was unexpected, both in timing and intensity, was that
I would not only live through one of America’s great
revivals but during a subsequent era when my country
- without debate, consideration, or struggle - decided
it really didn’t want to be America any more.
even talked about it, but, as a writer and as a child
of segregation, I knew that in the silence could be
something as telling and evil as words. After all, the
language of the old south was most descriptive in what
it didn’t say – and what wasn’t allowed to be said.
later I would come across the words of a German university
professor who described to journalist Milton Mayer what
it had been like under the Nazis in the 1930s:
live in the process is absolutely not to notice it -
please try to believe me - unless one has a much greater
degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of
us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small,
so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion,
‘regretted’. . .
me this is true. Each act, each occasion is worse than
the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the
next and the next. You wait for one shocking occasion,
thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will
join you in resisting somehow...
it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are,
what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t
done (for that was all that was required of most of
us: that we did nothing)…
Shirer noted something similar in Nightmare Years:
surprised me at first was that most Germans, so far
as I could see, did not seem to mind that their personal
freedom had been taken away, that so much of their splendid
culture was being destroyed and replaced with a mindless
barbarism, or that their life and work were becoming
regimented to a degree never before experienced even
by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal
of regimentation . . .
Smith, “Somehow We Missed It: America’s
Silent Collapse,” Counterpunch, December 20,
must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember
always that accusation is not proof and that conviction
depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will
not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven
by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep in our
history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not
descended from fearful men - not from men who feared
to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes
that were, for that moment, unpopular.
R. Murrow, 1954
Talking Heads sneer. Out the side of their mouths, comes
“Dear Leader.” He is dead. “Dear Leader” and the Talking
Heads mock the arraignment of power - over there…
cannot imagine life in North Korea. U.S. citizens are fortunate
NOT to experience life as the North Koreans do, so the
talking heads at Fox News and the “expert” guests
at NPR tells us. If you were too young to remember
Bush II and his axis of evil, our State Media will inform
you of all you need to know: North Korea is A COMMIE State…a DICTATORSHIP…with a dead “Dear Leader”
and a nation of the strangely grieving, a “collective wail of
millions,” rather than of uprising protesters demanding
democracy, preferably American democracy!
news is not immune to constructing American democracy.
North Korea “spends massive sums on its military and nuclear programme,
yet it cannot feed its own people,” according to an
article in AlertNet, December 19, 2011. The
article continues: the famines of the 1990s killed at
least 1 million, but the regime’s “economic mismanagement”
is also to blame. A dictatorship America
is not! Let us collectively remember that North Korea’s government and its people are delusional!
Who is delusional?
2 million citizens in the U.S.
reside in its in-house prisons. Many are political
prisoners; many have served more than 30 years behind
bars. They are tortured and endure inhumane treatment
in a nation that is quick to point out the human rights
violations of other nations. How many citizens does
the U.S. execute each year?
Democracy! It rises the more CEO salaries rise, the
more the military spends on new surveillance devices,
and the more robber bankers grow fat on surplus profits.
Just over 17 million households, 14.5% of households
(one in seven) were “food insecure,” according to a
Coleman-Jensen’s 2011 study. Nearly 47 million people
are in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007 (DeNavas-Walt,
2011) - in the United
States, the world’s richest nation.
Twenty-two percent of children - in the United States - live in poverty
(DeNavas-Walt, 2011). Nearly 50 million citizens - of
the United States of America -
live and die uninsured (De Navas-Walt, 2011).
In the United States, famines cannot account for these
figures. But we are told to remember that North Koreans
are delusional! The United States of American is not
a COMMIE State, a DICTATORSHIP, and a “Dear
Leader” we do not have - at least that is what we are
told. We have American Democracy! ENEMIES want to take
American Democracy away - and ENEMIES, as belligerent as Iraq
under Saddam or Afghanistan
under the Taliban, that must be forced fed American Democracy. All the while others wait in the wings,
plotting to attack American Democracy.
American Democracy is McDonald’s on every
corner and at least one U.S. military base and Exxon drilling for oil.
can match the U.S. spending 50% of its budget
on the expansion not only of its physical occupation
of sovereign nations but also its “occupation” of hearts
and minds? Of the 153 leading countries with the highest military
expenditures, North Korea
is not on the list, but South
Korea is number 12, with the help
of American Democracy! Suicide is the highest
in the world - in South
are either with us or against us!”
And “Dear Leader…Dear Leader…?”
Here, in the U.S. images of JFK still hang on living room walls among family
photos, and an increasingly powerful executive branch
is not alone in channeling Ronald Reagan and the spirit
of de-regulation just as Condi Rice is not alone in
her admiration of George W. and the “either you are
with us or against us” model of moral righteousness.
All parties pay homage to Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney,
proud members of the 1% club.
Before an image of whom did Nixon bow and pray?
“Amending” its paternal narrative to appear “progressive,” the Empire turns
to the Daley Machine. There, in Chicago, a well-groomed
son, awaiting his ascendancy to the higher echelons
of power, honed his skills in alchemy, producing gold
for the “good guys” on LaSalle Street who, in turn, anointed him and filled his coffers with
millions of dollars.
the People, he proclaimed, He would feed the hungry and clothe the poor, bring Hope and
Democracy to the world, glory to the Empire (Oh, Oceania!) - and to the Obama-Robinson clan. (Why not!). The illusion
of American Democracy is so great that millions
felt absolved and others chanted, “He’s Black! He’s
Black!” Still others cried and pointed to the figure:
Dr. Martin Luther King incarnated! Young admirers tweaked
other young admirers: remember a new era of miracles,
of Hope, and of Change is on the way. Get to the polls!
The newest bundle package of Barrack Obama, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Ben
Benancke, and William Daley went to work fine-tuning
the financial mechanisms that would funnel all resources
and, most important, all wealth to further the expansion
of the U.S. Empire.
and lies? - No! Let us have an ODE to our paternal piss-pots!
Nothing changes if it is all an illusion: the same regime in power since the
2000 elections. The same regime and the same Dear Leader
for over 200 years! But tell that to the Dear “Minority”
The Empire, in a bi-partisan effort (“Republican” boldfaced thievery of votes
and Democrat incarceration policies) disenfranchises
the majority of Black Americans, yet “Black” organizations
such as the NAACP are stuck on the capitalist’s great
pie-in-the-sky scheme, if we just vote ( - for the Democrats!!).
Children, mothers, housewives, workers, activists, organizers,
and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died for workers’ rights
and the end of poverty. But the Dear “Minority” Leaders,
individuals, Christian or African-centric, at regular intervals,
count their take. Time has sidestepped them, and like
a tree planted by the waters, they shall not be moved!
Blockades! Go along, get along consumers of illusions.
not frown on the Commies in Korea
and miss the FASCIST deployment of the ignorant and
operation of the US economic and political
system has led to certain people/groups being relatively
normal operation of the economic system will create
a significant amount of poverty (Hunger Notes, http://www.worldhunger.org).
US political system, which
should address the major problems of its citizens,
is to a great extent not focused on fundamental concerns
of poor people, but on other concerns.
we surprised that COMMIES and TERROISTS look alike?
Eastasia was yesterday; today, it is Eurasia! Tomorrow, it always was Eastasia!
our Dear Leader is waiting for the people in
North Korea to protest, we are protesting here,
thousands in Washington
D.C. alone. Yet, how does the government respond? Why are U.S.
citizens under the illusion that the U.S. government will distribute roses among protesters
here? When the people within their communities are fighting
homelessness, the greed of Wall Street separates the
people from shelter. When the people fight for better
wages or for wages period, the U.S. government (Supreme Court)
declares corporations PERSONS, entitling them to shuffle
the workforce around the world to their advantage.
Leader is on the campaign to win, again. His regime
does not want OSW protesters or concerned citizens
to overshadow the electoral process, for it is the next
best thing to tainting the waters with Prozac. Look
this way, and miss his signature on the 2012
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). One more
act, one more occasion, “worse than the last, but only
a little worse” huh? Remember a new era of miracles, of Hope, and of Change
is on the way. Get to the polls, again!
Leader is not a benign patriarch!
2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act, (AUMF)
already gave the U.S. President the power
to detain indefinitely suspected “terrorists,” but the
NDAA codifies by statue the right of the President
to detain “terrorists” indefinitely.
is the first time such powers are being codified in
a statue since the McCarthy era or International Security
Act of 1950,” writes Nick Baumann in “Did Congress Just
Endorse Rendition for Americans?” (Mother Jones,
December 21, 2011).
Nothing to worry about, some tell us. You are not a terrorist - Al Qaeda,
Taliban! You are not a terrorist, are you?
children on Indigenous “reservations” are not terrorists.
Neither are the children in depressed urban areas or,
for that matter, the children in Iraq,
What is the logic of codifying “indefinite detention”?
is the logic of prisons, of Supermax facilities, of
detention centers for juveniles and immigrants? What
is the logic of this violence?
will be the next step in 2014, or 2016? Should we wait
for that “one shocking occasion”? Do we wait to resist
then? - because now, the U.S. Empire is institutionalizing
a reality akin to George Orwell’s 1984, offering a nightmare
scenario of equal opportunity: indefinite detention
for ANYONE in the world! And regulating the militarization
of the world is as delusional as believing that a gallon
of water will halt a raging fire.
technology, developed and deployed to subdue the Philippine
population, was further fined tuned to subdue Brown,
Black, and Indigenous populations in the Americas. A USAF predator
drone was already used in the U.S. to aide the local
police force arrest members of a North Dakota family
who “allegedly wouldn't give back three cows and their
calves that wandered onto their 3,000-acre farm this
summer” (Opposing Views, December 13, 2011).
Chemical weaponry is used against Occupy Wall Street
protesters - on U.S. Streets. The production, use, and
sale of these and other military weapons is market
driven and the ideological mindset that permits
the codification of indefinite detention and the use
of high-tech weaponry to target “covered” people will
always speak of the need for safety against “enemies,”
will regulating the use of military technology
play out? Who will be the people targeted, or the populations
targeted? Will it be okay to apply the violence of the
U.S. Empire against the majority of the world, the people
of color? Commit a little bit of violence but only on
them - not us, Dear Leader!
will be the them and who will be the us?
Who? The Dear Leader, the DECIDER, and his cabal of
criminals labeling others the “enemy,” the “criminal,”
and the “terrorists”?
think we have seen this before, and I think it is more
American Democracy! A capitalist enterprise!
means the end of the old order - the dismantling of
American Democracy and its serial killers, Dear
Leaders, and the delusion of superiority and market-based
progress. No more, no more! We meet in the streets,
Organizing in the Trenches:
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels,
PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural
Theory. Click here
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