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Not Voting for Obama: We’re not even Buying a Voting Ticket to the Show

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Not voting for Obama: We’re not even buying a voting ticket to the show

by Ezili Danto

I speak my heart and mind on this. In 2008, Ezili’s HLLN supported a vote for Obama, not because we entirely believed the Obama fairytale (See, The America I Know, 2008.)

We supported a vote for Obama in 2008 for both pragmatic and idealistic reasons. But more so because eight years of Bush and the application of the Wall Street deregulation excesses left over from Bill Clinton and others had reached a crescendo point that was shockingly, brutally horrible and demoralizing for the entire world. But we also campaigned and urged a vote for Obama, despite his apparent selection by one-percenter forces, because the symbolic victory and metaphoric narrative of “The Whitehouse: From Sally Hemings to Michelle Obama” was a powerful and compelling vision we wished to participate in bringing to a reality for the human race. (That sentiment was expressed in this essay - I Don’t Know this America…But I’m Most Happy to Meet It .)

So, Ezili’s HLLN actively campaigned for getting rid of the Republicans that had presided over the 1991 and 2004 unconstitutional regime changes in Haiti. We campaigned so that Obama would give Haiti temporary protected status (TPS), end deportations, haitians-new-york.giftrade, promote democratic elections in Haiti, value and invest in the Diaspora remittances for reform in Haiti instead of tied-aid to NGOs, end the US occupation of Haiti behind UN guns, provide relief to Main Street in America, universal health care, social justice, stop torture, end the resource wars abroad. (See, Towards A New US-Haiti Partnership: What Haitian Americans Ask of the New US President and Congress.)

Instead, for instance, it took the earthquake which ended the lives of 310,000 Haitians before front man, Barack Obama, deigned to give limited TPS and stop deportations. Then less than a year later he re-started deportations even with UN-imported cholera ravages and failed aid to the earthquake victims. But


George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton

Obama would soon destroy even the tiny scraps of good he brought with TPS by unleashing Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton on Haiti’s head for the duration, not to mention the Bush-Clinton partnership for earthquake “relief”. (Corruption uninterrupted and Haiti’s Hotel Boom: Only for the Rich.)

We wrote then our dissent. “Give us a 100 hard right-wing Republicans to face any day. Keep the namby pamby Democrats or progressive left selling their constituents out in the name of some mythical, so-called bipartisanship. They are the worst and most dangerous enablers of neoliberal globalization masturbating on the poor’s imposed pain, poverty and suffering.” (See Obama’s offered HOPE is sweatshop slavery ; Since before the fall of the US-supported Duvalier dictatorships in 1986, the US has been bringing “hope” to Haiti. The newest, profit-over-people sweatshop hoax is Caracol, a sweatshop project masking the foreign appropriation of fertile Haiti lands and deep water ports.)

Today, any politician who uses the word “hope” and “change” – as in, “I am the change you’re looking for” – is unable to waste our time with US perverted elections whatsoever. The whole system is corrupt. Integrating with injustice is no longer an option. Obama was the straw that broke the camel’s back for us. Truly, his tenure has hurt our hearts in so many ways. Not least of which is the fact that a Black man has become number one superpower overseer of the profit-over-people paradigm.

Ezili’s HLLN will not be supporting Obama’s reelection. We suggest conscious folks nix the political theater of the Republicans and Democrats, concentrate on local self-reliance, local community building, local people empowerment, local building of relevant educational, health care, local food sovereignty, local production, local work and local communication self-sufficiency infrastructures. Don’t count on any government to “save you”. Not happening folks, not with perverted electoral politics, whether you’re in the US or Haiti.

The corporations have bought out the politicians and they’re about servicing Wall Street, giving corporate welfare, maintaining their jobs at ALL cost.

Obama’s betrayal of core justice values, cuddling Wall Street instead of making it accountable, just to get re-elected cannot sufficiently be offset by general fear of the Republican’s Supreme Court nominations. We must speak truth to power, live without fear. And the Supreme Court has presided over a judiciary that disproportionately favors the wealthy, puts more Black men into the prison system than anywhere else in the world for nonviolent crimes such as being addicted to “inhaling.”

Moreover, what has the Supreme Court done for Main Street lately anyhow? Or, to preserve its objectivity, its reputed sacredness? Like the Democratic and Republican members of Congress, the folks at the Supreme Court are a reflection of the times. They have simply become an arm of the global corporatocracy, giving more human rights to corporations than to human beings. Supreme Court appointments are simply not a sufficiently important issue to vote Democrat.

The old dog – “vote-for-the-lesser-of-the-two-evils” argument no longer has traction – won’t hunt. People, of all ethnicities, are tired of dealing with evil. Period.

If being a “pragmatist” or a “realist” means choosing only amongst evil, count us OUT.

The US-Euro pragmatic philosophy has a place, brings lots of comfort, but it is also responsible for the myopic resource wars and prevalent loss of the human soul amongst the schooled peoples worldwide, not to mention the rut and perennial impasse we’re in with perverted US electoral politics. Fact is, the US voting rights our Ancestors fought and died for, are redistricted out of legitimacy at the whim of the more wealthy and more powerful. And that’s LEGAL!

I am envisioning another world.

Not integrating with injustice.

Obama betrayed the American voters who expected he would not gut the US Constitution. But he has. And, some of us here at HLLN are lawyers.

This writer herself is a member of two US State bars where the oath I made was to protect the US Constitution. Moreover, as a born-Haitian - with a legacy to reach for - who has spent what seems a lifetime advocating against the US destruction of legitimate elections in Haiti, against the US and the wealthy’s support of apartheid and ethnocide in Haiti, against US destruction of the 1987 Haiti Constitution with illegal US regime changes in Haiti, as an advocate who has had to deal with the poor Haitians’ indiscriminate indefinite detention simply because the US and Haiti’s repugnant undemocratic forces suspect these poor voted and supported Lavalas, I find NOTHING redeeming about the Constitutional lawyer, named Barack Obama. (President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law ; Activists sue Obama, others over National Defense Authorization Act ; Obama’s abysmal record on civil liberties; Obama re-authorizes the Patriot Act ; Obama Supports – sweeping intelligence surveillance -FISA Legislation ; Obama preserves renditions ; Obama Endorses Bush Secrecy On Torture And Rendition.)

It’s simply unforgivable on so many levels that Barack Obama went further than George W. Bush in denying human rights and social justice to US and world peoples, like Haitians. Under the Obama tenure, indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens is lawful in the land of the free and home of the brave and Haitians are saddled with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to help us become more a democratic and stable Black nation! Susan Rice takes over the role Colin Powell played for the Bushes while Cheryl Mills is out there pushing the Duvalierist agenda in Haiti previously championed by Bill Clinton’s commerce secretary, the late Ron Brown.

Yes racism against Obama exist. No doubt. But, Obama ruined his own integrity by betraying the hopeful world who wished respite from empire’s invasions, narcissism, resource wars, denial of social justice and land grabs behind the do-gooder facade. Obama especially betrayed the weary American people who voted for him. Yes, Obama probably will win again over Romney. The powers that be are very satisfied with the pretty Black family mask of US imperialism and Americans, of all ethnicities, are programmed for the fairytale narrative and for suburban amnesia; would rather have comfort to liberty.

Obama will most likely win again because denial is easier than the hard reality of Obama’s betrayal of Main Street and championing of corporate welfare for Wall Street. Under Obama, like it was under Bill Clinton, the one-percenters continued their white supremacist and land/resource grabbing invasions and betrayal of Africa, continued the perennial US war in Haiti, against the poor worldwide, against countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, et al…

Obama did not bring American soldiers home but started other wars. Both parties are the same. And, in a world of infinite possibilities we choose not between the lesser of two evil. In fact, those of us who are not into denial and work at the human-rights front lines prefer to face the Republican snake head-on than the confused and gutless Democrat chameleon whining about being a progressive when it is NOT.

There’s no difference between the two US political parties, except one is more direct in its tyranny against the most vulnerable amongst us. The other hides behind pseudo liberalism and gives us Clintonesque deregulation, NAFTA unfair trade and loss of US jobs, gutting Glass-Steagal to serve the Goldman Sachs cadres, Welfare-to-Work when all work has flown overseas where US superpower might makes sure there’s no minimum wage, no human rights, unions or respect for Black and Brown life.

Whoever is in charge of the profit-over-people paradigm, Democrat or Republican, Ezili’s HLLN will be confronting 24/7. Full time. Frankly we prefer watching the Democrats in the opposition to the Republicans opposing EVERYTHING that they sat by and watch OBAMA preside over. There’s much less emotional tie-in for me there. If that means facing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWnB9FGmWE, and that is some sort of Armageddon, so be it. Bring it on.

But there are other choices, like everyone NOT showing up for this theater and nullifying the elections. Envision that. A courageous electorate that stops believing things must stay as they are with the duopoly. Just imagine it.

Yes indeed I am a dreamer. Nothing changes without risk. Pragmatism is just a cop-out. Since it doesn’t matter who we vote for, best to make a statement. I think that’s pragmatic. More so than voting for Obama, the

servicing U.S.-Euro http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw.

Share your thoughts with us on this position.

With respect,

Ezili Dantò

May 4, 2012

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All these special interest groups disappointed in Obama’s unfulfilled promises need to get a grip. This is their wake up call for being so naïve as to invest their hopes in a mere mortal. If God couldn’t, or wouldn’t see fit to alleviate the terrible conditions in Haiti, how the hell do they think Obama could do anything?? Yes, a vote for Obama was a vote for change and hope, well you got it. Obama is president instead of Dubya. As for hope, it has been kept alive by not being fulfilled. What more can you ask for? Jeeze.

Black folks and their point men Cornel and Tavis are also stewing in their collard green juices because Obama hasn’t thrown them any corn bread crumbs. They’ve overlooked how their savior is being crucified by Republicans for the sin of being black, nailed there on the cross, taking one for the team. If he dies at the polls, Blacks will be forgiven for wanting their grievances addressed. Amen.

Yes, Obama did at least toss the gay community a bone, a voting bloc which incidentally has lots of money to fatten his re-election coffers. Notice how god also didn’t intervene on this issue, probably because he doesn’t give a damn about a male gay bride marching down the aisle to marry his groom. Guess he figures they’ll get theirs in the end. ;)

Of course, women aren’t bitching too much, because they were perfectly capable of waging their own battle against those chauvinistic Republicans who want to keep them barefooted and pregnant. Michelle has certainly been an inspiration to them, what with her planting a vegetable garden and writing a book about. Awesome!

Surprisingly, the Hispanics got a Supreme Court justice out of the deal. Not that it matters because while Blacks were leveraging for position, the Amigos humped up on more babies and have now become the majority. So it’ll just be a matter of time before they take down the gringo conquistadors and replace Cinco de Mayo with a new holiday!

Hasta la vista, y’all.

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Cynique, any rational human being knows that Gawd is republican.

As for those who have come from other parts of The Americas, this land is much more their home than is the patriotic settlers. Again, cycles though. Wat a bam bam to come...

Also, you often trip me out, but this just took the cake.

Cynique said:

"Black folks and their point men Cornel and Tavis are also stewing in their collard green juices because Obama hasn’t thrown them any corn bread crumbs." :D :D :D

People have amnesia like no other, too. I clearly remember how Tavis Smiley was a forreal (Bill) Hillary Clinton supporter. I remember Maya Angelou with her "my girl" commercials about Hillary Clinton. I don't know how long it's going to take people in America to see politicks for what they are, whether the face is white, black, or aything else. As long as the society is one based on profits before people, the politicians, scientists, as well as community "leaders", etc. will reflect that.

As for the author of the article, she is not at all in the "Why has Obama da Christ forsaken us" bunch, though (sadly) most truly are. This is an article that she wrote in 2008 and I think that it was a very understandable angle:

Two American moments, which one will we extend and sustain?

"I know the America on the left. I am so glad to meet the America on the right. I will never forget the historic victory of November 4, 2008." Ezili Dantò spacer.gif

I Don't Know this America....But I'm most happy to meet it by Ezili Dantò, Nov. 5, 2008, Haitian Perspectives

I grew up with the picture on the left. That's the America that lynched Black soldiers in their uniforms after World War II. It's the America I was taught. It's the America unfortunately I've lived through. It's the America that killed the Dreamer.

Yes, I grew up with the picture on the left. I know that America. But yesterday, on November 4, 2008, I was most happy to actually meet the America that chose to make the picture on the right its new dawn.... Honestly, as someone raised in post-Civil Rights America, I don't know this America. I didn't think it was possible.

I am most happy to meet this America and I am most thankful for President-elect Barack Obama's unyielding audacity of hope. Most happy to have taken part in it because he envisioned what could be. I am glad to meet this America of new possibilities, this America of November 4, 2008. I want to be part of this America where I don't feel an outsider to Officialdom because I work for human rights, social justice and equality, workers rights, reciprocal trade, respect for Haitian democracy and constitutional rule. I hope that that America won't again turn away from this hope for the poor and disenfranchised all over this planet, and go back to promoting the special interests of the corporate elites, valuing profit over people.

Senator Barack Obama's victory has introduced me to the possibility of that America. That's a stunning feat. I hope all of us rise up to meet this America we all took a glimpse of on November 4th. Change would truly have come if we actually ACT to extend the November 4th values and broad, inter-generational coalition, across the races, transcending political party, class and creeds that was forged to elect Barack Obama. And extend it each and everyday of our lives.

I didn't believe it existed or could be pulled forth in my lifetime. That I've lived to see it, to know it's there and not just the ephemeral dream; that I have lived to see a Black man, this man of integrity and enormous vision and competence, this son of an African, with an aunt who is still an "illegal alien" about to call home, a White House built by the forced labor of African captives, that this America exists and was pulled forth for the world to see, makes me more thankful than I can say.

I pour libation for all the Ancestors who did not live to see that the color line has been crossed. I weep for all the American lives and Iraqi lives in Iraq and elsewhere around the world that paid the ultimate price for this day to come so simply. I pray the children in the Congo will benefit from this new day. I hope this means Haitian lives will also be more valued and a new US-Haiti partnership is on the horizon. I pray that a new dawn of American leadership is at hand and hope that President Barack Obama will work with us as we've outlined in "What Haitian Americans are Asking of the New US President."

Four years ago, part of HLLN mission, as articulated in Campaign Six was to help to elect a President that would not extend the tyranny and disenfranchisement of the Black masses that Bush Regime change brought to Haiti in February 2004. We hope to retire that campaign now and have a working relationship with this new Congress and this new President. Yes we can - Wi nou kapab.

I thank and am so deeply grateful to all those who worked to get out the vote and so blessed to meet this America I don't know but want to get to know, sustain, belong to and have a relationship with. It's been a long time coming...

Marguerite Laurent/Ezili Dantò

Founder and President, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

November 5, 2008

(See Background Essay - The America I Know)


Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network


spacer.gifTwo American moments, which one will we extend and sustain?

spacer.gifYes, we did it! OBAMA 08’!!!



Background essay: The America I Know

Nothing that I know or have lived, especially after Bush's bloody regime change in Haiti on February 29, 2004, prepared me for the momentous election of a tolerant, compassionate, (seemingly people-over-profit) Black man - who stands for a more equitable world - to the presidency of the United States.

The US I knew had disregarded the laws, so at least I thought if Obama won, the election would be stolen or at least there would be some haggling for a week, at the minimum. I was not prepared for the unanimous acceptance of a Black man as president of the United States by 11pm on election night. The America I knew was all about “plausible deniability,” had a shameful legacy of racism, had carried on a pre-emptive war, lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction, lied to the American people about what they are doing in Haiti, passed the Patriot Act, tortures prisoners at Guantanamo, discriminates against Haitian immigrants...

I don’t know the November 4, 2008 America…But I'd like to make it real and have a relationship with it.

The US I know:

Flaunt their love of justice and liberty and then support Taliban-type regimes and when that goes awry, bomb the heck out of Afghanistan.

The America I know:

Sponsor elections throughout “the developing” world, and then outfit their own private armies, to “restore order” and reverse said elections whenever the US-sponsored candidate fails to be elected by the populist. Mobutu, Duvalier, the Gerald Latortue Boca Raton Regime, who maintained these?

The America I know:

Armed and trained thugs and convicted felons, Louis Jodel Chamblain and Guy Philippe in the Dominican Republic to invade Haiti on Feb. 2004 in order to end Haiti’s Constitutional democracy and when these surrogates could not complete the task...

The America I know:

Sent in US Special forces, with the assistance of French and Canadian soldiers, to kidnap the Constitutionally elected President of Haiti and exiled him to the Central African Republic in order to dominate Haiti, secure the Haitian market for US goods and take by US-sponsored force, once again, Haitian resources – state-owned companies, Haiti’s gold, oil, gas reserves, coltan, et al... and all they couldn't persuade Haitian President Aristide or the Haitian people, to give away.

The America I know:

Was built on the genocide of the Amerindians, the enslavement of Africans, and then the blood of centuries of lynching with impunity, the razing to the very ground of Black cities like Rosewood and the “Black Wall Street” in Oklahoma, the colonization of Haiti for 19 years as well as the neocolonization of Dominican Republic, Latin America…; built on gunboat diplomacy and US marines bringing (their sort of) “order” to “backwards” Black and Brown countries all over the world.

The America I know:

Legalized murders and mayhems under Jim Crow for 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation; then after the Civil Rights Movement, denied equal rights to Blacks-Americans through racial profiling, mandatory sentencing, the criminalization of poverty and drug addiction otherwise known as the “war against drugs,” or more aptly, the war against young Black males.”

The America I know:

Trained death squad soldiers and sent them forth, from Fort Benning, Georgia, unto the Haitian people, onto the people of Latin America....

The America I know:

Employed Toto Constant, Haiti's strongman who was the head of the FRAPH death squad that murdered more than 3,000 Haitians from 1991- to 94 and then gave this terrorist asylum in New York while denying fleeing innocent Haitian refugees even a hearing of their asylum claims...

The America I know:

Incarcerated and indefinitely detained Black children, women and men, whose only crime is that they are poor and from Haiti, at Guantanamo Bay, before they started using it as a place to indefinitely incarcerate and torture Al Qaeda, and other "enemy combatants".

The America I know:

Has an overwhelming, disproportionately high African American male population (more than 50% of total US prisoners) in jail when we only make up 13% of the population. More than half of death row prisoners in the US are Black males.

That's the America I know. That's the America I thought would never make a righteous Black man with the democratic and social justice values of Barack Obama its President.

I know the America of the dream that all men are created equal. I was raised in the post-Civil Rights era of the dream, again, deferred for the masses. I was raised in the post-Civil Rights era where America was starting to look like Haiti, with Katrina lifting up for the world to see the huddled and excluded Black US masses left behind and Ophra, Michael Jordan and PDitty representing the few who had successfully made it in an America where overt institutional racism was replaced by the more insidious covert institutional racism and its denial...

"Race doesn’t matter" the Neocon chorus went, and most vociferously by the right wing neo-conservative blacks who were universally celebrated as the “good Black” the "objective" and "not angry" Blacks. Like in Haiti, these Black middlemen told white America what their rich white benefactors wanted them too say and what white Neocon-rule America wanted to hear. Who are some of these black "conservatives?" Well, African American folks like Shelby Steele, Ward Connelly, Armstrong Williams, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, et al...

That's the America I know.

Is the nightmare is over?

President Barack Obama was born of an African father, a white mother from America, spent his childhood in Asia - America/Africa/Asia - will this internationalist bring US change that will help bring relief to the disenfranchised of the world - to the children in Haiti, Baghdad, Congo, Beirut, Gaza, and all the other places in the crosshairs of the American empire's superpower guns?

There is work to be done, and it's up to all of us, not just President Barack Obama.

In his victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama, had the vision to place the responsibility for the welfare of the nation in our own hands, us the citizens, where, in a democracy, it truly must rest. We know the odds, but Obama’s victory has taught us not to be led by fear or doubt but faith and hope. He’s taught us that anything is possible. Yes we can - Wi nou kapab.

Marguerite Laurent/Ezili Dantò

Founder and President, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

November 5, 2008

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