Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama Archives: Invterview From 1995

Stanely Kurtz points out a 1995 interview with Obama is quite revealing: What Makes Obama Run?

The interview was conducted at the beginning of his run for Illinois State Senate.

Quotes and comments...

Obama thinks elected officials could do much to overcome the political paralysis of the nation's black communities. He thinks they could lead their communities out of twin culs-de-sac: the unrealistic politics of integrationist assimilation--which helps a few upwardly mobile blacks to "move up, get rich, and move out"

This is a stunning revelation. Obama thinks that African-Americans aren't already assimilated? And that they ought not be assimilated into American society and culture? Is this his version of "separate but equal"?

What ever happened to "E Pluribus Unum" - From many, one. As in one nation and culture out of many.

The article then references Obama's first book, "Dreams From My Father"...

He quickly learned that integration was a one-way street, with blacks expected to assimilate into a white world that never gave ground. He participated in bitter bull sessions with his buddies on the theme of "how white folks will do you."

Then on to his political idealogy...

"The right wing talks about this but they keep appealing to that old individualistic bootstrap myth: get a job, get rich, and get out. Instead of investing in our neighborhoods, that's what has always happened. Our goal must be to help people get a sense of building something larger.

In Obama's words, you'll see many references to "collective action" and "creating productive communities". He never once mentions the disintegration of the home. Was it just by chance that the African-American home began to unravel when the American government offered them money to split up the home?

And look what he calls a myth: "get a job, get rich, and get out." Is Obama advocating the opposite of that? Don't get a job? Don't get rich? Don't get out of the ghetto? How else is one to do it? Wait until a messianic figure comes along to "rebuild" their community? Over and over again, the mantra of this kind of ideology ignores the role of human accountability and responsibility, and demands that "collective" action be taken, and that we all "come together".

"The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it's always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.

"Now we have to take this same language--these same values that are encouraged within our families--of looking out for one another, of sharing, of sacrificing for each other--and apply them to a larger society. Let's talk about creating a society, not just individual families, based on these values. Right now we have a society that talks about the irresponsibility of teens getting pregnant, not the irresponsibility of a society that fails to educate them to aspire for more."

It's interesting that Obama admits, "it's always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia." You mean, for instance, the intolerance Jeremiah Wright, and the crowds that he commands? Or the narrow-mindedness of Black Liberation Theology? Or the false nostalgia of hijacking the civil rights movement for your own cynical purposes?

And again with the above statement we see Obama saying directly that the focus should not be on the family but on the "larger society". There's no powerful, controlling government apparatus necessary when families are left in charge of their own morality. And that means no redistribution of wealth, and all the power that brings with it for those who control the money.

And here's what Obama says about raising money from "the wealthy"...

I admit that in this transitional period, before I'm known in the district, I'm going to have to rely on some contributions from wealthy people--people who like my ideas but who won't attach strings. This is not ideal, but it is a problem encountered by everyone in their first campaign.

Yep, their first campaign. And every campaign after that, ad infinitum.

Obama took time off from attending campaign coffees to attend October's Million Man March in Washington, D.C. His experiences there only reinforced his reasons for jumping into politics.
"What I saw was a powerful demonstration of an impulse and need for African-American men to come together to recognize each other and affirm our rightful place in the society," he said.

Clear support for Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March. Now, maybe I don't have my history right, but I believe the Million Man March occurred in 1995. Not 1795 or 1895. So what does he mean by "affirm our rightful place in the society"? The implication is that there is still systemic racism that elevates whites over blacks.

"This doesn't suggest that the need to look inward emphasized by the march isn't important, and that these African-American tribal affinities aren't legitimate. These are mean, cruel times, exemplified by a 'lock 'em up, take no prisoners' mentality that dominates the Republican-led Congress. Historically, African-Americans have turned inward and towards black nationalism whenever they have a sense, as we do now, that the mainstream has rebuffed us, and that white Americans couldn't care less about the profound problems African-Americans are facing."

Again, one has to invert these statements to see if they fail the racism test. Would it be controversial if John McCain had said:

"These white European tribal affinities are legitimate. The black caucus just wants to lock up white people behind bars. This leads to white supremacy militias because we the whites have a sense that black Americans couldn't care less about the profound problems that white Americans are facing."

So the only time Obama cares to place importance on the morality of the individual is to place blame on white Americans, because they don't care enough and that by implication they are racist. Those white people are apparently the only individuals involved in this whole matter. Everyone else is just part of a larger "community".

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