If there’s anything that the Obama administration and its foreign policy teaches us, is that imperialism has no limits in what it will do and the weapons that it will use against people. And it does this with arrogance, triumphalism and a celebration that I don’t think any of us has ever seen. We can talk about the Reagan and Bush Administrations, but I don’t believe any of us have ever seen anything like this. Drone Wars, targeted assassinations, the continuing operation of Gitmo prison, wars against Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, the turn to encircle China, the support of right wing and fascist forces in the Ukraine. Along with this domestic spying and repressive means using the electronic media surpass anything Hoover’s FBI or COINTELPRO were capable of.
Now of course this creates enormous problems psychologically and ideologically for the Black liberation struggle. The majority of Black folk, albeit disappointed, see Obama as possibility, as progress, as “we now getting our shot at power”, rather than as a representative of imperialism and racism. The Obama symbology has (and let’s hope temporarily) weakened the normal and necessary oppositional stance of Black folk. The Obama presidency rather than opening possibilities for the Black Left, as many leftist thought, has produced the opposite, the relative isolation of the Black Left and the rise to prominence of a new Black petit bourgeoisie. It embraces and apologizes for Obama at any cost. The Black Left has not effectively waged the necessary ideological struggle to clarify precisely what Obamism is. The outstanding exception is the Black Agenda Report. A central task in this moment is for us to ideologically retool, to sharpen our analysis and to within the left fight for both ideological and practical unity on key issues.
Sadly, for the first time in the history of polling Black people support war over peace, and support NSA spying at higher percentages than whites do. You know back in the 1950s, William L Patterson made the statement that the Black liberation struggle is the Achilles’ heel of American imperialism. Well if remain that we have been severely weakened as US imperialism’s Achilles’ heel. We have to find ways to strengthen ourselves as the Achilles’ heel of American imperialism. Because we can’t be internationalists unless we are anti-imperialist, and if we’re not internationalists we’re not left, if we’re not internationalists we’re not revolutionaries. We can’t be internationalists unless we are ideologically clear about imperialism and the multiple and varied forms and manifestations it adopts in order to adapt to its crises and the changes in the global political economy.
We must help our people to understand there cannot be Black liberation on the terms of American imperialism. Malcolm and Martin Luther King taught us that in the 1960s. So we’re confronted in the struggle for unity, Black unity, the unity of Black people, the unity of the working class, and the unity of the people in general, with ideological challenges that are new, ideological challenges that arise in the context of the general crisis at a new stage.