Monday, August 26, 2013

Standing In The Shadows

Video coverage of the 50th Anniversary March On Washington.  

Two civil rights leaders who attended, Professor Cornell West and writer and activist Ajamu Baraka strongly rebuked the Obama administration's policies in light of the commemorative march and Dr. King's views, interviews that are shown in full with the second two videos (following a little repeat of the initial coverage).   

Mr. Baraka recently wrote an article, Standing in the Shadows of Dr. King - Obama Should Not be Welcomed at the March on Washington Commemoration, referencing the anticipated August 28th Wednesday gathering at Lincoln memorial marking the actual date on which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic I Have A Dream Speech.  President Obama is slated to address the crowd and Mr. Baraka is calling for a boycott of the event by "all of us who considered ourselves people who believe in the independence of social movements from any political party and the right of the people to give meaning to our own experiences free from the State."

In the article published by counterpunch, Mr. Baraka elaborates,
Could anyone imagine MLK supporting or buying into the incoherent rationalizations of Obama’s actions? On Obama’s record is the killing of 16 year-old Abdurrahman al-Alawki by a U.S. drone strike, just one of the many innocent dead and maimed civilians who have been casualties of U.S. international aggression under the banner of the War on Terror. Add to that the illegal and immoral invasion of Libya and the killing of more than 50,000 people in that country, and the fermenting of civil war in Syria that has cost more than 100,000 lives; the boycotting of the United Nations anti-racism conference and process that gave political cover to all of the other racist, European states that also walked out; the incomprehensible action to obstruct the elected President of Haiti, Bertrand Aristide, from returning to his country from the exile imposed upon him by the Bush administration; giving the green light to deporting record numbers of undocumented workers, a policy that tore families apart and terrorized communities.
Would Dr. King have seen Edward Snowden’s act of civil disobedience as an act worthy of international persecution and imprisonment? Can anyone see Dr. King praising the Obama administration for turning its back on the people of Honduras when they asked for U.S. support to protect their democracy and instead sided with, and gave support to, the coup plotters?
Would it have been possible for Dr. King to remain silent on the state murder of Troy Davis?  And what might Dr. King, who personally experienced the heavy hand of state repression, have said about the decision by the Obama administration to coordinate, at the federal level, the suppression of the Occupy Wall Street movement across the country and to give the Presidency, through the National Defense Authorization Act, the power to indefinitely detain and deny the constitutional and human rights of U.S. citizens without judicial review?
If you cannot see any connection between the political and moral positions of President Obama and Dr. King, it is because none exist.

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