting. Their only victory has been to market themselves as the flag bearers and heirs of the Freedom Movement. Barack Obama's 2008 campaign just picked up that motif and carried it to its logical conclusion. The bad news is that he has tarnished the reputation black America once had around the world as standing against oppression and injustice opposing America's murderous empire abroad and its vicious inequality at home. The good news is that it's a dead end. Obama and the black misleadership class have nowhere to go, and still have nothing to bring to black America. No jobs, no justice, no peace.

Brand Obama will be with us a while yet. But it will run its delusional course, and for many, as Glen Ford has pointed out the hangover has already begun.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. Contact him via this site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)

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Great article, Mr. D, and yet another Presidential appointee...

Not content with the present Bush neocon guy President Obama reappointed (Robert Mueller III, the FBI director), he decides to replace him with yet another Bush neocon, James Comey.


Let's take a closer look at President Obama's latest George W. Bush appointee, James Comey.  (Yeah, I realize they've done a disinformation number concerning Comey, claiming he saved the constitution with that bullcrap story from the Bush administration and "warrantless wiretapping" which the faux crats and neocons supported anyway!)


From the Wikipedia entry:   (out of sequence)


Comey is credited as the main protagonist in Martha Stewart's 2004 conviction for obstruction of justice, stating "This criminal case is about lying - lying to the FBI, lying to the SEC, lying to investors."


In December 2003, as Deputy Attorney General, Comey appointed the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, close friend and former colleague Patrick Fitzgerald, as Special Counsel to head the CIA leak grand jury investigation after Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself. In August 2005, Comey left the DOJ and he became General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin. In 2010, he became General Counsel at Bridgewater Associates. In early 2013, he left Bridgewater to become Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law at Columbia Law School. He also joined the London-based board of directors of HSBC Holdings.


After law school, Comey served as a law clerk for then-United States District Judge John M. Walker, Jr. in Manhattan. Then, he was an associate for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in their New York Office.


Yup, big bad Martha Stewart, she just had to be taken off the street!!!!!


Yup, Comey was behind Fitzgerald's do-nothing appointment, which led to the real culprits going free!


Yup, Comey was at Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest, if not THE largest, hedge funds on the planet!  Yet another hedge fund dood Obama has appointed (check out Jack Lew's background)!


Yup, Comey was at HSBC Holdings --- remember them?  The largest known money laundering for the drug cartel, which the FSA (UK) estimated almost one-half trillion dollars worth of drug money laundering every year, for around 10 years!


Of course, we'd expect such a background given his early apprenticeship at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, those dudes who were the point litigators in Bush v. Gore, stealing the 2000 presidential election, and again the point litigators in that Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission case as well.  Of course, fellow litigators and partners at that firm are Ted Olson (the main guy in both cited Supreme Court cases, 'natch), and Antonin Scalia's son, as well as former special prosecutor, Ken Starr (who is the grand-newphew of the founder of both AIG and the Starr Foundation; the Starr Foundation being the first major primary client and promoter of that law firm, etc., prior to its achieving global status).  And that John Walker is the John Walker of the Walker-Bush-Koch family.


What better work background could a newly appointed FBI director possibly have, huh?


And Mueller has to leave to prepare for his run for the presidency in 2016, after all ......

Giving medals

to ANYONE is ridiculous.  All it does is create hubris and promote individualism.  A hug wd suffice from a true friend.

And you know what else???

Beverly:  " No worries about Obomber; he'll be living large in Indonesia or some foreign land playing up his multi-culti cred."

And the sheep, grazing in the dry, parched pastures for narrow blades of grass will continue to bleep about his majjesty.  There's a psychological illness here perhaps akin to mass hysteria?  Or maybe we call it:  "Sticking it to the Man ITIS?

Bev, the truth is, I'm afraid to say, is that RIGHT NOW, we are of no use to the EMPIRE except as either cannon fodder or water carriers.  It's why when any astute Black person easily raises the question:

"If Obama can be the Prez for gays, Latinos/Hispanics, his beloved "Middle Class" (i.e. White Suburban Centrists), and Wall St. then where does that hierarchy leave us?"  Yall know damn well where it leaves us.  The answer lies in the question, we end up in the same damn place we in now.  LAST!

Bev, I'm voting for your alternative--"sooner than you think."


What we have is a subversive black agenda

I have seen and heard a lot of black bullcrap to conclude that most black people are in it for themselves.  The corrupting and brainwashing of most black people is so pervasive that they would rather fight for the maintenance of the empire and its oppressiveness.  Look, most people are not smart.  Those who run this world have a control of the flow and dissemination of information. Let's not be reactionary.  Latinos and Asians are not in any better position.  The American system is collapsing.  The elites have become rabid dogs spilling blood, enforcing their gangsterism on the weak of this world.  Let's just admit; the system is plain evil.  Its lies and callousness suggest the highest level of wickedness.  I don't really buy this clash or competition of races.  Human beings choose evil or good.  Most of them choose evil because it is the easier path.  This is not the first time we are witnessing traitors amongst the weak.  The same traitors colluded with the enemies to sell their brothers and sisters into slavery.  When they landed as slaves, some more opted to be house negroes after all that they had undergone.  This is the unpalatable truth we all have to face:  Black people acknowledge white superiority.  Is it a surprise that the staunchest allies of the empire and its structures, these days appear, on the African continent?  Most of us here have conscience but we are very few.  Maybe, we draw energy from each other as we let out the corrupt realities.  Once, they can divide into seeing things in narrow racial prisms, they win.  Look at the Arabs, they have been fooled to see things in narrow sectarian prisms, they would rather kill each other than confront the common enemy.  There must be whites, Asians, and Latinos who share our disgust for injustice and oppression.  A good number of whites are figuring out that nature of the beast.  There are traitorous whites, blacks, Latinos and Asians; they are all in it for themselves.  We may need a collective mosaic to counter them.  I think this is how we must articulate our vision.  There are just too many vampires.  Aside from Glen and few blacks, most of the honest and genuine critique of 'Obamanation' have come from white progressive who are often labeled racist by blacks.

"white progressive"

"...most of the honest and genuine critique of 'Obamanation' have come from white progressive..."

I  was   really  into   the   progressive    media   for  about  a   decade;  and   i'm   familiar   with    many of   the progressive  web   links  on  BAR's   home  page.

Over  time,   I  realized  the   so  called   progressive   media  is    just  a   subsidiary  of   the    larger   corporate    media.  Progressives   will   STRONGLY criticize  the   Democratic   Party,  Presidents Clinton  and   Obama, etc. However,  when  its   time to   vote,  the   overwhelming    majority  of   progressive  organizations   and    individuals,  will  ALWAYS lead   you   right  back   into   the   Democratic   Party.

Progressive  individuals  &  organizations  are economically   dependent  on   democratic   leaning donors   for   their  survival. These  people  are   professional    progressives;   its   how   they  earn  their living.  And   they're  not   going  to  jeopardize  the book   tours,   speaking   fees, media   coverage  by   alienating very   large  status   quo  donors   like  the   Ford Foundation,  George   Soros,  etc.

So   what  we   get  from   progressives  is  a perpetuation   of   the   status  quo.  In   other  words,  criticize     democrats and  Obama  and   vote   for   them  as  well. 


I could not agree more and it cannot be stated with more alacrity than you stated.

I would offer a friendly amendment that IN FACT, it was the readership of the White Progressive Blogging class, in addition to BAR and a few other publications, on top of Obama's betrayal first and foremost.   They were my initial barometer as to why Obama would have to fight like hell to win in 2012.  (I assumed logically, if 2 "moderate in today's lexicon" Republicans were running the White guy should win).   The White Progressive blogging community readership quickly expresed their utter disillusionment at Obama and the Demo Ratic party in general. So I knew tens if not hundreds of thousands would sit 2012 out or vote 3rd party.  

This is why I always found it fascinating that Black folks-- most of whom frankly didn't do shit MATERIALLY to elect Obama-- besides put a bumper sticker on their car and  show up at the polls, in contrast to Whites who actually raised $, donated time, energy, hosted activities in their homes, organized meetings and shit-- actually had to the audacity to call these enlightened Whites who invested more in Obama than they did,  racists of all terms. (I'm not suggesting no time, $ or organization came from Blacks but it paled in comparison to ordinary Whites).

Hell, a Black who criticisms our Republican Black President is called a Black Republican from jump street.  The ironies are priceless.

p.s.  for the record I voted McKinney in 08 and not at all in 2012 and I've NEVER done shit materially to get anyone elected.  I've barely voted in fact, so I'm not riding a high horse here.


To add to your point

In the last presidential elections, Obama won about 60 million votes against Romney's 57 million. In 2008, Obama had 69 million against Mcain's 60 million.  Obama happens to be first elected president to have won less in his re-election.  Even Bush got more in re-election.  Now, this is the point:  The White voters accounted for pretty much the decline in voter-turnout; whites turnout was relatively lower for Obama than Romney while black and Latino turnout was substantially higher for Obama than they were in 2012.  This means there seems to be more disillusionment amongst whites with the political system even though the negative repercussions of the socio-economic agenda have hit whites relatively less.  How could black people increase their voter turnout for a President whose policies have affected them far more negatively than most of his white predecessors?  We are being put to the gallows by race; this time, we view it erroneously to be an asset for us.  Could we become a bit more strategic?  What are our interests?  To see a black family in the white house?  We have a big problem.  It reminds me of a russian blogger telling arabs that Russia may be able to stop Syria from being invaded but neither Russia nor China nor Iran can stop them from their sectarian wars.  Black people have so much power if only we can start to be strategic.  Obama was never a strategic asset.  I will give us the euphoria in 2008 but we did not have to show the battered woman syndrome the second time around.  Now what is our excuse?  He is a lame duck but he is pushing the right-wing agenda farther than his predecessor.  I thought we said he would come good when he did not have stand for re-election.

As it has been said..

by Beverly and a host of other bloggers here repeatedly, the REAL con game was the fake opposition to Obama.  Here's a "second chapter" of the thesis or book.  WHY didn't McCain pick Joe Lieberman as his running mate.  With those two you have (the Obama playbook writ large) the Centrist, Maverick, Socially Liberally, Fiscally Conservative, Pro-Israel/Military Complex wet dream team.  (Remember Trader Joe caucused with the Rethugs post 08 election).

Why would McCain pick Palin vs. Sen. Snowe if he needed a female presence or a host of other accomplished female GOPers? I know Palin gave the necks a bigger rise in their overalls, but come on now.....

Second, Romney could have won if he ran on his record in Masschusetts as a moderate Rethuglican.  WHY did Mitt select another (relatively obscure) extremist Congressman as his running mate?   I submit that the polling that SUGGESTS that Conservative/Fundamenalist Whites would become sufficiently alienated to stay home and not vote were ridiciously exaggerated.  No way in hell, Whites who opposed Obama VISCERALLY were not going to vote against him.  They would have voted Herman Cain over Obama in a NY minute.

In fact, the visceral hatred of many Rethugs towards Obama was matched by the "Stick It to the Man-Itis" of Black folks.  A delusional embrace by both mind you.

Ask Mark Sanford about the moral and ideological purity and rectitude of the Southern Electorate if you don't believe me.  That hot Latin honey ain't caused him no grief, power is what it is.  Kudos to Mark on that note, i.e. following his heart.  But you were a punk to lie about how and what you felt. 

I know Sticking It to the Man-Itis has affected layers of cognition, but do yourselves a favor.  Google, Bing or research two things:  divorce rates in the South vs. other regions, and Nielsen ratings for salacious TV programming successes in geographic/demographic terms.  Them Bible thumbers love a little salaciousness despite what they say.  I believe Real Housewives and programs similarly formatted soared  and experienced ratings bonanzas much higher in the Bible Belt than in the West/Left Coast during the so-called period of  resurgence of Christianity in America that TIME and other bullshit publications crowed about.

Oh.. the rednecks threw a tizzy over Janet's Super boob, but they couldn't wait to see some pretty Housewives White girl boobs and ass on T.V during their spat of hypocrisy.

Don't forget the "swag" of Jimmy Swaggert and Jim (Playa) Baker.  LOL   Don't let the rhetoric fool ya... afterall..... that RHETORIC VS. THE ACTION IS THE ESSENCE OF THE CON,  ISN'T IT????

I supported Kucinich in 08

Obama's discourse is designed to confuse and beguile, as Danny Weil describes education privatziers'. Today Obama is tweeting and asking for support to keep student loan rates down. He is asking people to contact their legislators. Many young people are working several jobs, attending community college, and sleeping if there is time. They are vulnerable to being swept away by this rhetorical strategy.

Let's be clear about something...

To Fanon's point, Obama and his administration doesn't give a good goddamn about ANY OF US WORKING CLASS FOLKS, be "us" Black, White, Hispanic or whatever.  

His con game is so simple, it's insulting to those with crticial thinking skills.  And it leads us with critical thinking skills to question the lucidity and general mental health of those w/o.

He's so full of shit he's drowning in it.  Even a f**king imbecile politician with an IQ of 40 would have tied TARP, would have tied Quantitative Easing, would have tied "I'm giving you Mofos a pass on prison "with not only mortgage relief but also student loan relief.  What is politics if not leveraging power for YOUR DESIRED OUTCOMES???

What the f**k has Obama done with either Executive Oders or via administrative/executive pergoatives???  Or dare I mention the bully pulpit.  Say what you will of Geo. W. Bush, but even when his popularity hovered at 32%, HE PUNKED THE SHITTY CRATS.  Even when the entire f**king planet was against him, HE GOT WHAT HE WANTED.

How did that happen?  That's truly the critical thinking and book-worthy question that demands asking and answering.  ( I just gave somebody a PhD dissertation topic or a book).  How could someone so disliked and unfavorable, HAVE IT SO EASY?????

Perhaps the potential author willl incorporate a chapter on Nancy Pelosi, THEN Speaker of the House.  Let's quiz Nancy Pelosi w/r/t her position on TelCom spying and the NON consequences to the Bush Administration for an answer.  Just like the Rethugs were right about HER KNOWLEDGE BASE in that situation, they are right about Obama knowing that the Libyan "Consulate" as really a CIA gun-running operation wherein blow back was all but inevitable... and the consultate attack was exactly that,  and if the Libyan fiasco is insufficient to your appetite for death and mayhem and instability, we now have the humanitariam nightmare in Syria.

AND THIS CANCER IS SPREADING GLOBALLY IN AFRICA, LEBANON, and all parts of the globe.  Obama is 10X more RECKLESS  AND militaristic THAN BUSH. What somebody "thinks" is a whimper when compared to the volumne of the facts, the truth speaks louder than their DELUSIONS.

So let's all take a reprieve from Obama's lies and posturing regarding student loan debt reief.  (He's consulting with the PR dept. of the major banks and their lobbyists now on how to "frame the discussion.")


It amazes me that progressive forces in the US of A are sooooo f**king stupid that they believe this pathological liar.  (Some of those forces are not dumb, they are consciously complicit).  The despair is getting to the point that one starts to think, "If these MoFos THAT stupid, maybe I should pimp they dumb asses too????  After all, we are morphing into (as I've predicted for several years) every person for his/herself and God for us all."

Think about all of Obama's deliberate and conscious appointments (and hold overs) of Bushies???  Paul Ryan and the Speaker of the House didn't make him do that shit. Do yall remember Bush II's "U.S.  Attorney General Replacement Scandal?"  The one where he moved rapidly to dump Democratically appointed US Attorneys unwiling to carry his water, or has "Sticking It to the Man-Itis" f**ked up your cognition?

Is this shit truly all about the Heat vs. the Pacers?  My team and who wins, or a loftier goal?

p.s..  I bet anybody on the planet my year's salary that upon research and retrospection you will find that Obama used the term "Poor, or more specically WORKING CLASS" less than 10 times in 8 years.

Hey, young man!

Voting accomplishes nothing.  It's over except for the turantulas.

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