2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

Where is the Critical Thinking in this Campaign 2008?


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Larry Pinkney
The Black Commentator

As amply demonstrated by Germany and Italy of the 1930s, there is absolutely nothing new about a substantively uninformed, and highly manipulated electorate, euphorically and uncritically lining up lock-step behind a political figure offering a dangerously superficial, media sound-bite rhetoric which indefinably calls for “change.” The consequences of falling prey to such superficiality are dangerous and immense.  

The largely consolidated U.S. corporate media in the 21st Century continues overwhelmingly to actively attempt to diminish and/or outright ignore the enormous potential and importance of third parties on the American political landscape, including the Reconstruction Party, the Green Party, and the Peace and Freedom Party, etc. Heaven forbid that the American people collectively, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White come to realize that the Democrat and Republican Parties represent anything but real systemic change. And of course fundamental, clearly defined, systemic change is exactly what the people of the U.S. so desperately need. 

This is not lost upon the U.S. corporate media, which is precisely why said media promotes Barack Obama, and others, who represent superficial, feel-good change, which really means window dressing change [i.e. no change at all for the vast majority of people]. Such so-called change is akin to telling a terminally ill patient that if he or she simply feels good about themselves, their illness will not kill them. “Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down…” The American people don’t need a "spoon full of sugar;" we need a completely changed diet consisting of systemic change that does not serve the interests of corporations and their military partners.

In a nation that allegedly represents the bastion of democracy, it is the height of absurdity and hypocrisy that its peoples are fed a constant corporate diet consisting of there being only two (joined-at-the-hip) so-called “major” political parties, whose only insignificant differences are rhetorical - and whether or not to economically, politically, and socially suffocate the people quickly [i.e. the Republicans] or a little slower [i.e. the Democrats].  Malcolm X correctly referred to these Republicans and Democrats as “wolves and foxes.” Indeed, they are the joined-at-the-hip “Republicrats,” the corporate/military surrogates of the 21st Century.

It is appropriate at this juncture to reiterate my written comments in this column of February 7, 2008:

“We need to be about the business of thinking and acting outside the box and building political parties that are outside the box, parties that serve the economic, social, and political interests of the masses of people. This is precisely why the candidacy of former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney for President and the Power To The People Coalition is of such enormous importance for the present and for the future. This coalition is all about collectively laying the foundation for systemic change – which is the only way that we can enjoy real change.”

Not only do both the Democrat and Republican Parties, in reality, oppose the economic, political, and social interests and needs of the vast majority of people in the U.S. and around the world - neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are seriously exposing, addressing, and fundamentally changing and correcting the enormously flawed and corrupted electoral voting system in this nation. Despite the rhetoric of so-called “change,” it still remains all about de facto voter disenfranchisement as real and large scale voter enfranchisement does not serve the interests of big corporations and their military partners, which in turn does not serve the interests of the Democrats or Republicans. These are not the actions of a democracy but of a republicracy. It continues to be all about the Democrats and Republicans rhetorically saying one thing while doing quite another.

Resigning one's self to voting for the so-called “lesser of the two evils” plays right into calculated corporate hands of media manipulations and the disempowering Democrat and Republican Parties. By the same token, euphorically goose-stepping behind the candidacy of Barack Obama, or any other Democrat or Republican, is tantamount to choosing death by hanging as opposed to death by firing squad. This is not exercising a choice. It is dangerous and ridiculous non-choice, especially in America - the so-called bastion of democracy.

Whatever the rhetorical difference in their code words [e.g. terms such as "US interests," "US security interests," "US world leadership," "democracy," etc.], Barack Obama, and his Democrat and Republican Party counterparts, (with their big corporate donors and advisors) all adhere to the notion of U.S. military and corporate hegemony, with a strong dose of support for corporate apartheid Zionism [Reference and read thoroughly Barack Obamas’ speech last year to the Zionist lobby known as AIPAC]. The term “U.S. interests” has little or nothing to do with the economic, political, or social needs & interests of the majority of peoples in the U.S. or the world; and most definitely nothing to do with justice or real democracy. Unfortunately however, Obama went even further, having called for blocking the right of return of the Palestinian people to their occupied lands, and of course having repeatedly called for the use of “unilateral” U.S. military actions against other nations. The sad and dangerous list goes on and on. It is stunning, for example, and almost beyond belief, that a so-called Democrat could heap praise upon the late Republican U.S. President Ronald Reagan who:

  • opposed the labor movement and the economic rights of working women and men in the U.S. and around the world
  • who was a strong supporter of the apartheid government of South  Africa
  • who utterly despised affirmative action and the human rights of Black, Brown, and Red Americans and the working poor
  • who made horrible economic cut backs to the already inadequate food programs for mothers and children in America
  • who, in the name of (here we go again) "U.S. security interests" unlawfully and militarily invaded the tiny Black nation of Grenada
Nevertheless, Barack Obama actually heaped praise upon that very same Republican - Ronald Reagan. Of course, various catch-all terms such as "U.S. interests" and "U.S. security interests," etc., can and do mean everything from “unilateral” and illegal U.S. military actions/invasions of other nations [e.g. Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Grenada, etc.] to U.S.-sponsored coup d'etat [e.g. Iran, Guatemala, and Haiti, etc.], to the insane notion that the U.S. (or anyone else) has the unmitigated right to engage in a nuclear first-strike which would most certainly assure the end of all human life on the planet. It is time to think critically and act accordingly. It is time to be for real.

With reference to the United States, one must apply the political term "third parties" loosely, in that the Democrats and Republicans are, for all practical purposes, one party - the Republicrats.  The so-called difference comes down to choosing to die quickly or to die slowly. We must think outside of the Democrat and Republican Party box of death. We must choose not to die at all. We must demand and organize for total and complete universal health care - with no profits to the blood-sucking corporations. We must demand and organize not only for an immediate end to the U.S. war of aggression in Iraq - but also for an end to the very notion that military aggression anywhere by anyone is acceptable. We must demand and organize for an end to the vampiric, blood-sucking corporate and military apparatus - and build organizations based upon fulfilling human needs, not exploiting human weaknesses. We must demand and organize for an educational system that truly educates the people - and not one that brainwashes them to serve as corporate or military cannon fodder. We must remember that, as in the case of the ongoing "Hurricane Katrina" U.S. federal and state government debacle - we ultimately do to ourselves what we do to the world. We must organize outside of (the Democrat and Republican Party death) box. We must consciously and consistently build third political parties throughout the United States. We must struggle and build locally, regionally, and nationally, building third party coalitions wherever possible and appropriate to the needs of the people, collectively. This is about collective hard work - not some corporately brokered and cloned echo of misplaced “hope” and superficial “change.” This is about us - all of us as people - not as unwitting and helpless pawns of U.S. multinational corporations. As I wrote back in April of 2006, “Perhaps people will stop repeating the human-made catastrophes of the past when we cease being ahistorical and truly learn from history’s lessons. Indeed, after all is said and done, we truly are not helpless in this regard.” [Reference The Boston Globe, April 27, 2006].

What time is it in America? It’s third party time!

It’s time to stop mentally goose-stepping, and start critically thinking. What a revolutionary concept. This too, is what "Keeping It Real" is all about.

BlackCommentator.com 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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