Published in Issue 444 of The Black Commentator on October 6, 2011
Republished in Intrepid Report on October 11, 2011
Republished in The Occupied Washington Post (Freedom Plaza, Washington, D.C.), November 2011 Issue No. 1, Page 5, under the title, Black America: Time to Rejoin the Developing Revolution  (OCCUPIED_Washington_Post_pages_1_&_5 – PDF)

By Larry Pinkney

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
-Langston Hughes

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
-Frederick Douglass

The struggles for economic, political, and social justice of everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow peoples has been, and remains, a long, arduous, and protracted one. The legacy of Black America in this regard has been a particularly sterling one.

The wealthy elite of this nation have always sought to mask, co-opt, and distort the history of these ongoing struggles. Since the very inception of this nation, color, gender, and class have consistently been used by the aforementioned wealthy elite to divide, stifle, and bury revolutionary movements. This is nothing new.

However, the wealthy elite (now known as the corporate elite) have, like mad scientists, consistently tweaked their insidious designs against ordinary everyday people. Their objective to divide, distort, stifle, and bury genuine people’s movements remains precisely the same.

Even as the United States, and humankind as a whole, have entered into the 21st century, the corporate elite of this nation has dipped yet again into its hypocritical and bloody bag of tricks to neutralize the legitimate yearning of Black America (and everyday people of all colors) for economic, political, and social justice nationally and globally. A new trick was needed. The essence of that trick was put forth by the corporate elite in the form of the articulate, nominally “black,” de facto Wall Street-backed Barack Obama.

It was decided that the most effective way to neutralize Black America’s cultural, political, economic, and social struggle would be to present us with the illusion of change, but with absolutely no real systemic change at all. Thus, while many everyday people of all colors were euphorically celebrating and bamboozled by this illusion, the clock was in fact being turned backwards by the corporate elite, by way of their articulate tool, the corporate-brand Barack Obama.

Under the corporate, profit-driven auspices of Barack Obama, joblessness among everyday Black people in this nation has virtually tripled. The incarceration rate of Black people under the Obama regime (including the privatization of prisons) has more than doubled. The rate of Black people attending colleges and universities has, and continues, to rapidly dwindle. The unconstitutional so-called “Patriot Act” has been extended and enhanced, as has the U.S. program of international kidnapping and torture known euphemistically as “extraordinary rendition.” Openness in government has become null and void. Universal single payer health care remains but “a dream deferred.” Judicial justice is now overwhelmingly a sick joke. And of course U.S. wars abroad, and economic austerity at home, continue unabated.

None of these horrible realities should come as a surprise in view of the fact that Obama’s past and present “hope and change” rhetoric was, and continues to be, nothing more than a corporate-brand smoke screen. Instead of “hope and change,” what Black America (and indeed all everyday people in this nation) have received, is the smoke and mirror reality of the corporate / military’s systemic rope and chain.

What Barack Obama arrogantly refers to as “whining” on the part of everyday people who are in terrible pain, is what is known, in any serious democracy, as being held accountable to one’s constituency. But of course Obama’s de facto constituency is the corporate pharmaceutical, insurance, and banking, etc. corporate elite. It is time for everyday Black Americans to return to our proud legacy of serious struggle. We have been bamboozled and economically and politically pimped long enough. Enough already!

Indeed, what does happen to a dream deferred? The time has come for everyday Black Americans to collectively and resoundingly answer that question for Barack Obama and his Democrat and Republican corporate accomplices. We must remember the words of Frederick Douglass: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.” It is time for systemic change. Time to collectively rejoin the developing revolution in this nation and around the world! Wake up and organize as a part of this protracted struggle while there is yet time!

Onward, then, my sisters and brothers! Onward!

Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, and more recently on the nationally syndicated Alex Jones Show. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, San Francisco BayView newspaper, Black Commentator, Intrepid Report, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), 107 Cowgate (Ireland and Scotland), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). He is in the archives of Dr. Huey P. Newton (Stanford University, CA), cofounder of the Black Panther Party. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.)


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