Day-O : cut him some slack?

There was a great deal of controversy over jazz and swing music in Nazi Germany, with a public antipathy towards it, yet for the higher ups the debate was more nuanced. To even conceive of Goebbels as a jazz afficionnado is fantastic nonsense,the absurd.He was a terrible Nazi, but a person of some culture who played piano and was opposed to populist strains. The thing is, Goebbels comprehended the semantics of jazz, understanding the nature of a very ambiguous resonance that encapsulated freedom, but also servitude, slavery, destitution and death, which his colleagues could not perceive, instead swallowing the line that jazz remains the quintessential music of resistance and rebellion. As MLK day passes another year, the dichotomy in Jazz and the position of African Americans within the context of a white dominated society is pause to reflect; on our own risks of fascism, and the role of black culture and people within it…

Fassbinder. Marriage of Maria Braun. Read More:

The dilemma of black politics usually centers around  reforming the system or running it. But running it as a manager, a CEO lie Obama means being responsible to a board of directors who really hold the power. CEO’s change. The board is not elected democratically. Obam sprayed washy platitudes, sweet rhetoric about ending  empire and elitism, while hedging the bet with the option of running the empire which in some vague, non-defined way would permit African Americans to become part of the elite. This is not really the MLK line and the question as to what  will people sacrifice for the latter, is also unclear. All in all, many of those who bought into Obama based on almost messianic MLK have been left with the jilted lover syndrome. For some reason they are always the last to know when fiscal and physical stimulus is applied elsewhere.

---This may be historically inaccurate, but you gotta admit it's an awesome concept. So consider Victory or Death, a re-creation of the familiar 1851 Emanuel Leutze painting depicting Washington's crossing of the Delaware. In which our founding father is replaced by RZA—leader of hip-hop's Wu-Tang Clan.--- Read More:

Noam Chomsky, March 2011: Obama is a man of absolutely no principles. He has two constituencies. One of them is the popular constituency, the people who voted for him. For them he is doing essentially nothing. He has another constituency: the people who financed his campaign, the financial institutions. And they are getting rewarded. Obama came in the middle of the financial crisis so the first issue was what to do with the economic crisis? Well, he put together an economic team to deal with it but take a look at them. The business press went through the appointments and pointed out that these people should be getting subpoenas and should not be fixing the economy. They are the people who wrecked it. …Read More:

---Relations between the King estate and Belafonte have been strained since 2006. The singer had been invited to deliver a eulogy at Scott King's funeral but the invitation was subsequently withdrawn. The King estate was criticised in 2006 for putting 10,000 items from its collection up for sale at Sotheby's. The sale was cancelled after the city of Atlanta secured a $32m loan to set up a non-profit organisation to buy the papers. They are currently stored at King's former college in the city.--- Read More:

Obama’s reelection message is a familiar and simple one: “Who else you going to vote for?” There seems to be no viable third party candidate on the horizon, as if that would matter to black voters. And we are constantly warned that if folks consider staying home, the consequence will be a Republican in the White House and more tea party candidates winning seats from the local to the national level. So Obama’s message boils down to, “Vote for me, it could be worse.”

There is a popular myth which explains President Barack Obama’s reluctance to stand up to Pentagon militarists, Wall Street banksters and corporate greedheads. This myth excuses the president for ignoring massive black unemployment and not providing his promised path to citizenship for the undocumented, for not using presidential authority to halt the foreclosure epidemic, or curbing the hyper-incarceration of black and brown youth. The myth of course, is that President Barack Obama really does want to do all these things and more, but if they haven’t happened it’s because we the people have abandoned our responsibility to somehow “make him do it.”

---Princeton University professor Cornel West, who campaigned for Obama in 2008, kicked off a mini-firestorm and personal attacks against him when he called Obama “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.” “It’s amazing that so many African Americans are cutting Obama so much slack.” West was accused of “name-calling” and having a personal beef against Obama. Insults and names were hurled his way. Steve Harvey, actor-comedian and morning radio host called him and PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley, “Uncle Toms,” “monkey” and “poverty pimps” when the two announced their early summer “Poverty Tour.” Joyner and Harvey ignored the fact that that they would have to look extremely hard to find any statement that Obama has ever made using the words “poverty” or “poor” in policy speeches.--- Read More: Image:

The myth stems from the apocryphal story of a meeting between African American labor leader A. Philip Randolph and President Franklin Roosevelt back in the 1940s. Randolph laid out black America’s list of demands for economic and social justice. In response, Roosevelt said he wanted to do all of it, but that Randolph and the movement of that time would still have to “make him” do these things….

---“I’ve said to you on many occasions that each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality. We’re split up and divided against ourselves. And

re is something of a civil war going on within all of our lives. There is a recalcitrant South of our soul revolting against the North of our soul.” — Martin Luther King, “Loving Your Enemies,” November 17, 1957--- image:

…Applied to the Obama presidency however, “make me do it” is a popular myth. It’s popular because the president and his lackeys repeat it endlessly. It’s a myth because it’s not true. Longtime activist Harry Belafonte, who played a key role in the Freedom Movement of the fifties and sixties, exploded the myth in a Democracy Now interview broadcast on May 16.

Belafonte was asked by host Amy Goodman whether he’d used his occasional access to directly share his many critical and valuable public policy insights with the White House. Belafonte replied that his only access to the president has been for a few seconds at a time, not long enough for any substantive discussion. But, he said, at one such event President Obama approached him to inquire when Belafonte and Cornel West were going “to cut me some slack.”…

---Did the first hint that police forces across the country might not be reliable in protecting the interests of bankers and Wall Street send a shiver down the spine of the powers that be? Supported by the mass grassroots networks of OWS, Bank Transfer Day saw 650,000 people closing their accounts at big banks and tranferring their money to local banks and credit unions. We don't know the reasoning behind the present attempted power grab over citizens' rights with NDAA, but the timing of putting the US military tool in the repression toolbox and burying Posse Comitatus seems suspicious. OWS seems not to have missed the affront to American rights, and has taken the fight over NDAA to the White House. In largely unreported actions, dozens of OWS protesters have been arrested within view of the Oval Office.--- Read More: image:

…“What makes you think we haven’t?” Belafonte replied to the president? At this point the brief encounter was over.Read More:;wap2


Perhaps there was never much of a struggle in Obama’s heart. Perhaps West only provided a moral veneer. Perhaps the dark heart of Emanuel was always the dark heart of Obama. Only Obama knows. But we know how the play ends. West is banished like honest Kent in “King Lear.” Emanuel and immoral mediocrities from Lawrence Summers to Timothy Geithner to Robert Gates—think of Goneril and Regan in the Shakespearean tragedy—take power. We lose. And Obama becomes an obedient servant of the corporate elite in exchange for the hollow trappings of authority.

No one grasps this tragic descent better than West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, believed in the potential for change and was encouraged by the populist rhetoric of the Obama campaign. He now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.” (emphasis mine) Read More:

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