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View Diary: Obama's inequality speech: telling the progressive story of American history (62 comments)

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  •  So let's see. (6+ / 0-)

    After doing next to nothing about a decline in the employment-population ratio that left plenty of Americans with no future, after bailing out banksters under the heading of "too big to fail," after appointing a Catfood Commission and signing a bill with a sequester while pushing for a Grand Bargain, and in the middle of negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama now wants to talk about inequality.

    From last year:

    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    The ascent of the first black president has coincided with a steep descent in the economic fortunes of black Americans. But that hasn't impeded their outward optimism about Obama
    From DSWright at Firedoglake:
    The historic inequality is not a result of a skills gap or technology – it’s the result of having a parasitic class at the top of the economic pyramid that commits massive crimes and instead of facing punishment is granted subsidies.
    So, yeah, this gets the Church Lady award:

    "We could run the grid on unicorn farts, but if consumption levels remain the same, Gaia will still lose the ability to support many species, including hominids." --Michael Donnelly

    by Cassiodorus on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 02:50:08 PM PST

    •  That Guardian article (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, MrAnon

      you linked is from a black man who has a different POV than mine as a completely different black person. The facts are true but his sentiment is useless. He knows why there exists a paradox and he's generally mad at black people for it. It's a useless and divisive sentiment.

      He knows as well as plenty other black people that the same black person who shed a tear on election night 2008 will still scream bloody murder about the unemployment rate in the black community. Even Jesse Jackson was crying.

      This is a duality that some people outside of the black community have yet to understand. That while they may have some complaints and outraged disappointment for the 1st black POTUS, they also understand that him being there is a feeling that is completely separate from policy.

      I'm tired of people alluding to this offensive notion that black people are stupid and even certain ones that understand the duality of this situation will still lash out at the general black public, basically calling us unsophisticated because there are shockingly, black people who feel differently than they do. They oversimplify the very complicated feelings of being put in this position. Most people understand that Obama didn't create the situation and many disagree and are angry at how he's handling things so far. At the same time they know that their 8 year old black son is now adding "president" to his list of dream jobs because basketball and entertainment has been trumped for all time.

      The black man, Younge who wrote the article is well aware of this. But for some reason, like others who are and aren't black and have his same outlook, seem to have a paternalistic and offensive edge to their criticism of black people who ALWAYS vote for Democrats (it's the only game in town), that somehow we are too stupid to know any better.

      Also, while they're being paternalistic and offensive, they never offer any viable alternatives, they just sit back with their smug condemnations and wag fingers at people. They aren't mobilizing a 3rd party alternative, they aren't trying to organize black people in the communities. They sit on lofty perches and write blogs, most of which go unread by the poor black community and used to by self righteous white people to judge and criticize the black voting populace because they're still mad that Hillary got bumped out of the primaries by black people who were energized by hope.

      Not in the hope that Barack Obama will save the world, but hope that one day, their child might have a chance at his job. A chance to do it well. A chance to do it terribly. A chance just the same. Women, Latinos, Jews, gays, etc have all bee energized by that new hope, even as they feel that Barack Obama is just Republican light.

      I'm sure that's rather nuanced and complicated but sometimes human beings are like that.

      "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

      by GenXangster on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 03:49:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Questions: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        priceman, cybrestrike

        1) Why not a proactive approach?  It's easy to blame people for "not doing anything," but then you end up with a really small coalition, and a bunch of people who aren't doing anything, maybe because they don't know what to do.  I feed a hungry community "of color" every Monday -- I'm sure it's a drop in the bucket.  How do you organize people to do something, something that counts?

        Now, in saying this I understand that DailyKos.com may count itself in some way as a "progressive" blog, but in reality it's a Democrats-only blog.  A proactive approach would not rule out beforehand the option of voting for third party candidates should the Third Way candidates win the primaries.  Yet there's no serious discussion allowed here of any political party other than the Democratic Party.  So the conversation may have to migrate elsewhere.  At any rate, there's something to be said for laying out a plan, making sure the plan gets you what you want, and executing said plan.  Elections today don't seem to have anything to do with being proactive -- they're about voting for the candidate that's slightly less worse than the other candidate.  "Lesser of two evils" voting has gotten us the endless repetition of a choice between two evils.  When does it become time to demand something better?

        2) What's wrong with demanding what we need?  So if, upon surveying the real life history of our ancestors, we perceive a vast economic injustice laid upon people from generation to generation, why not demand reparations for that injustice?  I'm hearing a lot of counsels of "realism" -- leading, generally, to the idea that if we don't demand what we need, we're more likely to get what we demanded, but we'll still be needy.

        3) Obama-symbolism is fine.  Can you eat it?  Will it pay off your mortgage?

        4) Whatever happened to movements for economic justice?  Tavis Smiley and Cornel West were trying to organize something -- I saw them at Occupy Los Angeles organizing publicity.  They're beautiful people -- I even got a big hug from Cornel West.  What's happening with that?

        "We could run the grid on unicorn farts, but if consumption levels remain the same, Gaia will still lose the ability to support many species, including hominids." --Michael Donnelly

        by Cassiodorus on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:05:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it's rational to (0+ / 0-)

          address 30 million individuals as if they are all one entity with a common brain. Not to mention, they must think that brain is pretty simple minded as if there's no way that being proud to be black can coexist in the same brain as someone who organizes for economic justice or racial justice.

          I don't think it's rational to address 30 million black people and scold them for not organizing good enough for you. Too many of them apathetic and unconcerned for you? Being angry at some people because of their color but not really having a problem with others who are the same way is suspicious. I don't understand how you can say that blacks haven't been doing what they're supposed to as if we've all been given a handbook at the black headquarters.

          "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

          by GenXangster on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 08:54:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I miss the old days -- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cybrestrike

            when we asked and answered questions rather than  pushing agendas past each other.  So far I've asked four questions.

            I don't think it's rational to address 30 million black people and scold them for not organizing good enough for you.
            Is anyone actually organizing for me?  I had no idea -- I thought this was a discussion about how we could organize for each other.
            I don't understand how you can say that blacks haven't been doing what they're supposed to
            I never said anything of the sort.

            "We could run the grid on unicorn farts, but if consumption levels remain the same, Gaia will still lose the ability to support many species, including hominids." --Michael Donnelly

            by Cassiodorus on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 09:48:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Cassiodorus, with all due respect you have no (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wildfaery, Ian Reifowitz

          credibility when you cite Cornel West and Tavis Smiley.

          None.

          Zero.

          "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

          by shrike on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 06:25:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't pass any purity tests yourself. (nmi) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wildfaery

            "Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible." -- Frank Zappa

            by Cassiodorus on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 06:34:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Pffftttt. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wildfaery
            West speeches rouses packed house at UNC Asheville
            Nov. 7, 2013   |  
            0 Comments
            ASHEVILLE — A line wound around UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center on Wednesday evening as students, faculty and community members came out to hear Cornel West speak.

            West’s speech was no ordinary one: With a magnetic and engaging oratorical style, West moved the standing-room-only audience to its feet with his rousing sentiments on injustice, hope and humanity, urging everybody to consider “the kind of human being you will choose to be.”

            Darin Waters, assistant professor of history at UNCA, accompanied West around Asheville prior to the speech. He said it amazed him “how intellectually curious he (West) still is, because he’s constantly learning. He wanted to learn new information, and so any new information we could give him, he was just very enthused about that.”

            Often described as a political lightning rod, West is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary and professor emeritus at Princeton University. The UNCA history department was among the sponsors for West’s speech.

            Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

            by divineorder on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 07:01:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's not just black people (4+ / 0-)

        All of us liberals get tired of these pundits sitting back and being cynical and offensive with their smug condemnations but never, ever with realistic alternatives.

        Obama isn't good enough for you? Fine, elect somebody better. But constantly harping on how he is a sell-out and a failure is just the lazy man's way of voting Republican.

    •  You're right; Mitt would have been so much better (7+ / 0-)

      It's one thing to say, "Yay! He gave the right speech. Now let's put into action."

      What you said is something completely different.

      Your snark and practiced cynicism is incredibly helpful - to the Republicans. If that's your goal, then congratulations. If not, then perhaps you should think about what effect your actions will have in the real world.

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