Sunday, February 24, 2008
Amiri Baraka on Barack Obama
To hear Baraka's speech follow the link below or the "Audio" link on the left.
A Black President? Sure. But If We Don't Do Nothin' He Won't Do Nothin'
Presidential Politics 2008 - Obama
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
a speech by Amiri Baraka, recorded earlier this month in Newark
Give Obama a break, some of his supporters argue. He's got to get elected first. Tell them he can't be seen acknowledging the needs of Black America for job creation on a vast scale, for an end to foreclosures, the repeal of No Child Left Behind, the equitable rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, and lowering of the prison population and cutting military budget to free up money for these and other human needs.
Poet, playwright and longtime activist Amiri Baraka has a different take on the Obama candidacy, and the responsibility of the politically conscious. In this speech he cautions those who imagine Obama will make a difference without a strong left movement pressuring and pushing him further and faster than he and his corporate backers really want to go.
"Even if there's gonna be a black president," said Baraka in Newark early this month, "if we don't do nothin' he won't do nothin'... the less we do, the less we can expect Obama to respond to us..."
Baraka took to task those who criticize Obama without actually organizing anything on the ground in their communities. "The question," he said, "is what will you do, where will you go with the one opening that they leave you which they claim is democracy."