Thursday, February 28, 2013
History is written by those in power, its been said. And no greater truth has been spoken as we continue to divine what is fact and what is fiction in the political realm.
The second term of the Barack Obama presidency officially commenced on the national holiday commemorating the birth of Reverend Martin Luther King. The timing didn't go unnoticed and was further highlighted by Obama's decision to incorporate MLK's bible during his swearing-in ceremony. Consequently, more well-intended comparisons between the two historic figures were made in the mainstream press.
For some, drawing a line from the policy changes won by the civil rights movement to the nation's first Black president is a rational and natural exercise.
But a look at the comparison through another lens proves that its a mistake to compare the 'leader' of the most militaristic, secretive empire in history with the same nation's most revered and inspiring pacifist.
It's very difficult for most progressives to reconcile the widely-accepted historic Black presidency with evidence that a man, or woman, of any color holding the office of the President of the United States would be guilty of war crimes.
The Obama administration recently refused to answer the question of whether the president has the authority to assassinate U.S. citizens any where in the world. This despite the admission that the Justice Department and White House legal counsels have drafted opinions on the matter in private documents. Those supposedly legal arguments are being kept secret.
Obama has already made the case, by example, and many times over, that he does hold that authority when it comes to non-American citizens. He and his advisers weekly choose victims from a pre-determined "kill list", setting in motion a heinous chain of events without any semblance of due process or on any battlefield by any definition.
With this post I'll let Dr. Cornel West make the case in his unique and wonderful vernacular, that for Barack Obama to commandeer the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King in any way is, to say the least, problematic and a textbook example of revisionist history. We should not allow it.