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The Pimping of Black America: Why Much of the
Corporate Media Supports Barack Obama
What is the current US corporate
media-induced frenzy, regarding the so-called “Obama phenomenon,” really
all about and why, at this juncture in history, has it become
increasingly so important for corporate America’s global
military/industrial apparatus to have a male face of color as the figure
head at its helm?
Mark Hurwitt is an Illustrator,
Cartoonist, Designer, Writer and Teacher residing in Brooklyn
New York. His website is
The actual function of the US corporate
media and its allies is to control, falsely depict, and shape
opinion. It does not exist to inform honestly the masses
of people in order that they/we might truly be an informed people
making informed decisions in our own best interest. Grasping
this reality is essential to understanding how and why the US corporate
media acts in the fashion it does.
The perpetual objective of the US
corporate media and its minions world wide is constantly to distort,
disinform and thereby disempower and control. Thus, anyone who
dares expose the actual avaricious interests of the corporate media
and its masters, in favor of the masses of people, such as does former
US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, is vilified, marginalized and/or
ignored by said media. Cynthia McKinney is a time tested champion
of the people who has demonstrated time and time again that she is no
pawn of corporate America’s military/industrial complex. Like the late
and beloved former US Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Cynthia McKinney
is “unbought and unbossed.” She does not have to make a case to the
American people about her ethnicity or Blackness, as the essence of
who and what she is, is amply demonstrated by her many years of active
commitment to the struggle for political, economic and social justice
for all people: Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White.
Cynthia McKinney has left the morally
and politically bankrupt Democratic Party in favor of building and supporting
a real grass roots coalition across this nation that is committed to
attaining real power for and to the people. Nevertheless, don’t
plan to ascertain much about her US Presidential campaign or the concomitant
"Power To The People" coalition from the US corporate
media, for this is not in their interest. You will, however, learn about
Cynthia McKinney’s campaign and the "Power To The People"
coalition over time, as the incessant whispers of every day people
grow into the roars of active political coalition building. This is
all about real empowerment: exposing, stopping, and ultimately systemically
reversing the insidious gains made by the de facto war profiteers and
their blood-soaked and greedy corporate partners. This is not about
raising false “hopes” or “dreams.” This is about people collectively
and actively struggling to take control from the corporate maggots
of the military/industrial complex who profit from the deprivation and
misery of the vast majority of people in this nation and on this planet.
It does not take a rocket scientist
to understand, immediately and intuitively, that the very same (and
in many respects worse) US corporate media that overwhelmingly
vilified both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X right up to
the time of their assassinations, continues today to be no friend of
the majority of the people, be they Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, or even
White. To the contrary, the US corporate media promotes the interests
of the corporate power elite by promoting those who represent those
A Black American reader of The
Black Commentator recently wrote to me concerning Barack Obama:
“With Obama the system is employing a bait and switch tactic.
On the surface the guy looks like he represents all that is new and
hopeful, but he is a product of the corporate culture and that is where
his heart and interests lie.” In my opinion, this reader’s observation
When observing the cynical strategy
of Barack Obama’s US Presidential campaign, particularly as it relates
to Black America, and ultimately to America as a whole, I am reminded
of the words of Malcolm X when he said in relevant part, “A man who
tosses worms in the river isn’t necessarily a friend of the fish. All
the fish who take him for a friend, who think the worm’s got no hook
in it, usually end up in the frying pan.”
Be clear about this: Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. was brutally murdered on April 4, 1968, in the context of
his active and outspoken support for the massively exploited sanitation
workers in Memphis, Tennessee, and his crystal clear and adamant
opposition to the US war in Vietnam. Dr. King was fundamentally despised
by corporate American media and the US military/industrial complex.
To portray this otherwise is simply not the truth, and it is accurate
that those who do not know their history assuredly are bound to repeat
it. We can ill afford to be hoodwinked by the US corporate media and
Yet, when researching who US Presidential
candidate Barack Obama’s campaign advisors are, it is clear that they
come from corporate America and the military industrial complex and
who today remain, more than ever, the de facto enemies of economically
exploited and oppressed Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples.
[Reference: Obama and the American Dream, by Dr. Lenore J. Daniels,
Black Commentator, January 10, 2008, Issue 259]. We must ask
ourselves: are we about to be the “fish” who “end up in the frying pan”
of corporate America’s military/industrial fish fry?
Whereas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
abhorred the US war in Vietnam and elsewhere in the world, Barack Obama,
cloaking himself in the guise of being a “peace” candidate, has repeatedly
stated his support for “unilateral” US military actions in other nations.
He has indicated that he opposes how the US is waging the war
in Iraq, not the US waging of this bloody, illegal, and amoral war itself.
It should be reiterated that Obama has clearly stated that he would
wage this war “better,” more effectively. This is not the position
of a candidate of PEACE. It is the position of a candidate promoting
a PIECE of war.
US corporate media clips and sound
bites of Barack Obama, shamelessly and hypocritically mimicking and
invoking as his own, the legacy of the murdered Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. and other Black American women and men freedom fighters as if he
embodies the struggle for justice and equality of Black, Brown, Red
and other disenfranchised people in America, is patently utterly obscene.
The blood and
collective memory of millions of Black women, men, and baby slaves
Of Denmark Vesey
& Nat Turner
Of many tens of
thousands of America’s Black lynching victims
Of the - four
little Black girl - victims of the heinous 1963, church bombing by
white racists in Birmingham, Alabama
Of the brutal
murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmett
Till, and so many untold others of Black America
- to this very day
- cry out
for justice. And this ongoing struggle is by no means embodied by Barack
Simultaneously, the hollowness and
unadulterated cynicism of Obama’s false claim that “America is one nation,
one people” is not only inaccurate, it is deliberate distortion of the
reality of social, economic, and political inequality in this nation.
Such rhetoric represents how Barack Obama seeks to “bamboozle” and negate
Black America, other people of color and indeed all of America.
It is a terrible charade supported and propagated by a significant segment
of the corporate media and a back handed slap in the face to Black America.
Moreover, this is also becoming obvious to a growing number of white
Americans. There is absolutely no way that Barack Obama and his corporate
and military advisors could not know that it is the hopes and dreams
of all Americans, and most especially those of us who are Black,
Brown, and Red, who are cynically being played upon [i.e. pimped] by
this Obama rhetoric. Neither Americans nor the peoples of the rest of
the world deserve any more of this.
in mind that Barack Obama is perhaps, more than anything, a trojan horse
candidate for corporate America, its media, and concomitant military
industrial complex. Thus, a significant portion of the US corporate
media is currently about the business of attempting to pimp us all,
regardless of our color, on behalf of Barack Obama - sort of like an
equal opportunity exploitation on behalf of the US corporate power elite.
Of course, Barack Obama is by no means the only candidate being backed
by this corporate power elite, but he is, at this juncture, the darling
of the US corporate media; this should give us all pause for thought.
Obama revels in stating that he is
the offspring of a “Kenyan” father and a white American mother, as if
that somehow, in and of itself, is significant or is a qualification
for the US Presidency. It is not. Nor does it have any relevancy whatsoever
with respect to the important policy questions that he has not seriously
Why does he support
using “unilateral” US military actions in other nations?
Why are his top
advisors from the power elite of corporate America and the US military?
Why did he not
oppose the de facto racist, anti-Black and Brown, so-called Gang
Abatement Act - S456 - in the US Senate?
Why does he deny
the existence of a “Black America,” while simultaneously attempting
to garner its votes?
Since he highlights
that he is of a “Kenyan” father and a white American mother and he
was raised essentially by whites, why is he any better qualified than
a politically conscious and time-tested Black American of Black American
parentage raised inside Black America to understand and relate to
the pressing concerns of Black Americans or, indeed, all Americans?
What does he intend
to do about the infamous past and ongoing US Government COINTELPRO
[Counter Intelligence Program] and COINTELPRO-type activities to frame,
discredit, imprison and often murder those US citizens deemed as political
enemies inside America, itself?
Does he support
reparations to Black Americans, the descendants of slaves in America?
Does he actually
believe that poor and disenfranchised people throughout America are
being “coddled,” as he has indicated he believes about the people
Other than rhetoric,
what qualifications and specific actions make him substantially
different from his Democratic Party competitors and better suited
for the office of President of the United States?
are the corporate donors to his campaign and how does this influence
Is his demonstrative
loyalty to the people of the United States or actually to the corporate
These represent only
some of the serious questions that the US corporate media has not pressed
Barack Obama to address.
Moreover, as the son of a “Kenyan”
father who ultimately left America and returned to his native Kenya,
Barack Obama should certainly be poignantly cognizant of the fact that
the true and courageous foot soldiers and every day people of the Kenyan
movement for national independence from British colonialism and Western
imperialism were, in fact, sold out
by bourgeois nationalists
who were masquerading as being of and for the masses of the Kenyan people.
This, coupled with the still-ticking time bombs of ethnic tensions -
which were deliberately manipulated and exacerbated by past and ongoing
Western imperialism - continue, in one hideous form or another, to afflict,
horribly, Kenya as a country and the entire African continent as a whole.
Like some before him in his father’s
native Kenya, Barack Obama in America has demonstrated that he
is very solidly in the camp of the bourgeoisie of 21st century Western
imperialism. Thus, the recipe for disaster in the Barack Obama scenario
of America is ever so clear, notwithstanding America’s enormous
proclivity for national and international subterfuge, trampling upon
the sovereignty of selected nations, and resorting to military adventurism
at the drop of a hat. This is further exacerbated by candidate Barack
Obama’s repeatedly stated willingness to utilize “unilateral” US military
force in other nations [i.e. military adventurism], that would, no doubt,
delight the corporate and military elite but continue to utilize vast
amounts of people in America and on this planet as nothing more than
expendable cannon fodder. The most effective way to substantially reduce
terrorism and other bloody conflicts is by refraining from spreading
it by our own actions, not by any “unilateral” or "get off
my planet by sun down" approach to terrorism or other disputes
between nations. Perhaps Black, Brown, and Red peoples in America, due
to our collective histories on this continent dealing with genocide,
slavery, and territorial thievery, know the accuracy of this assertion
better than most. Unfortunately, Barack Obama apparently does not.
Bluntly stated, Black America, in
conjunction with other people of color, and indeed with all politically
conscious persons of goodwill, must make a viable pact with each other
no longer to accept the superficial rhetoric of any candidate, whether
it be Barack Obama or anyone else. The “proof of the pudding is in its
taste,” not in its outward appearance. Far too much is at stake. Far,
far too much.
Much needed and real systemic “change”
will not be brought about by the Democrat or Republican Parties or by
any of their representatives. To expect such a thing would be like expecting
the fox to tell us truthfully who ate the chickens. We must take our
destinies into our own hands. It is time to be creative in this
struggle and stop “going for the ghost.” It is, as Malcolm X
said repeatedly, time to stop being “bamboozled.” It is the year 2008,
and time that we realize that cosmetic change is no change at all.
Systemic change demands that we reject
the superficial in favor of doing what is real. That is what this people’s
struggle is all about.
BC Editorial Board member, Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther
Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa,
a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully
self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations
under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. For
more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century
Activist and Thinker,
by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click
here to read excerpts from the book) Click
here to contact Mr. Pinkney.
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