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Is There a Limit to Black Tolerance of Obama's Police State, Assassinations and Wars?

Glen Ford

25obama_prisoners.jpg

December 24, 2011

What if the First Black President eviscerated the rule of law, legalizing assassination and detention of U.S. citizens without trial? Would he still be considered a "credit to his race?" His supporters may convince themselves they are safe in Obama’s hands, but he has also "given President Gingrich or President Romney or President Palin those powers – the same powers Egyptian generals have used to imprison thousands of protesters in military jails."

"With preventive detention the law of the land and political assassination official U.S. policy, Obama is poised to enter the realm of the unthinkable."

In my political circles, we used to go through the rhetorical exercise of asking each other, What does President Obama have to do to irretrievably alienate his core of supporters? What horrific atrocity would Obama have to commit, that would cause him to lose his solid Black base?

The problem with this little game of What If, was that Obama kept upping the ante, with one outrage after another, each more nightmarish than the last. What if he put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block? Obama promptly did that, two weeks before taking the oath of office. So we had to pick another hypothetical Obama act that might constitute a deal-breaker with Black America. How about: What if the First Black President launched an all out military attack on Africa? Seven months ago he did just that, in Libya, following up with a huge intensification of the cruelest war in the world, against Somalia, and the assignment of U.S. Special Forces to central Africa.

It was becoming evident that there was no line of civilized behavior that Obama would not cross in service of corporate empire at home and abroad. And yet, his core supporters had still not reached their limits of tolerance for the man in whom they had invested so much hope in 2008.

Now, with preventive detention the law of the land and political assassination official U.S. policy, Obama is poised to enter the realm of the unthinkable – a future of pure horror in which there is no rule of law. When a president can lock up or kill whomever he chooses, without formal charge or trial, the rule of law ceases to exist. The finality of that verdict is not mitigated by the fact that George Bush also believed, as does Obama, that U.S. law already implicitly gave presidents the power to indefinitely detain. It is now codified – a law that negates the rule of law.

"It was becoming evident that there was no line of civilized behavior that Obama would not cross in service of corporate empire at home and abroad."

Obama’s guiding hand finessed the legislation through Congress, anointing this president and those who come after with the power to lock up American citizens for life without trial, or even being charged. Obama has given President Gingrich or President Romney or President Palin those powers – the same powers Egyptian generals have used to imprison thousands of protesters in military jails. Obama expresses sympathy for an Arab Spring while presiding over a dark American winter. This is his historical contribution: the evisceration of the Constitution as we had previously understood it, a far deeper mark on the historical record than breaking the White House color bar.

If there is any constituency for preservation of the rule of law, it must be Black America, a people whose lives on this continent began in the perpetual incarceration of slavery and who today comprise one out of every eight prison inmates on the planet, and whose political prisoners from a previous generation of struggle still languish behind bars. Is Black love of the idea of a Black president so perverse, that it would tolerate – or even celebrate! – a man who gives himself and his successors the power to imprison and kill at will?

Enough of this nonsense about greater and lesser evils. When it comes to murdering the Constitution, Barack Obama is a champion evil-doer.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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:: Article nr. 84238 sent on 25-dec-2011 18:00 ECT

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