If it can be said that one person is responsible for the awful death toll from the recent flooding in eastern Libya, Barack Obama should be named as the culprit. If nothing else, Obama certainly has a lot of nerve. The person who was determined to destroy the Libyan state did just that. His personal hench lady, aka Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, carried out the dirty work. Along with allies like the UK and France, she made the case for a “no fly” zone, which prevented Libya’s army from being protected by its air force. For good measure she whipped up a phony human rights case, complete with claims about troops taking viagra in order to commit mass rapes.
I met Kevin Alexander Gray the only way I could have: through his writing. It was 2008. It was election year, the U.S. presidential race was in full swing, and Barack Obama was all the rage. On June 15th, soon after the first-term Illinois Senator had just secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic Party nomination to run for president, Obama delivered his infamous “Father’s Day Speech.” In this speech, as the New York Times put it, Obama “Sharply Assail[ed] Absent Black Fathers.” He did more than that: Obama conjured up some of the most invidious, insidious, and racist stereotypes about Black people in the U.S.
On Wednesday, March 1, US President Joe Biden renewed a directive declaring a state of national emergency “with respect to the situation in Venezuela.” Titled Executive Order 13692, the measure was first implemented by former President Barack Obama in 2015 citing an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” The EO was accompanied by sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials. EO 13692, which has been renewed for another year, provides an expansive basis for the US to continue to impose illegal and brutal unilateral measures against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and socialist President Nicolás Maduro.
On May 2, 2022, a memo written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to Politico.com . Alito made clear that the court with a 6 to 3 conservative majority intends to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which made abortion legal in the United States. Reaction to the news was swift and predictable. Liberals expressed outrage and marched on federal courthouses and even to the homes of Supreme Court justices. Barack Obama released a long winded 700 word statement declaring himself, and his wife, strongly opposed to the court’s imminent decision. The statement is amusing because it gives the impression that Obama had nothing to do with the current state of affairs.
The Black political class and the democratic party are once again infantilizing Black voters instead of giving them what they need and want. They pass useless legislation and stage political performances because they have lost the trust of the people. Biden’s poll numbers continue to drop. He now has a lackluster 40 percent approval rating for the simple reason that he hasn’t done what he promised during his 2020 presidential campaign. Biden said he would provide student loan debt relief, raise the minimum wage, and improve the government response to the covid crisis. His friends in corporate media covered for him by claiming that stimulus and child tax credit payments would “cut child poverty in half.” That claim was never true and now that tax credit is gone along with the much touted Build Back Better legislation.
On April 5th, Barack Obama visited the White House to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Democratic Party loyalists expressed great enthusiasm for Obama’s return to the White House over social media. Congressional Democrats flocked around the former President and took full advantage of the photo opportunity. President Joe Biden also used the occasion to announce an Executive Order that will allow about 200,000 people to gain access to the ACA marketplace beginning in 2023. An atmosphere of confidence surrounded the White House despite Biden’s recent polling numbers which suggest that the Democrats find themselves mired in a crisis of legitimacy.
I’ve attended most of the major antiwar protests in Washington since 9/11. At a 2005 protest, a cop tried to whack me on the head with a wooden pole. At a 2007 protest, I snapped a picture showing George W. Bush swinging by the U.S. Capitol. But my favorite protest was a potent little ruckus that I almost missed. On a sunny late summer day in 2013, I ambled to downtown Washington to hike with a bunch of friendly folks in a jaunt starting on the National Mall and heading towards the World War Two Monument and points beyond. But the hike was vexed from the start because someone invited along a “licensed tourist guide.” That short, pudgy fellow proceeded to bludgeon us with every known detail about the history, architecture, and rest room renovations of the Smithsonian Castle.
I recently witnessed the exhumation of human remains from a mass grave that contains more than 200 bodies. It was a profound and profoundly disturbing experience. Each body in this grave represents an unnecessary and unjust death, a murder, and each of these more than 200 murders can never be forgotten or forgiven. There is a message that cries out from these bones that must be heard and understood, and acted upon by all good people in the world. Otherwise, history will repeat itself, and again, the killers and the killing will continue, and more mass graves will be filled. After seven years of war, a war that continues to this day, these 200 bodies are being exhumed from a mass grave that the war forced them into back in the summer of 2014, during the heaviest attacks and siege by the Ukrainian “punishers” against the people of Lugansk.
The soon to be constructed Barack Obama Presidential Center poses a great danger to the surrounding Black neighborhoods on the South Shore of Chicago. In fact, thanks to this $500 million, 19-acre homage to the 44th president, there may not be any Black people living there much longer. Families are already facing rent increases and homes that were once moderately priced are now unaffordable to Black working people. These market manipulations are integral to the gentrification model of urban development. The end result is always a displaced and dispersed Black population. This crisis is but the latest Obama slap in the face to the people who loved him the most. His 2008 presidential campaign stump speeches were replete with the worst stereotypes about Black men.
Daniel Hale, who blew the whistle on the United States government's targeted assassination program that includes drones, pled guilty to transmitting and retaining "national defense information" in violation of the Espionage Act. The guilty plea by Hale makes him the first whistleblower to be convicted under the Espionage Act during President Joe Biden's administration. A change of plea hearing was held on March 31 in the Eastern District of Virginia, around a week before Hale was scheduled to go to trial. Judge Liam O'Grady permitted Hale to remain under supervision by a probation officer until sentencing on July 13. Though Hale pled guilty, prosecutors from the Justice Department opposed canceling the trial altogether and refused to dismiss the four remaining charges.
The nomination of Senator Kamala Harris to the position of Vice President of the United States has been widely recognized as a triumph for Black and Asian women in the country. Something similar happened twelve years ago when then-Senator Barack Obama accepted the nomination for President. There is no doubt that representation in the media, politics, education, corporate leadership, sports, among so many other areas, matters. However, the more crucial questions are how does representation matter as well as for whom and for what does it matter. Without addressing these questions, representation can easily succumb to a mechanism that contributes to the disempowerment of the very sectors that presumably benefit from it. Two hundred forty-four years after the declaration of the US independence, and only twenty-two years away from 2042, when non-Hispanic whites are projected to lose the status of demographic majorities in the country, it is clear that liberal institutions in the country cannot perpetually be managed by white people only.
The Trump administration is determined to “put China in its place,” a white supremacist mindset that will inevitably lead to monumental errors of judgment. The new bipartisan, ruling class consensus that more aggressive measures were needed to contain China was captured in the now-infamous “pivot to Asia” announced by Barack Obama in 2011. Today the growing ruling class consensus that has given new life to Trump’s anti-China campaign is reflected in the positions that say economic integration with China did not result in any transformation of China into a “regular” capitalist nation. And with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping, China is an existential threat that can only be countered by military means.
In a recent interview with CBS This Morning host Gayle King, former First Lady Michelle Obama contrasted her husband’s presidency with that of his successor by claiming that unlike Trump, the Obama family had had “no scandal”. “I had to sit in [Trump’s inauguration] audience, one of a handful of people of color and then listen to that speech, and all that I had sort of held onto for eight years, watching my husband get raked over the coals, feeling like we had to do everything perfectly, you know, no scandal,” Obama said.
Those fitting the national security state's classification of “illegal alien” are subjected to violent administrative detention processes and a myriad of enforcement procedures intended to discourage unauthorized border crossings, including family separation. And now they face Trump's renewed threat to unleash sweeping deportation raids this weekend. Trump’s spectacular crackdown—while an escalation—is not new: These abuses are an enduring legacy of the Obama presidency, which—along with previous administrations—laid the groundwork for the policies being condemned today.