Glen Ford on Obama and MLK

Glen Ford is the executive editor of Black Agenda Report. This article hits on a number of points I’ve had swirling about in my head the past several days, which I hope to be able to collect coherently and post soon.

Yes, the article is from Al-Jazeera’s English site. If people can get over that fact and realize that Al-Jazeera is not a “terrorist news channel” (I have actually heard people call it that), they’ll find the quality of commentary and fact-gathering is consistently top-notch and often provides perspective we are SORELY lacking in our American media vacuum.


When the New York Times describes the emerging Obama administration as “centre-right,” there is not much for an honest progressive to defend – and most African-Americans are progressive on economic issues and questions of war and peace.

Beyond a ritual counting of the president-elect’s African-American appointees, most African-Americans seem oblivious to the political nature of his cabinet, his policy pronouncements and shameful silences.

More likely, they pretend to be oblivious so as not to lose that once-in-a-lifetime feeling that happened when a black man won.

It is not simply that the Obama-ites failed to muster a defence in Harlem or Baltimore or other venues; admittedly, it is difficult to defend the indefensible.

What is most shocking – maddening – is their rejection of any political or moral standard for evaluating the black soon-to-be president.

All that remains is the fact of Obama’s power and the delusion that blacks somehow share in that power.

Ford goes on to say that Obama actually compares more to Lyndon Johnson than to Dr. King, if you must compare him to a political figure from the 1960’s. King realized that a movement for equality and economic uplift of those who are underprivileged cannot co-exist with war, a view most decidedly not shared by Obama.

Full text of the article


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