It has been just over a week; the post election euphoria is still keeping the nation buoyant. So the senator from Illinois won the
Barack Obama, the man from Hawaii, born of an African father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas. This husband to Michelle and father of two daughters, Malia and Sasha, has already set up part of his transition team and met with outgoing, lame duck president George Bush at the White House on Monday to discuss issues and policies and the future. Complacency and euphoria may not be as strange bedfellows as some would think, but Black folk worldwide are hoping that the two are not twin components for a superficial movement for change.
Councilman Charles Barron said that people respond out of “inspiration or desperation,” and so with practical measures at hand, he and a coalition of activists–elected and otherwise– intend to work toward a new era of real and relevant change that everyday people can believe in.
“The election of President-elect Obama is a tremendous victory for Black folks,” said Atty. Roger Wareham of the December 12th Movement’s International Secretariat. “However, it is a beginning, not the end. We must continue to work together as a consistent, organized presence to ensure that the new president will address Black folks’ agenda. At the top of that agenda is the establishment of a single-party-payer national health care system.”
What with the January 20, 2009, inauguration preparations well underway and subject to much media coverage and ticket scalpers, the “I can’t believe we’ve got a Black president’ portion of events is quickly dissipating. Some Black folk are walking around talking about “Happy New Year,” in the middle of November. “It’s the New Year of President Obama,” explained Morgan Henderson, a graduate from Long Island.
“I haven’t cried yet,” stated Brooklyn community and unity organizer Daniel Goodine. “The spirit of my people was strong, so I remain strong on the outside. On November 4, the ground shook with the masses and I saw the dream that Dr. King spoke about. Working in the street on November 4,I saw smiling faces. I saw young and old, rich and poor, and the human race standing in line for unity. I have been crying for most of my life for change from neighborhood to neighborhood, from state to state. I have marched, picketed and fought for the youth, just to see things better for the youth,” said Goodine, founder of Men Elevating Leadership for Youth and recent district leader candidate for the 55th district of Brownsville.
“I heard Barack talk to the youth. I know that if Brownsville will just remember November 4, that the Ville will never be the same. We need job training for youth, workshops, real after-school programs, street patrols in the hood by men that care, true leadership and funds that will aide the needy. I wish that Mr. Obama would come to Brownsville so that the youth could see him and touch him, because I know that he is more than a dream. He is man of wisdom that lights the way. He is the protection in the night. He is a bright and shining star that we have seen, and he is the organizer that will make it better for all I pray.”
Original Black Panther Sadiki Shep Ojore Olugbala quoted “The Art of War” by Master Sun Tzu: “‘A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective. While strong in reality, appear to be weak; while brave in reality, appear to be cowardly.’” Olugbala added, “In other words, if you really analyze his words and deeds, it becomes increasingly clear that Barack Obama will prove to be among the greatest deceptions in modern history. The fascism of the U.S. national security state is already here and Barack’s purposely under-quoted statement following the Sean Bell verdict that ‘justice was served,’ was more than enough of an eye opener for me. All power to the people.” “What a historic achievement!” proclaimed Council- man Charles Barron. “Black people were largely responsible for the victory of Barack Obama. Ninety-five percent of the Black vote, nationwide, went to Barack Obama. In Black communities throughout the city, at 5:30 in the morning, lines were around the corner and down the halls of polling sites. Ninety-eight percent of the voters of Brooklyn’s Brownsville voted for Barack Obama–the highest percentage in the state. One hundred percent of the presidential financial contributions from Brooklyn’s East New York went to Barack Obama–the largest percentage in the nation. What an exhilarating moment.” Barron continued, “Now that Barack Obama has been elected the first Black president of the United States of America, it is incumbent upon us to develop the local strategy to turn the excitement he brought to the masses in New York City into political empowerment. While we must be analytical and critical, let’s do it in a way that doesn’t dampen the spirit and exhilaration of our people and miss the magnanimity of the moment. President-elect Barack Obama is going to be the caretaker of an imperialist American foreign policy and a capitalist domestic policy. We knew that before he got elected. But let’s face it. Neither Hillary Clinton nor John McCain could have provided a better condition for us to organize our people to fight for our liberation. Let’s turn the Barack Obama excitement into a political campaign that will remove Mayor Bloomberg and the ‘City Council 29’ from office.
They betrayed democracy; they betrayed our people in that defining vote on term limits. Let’s join Operation POWER and elect people to local offices that will respect us, protect us and support our agenda for liberation. Aluta continua. [The struggle continues.]” Meanwhile, Assembly Member-elect Inez Barron told the AmNews, “As I stood in the Poly Cafe, along with dozens of campaign workers and community residents watching the election returns come in, I was filled with excitement and expectation. When it was declared that Barack Obama had clinched the electoral votes needed to win the presidency, I exploded with the joy of knowing that I had participated in the most historic event in my lifetime–along with the events of the civil rights era, the liberation of African nations and the Millions More Movement, part of what our ancestors wished, hoped, fought and died for– another marker along the path to our liberation.” The Brooklyn assembly member-elect and wife of Charles Barron suggested, “Going forward, we have got to intensify our efforts to harness, organize and mobilize our people to make local, state and national governments responsive to the needs of the communities, rather than the economic greed of corporations and industrial complexes. We must work to ensure that our social and economic needs are addressed in the programs and initiatives that President Barack Obama and the Congress will implement. “Peace and Power!” But there is a segment of the Black community that says, “Barack got elected. So what?” “Until white supremacy is wiped out, it doesn’t matter who sits in the Oval Office. Right now, there has been no transfer of power, and there will not be until the destruction of white supremacy takes place,” said Herman and Iyaluua Ferguson, founding members of the Republic of New Afrika movement. “Obama was placed in the White House to control and hypnotize the restless masses, to make the face of imperialism more compatible to the increasingly non-white countries that have become the trading partners of the United States and to continue business as usual–and that is the American way,” claimed the Fergusons. “Yes, we should prepare our wish list demanding a new criminal justice system, amnesty for our political prisoners, reparations, an adequate education system, attention to urban decay, affordable housing, major relief for the working class and the end of imperialist wars.
In the meantime, we must continue to organize to confront this racist system to obtain our liberation BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.” “The perception is that everything will change when the reality is: Nothing has actually changed,” said Divine Allah, youth minister of the New Black Panther Party. “It is hard to be inspired when you’re unemployed, but they’ve got us on such a continuous high that we don’t even realize that we are freezing when it’s cold. “Yes, there is a Black man in that seat. But we must be mindful, keep our antennas up. “Frances Cress Welsing said, ‘If you don’t understand racism and white supremacy, everything else will confuse you.’”