Saturday, October 30, 2010

Grassroots Education, Organization, and Mobilization Is What is Needed Now--Not Mindless Messianism


Very well expressed and truthful statement that goes to the very heart and soul of what we as citizens MUST remember to do at all times no matter what the President does or doesn't do--now or in the future...


He's a Man, not a Messiah: Barack Obama and the Dangers of Political & Cultural Messianism

by V.C. Mitchell, Jr.
("The Negro Intellectual")

...We can cry out all we want about what is not happening…we can have marches, we can have satirical and cynical marches (Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive), but at some point there must be some collective, organized action. The same type of action that compelled Jo Ann Robinson to run off thousands and thousands of copies on mimeograph machine for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The same kind of action that it took to get Obama elected must be used to hold him accountable to the things he said on the campaign trail.

Being politically melancholy is what the conservatives, neo cons, ‘birthers’, Tea Party and every other type of sane (and insane) entity that stands against Obama wants from us. I’m not saying to support him blindly, that is foolish in any situation, but to just give up, to just sour yourselves and those around you is lazy and irresponsible, just like the journalistic efforts at Fox News.

We need to think about the bigger picture here. Obama will be in office for one term or two and we need to make the most of it no matter what it is because the alternative that is building among the conservative opposition will be a leviathan like you have never seen. If elected November 2 or in 2012, the GOP will implement policy that would make Ronald Reagan tremble. Even if Hilary Clinton ran in 2012 or 2016, she will not be able to turn the tide of hate, fear mongering, greed, and insanity that has gripped certain aspects of this nation.

I agree with Howard Zinn when he maintained:

“Where progress has been made, wherever any kind of injustice has been overturned, it’s been because people acted as citizens, and not as politicians. They didn’t just moan. They worked, they acted, they organized, they rioted if necessary to bring their situation to the attention of people in power. And that’s what we have to do today.”

America, we must eat manna before we can have steak. We must continue to work, for there is no final victory in democracy, but sustained entrenched struggle. Can you be frustrated with Obama and his administration? Of course you can. However, take that anger to inform your family, speak to folks in your community, take that anger and use it to organize just as you did when you fought to get Obama elected.

The problem with America, and honestly most nations throughout history, is that we, as citizens typically never really want to do the work it takes to really see societal change through, particularly when we are comfortable. Too many of us fear to do what is really necessary for the change we voted for. Using your vote is only the first step, not the last. The same “backbone” that Cornel West urges Obama to have, we must ALL have.

This is NOT the time to sit down and be armchair progressives and back seat drivers for change. We need people who are going to not just speak the rhetoric of change; we need folks who are going to do the WORK need to implement change. That responsibility cannot be just left to the president to do alone. If he has forgotten, as many suggest, then let us support him and hold not only President Obama, but also ourselves accountable.

At the end of his video letter/conversation, Prof. Cornel West cautioned Obama to not be, “A colorful caretaker of an empire in decline and a culture in decay.” That metaphor is misplaced. We are ALL caretakers of this republic. We elected the president. Obama did not, contrary to popular opinion, elect himself, and we have forgotten that. One person alone cannot do the work of democracy.