Freedom Rider: The End of Truth
by Margaret Kimberley
"Obama's campaign has
been filled with a laundry list of lies."
Almost all black Americans are in agreement with the recent
statements made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He has been castigated for doing nothing
more than pointing out that there is a well documented history of genocides
committed in this country.
Black people are and always have been the largest group of
truth tellers in the United States. Our history proves that the country's most
beloved mythologies are shams. Our every day lives tell us that racism
persists, and that our political leaders lie constantly. We were always very
difficult to fool, that is until Barack Obama ran for president.
Our commitment to truthfulness has been tested and found
to be severely lacking, all in the name of seeing a black president. Obama's
campaign has been filled with a laundry list of lies. Obama burst onto the
national scene after his speech at 2004 Democratic convention. In that speech
he famously said that "There is no black America." His statements during his
presidential campaign have since gone from bad to worse.
First there was no black America, bad enough, then he
acknowledged our existence but claimed we have no problems because "we are 90%
of the way towards equality." Then there was double talking, slippery,
plausibly deniable praise of Ronald Reagan. Then the unambiguous praise "my
foreign policy will be in some ways like Ronald Reagan's."
"Who are you going to
believe, Obama or your lying ears?"
The litany of outrageous statements continues with the never
ending campaign and so do the excuses from Obama supporters. He'll be different
once he gets in. He can't just be the president of black America. He has to get
white people's votes after all. Who are you going to believe, Obama or your
Obama would be the first black president, but he follows
Colin Powell, once a possible presidential candidate himself, into the
corridors of power. Black America's opinions on the disastrous Powell tenure
are indicative of what awaits an Obama presidency. When Powell chose to be
Secretary of State for George W. Bush, he went down in history as one of the
leading criminals of our time. Yet to this day, most black people make excuses
for him and for his crimes.
At the United Nations on February 5, 2003, a day that should
live in infamy, Powell lied about the existence of weapons of mass destruction
in Iraq. The subsequent failure to find any WMDs did not turn most black
opinion against him. His boldfaced lies to members of the Congressional Black
Caucus during the overthrow of the Aristide presidency in Haiti didn't do it
Too few black Americans will call Powell what he is, a man
willing to do anything to keep his place at the table with the powerful. Lies
to the international community about non-existent weapons of mass destruction
didn't ruin his reputation, neither did lies about a U.S. coup against a
democratically elected president of a black nation. The worst that was said of
Powell is that he should have resigned sooner. The fact that he didn't do so
because he enjoyed doing the dirty work for Bush and Cheney was and is still
"Will we excuse mass
murder because the head murderer looks like us?"
Now Barack Obama will be the object of unconditional love
from black America. His pledge to leave Iraq is full of loopholes, and will not
result in an end to the occupation. His language is less bellicose than Hillary
Clinton "we'll obliterate them" on Iran, but he has said that "all options are
on the table." If those options include killing thousands of people, what will
black America say? Will we play our traditional role of speaking truth to the
powerful or will we excuse mass murder because the head murderer looks like us?
The omens don't look good. While Wright is generally
supported, black opinion makers have urged him to shut up because they fear
that the truth will damage Obama's chance to win. Well regarded journalists
Payne dismiss Wright as readily as right wing pundits. "Wright mugged
[italics mine] through a fiery condemnation of the U.S. government." Bob
Herbert of the New York Times, stooped much
lower. "We've allowed the entire political process in what is
perhaps the most important election in the U.S. since World War II to become
thoroughly warped by the histrionics of a
loony preacher [italics mine] from the South Side of Chicago."
"Anyone who dares question the words that come from
Obama's own mouth are told to suspend disbelief."
Just shut up and let him win. That is what Payne and Herbert
and millions of Obama's supporters have said throughout this campaign and they
haven't just been speaking to Jeremiah Wright. Anyone who dares question the
words that come from Obama's own mouth are told to suspend disbelief and trust
that all will be well in an Obama presidency.
It will be a sad day when black people stop telling the
truth, all in an effort to elevate one ambitious man to his dream job. If
Obama's support in the black community is any indication, most black people
will end their historic progressive politics and applaud this country's
criminal activity just because the head criminal looks like them.
An Obama inauguration would be truly historic. A black man
becoming president always seemed to be impossible, the stuff of science fiction
and political pot boilers. It turns out that Obama's hand on the bible next
January will be historic in more ways than one. Almost all of black America
will have decided to sell their souls in order to witness this scene. That will
certainly be a change, but it isn't anything we should believe in.
Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York
City, and can be reached via e-Mail at
Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com. Ms. Kimberley maintains an
edifying and frequently updated blog at freedomrider.blogspot.com.
More of her work is also available at her Black Agenda Report archive