Transcript and audio remarks by Glen Ford, Dr. Leonard Jeffries and Dr. Donald Smith at the Black Agenda Report.
Was the election of Barack Obama good for Black people? No, argued BAR's Glen Ford, Baruch College professor emeritus of education Donald Smith, and two other distinguished Black educators at a debate in New York's Harlem, last weekend. Four activists lined up on the other side of the question, before a crowd of over 1,500. Dr. Smith evaluated Obama based on his "personnel appointments, post-racial philosophy, and cultural incompatibility." Said Ford: "I'm not mad at Obama. He's just another cynical center-right politician, doing whatever he can get away with. The people I'm mad at are the ones who let him get away with it."
Next week the Great Debate moves to Baltimore, with a live webcast on www.livinginblack.com.
On Sunday, December 14, CEMOTAP and the Friends of Dr. Mtulu Shakur presented a debate at Harlem's Salem United Methodist Church, centered on the question: Was the Election of Barack Obama Good for Black People? Yes or No?
Weighing in on the "Yes" side of the argument were Viola Plummer, December 12 Movement; Charles Barron, New York City Councilman; Dr. Leonard Jeffries, educator; Atty. Malik Zulu Shabazz, New Black Panther Party.
Arguing the "No" position were Dr. Marimba Ani, author, educator; Dr. James Turner, educator; Dr. Donald Smith, educator; and Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report.
"When Black folks start imagining an Obama that does not exist, we are in deep trouble."
Ever since Barack Obama became a candidate for president, many of his unquestioning supporters have labeled his critics on the Left as conscious or unconscious allies of, first, Hillary Clinton and, later, John McCain. As a result, Obama was left free to gravitate as far to the Right as he felt convenient - and he took every advantage of that freedom.
What we wound up with is a president-elect whose Cabinet to-date is mostly a Clinton Cabinet - and worse.
Obama's military portfolio is in the hands of a Reagan/Bush-One/Bush-Two war criminal, Robert Gates, whose crimes go back to Iran Contra and the mining of Nicaragua's harbors.
Obama's economic mechanisms will be in the hands of the very same robber baron bankers that set the stage for catastrophic meltdown through their actions under both Bill Clinton and George Bush.
Nobody forced Obama to put together an administration that even the New York Times describes as "center-right." (I think it's much more Right than Center.)
Nobody forced Obama to break into a sprint to join Bush in bailing out the bankers.