Artorius Castus

Pround to be an ‘American’? Behind the attacks on Michelle Obama

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on August 13, 2008

By Dolores Cox
Published Jul 20, 2008 9:00 PM

Recently, mainstream corporate media pounced all over Michelle Obama when she stated that for the first time in her adult lifetime she’s really proud of her country. They voiced their outrage and indignation. They were insulted.

How dare she be so un-American, un-patriotic, they responded from their privileged perches. What an ingrate, they insinuated. How dare she cast aspersions on the integrity and character of this country, past or present. And how dare she infer that this has not been a country that every U.S. citizen can be proud of.

It seems we’ve gone from my country right or wrong, to my country can do no wrong. Truth telling and honesty have long been frowned upon. And any messenger of truth is disparaged or even assassinated, physically and verbally. That’s how we roll here in “America the beautiful.”

The media felt Michelle Obama was attacking U.S. culture, morality, ethics and values. They practically suggested that we all should be wearing a flag pin as we pledge allegiance with our hand over our heart and chest swelling while we recite the immortal words, “with liberty and justice for all.” And let’s not forget the other declarations that “all men are created equal”; that they are “endowed with certain inalienable rights”; among them “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And of course, “we hold these truths to be self-evident.”

But evident to whom? Aren’t these words more myth than reality? Hasn’t experience shown us that some “men” are presumed to be more equal than others, not to mention women?
Uncovering the myths

In this so-called great “American” democracy, victims and targets of racial hatred are stigmatized and vilified by virtue of their birth and heritage. At the same time, victimizers and perpetrators of this racial hatred and violence have been praised, celebrated, made heroes, respected and held in high esteem. Notably, there has never been any collective shame for the evil deeds of the evil doers. That’s the real “American” way. Exploitation and oppression remain the name of the game and order of the day.

One’s skin color has always been a strong determinant of one’s social and economic status; being a person of color means being kept at the bottom of society or “in one’s place.” Although the back-breaking and killing free labor of African slaves has contributed in large part to making this country the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world, the descendants of these slaves have been deliberately and systematically—by all means imaginable—kept from benefiting from the fruits of their ancestors’ labor.

This has resulted in centuries of deprivation and exclusion. Descendents of the perpetrators of slavery continue to be privileged, to benefit and prosper, refusing to acknowledge the extent of racism now and ignoring the past.

In this country, the term “minority” is often a code name for “inferior or less than,” regardless of numerical count. Black people and other so-called minorities have always had to fight for their civil and human rights as citizens by birth or naturalized, whether here for generations or newly arrived. They are denied basic essentials of life—the rights and privileges accorded to whites in general at birth under class society.

White U.S. citizens, for the most part, have historically been desensitized and indifferent to the suffering, degradation and dehumanization of Black men, women and children, in particular, and to persons of color in general. Much sense of responsibility is absent and eliminated from public consciousness; that is convenient amnesia. Unresolved issues remain dormant.

It’s always been fashionable and acceptable to discriminate and express one’s hatred toward people of color. This dates back to the arrival of the first Europeans and their refusal to peacefully co-exist with the indigenous Native Americans. Their value as human beings was (and remains) dispensable, so they were wiped out or confined to reservations.

And during the hundreds of years of the U.S.’s horrendous legacy of slavery, followed by 100 years of Jim Crow (legalized apartheid), the psychic and physical lives of Black people were and are still irrelevant. This inequality and injustice persist to this day. There’s still no leveling of the playing field.

Black people here are born into a caste-like system from which there is no escape. Skin color is permanent. The one drop of “black blood” rule was created to establish and maintain the “purity of whiteness.” Anyone of heritage mixed with Black blood is considered Black. The offspring of a white parent and a Black parent equals one Black child. Thus, we have Barack Obama as the U.S.’s first Black presidential nominee. The white parent’s “blood” and ancestry is historically ignored. Even if a mixed child physically looks white they’re treated as Black—tolerated at best, but not acceptable.

Capitalism by nature is a destructive and dehumanizing social system, dividing labor by class. Adding race to class structure, this system pits the Black working class against backward white workers and a white-dominated corporate power structure. The ruling class has deliberately created, and thus ensured, a permanent underclass by this racial division.The notion of there being different “races” of human beings was constructed to create these social divisions: a them-against-us mentality.
The elections and beyond

Michelle Obama is seen as the stereotypical angry Black woman, in need of an overhaul and of having her image and reputation softened. This past May, Time magazine’s cover asked, “Will Michelle Obama Hurt Obama’s Chance?”

Recently, Michelle Obama was compelled to clarify her statement, saying that she was referring to having pride in the country being so engaged in the political process; that she was proud of her father’s working class achievement and ability to send her and her brother to college. And that her parents feel pride for their hard work and sacrifice. She also graciously handled the ridiculousness surrounding the “controversial” fist bump.

It’s yet to be seen if in November we see a racist white backlash to the nomination of Michelle Obama’s spouse. Many of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s white women supporters stated they are planning to throw their support to the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, or stay home. McCain has begun courting them, even though it’s been shown that he is no true friend of the feminist movement.

In addition, racist hate group websites are feverishly alive and well on the issue of Obama’s possible election. It should be remembered that a few years after the ink had dried on the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the present-day Ku Klux Klan began forming, representing the white supremacist backlash.

We’re hearing now that the matter of race is being put aside, as indicated by Obama’s presumptive nomination, that we’re now a post-racial society. Yet there continue to be widespread racial disparities in health care, housing, education and employment—all important areas that determine one’s quality of life.

Does the nomination of Barak Obama or even his election as president translate into the U.S. being beyond race? Or does it reflect something yet unnamed and masked that may be coming down the pike? It’s yet to be seen what it does signify. The real explanation for Obama’s ascension is complex. But as long as there is chronic racism in this country there can be no true democracy, so we must remain vigilant. The struggle continues!

The writer is an International Action Center activist in New York City.

The writer is a commie idiot. She defends the Obamas from a commie point of view..

Although the story is a month old, and the media and Hussein campaign are hiding her from the media, she is still a Wright acolyte..

From Workers World Weekly, the American Communist Party’s paper of record..

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