Sunday, February 03, 2008

Obama and Indians

News24 reports that Barack Obama says that the US has "a special obligation to help American-Indians."

Obama said "There is no doubt that we have a special obligation to try to work with the tribal leadership and Native American communities to solve some of these problems."

What problems is he talking about?

Is this pundit of professed 'change' going to take a leap into reality and address the genocide that characterizes Indian life in his beloved America?

Ummmm … no!

Obama may be delusional about his chances to become president in November, but his beige politics is not delusional about what white America wants to know and care about Indians.

So, rather than break with the historically racist establishment thinking, Obama is decidedly very much inside of the mindset that Indians are pathological because they are self-destructive and, therefore, at risk.

To 'help' Indians change their lives he proposes more schools and substance abuse programs. These two, of course, go together.

School the Natives in the processes of civilization and, also, address their well known genetic weakness.

How unique huh?

And, does this not sound eerily like the racist drivel the former prime minister of occupied Australia, John Howard, spewed right before he invaded Aboriginal land in the Northern territories?

Obama also promises to have a yearly summit with the Indians. A kind of latter day pow wow where the white man is beige and the Indians are summoned to talk.

Obama promised:
"As president of the US, I'm not just going to have a Bureau of Indian Affairs that is off on the sidelines somewhere. I'm going to have an annual summit with Native American leaders, tribal leaders. They're going to meet directly with me."

I wonder if he will seek to smoke a peace pipe with these leaders.

Or, at the very least, will this representative of modern day liberal racism keep a statue of a Cigar Store Indian in the White House as a sign of 'respect'?

Obama 'reached' out to Indians while stumping in Albuquerque a couple of days ago. His main purpose was to garner votes obviously.


Will folks of color be fooled by this duplicitous stumping?

Ummmm … yeah.

This establishment lackey seems to be fooling quite a few people of color with his white approved politics.

But I do not expect that most Indians think that a 'post-race' beige president in the White House will bring real change.

Onward!

15 comments:

Shus li said...

Hi Rid,

Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.

It doesn't matter the race or gender or hue of the next US prez. What matters is that it takes extensive backing from entities interested in maintaining the current status quo in order for ANYONE to become prez. That means that whoever is elected is already bought and sold to not rock the capitalist/classist/empirical boat.

Historically, we have only to look at Clinton's deliberation on liberating one Native American political prisoner in this country: Leonard Peltier. In the end, Clinton received pressure from some entities connected to his future government-sponsored bodyguards. Even though Clinton might have wanted to pardon Peltier, he caved in to the threats against his well-being. I'm sure the same will continue.

Blessings to you,

Shusli

Shus li said...

Hi Again,

Obama did at least advocate for swift passage of S.1200, a bill for Indian Health Care Improvment, and in fact is an original cosponsor of that legislation.

“For more than fourteen years, Congress has failed to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and comprehensively modernize Native American health care services. This is unfair and unacceptable. Here is his statement:

“Today’s Native Americans are disproportionately suffering from debilitating illnesses, like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The infant mortality rate is 150 percent higher for Native American infants than white infants, and the suicide rate for Native Americans is two and a half times the national rate. With these alarming statistics, improvements to Native American health care could not come at a more urgent time.

It is our country's moral imperative to address the significant health care disparities between the Native American population and the American population as a whole. We must ensure our tribal health care programs on reservations and in urban centers are adequately prepared to provide preventative health care as well as treatment for substance and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and mental health issues. Native Americans deserve the same high quality health care professionals that care for families throughout the country."

“I commend Senator Dorgan and the Indian Affairs Committee for their leadership on this legislation, and I strongly urge its swift passage in the Senate.”

Ridwan said...

Hello Shush li.

Thank you for your valuable comments here sista. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

The more I listen to candidate change the more he sounds like Bush and Clinton.

I don't expect that he can be anything more than a liberal and establishment player on the issues that face Indians inside the empire.

Much of what he is advocating is the kind of liberal patching that hardly addresses the rot in the center.

He has too much to lose to be anything more than sympathetic to the plight of Indians.

Anything more would mean he questions the legitimacy of the US.

Be well cousin.

Peace and struggle,
Ridwan

Dione said...

I am not an Obama supporter; but I don’t hate him either. The only candidate that I hate strongly out of many losers is Mitt Romney.
I suspect Mitt Romney will drop out of the race by this summer so that he can focus his time on abusing more animals and throwing away more millions of his dollars.
His proper running mate should have been Michael Vic.

As for Obama, there is no way he is going to be president. He isn’t ready, and it really shows. His tactics for trying to appeal to all races is understandable, but not respectable in any terms.

Despite what many of us may feel for Hillary, I don’t see her campaigning based upon gender, which is good if she can’t relate to the average woman.

The only solutions I see to any Native American issue is for the US government to stop disrespecting indigenous people, give back more land, and to essentially leave alone those who want to live traditional lives. The US shouldn’t be inflicting themselves upon other countries, and should follow suit to other ways of life within our boarders. We are not America if we don’t recognize people’s rights to their own life.

nunya said...

Obama should have mentioned this case:
http://www.indiantrust.com/

You know he knows about it, sheesh.

Muzi said...

Hey Ridwan thanks for opening my eyes great post, American politics will never change. ever since I followed them I always look at their foreign policy that never changes even though it got worse during Bush admin. Nothing new can be expected, Shus li said it all

Ridwan said...

Hello Dione!

Thanks for your comment. I share your feelings about Romney and you know what I think about Obama/Clinton.

The world is watching closely but we are hardly holding our breath.

Peace to you,
Ridwan

Ridwan said...

Hely Nunya. Thanks for that link! I was not aware of the case and I am reading it feverishly.

Obama is a slick-mouth confidence trickster. He says just enough to make him seem on the topic.

Just ask old Ralph Nader.

And if you do talk to Nader please tell him not to run :0)

Be well now.

Ridwan

Ridwan said...

Hey there Muzi you are absolutely right.

Obama said he would invade Pakistan without their consent!

He did not vote for the war because he was not in the Senate when that decision came up.

But he did say that he did not differ much from Bush on the issue.

And he voted to refinance the war and to renew the Patriot Act.

Also, he voted to renew Condi Rice's position.

He did all this and now claims to be against the war!

He also thinks that Reagan was a president of distinction.

Reagan is the president who oversaw the war in Nicaragua and then the Iran-Contra affair.

Closer to us, Reagan supported Renamo in Mozambique and Savimbi in Angola.

He also vetoed legislation to bring sanctions against South Africa.

Remember "Constructive Engagement"?

Obama is a joke. His depth on these issues astound me.

But then again, the very act of knowing politics and history beyond propaganda is a very unAmerican act.

I trust you are well broer!

Peace,
Ridwan

Dade said...

Hi, Ridwan and all.

Well, say what you will about Obama, but I'll say this: he's better than any of the alternatives. I'm with Dione on this.

Ridwan, my friend, your points about pandering and paying lip service are legitimate. But, at this point, maybe all we can hope for is a President who lies the "right way."

Mark Morford put it quite well in this article, which I encourage you all to read:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/01/30/notes013008.DTL

In my mind, it's either vote for Obama and hope for the best, or just say f**k it and give up altogether. Not quite ready to do the latter. (And, if I end up having to vote for Hillary, well, I'll do that, too. What the hell, it won't be the first time I've had to degrade myself, eh?)

Best to all!

Ridwan said...

Hello Dade:

Thanks for your comment brother. I hear what you are saying and I expect that many folks will find reason to believe the same tomorrow and then again in November.

I am, however, more convinced that there is revolutionary principle in withdrawing my consent from being represented by the likes of Obama or Clinton.

And I say this with respect to your view of the matter.

These are difficult times.

Difficult for the prospects of real democracy and not the corporate version.

I trust you are well as the week gets off to a start.

Peace to you,
Ridwan

Eugene said...

I try to look at it like this.

What will happen to the Indians with which ever candidate gets elected?

Pretty much, same old shit. There will still be forced poverty. Sell out councils will sell out Native resources for their own gain and usually to the lowest bidder.

As far as Obama goes, I really just don't give a shit. Mind you, I believe he is electable, but I don't see things changing for the better no matter who wins or steals the election.

Having heard some more in depth on McCain's personality, and seeing that he is the front runner in the Republican party, I think it is safe to say that more people will be killed worldwide than Bush has. He'd be an amped up continuation of the Bush agenda.

Things just aren't looking good over here.

However, since many Indians are already at the bottom of most things over here, we all don't have as far to fall as most folks. That's a fucking sad thing to say, but basically true.

On a brighter note, Indians have a way of sticking together family wise. We have a built in community. Many still are inclusive and Loving of others. We have a damned good chance of surviving all this shit since we survived over 500 years of one of the worst genocides the world keeps covering up.

Dione said...

Happy Super Tuesday.

While I may not be voting for Obama, I do agree with Dade on his notion that we must opt for the candidate that will lie correctly.

Both Hillary and Obama are targets for assassination if they should hold office. I hope there is a plan to jack up security, and especially for their travels overseas.

The popular vote in my mind holds very little weight compared to what it should in terms of its effect on the total outcome of the election.

I believe that Hillary Clinton will be our next president. Despite her being a woman, the system is set up to accept her, even with all the old conservatives in office.

My other predictions are:

Animal Abuser Mitt Romney will back out around this summer, although he is planning on spending ten million dollars of his own money to campaign in California.

Mike Huckabee will be a wild card if he can afford to stay in the race

Tom McCain the unpredictable liberal will be the Ralph Nader of this election

Anyone notice that McCain’s voice sounds like Ronald Regan.
Turn your back to him while he is on TV, it’s very scary and not in a good way.

Our options are what they are, lets hope for the best.

Dione

Ridwan said...

Hey there Eugene. I cracked up today when I saw McCain wank on about hunting Osama right up to the gates of hell.

It is interesting that many pundits think that McCain can't win.

I think he stands a good chance. The fact that is was a critic of Bush helps no doubt.

But I am with you all the way. It does not matter who the hell sits in DC, the system is the problem.

Be well brother!

Ridwan

nunya said...

Ralph who?

:)