Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

July 30, 2010

Glen Ford: breaking the Obama spell

Filed under: antiwar,Obama — louisproyect @ 2:39 pm

21 Comments »

  1. Why an add for TABLET, a Zionist Jewish journal, appears on this site, a Jewish “anti imperialist”? Shame on TABLET and sites that accept to advertise for TABLET and still they call themselves “anti imperialist”. Only the closet zionist do that. TABLET is in the service of ZIONISM and its main aim, lkie DANIEL PIPES, is to kill the voice of those who criticize apartheid state of Strael with phony charge of ‘antisemitic’ which has been reduced to nothing but rubbish.

    http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/40064/mainstreaming-hate/

    Comment by sarah — July 30, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

  2. TABLET calls ‘anti-Israel’ blogs ‘agent of influence’

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/new-battleline-tablet-calls-4-anti-israel-blogs-agents-of-influence.html

    Comment by sarah — July 30, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

  3. Did you notice that there were far more white folks in the crowd than black folks? And I don’t think having utter contempt for the rest of the black community is going to do wonders in convincing them that Obama is shite.

    Comment by Jenny — July 30, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

  4. Jenny, could you explain what you are trying to say? I don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 30, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  5. Cluelessness is the hallmark of Jenny’s posts.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — July 30, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  6. >Cluelessness is the hallmark of Jenny’s posts

    The equivalent of a mental semen stain

    Comment by Antonis — July 30, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

  7. Antonis it’s hard to understand what YOU mean other than some kind of gratuitous misogyny.

    Comment by ish — July 30, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

  8. Well, it seems to me there was a lot of white people in the crowd and only a few black folks.

    Comment by Jenny — July 30, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

  9. Jenny, are you real or are you just playing?

    Comment by Michael T — July 30, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

  10. Glen Ford is pretty damned impressive–has anybody heard him in person? In May, Obama did a fly through here in Buffalo, stopping for a meet-and-greet at a small industrial plant in Buffalo’s devastated black East Side. Not all of the blacks at the rally were pro: one group was clustered around a sign saying, “New President, Same Old Shit” (or words to that effect).

    Comment by Jim Holstun — July 30, 2010 @ 10:56 pm

  11. Only a dolt would think the publisher of Black Agenda Report has contempt for black people. I think it’s great to see white people listening to Glen Ford!

    Comment by Rose — July 31, 2010 @ 12:25 am

  12. I’m just saying it won’t help his cause if he refers to the rest of the black population as insane or deluded.

    Comment by Jenny — July 31, 2010 @ 1:46 am

  13. Claiming that this speech of Glen Ford’s displayed “contempt for the rest of the black community” is like claiming that Malcolm X’s speeches displayed contempt for the black community — an utter absurdity in the context of today’s grim reality.

    I’ll confess I’ve never heard of Glen Ford until this clip but within a minute of his speech I was definitely down with this brother and was eager to hear more. Suffice it to say that this man has a welcome place to stay if he’s ever down the Arizona way.

    The crowd, unfortunately, looks to be only about 10% black, but precisely for the reasons that Glen Ford so eloquently articulated — the traditionally righteous black working class in general and their Uncle Tom intelligentsia in particular has dangerously been lulled into a false sense of security due to the Obama phenomena, and therefore their historic progressive & anti-war militancy has been severely blunted, resulting in less activism and poorer turnouts for political events, particularly antiwar functions.

    Fortunately for the entire working class, Obama, this phenomenal creature of the banks in general (and the imperialist bourgeoisie in particular) will (I predict) only be a one term wonder, albeit for all the wrong, disgustingly reactionary reasons.

    Once another half-wit Rebublicrat Cracker, or Big Business Mormon, or Bacilli from Wasilla gets elected, no doubt on some racist anti-immigrant platform, black people will quickly lose their false sense of security and smell the rancid breeze blowing, probably from the southerly direction.

    By then imperialist perfidy will likely muster a pathetic but deadly coalition to bomb Iran on principle and then they, along with tens of millions of chronic unemployables of all colors will begin to feel the hardwood club over the head of objective reality and begin to act in their own interests, agonizingly slowly, but surely as mist vanishes before sunrise.

    You see, the bourgeoisie’s master plan (not a conspiracy but a conflagration of class interests) of letting someone like Obama get elected was precisely to FORESTALL the political tsunami of BOTH the historically & NEWLY oppressed classes that is inexorably brewing in this profoundest of capitalist crises, which has in it’s dim future only the prognosis of protracted unemployment, perpetual war, or terminal revolution, that is, the classic formulation of socialism or barbarism, but right now the glass is definitely half empty, that is, barbarism is on the immediate agenda, unless people like us get our shit together, put aside our petty differences, and do it yet one more time, with of course no guarantees of any outcome but exhaustingly relentless class struggle in this age of the velvet iron heel, a sick oxymoron to be sure but riddled with so many organic contradictions it’s like a parasite that threatens its host.

    The obstacles for the working class are so mind-bendingly enormous that for us old timers (I’ll be 50 this December) it’s (secretly) almost a relief that we’ll be pushing up either daisies, or nodules of carcinogenic scum, depending on how much environmental deregulation gets rammed through by this most evilly genius ruling class with their ever-efficient propaganda machine so honed in it’s skills of social manipulation & environmental devastation that the Third Reich would have been grinningly proud.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — July 31, 2010 @ 2:14 am

  14. “The crowd, unfortunately, looks to be only about 10% black, but precisely for the reasons that Glen Ford so eloquently articulated — the traditionally righteous black working class in general and their Uncle Tom intelligentsia in particular has dangerously been lulled into a false sense of security due to the Obama phenomena, and therefore their historic progressive & anti-war militancy has been severely blunted, resulting in less activism and poorer turnouts for political events, particularly antiwar functions.”

    This is a perfect example of what I’m talking about, but never mind.

    Comment by Jenny — July 31, 2010 @ 4:14 am

  15. “utter contempt for the rest of the black community”

    Like the utter contempt Obama displays at every opportunity?

    Comment by JN — July 31, 2010 @ 6:14 am

  16. Lockheed Martin said Tuesday that several parts on the most complex version of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter were failing more often than expected, a problem that is slowing flight testing on a model tailored for the Marines.

    That was the entire point in grooming him , practically from the moment he entered one of this country’s most elite private high schools.

    Comment by purple — July 31, 2010 @ 10:09 am

  17. ugh. sorry,The crowd, unfortunately, looks to be only about 10% black, but precisely for the reasons that Glen Ford so eloquently articulated — the traditionally righteous black working class in general and their Uncle Tom intelligentsia in particular has dangerously been lulled into a false sense of security due to the Obama phenomena,

    Comment by purple — July 31, 2010 @ 10:10 am

  18. Jenny, Glen’s language stands in a long tradition of speaking truth that goes back to David Walker and Walker’s Appeal. No one was ever better at it than Malcolm X, when he used to say things like “When you have a black man in the United States who thinks he’s better off because he can be devoured by foxes instead of by wolves, you have a black man who is out of his mind. Out of his mind.” Black folks in this country are not so fragile that we can’t handle Glen’s assessment of the situation, which is not offbase at all. The current generation of black misleadership is deluded when it believes that sheer force of will is going to change the class character of the “democratic” party and its spokesperson in the White HOuse. And quite frankly, most black folks will listen to a dozen Glen Fords telling them an unpleasant truth before they’ll listen to one white leftist hemming and hawing because they’re too timid to speak out against the black factions of the petty bourgeoisie.

    Comment by Michael Hureaux — July 31, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

  19. Right, Michael, and if Glen Ford could run side by side with Obama as a candidate in any election he’d get from African Americans 100 votes to every one vote for some Ivy League cat like Obama because, as Malcolm used to say, one man is a field negroe and the other is a house negroe.

    Few spectacles were more disgusting last year than seeing a bunch of white progressives getting all proud and excited that they elected some house negroe who ran on a platform of escalating war against some of the poorest brown people on earth and whose first act was handing over without strings the treasury to a handful of the richest white people in history.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — July 31, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  20. “..a bunch of white progressives getting all proud and excited that they elected some house negroe who ran on a platform of escalating war against some of the poorest brown people on earth and whose first act was handing over without strings the treasury to a handful of the richest white people in history.”

    say it again

    Comment by jp — August 2, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

  21. Jenny’s comments get to the heart of the matter that Glen Ford and other African American progressives must fight every single day they are active: on the one hand, liberal whites, consciously or un-consciously racist, ignorant or deliberately burying the truth… who want to lump all African Americans together as one, monolithic bloc, ignoring the class realities that effect every racial and ethnic group under capitalism. On the other hand, the greed and ignorance of the tattered, shrinking African American upper-middle class who cling to any positions and pennies the Obama Admin. can throw their way and who reduce the struggle against racism and capitalism to individualistic mythologies. Glen Ford is brave enough and smart enough to see the economic repression, past, present and future which perpetuates inequality, racism and the ignorance of comments like Jenny’s. And he can see the African American, upper-middle class sellouts, particularly in relation to the courageous and class-conscious leadership of the civil rights movement and black power movements of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. The capitalist class doesn’t want working people, of any ethnicity, to know the capitalist roots of class and racial opression. Is using skin color to divide and rule anything new for capitalism? Look in places where skin color, for example, is more monolithic, like parts of Africa for example, and you’ll find not only will the capitalist class be people of color but those African rulers will use other ethnic or cultural divisions within their spheres of influence as a tool of divide and rule as well. Take a good close look at Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, full of natural wealth, and see what capitalism creates everday there in terms of poverty, ethnic xenophobia, religious intolerance, ever-worsening inequality. It’s simply a fairytale to somehow bounce Obama, as an African American, out of history, out of economic reality under capitalism, and give him and his administration a pass for their moment in history, including all their domestic and imperialistic crimes which, as Glenn Ford said, hit African Americans the worst. American liberals are gearing up to perpetuate myths about Obama and his Admin. for the coming election. Lesser-evilism, as old and ragged and smelly as it is… is all the Liberals have since they can’t or don’t want to see the economic system for what it is and their place in it and what it will take to build a socialist alternative. Glen Ford can see these things so, yes, he feels compelled to speak simply and directly to those who continue to tell fairytales about Obama and co., including to African Americans.

    Comment by Jeff — August 4, 2010 @ 9:51 pm


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