"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Martin Luther King Jr. 1963
|Chronixx's now famous post!|
The press is supposed to be the "Guardian of the Republic" and the "Pillar of the Democracy," the press is the only industry explicitly referenced in the U.S. constitution. How is then, that the press and media in Jamaica and abroad seem so spineless in critiquing President Obama? Have they abdicated their role in giving voice to the voiceless and airing the VOX POPULI... Chronixx's comments echo a sentiment that cuts across a broad spectrum of Jamaicans, such as myself and various communities who are unwilling to look the other way simply because Mr. Obama is a black president. Such criticism of Obama is not unique to Jamaica and Jamaicans, but black academics and intellects everywhere.
All this while in America itself under the Obama administration the plight of Black Americans has worsened: A recent interview on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” NAACP CEO and president, Ben Jealous, told the show’s host that black Americans “are doing far worse” than when President Obama first took office. “The country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started,” Jealous told show host David Gregory. “White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black people are doing far worse.” Dr. Julianne Malveaux of Your Black World recently wrote that the Obama Administration needs to speak out more about existing racial disparities and persistent problems in black unemployment.
The Black Diaspora has seen the US elect thousands of African American local and state officials and re-elect the first black president. But Obama seems to have proven just a symbol, symbolic and nothing more. Nothing real, nothing substantial, nothing progressive as it pertains to the plight of blacks.
The media is slow and unwilling to note that our black leaders are dithering. Floundering. Flailing... failing and falling even. Symbolism supersedes the fact that black leadership has few or no victories to boast for the seventies, the eighties, the nineties or the new century, apart from their own illustrious careers.
Obama seems a symbol used to nullify and quiet the analytic black mind and voice. "Nigger shut up we got a black president now!"
Who in Jamaica or the media is willing to look past the fact that he is JUST a black president and willing to examine the fact that the black role model president conducts weekly “Terror Tuesday” meetings in the White House basement at which he dispatches drones to murder and special forces to kidnap and torture in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and across the African continent. It matters not at all that the Department of Justice prosecutes whistle blowers instead of war criminals, or that black military officials and diplomats like Susan Rice are up to their armpits in African blood. Mr. President highlighted the fact that our government meets behind our backs, in secret and signs agreements we don't know about, but what of his secret meetings.
The black political class at home and abroad is utterly self-interested. It cannot begin to mobilize black communities to demand higher wages, a massive jobs program to relieve unemployment, a new paradigm of urban economic development that isn't just moving poor people out of neighborhoods and richer ones in. It seems our egotistical black intelligentsia can't begin to make these things happen because foisting itself and its own advancement off as “representing” the black oppressed masses is the beginning and the end of who they are and what they do. They are not truly about the black diaspora and its plight, they do not truly care to ease the existential condition of his brothers, neighbours and friends.
For them, the election and and re-election of Barack Obama is the end of black history. The be all and end all of our history. Addressing black unemployment, pervasive economic injustice, opposing the neo-liberal,capitalist, globalist, transnational agenda of privatization and austerity put forth not just by the black president, but by an entire layer of black thinkers are, in their language not pragmatic or “realistic.”
President Obama denied our request to exonerate Marcus Garvey, he is more willing to lobby for homosexuals and their agenda, than the plight of black people. He neglects Africa, send troops instead of Doctors like Cuba did to combat Ebola in Africa... Netanyahu just disrespected him in his own country, I see no reason to rejoice nor genuflect at his arrival. He allowed and sanctioned the murder of Qaddafi the last defender of Africa, friend of Nelson Mandela, after inviting him to the U.S. and defending him in the face of public disapproval, he without congressional approval and with the help of Sarkozy and Nato murdered Qaddafi. In-spite of winning a Nobel peace prize... he has yet to close GITMO. I as a descendant of a UNIA member from the days of Marcus Garvey... a Jamaican who saw the havoc that is democrats neo-liberal agenda in the 90's, as a black man who sees today's social stagnation of the black race and our position as last economically, cannot support this man who says he is America's president!
I support Chronixx in saying what he said. Sometimes, in order to follow our moral compass and/or our hearts, we have to make unpopular decisions or stand up for what we believe in. To those who would see Chronixx muzzled, I quote Neal Boortz: "Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection."
And I close with a quote from President JFK to Mr. Obama, to our government and to the media:
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment-- the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"--but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.