Angela’s Ash Heap
“It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."
"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"
"No,” said Ford…”nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
"I did," said Ford. "It is."
"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"
"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"
"I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"
"I'll look. Tell me about the lizards."
Ford shrugged again.
"Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happened to them," he said. "They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it.”
The above quote comes from book four of the “Trilogy in Five Parts” of the brilliant series, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and this exchange happens between “alien,” Ford Prefect, and Britisher, Arthur Dent, after a 30 foot robotic alien alights from a space ship that just smashed Harrods in London and says, “I come in peace. Take me to your Lizard.” I post it, because I think the above excerpt describes in less than 250 wonderful words the state of US politics today!
Okay, now no one needs to write to me to remind me that the US is not a democracy and never has been. I know that. The elitist electoral college smashes to hell any talk of democracy (a government by which supreme power is vested in the people) and, even in the mildest state of mis-governance, we live in a representative Republic. However, as in the above Lizard World scenario, we all vote, we all have the right to vote (past age 18) to give us the appearance of having a say. (True to plan) we ALWAYS vote for Lizards.
Why is this? Why have some of us been convinced that at least one of the Lizards that we get to “choose” is the “best thing that ever happened to them?" Could it be because of people like former radical, Professor Angela Davis?
Angela Davis has long been a hero of mine. Even when I was in Junior High in a predominantly white community and not yet of the age of physical dissent, I had heard of Angela’s exploits and admired her fiery rhetoric and anti-Vietnam war stance. Today, I think there are few better at working against the Prison Industrial Complex, but (BIG BUT), as a self-described "Revolutionary African-American Woman,” I believe she betrays the struggle by supporting the Democratic Party. According to my research, she has long supported the election of Democrats, not just Obama and not just because he is black. Of course, Professor Davis was a long time member of the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) which sold the left in this country down the river decades ago. In 2007, when I first announced that I would run against Ms. Nancy “Impeachment off the table AND war funding on it" Pelosi, of course, the CPUSA was adamantly opposed to me, saying that I was “splitting the antiwar movement” with my “personal agendas.” Whatever!
Anyway, it is well known that the CPUSA believes in the Myth of the Greater of Two Lizards, but I felt the need to address a few outright lies that Angela Davis has told at least twice in recent public appearances (videos linked below), because, I believe that enthusiastic (and, worst of all, false) support of one of the Lizard candidates by leaders is profoundly harmful.
In what one of my colleagues calls, “the biggest betrayal of the left by the left in decades,” at a pre-election meeting in Detroit that was supposed to be honoring Ms. Davis, but was actually just a big GOTV rally for Obama, Angela early on makes the first claim that actually made my jaw drop while crying out loud, “bullshit.”
She is talking about how the black community, at first, supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries because members of that community didn’t think it was possible for a black person to be elected president of the USA. And one of the reasons that Angela claims that the black community believed that Obama’s election was “impossible” was because he was a “peace activist.” Excuse me, what? I have tried to dispel the myth of “Obama the Peacenik” for years now. Barack Obama is/was not even an “antiwar activist.”
How did this lie, as false as George Washington chopping down a cherry tree get started, anyway? During a speech Obama gave at an anti-Iraq war rally in Chicago in 2002, he says four times that he doesn’t not “oppose all wars.” He claimed in that speech that he was just opposed to “dumb wars.” A true “peace activist” opposes ALL war and especially the expansion of empire that cuts a swath of destruction throughout the world, for profit. With the bombing of about six countries under his “peace activist” watch; support for Israel in its bombardment of Gaza; drone bombing; AND using the scandal of WMD (yet again) in threatening Syria, he doesn’t even come within a light-year of being a “peace activist." In a stroke of Lizard genius, however, the Lizards in the Norwegian Parliament awarded Obama the "esteemed" Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, and WE ALL know only "peace activists" receive that award!
Then Angela felt that she needed to qualify her support of Obama (to the largely black audience) by saying that he “deeply understands the black struggle for freedom.” Apparently Angela had also made this claim in March of this year (2012) and our friend, Glen Ford, of the Black Agenda Report, brilliantly repudiated that claim in an article he wrote called: Angela Davis has lost her mind over Obama:
"There was a hush in the room, as if in mourning of the death of brain cells. Angela Davis was saying that Barack Obama is a man who identifies with the Black radical tradition. She said it casually, as if Black radicalism and Obama were not antithetical terms; as if everything he has written, said and done in national politics has not been a repudiation of the Black radical tradition; as if his rejection of his former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was not a thorough disavowal of the Black radical tradition. In his famous 2008 campaign speech in Philadelphia, Obama blamed such radicals for compounding the nation’s problems. He viewed people like Rev. Wright as having been mentally scarred by battles of long ago, who were unable to see the inherent goodness of America, as he did. This is the man who said he agreed with President Ronald Reagan, that the Sixties were characterized by “excesses.” Can anyone doubt that Obama considers the historical Angela Davis, herself, to be a part of the political “excesses” of the Sixties and early Seventies that he so deplores?...How, then, did Angela Davis connect Barack Obama to the Black radical tradition? She didn't, because even an icon cannot do the impossible."
I may not have been a leader in the CPUSA or affiliated with the Black Panther Party, but I know for sure that NO ONE, black, white, male, female, or otherwise, becomes POTUS if he/she has not already been chosen for that “honor” by the Military Industrial-Wall Street Complex. Of course, I would be thrilled if someone could achieve the seat of POTUS who did understand struggle and was a peace activist, but that hasn’t ever happened and with great leaders like Angela lying about the Lizards, we may be a long way from it ever happening.
So, after giving people the room and permission to be “disappointed” with Obama, Ms. Davis commences to blame “the people” for his many, many failures. She blames us for not “hitting the streets” the day after his inauguration to “help him” govern the way we wanted him to.
I am sorry, but I adamantly refuse to take blame for the actions/non-actions of this able servant of Empire.
I DID hit the streets and was roundly criticized by the Professor's ilk for not giving Obama “a chance.” Also, by 2012, I know that I was broke and demoralized by the fact that Obama seemed to be getting away with a whole lot of war and oppression with barely a peep out of the pitiful left of this country. How can a person simultaneously struggle against Empire and Capitalism while campaigning for a major proponent of both? It’s not possible. The money and volunteers for those of us who were still trying to dried up after Lizard (D) was inaugurated in 2009.
Off the top of my head, I can think of two great examples of activists doing everything they could to “support Obama” in his first term: the struggle for a National Healthcare (Medicare for all) movement and the one against the Keystone XL pipeline. Both movements had large numbers of people in DC attending hearings and getting arrested in front of the White House, but the Medicare for all activists didn’t even have a chance to give one word of input and a fascist healthcare for profit bill was passed. Almost as soon as the mostly Obama supporting environmental activists left DC, Obama approved at least part of the pipeline and it seems to be going great for the oil companies (not the activists).
Voting for Lizards is certainly a disordered national pastime, so I don’t want to seem like I am picking on Angela Davis. Many of my personal heroes have taken similar positions on Democrats in general and Obama in particular, but her (and their) collaboration with the Team of the Blue Lizards is unequivocally a collaboration with war, murder, environmental devastation and economic oppression, period. Again, how can one claim to oppose any of those issues, yet support the Blue Lizard?
At one point, Angela offers the specious and not provable claim that “McCain would have been worse.” Really? We don’t know what McCain WOULD HAVE DONE but we do know what Obama HAS DONE. He's continued Bush’s policies, and expanded some. Obama also refuses to hold criminals from the Bush regime accountable.
So, maybe McCain would have been worse, but I can guarantee Ms. Davis that McCain, at the very least, would have ALSO been an able servant of Empire. The biggest difference between the Lizard McCain and the Lizard Obama, would be that Angela and her ilk would not be supporting McCain or vehemently justifying his policies and actions.
Instead of encouraging us to vote for Lizard (D), we need our intellectuals, heroes, and leaders to lead us to the promised land that is free of all Lizards! The CPUSA and “radicals” like Angela give the Democrats so much badly needed cover! The working class of both parties can look at Obama’s support and either be wonderfully, or angrily, vindicated in their perception of him. “Wow, then Obama MUST BE (tragically or happily) a radical Socialist, himself.” I think which Lizard one endorses, or doesn’t endorse, says more about the endorser than it does about the Lizard!
In this case, Angela is “completely and utterly” wrong, of course—as is anyone who supports either party of the bourgeoisie—I have “said it” before and I will keep on saying it, no matter who wrongly believes that the Lizards are the “best thing that every happened” to us.
Prof. Davis' speech in Detroit:
Prof. Davis' talk in Oakland (with legendary Grace Lee Boggs--who doesn't think Obama is the one):
(about 1:02 into the video)