A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
"Obama spent his first term sabotaging every effort to create mandatory limits on emissions."
Barack Obama has spoken to the nation as president for the last time. Hallelujah! The man I dubbed the "more effective evil" now gets a chance to make millions for himself, after spending eight years defending the wealth of the bankers and the rest of the One Percent.
Obama is going out like he came in: telling lies, with great style and skill. So many lies. He said he favored giving unions "the power to organize for better wages." He said the same thing when he was campaigning for his first term, promising to support the "card check" bill that would have allowed workers to rebuild their union membership. But he betrayed organized labor and did nothing to push the bill in Congress.
The outgoing president pointed out that "the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't just vanish in the Sixties" -- that these effects continue to plague Black people. But 100 days after first taking the oath of office, Obama told reporters that he would not consider programs targeted at Black communities -- that Blacks would have to depend on a rising tide to lift all boats, even though no such tide has ever risen for Black people in America.
Obama said the U.S. has "led the world...on the promise to save the planet." That's an outrageous lie. The U.S., China and a few other powerful countries have been the problem, not the solution to climate change. Obama spent his first term sabotaging every effort to create mandatory limits on emissions.
"On his watch, no federal charges were brought against any killer cops."
The First Black President acknowledged that many Americans are "convinced that their government only serves the interests of the powerful." But, he didn't take any of the blame, even though it was under his administration that Wall Street bankers were deemed "too big to jail," or even to indict. In the same dishonest fashion, Obama declared on Tuesday that "We need to uphold laws against discrimination...and in our criminal justice system" -- when, on his watch, no federal charges were brought against any killer cops, except one who had already been indicted by local authorities.
Obama got downright cocky in defense of Obamacare, the rightwing Republican health program that Obama adopted as his own. The president said: "If anybody can put together a plan that is demonstrably better, I will support it." But don't bet any money on the letter and spirit of Obama's promises on health care. Back in 2003, when Bruce Dixon and I asked him if he favored a single payer health care system, Obama answered that he favored "universal health care for all Americans" and intended to introduce or sponsor legislation toward that end." He kept saying that for the next five years, until he was elected president, and then proceeded to isolate and crush supporters of single payer, to the delight of the insurance and drug industries, which no longer had to fear single payer. Obama is sneaky, that way.
Finally, Obama bragged that the U.S. has "taken out thousands of terrorists, including bin Laden." What he didn't say was that his administration presided over the jihadist takeovers of Libya and much of Syria and Iraq. The truth is that tens of thousands of jihadists have been trained, armed, financed and protected by the United States and its allies -- not under Bush, but under Obama, making him fully responsible for the deaths of half a million people in those three countries, alone. Not to mention Obama's other wars. But, I've run out of time. The good thing is, so has Obama.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.