His commentary on race and racism in the US made me wonder if he really understands what racism is. And here I mean the structural context that sets racism apart from racial discrimination.
I am convinced that he does not. In fact, he cannot see that Zionism, which he supports, is a system of racism that privileges, and often brutally so, the rights of Jews over Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories.
Of course, Obama must also know that supporting Palestinian rights over Israel's racist interests will make him absolutely un-electable in the US.
Joe Mowry has written a short analysis of Obama's compromised anti-racist posturing and his troubling support of Israel and its institutionalized racism toward Palestinians.
Mowry points out that even those who see Obama's racial faultlines (see Tim Wise for example) still support him even though he offers nothing different than Bush on the oppression of Palestinians and Israel's bullying role in the middle east.
"(T)he most “audacious” hypocrisy in the entire speech is the implication that the conflicts in the Middle East emanate from “the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical islam.” Of course, European and Western colonialism and imperialism have no bearing on the discussion and our stalwart ally, Israel, has nothing to do with the situation. Radical islam just popped up out of the fertile sands of the cradle of civilization with no provocation or rational historical context.
Praising Israel in a speech about racism is like praising the history of White South Africa in a speech about civil rights. Has the fact that Israel is a Zionist state completely escaped the minds of all the Obamakins?
For a brief update: Zionism is the political ideology which promotes the exclusivity of Jews in Israel over any other racial, religious or ethnic group. Zionism, by definition, is racism. Israel, with the full support and funding of the United States, flagrantly violates international law and engages in the systematic ethnic cleansing and oppression of the Palestinian people as well as in the establishment of an apartheid system, not just in the West Bank and Gaza, but in Israel proper. The illegal colonization of Palestinian lands is an international crime and a model of institutionalized racism which is without equal any where in the world in that it is so widely ignored and even encouraged by the majority of so-called civilized nations. More importantly, what is largely forgotten in the little discussion there is of illegal settlement activities being practiced by Israel, is that the settlements themselves are racially exclusive. Jews only need apply. Palestinians aren’t even allowed to drive on the same roads as the Israelis in the Palestinians’ own territory. I wonder how Mr. Obama would respond if Canada decided to build huge whites-only cities in U.S. territory. I wonder if he would be willing to refrain from driving on a series of Canadians-only roads connecting those illegal colonies. It would only be a security precaution, after all, and Canada is such a stalwart ally or ours.
So-called liberals should examine their consciences before they bow down at the alter of Obamakinism. He has a lot of wonderful, albeit vapid things to say on the subject of race. Indeed, he has a unique platform and perspective from which to address this and other issues. Unfortunately, he is too busy selling out to the Israel lobby and a vast array of corporate interests to actually rise to the occasion in any substantive fashion.
On the surface Barak Obama may constitute one of the more palatable lesser of two evils we have been offered in quite some time. But he is still only the lesser of two evils. He offers us nothing more than a continuation of the United States’ corporate militarism and imperialist policies as well as the unquestioning support of a racist regime in Israel. For the last 60 years (at least) we have “lesser-of-two-evilled” ourselves into the position we are currently in on this planet. If we want actual “change” in our country and the world, we must move toward a true social revolution and not accept more of the same sound-bite political rhetoric. No matter what color the candidate may be on the outside, and no matter how inspiring his speeches and slogans may be, it is an honest examination of what is in his head, his heart and his bank account (and who put it there) that matters."
Unfortunately the liberals won't listen. They never do.
For this reason it is folly to build hopes for revolutionary change on the myopic goodwill of liberals.