Media Lynching Of Obama

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[Elections 2008: Race Matters]

Talk to most Black people in the last few days, they would tell you, “Well, we said it would happen. They haven’t physically shot him like they did the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, but what they are doing is nothing less than the lynching of a fine Black man.”

First, they tried to hang him because of his middle name, “Hussein”. They brought the noose around his neck. They alleged that he was a Muslim because he was born in Hawaii and his white mother took him to Indonesia when he barely knew who he was, and that he attended an Islamic Madrassa.

In fact, it was a major American news media, the Fox News Channel, that was used to give legitimacy to this totally false character assassination of Obama. On January 19, 2007, a Fox News commentator Steve Doocy of the “Fox and Friends” program, had this to say: “Why didn’t anybody ever mention that that man right there was raised — spent the first decade of his life, raised by his Muslim father — as a Muslim and was educated in a madrassa? We should also point out that Barack Obama’s father is the one who gave him the middle name of Hussein. And the thing about the madrassa, and you know, let’s just be honest about this, in the last number of years, madrassas have been, we’ve learned a lot about them, financed by Saudis, they teach this Wahhabism which pretty much hates us. The big question is was that on the curriculum back then? Probably not, but it was a madrassa and the big question is whether or not any of these revelations about the fact that he was a Muslim — right now I understand he does go to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, although not a regular parishioner — but raised as a Muslim, went to a madrassa.”

Read the whole disgusting episode at Now, this is a major American news media that continually harangues the airwaves about being “fair minded and balanced,” yet it neither called Doocy to order, but allowed the smear to fester. This campaign of calumny started after Senator Barack Obama had soundly beaten both Senators Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in the first primary in Iowa, January 3, 2008, where he scored an upset victory by winning 38% of the vote in a state that is more than 95% white.

The right-wing lynch mob reared its head, abetted by the Fox News Channel, but were driven back by the millions of white Americans who felt it was “Time for Change.” All these were designed to slow down the Obama momentum and movement, so that come February 5’s Super Tuesday, he would be knocked out of the race.

Obama again prevailed by winning 13 out the 21 states contested on the February 5 Super Tuesday, again with the overwhelming support of white voters. This Black man, who is the off-spring of a Black African father and a white American mother, was confounding the right-wing lynch mob. More accusations of his Muslim affiliations had to be manufactured and paraded for the national media.

This time, it was the Washington Bureau Chief of the NBC Network, Tim Russert, during the February 25 Democratic Party’s debate in Cleveland, Ohio. An unsolicited endorsement of Barack Obama by America’s Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, provided fodder for Tim Russert’s totally partisan questioning of Obama.

Mind you, Obama had not gone to Louis Farrakhan for endorsement as Senator John McCain had done in going to Rev. John Hagee to get endorsement of his candidacy. According to Media Matters, “Russert began the discussion of Farrakhan by asking Obama, ‘On Sunday, the headline in your hometown paper, Chicago Tribune: ‘Louis Farrakhan backs Obama for president at Nation of Islam convention in Chicago.’ Do you accept the support of Louis Farrakhan?”

Indeed, that was the headline of a February 25 Tribune article discussing Farrakhan’s endorsement of Obama. But Russert did not note the article’s subhead: “Senator has criticized him, says support not sought.”

Nor did he mention that the article quoted Obama spokesman Bill Burton as saying: “Senator Obama has been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan’s past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister’s support.”

This well executed plot to hang Obama with Minister Farrakhan’s incendiary statements and denunciations of Jews as evil, was to play to the emotions of the fair-minded whites who had been backing Obama. It worked very well, and for the first time after having won consecutive 11 states elections, Obama lost Ohio by one of the highest percentage he had done by 10% points.

Obama has been nicked with their knife, and the sharks have smelled blood. It is time to tighten the noose around Obama’s neck, crank the whip on the horses and let his body hang for the vultures, or the carcass thrown as red meat for the frenzied sharks.

Again, it would be the Fox News Channel that would provide the rabidly angry lynch mob that found that their quarry was still breathing and alive, and ready to resurrect himself and fight back.

Fox paid untold amount to unearth a four-year old video of Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, making incendiary statements about America’s treatment of Blacks. Now, the debate is no longer about Barack Obama being a Muslim who was raised in the Madrassa; it is now about how he stayed in the church of a pastor, allowed the pastor to offer him his Christian spiritual guidance, married him in a Christian union with his wife, and baptized his children in a Christian church.

Now, without ever altering any of the incendiary statements attributed to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the lynch mob has succeeded in immobilizing this warrior candidate for a while. Hour on the hour, the cable networks plaster their screens with Barack Obama standing next to Jeremiah Wright, and in the next second showing a video of Wright spewing his offensive comments.

There is jubilation in the right-wing Jim Crow land. The candidate who stands the chance of beating their candidate is being run out of town. Just as millions of white Americans looked the other way or acquiesced as Blacks were lynched in the deep South, there is the concerted effort to provoke a backlash against Obama’s candidacy and momentum.

You know how ironic this is: America has spent almost a trillion dollars fighting the war in Iraq; a trillion that could have been used in providing better health care, jobs, and school funding for the so-called blue-collar workers who are being wooed by the right-wing Jim Crow lynch mob.

Now the ascendant concern of many of these people is the condemnable statements of a pastor; not the recession, not the imploding stock market, not the mortgage crash. As Obama said in his recent speech, in four years, there will be another distraction and the problems will continue to pile unresolved.

In the electrifying, brilliant, charismatic, forceful, courageous, powerful and eloquently delivered speech on Tuesday, Barack Obama has served notice that he is as qualified and even more so than his opponents to accede to the presidency of the United States. Admirably, he did what had to be done without compromising his inner core principles: decency for himself and for his fellow man, who made the disgusting statements that are now being used to lynch him.

He has denounced and rejected Rev. Wright’s harangues but he wasn’t about to disown him. In this particular aspect of his speech, Obama said, “And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years. I can no more disown him than I can disown the Black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.”

That’s courage, that’s principle.

Even if the right-wing Jim Crow lynch mob succeeds in dethroning his candidacy, Barack Obama has impacted the world in this 21st century as no one else has. America has a choice, Obama threw the challenge.

“For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies. We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.”

In the end, only the tone-deaf will ignore his call to America.

Barack Obama, you are a warrior king. You have brought smiles and made the whole world proud of you. Nothing can ever diminish you.






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