January 10, 2008 - Issue 259
Obama and the American Dream
Represent Our Resistance
By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD
BC Editorial Board
of the American Empire are holding their collective breath. Aside
from Rupert Murdoch, the beneficiary of hubby Bill’s Telecommunication
Act 1996, the defense industry loves Hillary Clinton. Supporter
of the violence in
this lover and daughter of capitalism supreme came in third in the Iowa
Caucus, January 3, 2008, has the corps experiencing a bit of shock and
awe! They must have gone to bed Thursday night wondering if their get-away
spaceship has left Earth too soon. What happened to the good people
their credit, the corporations left the fear campaign to their good
buddies King George and Darth Vader. Osama is coming to a mall
near you! The people, scared and tired of being scared, responded on
January 3rd. Some are tired of the Empire. It would be optimistic
(or should I say, hopeful) to credit Barack Obama’s
What kind of “change” do these people have in mind?
mantra, “change,” was echoed by
Yes, there’s so much of change in all of this - it is nauseating.
this 38 percent vote from the predominantly white state of
concern about Obama’s “experience” has less
to do with experience in foreign policy and more to do with his experience,
that is, memory of domestic policy as it relates to Black Americans.
Obama’s mother is white and his father is Kenyan. In
other words, Obama is not a product of the Black American experience
and, as a result, doesn’t share in the familial experience - the collective
memory of the Maafa, the catastrophe of being kidnapped from Africa, shipped
in chains, enslaved in the
Obama’s ancestors aren’t those enslaved Africans whose descendants have had to strategize for every gain and resist every repressive domestic policy. The colorblind rhetoric of everybody is all the same within the American Dream and hasn’t tickled down to Black Americans because the everybody meant white bodies. Black Americans, on the other hand, are the nightmare living the nightmare of struggle and contradiction in a country that has repeatedly set its agenda toward eradicating the victims of this atrocity. No amount of whitewashing rhetoric will change this reality for the majority of Black Americans.
Martin Luther King, Jr. dropped the rhetoric of the American Dream when
he came face-to-face with the nightmare of reality in
does not represent the typical Black as the scapegoat of the American
Dream; he embraces it without demanding accountability for a deplorable
domestic policy as it relates to Black, Native Americans, Latino/a Americans
or to the people of
further construction of air bases in Africa, the destruction of the
food supply and contamination of water and lands, particularly in Latin
America, Africa, and Asia will need another front man or woman - a fresh
face. This new fresh face will wave the flag and salute the Cross
while articulating the aspirations of those who could afford to contribute
to his ten million dollar win in
Black Americans have had to hope for the best long before Obama’s father came to these shores. They don’t need Obama to tell them about hope.
Obama looks Black and biologically, he is Black - but he’s also a little
different. And different where it counts. He doesn’t possess
the reservoir of memory or the spirit of resistance that has sustained
Black Americans through trials and tribulations. Yes, white Americans
have dreamt of the kind of difference Obama represents. In the
“We love Obama very, very much,” will be the new chant for a while.
I say "for a while," because Hillary Clinton’s corporate friends, more and stronger, aren’t cheering now. They aren’t chanting any mantra that doesn’t begin with money and end with profits. The American Dream is corporate capitalism running full speed toward the agenda of Pax Americana. Hillary Clinton is a start-the-engines-gal; let’s get this whole country, the world privatized by summer 2009! But what if Obama goes in, takes a seat, and starts to hear from those nagging Blacks, Latino/as, poor and working-class? What if he starts to buckle under that pressure like say Kennedy or Johnson before him? Then what? There won’t be a whole lot of love then. Will Obama risk turning his attention from the interests of corporate friends? It’s not safe for us - Blacks - to dream, if it means consuming the same brew called “The American Dream.”
The Gremlins of the American Empire will wait to see what this pseudo love affair with Obama will mean for their interests.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has been a writer, for over thirty years of
commentary, resistance criticism and cultural theory, and short stories
with a Marxist sensibility to the impact of cultural narrative violence
and its antithesis, resistance narratives. With entrenched dedication
to justice and equality, she has served as a coordinator of student
and community resistance projects that encourage the Black Feminist
idea of an equalitarian community and facilitator of student-teacher
communities behind the walls of academia for the last twenty years.
Dr. Daniels holds a PhD in Modern American Literatures, with a specialty
in Cultural Theory (race, gender, class narratives) from