Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Dark Twisted Fantasy: Barack Obama's State of the Union Speech Channels "America: Violent to the Bone"


In lieu of writing a post that would fall down the Barack Obama State of the Union media rabbit hole, I offer the speech that I wish the President had given tonight. The following is a dream...my dream and maybe yours. If President Obama gave a version of the following promo from Glen Ford and the Black Agenda Report it would be both high comedy and tragedy. The collective pundit classes would die of a stroke. And the Tea Party GOP and Democrats would have a moment of bipartisan unity as they grab the torches and run Obama out of town.

Either way, the result would be grand sport and entertainment.

Listen to America: Violent to the Bone or read it at your leisure.

Question: In your personal alternate reality--one where Barack Obama is a man with cojones, heart, and true grit--what do you wish the President had said in the State of the Union address tonight?

Second question: Does President Obama understand that if you continually stand in the center of the road you are going to inevitably get hit?

America Violent to the Bone

The gruesome murders in Tucson, have prompted a huge chorus of establishment voices to call for a ratcheting down of political rhetoric, lest the more mentally unbalanced among us become unhinged, as is thought to have been the case with the Arizona shooter. At times like these, it is considered unseemly to put such tragedies into a larger context of American violence – a bit like going to a funeral and mentioning that lots of people died on the same day as the dearly departed – which would be a crude and boorish thing to do. The problem is, many of the mourners in this virtual national funeral procession have already brought their own agendas to the sad occasion. The rich and powerful believe it is their privilege to preach over the bodies, in order to properly spin the victims into the hereafter. And that means that the rest of us must also treat the sad occasion as a political event. And so, I will.

Lots of people do die from the violence that America’s political system engenders, tens of thousands every year here at home, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, around the world. The U.S. is uniquely violent among the rich nations of the planet, and that is because of its fundamental political history and social and economic arrangements. American class and racial structures are not only the fruits of great historical crimes of horrific violence, they also require unending applications of violence in order to sustain the prevailing social and economic order.

Therefore, when those who have grown rich from organized violence, who are the same people who have made America, in Dr. Martin Luther King's words, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, today,” start talking about ratcheting down the rhetoric so as not to encourage violence, it is time for us to do the opposite. We must become fixated on violence, hyper-conscious of the violence that is inflicted on our own communities and on peoples and nations around the planet, by the people who benefit from what Dr. King called the triple evils: racism, militarism, and materialism. Put in other terms, that's white supremacy, U.S. imperialism, and rule of the rich.

Those who profit from the existence of the triple evils are the fountainheads of the great violence that afflicts our nation and world. It is no wonder that the most racist political organizations, like the Tea Party, are also the greatest fomenters of domestic violence. They are political heirs to the slave master, who could not have existed without daily application of the most extreme violence to the slave. The militaristic and imperial American state fosters a mass culture of violence that saturates the society at large, inculcating disrespect for human life in general and absolute contempt for the lives of non-Europeans the world over. And the values of the rich – most especially the Wall Streeters that exercise complete hegemony over the machinery of government and the communications apparatus – are those of the mass killer, because the rich few can only remain in power by being prepared to murder the many who have nothing.

So, by all means, let's examine violence in – and from – America. And then let's ratchet up the intensity of struggle against the real culprits who profit from a culture of violence.

9 comments:

Thrasher said...

Awesome..CD for President..VIVA CD

Oh Crap said...

Glen Ford lost me many moons ago, when he started running to The Mullah Channel/presstv.ir with Cynthia McKinney. He's still doing it http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/162145.html.

Newsflash, Glen: the mullahs who run presstv.ir are no friends of American leftier-than-thou left. They don't seem to like much of anyone. So one might wonder just WHY they will print any old screed claiming to be critical.

chaunceydevega said...

Well color me learning something new.

I didn't know that Glen Ford took that turn. I remember listening to him in middle school (and watching Tony Brown's journal) and saying to myself, "now this is pretty cool."

Oh Crap said...

I believe the crankodoodle turn is part of the break with Black Commentator but don't quote me on that...it's just an observation from reading both over the years.

BAR routinely allows some true crankage in their comments, infowars, rense links etc., without any challenge. It's kind of sad - these days he seems to be playing black best friend to the Firedoglake/anybody-but-obama crowd. I hope that's not the case or that he just doesn't notice it. But yeah it's a disappointment.

Thrasher said...

Oh Crap,

You are pretty harsh on Ford..What drives this emotion? Envy? Ideology?

Thrasher said...

Oh Crap,

By way of disclosure decades ago I made a submission to BC and Glenn wrote back it was not worthy of publication..At first I cringed and was pissed later I revisited my submission it was a piece of shit..Glenn was harsh with me but he was right on the $$$$$..Just sayin

Oh Crap said...

Thrasher, instead of defending Ford from what you percieve to be jealousy or envy, why not address what was written?

Am I not permitted to state an opinion on his finding a voice on state-run television in a religious theocracy, or the way they run comments sections on BAR? I'm just a random person on the internet. He's Glen Ford, I'm sure he'll find a way to cope.

Thrasher said...

Oh crap,

I am not defending Ford I am seeking information from YOU about your postures towards him...Your defensive post to me suggests I am on target.

No one has stopped or prevented you a mere random person on the internet from posting an opinion.

For the record I found his comments very cogent and right on the money regarding Obama and the speech..I did not care where the commentary was published nor the history of Glenn's movement and relationship with BC..

Content rules me on the internet.

Oh Crap said...

@Thrasher I am not defending Ford I am seeking information from YOU about your postures towards him...Your defensive post to me suggests I am on target.


You're imagining things, again. Happens frequently with ideologues and fundamentalists. I already stated my reasons to take Glenn with a grain of salt, try my second post in this thread. I'm not restating it.