Let’s Make THIS Woman President!!!

Ms. Grace Lee Boggs By Way of P6…

Is Obama Black enough ?
By Grace Lee Boggs
Special to The Michigan Citizen

This is a good question because it challenges us to stop glossing over the huge changes that have taken place, both positively and negatively, in Black leadership over the last 50 years.

In the 50s and 60s we may not have called it “Black leadership” but there was no doubt what we had in mind. We were talking about “the movement.” Southern Blacks, rising out of obscurity, determined to rid their communities and this country of Jim Crow, risking their lives by sitting in front seats on buses, sitting down at lunch counters, registering to vote. Small groups of deeply-committed and highly-disciplined individuals engaging in non-violent actions that forced millions of white Americans to look at themselves and recognize the crimes that have made possible the rapid economic development of this country. SNCC students transforming themselves and humanizing this country by simple acts that raised the fundamental question of what it means to be a human being, thereby inspiring women, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans to challenge patriarchy and racism.

In the North men like Malcolm challenged us to look into the mirror by transforming themselves from hustlers into community leaders and searching for new ideas when those which had initially inspired their transformation tuned out to be too narrow. Students inspired us by walking out of schools demanding Black history and Black administrators.

Between 1965 (the year Malcolm was killed) and 1968 (the year Martin was gunned down) B lack leadership was taken to a new level by King. Agonizing over the twin crises of the Vietnam war and the urban rebellions, he called for a radical revolution in values, not only against racism but against materialism and militarism. Warning against integration into the “burning house” of U.S. capitalism, he emphasized the need for two-sided transformation by and of Americans, both of ourselves AND our institutions, a transformation that would take us and the world beyond both traditional capitalism and communism.

King was killed before he could put this new revolutionary/evolutionary transformational vision of revolution into practice and make it widely known to the world.

After his death civil rights leaders, ignoring King’s warning, seized upon the opportunities that had been opened up by “the movement” to enter the “burning house” of U. S. capitalism. Instead of calling upon the American people to confront our consumerism and militarism, instead of challenging corporate globalism, these opportunists became a part of the system, evaluating B lack progress by how much they and other Blacks were catching up with whites.

In 1977, with the support of the civil rights establishment, Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first Black mayor, used scabs to break the garbage workers strike. In the late 70s civil rights leaders turned Blacks into a special interest group inside the Democratic Party, just as the Democrats were becoming indistinguishable from Republicans in their dependence on corporations for campaign funds

As a result, the word “black” has lost all its movement meaning. So Bill Clinton, the man who sponsored NAFTA, who got rid of Aid to Dependent Children, who bombed Iraq, and who now suggests that Hillary’s first act as president would be to send him and George W’s father around the world, can be called this country’s “first black president”!

Meanwhile capitalism has morphed into corporate globalization, the materialism of the American people has skyrocketed, inequality is mushrooming inside the United States and between the global north and the global south, violence continues to escalate both at home and abroad, and the planetary crisis is reaching the point of no return.

Had it not been for the movements of the 50s and 60s, Obama and Hillary would not be front runners in the presidential race today.

But neither Obama’s ethnicity or Hillary’s gender is enough to earn my support. Neither is calling on the American people to confront our materialism and militarism or challenging and proposing alternatives to corporate globalization. At this critical period in human history that is what we should be requiring of ourselves and of any presidential candidate, whatever their race, gender or religion.

Fortunately new leadership is emerging out of obscurity, at the grassroots level, building community instead of running for office.

Now if SHE was running for President, I’d be first in line!

10 Responses to “Let’s Make THIS Woman President!!!”

  1. […] Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture | Your Home for Traditional Conservatism put an intriguing blog post on Letâs Make THIS Woman President!!!Here’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. […] Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture | Your Home for Traditional Conservatism put an intriguing blog post on Letâs Make THIS Woman President!!!Here’s a quick excerpt […]

  3. […] Let’s Make THIS Woman President!!! Between 1965 (the year Malcolm was killed) and 1968 (the year Martin was gunned down) B lack leadership was taken to a new level by King. Agonizing over the twin crises of the Vietnam war and the urban rebellions, he called for a … […]

  4. […] Lee Boggs on the Presidential Candidates From The Michigan Citizen, via thefreeslave. Is Obama Black enough? By Grace Lee Boggs Special to The Michigan […]

  5. thefreeslave, you many have something here.

    Here is a link to a uTube video that is 8 minutes:

    Or a 25 minute video at:

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06152007/watch3.html

  6. […] 6, Kai, and Maxjullian have already posted this, but it so wonderfully expresses the thoughts I’ve been having about […]

  7. Man, you’d have to shove me outta the way for that first spot in line!

  8. Kevin,

    I don’t believe in violence so I’d gladly take the number two spot. I’m interested to know your feelings on the Obama drama. Do tell!!!

  9. Ahh, you know I woudn’t get get violent or anything–more like extreme enthusiasm. 🙂

    But on a serious note, what is bothering me the most right now is that those out there criticizing Obama as a proponent of “change” (most notably Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon at the Black Agenda Report) are now fielding off accusations of “playa hating” and “holding Obama to a higher standard,” when, as far as I can tell, they are holding Obama to the exact same standards as any other candidate. Let’s face it: “change,” “hope,” those are nothing but abstract buzzwords and they mean nothing without proper context. Obama, as I see it, is not running on a platform of change. It’s business as usual.

    Now, I admit, I really, really want to support Obama, but as it stands, he’s not saying much to me. He comes off as the same ol’ same ol’ with a black face. And when I think of it that way, then I start to realize that I *do* hold Obama to a higher standard. I hold him to the standards set by Malcolm and Martin. When the powers-that-be told Martin what was “viable,” he responded with “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” That’s what I’m talking about.

    However, like I responded to Eddie Griffin when he asked me who is going to advocate change to my satisfaction? Well, I’m probably too idealistic for *any* mainstream or viable candidate to advocate for change to my satisfaction. This is why I’m re-focusing all of my energy on grassroots, local activism. I believe it is time for us to take a bottom-up approach and leave the top-down approach behind.

  10. Obama wants to give Colllege Students $4,000 in Tuition BUT in RETURN they MUST do Community Service….

    THAT is CHANGE!!

    Great idea, huh? Teach our children to GIVE back to their Country from which they receive. Helps the Community, builds Self-Esteem in the Children (NOTHING feels better, and makes us feel better about OURSELVES than to help others) AND would lower Unemployment because Students need of Work Hours would lessen…THAT is OBAMA…!!!

    Don’t fall into the fear…Friends, open your eyes and see the LIGHT!!

    Couple of Kennedy Connections…

    John F. Kennedy airlifted Barack Obama Sr. to the U.S., with a group of other Kenyan Students, in 1960. Barrack Sr. then met Ann, Jr.’s Mamma, and Jr. was born in 1961!!

    Obamas desk at the Senate was Bobby Kennedys

    Ted Sorenson, Kennedy Aide for 11 years, has been interviewed amazed at the simalarities between JFK and Obama…

    HISTORY is being made, are you going to HELP it or STOP it?

    Your choice. Your vote. Burt remember how ya got it.

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