Published under the name “Silence Really Is Betrayal” in Issue 515 of The Black Commentator on May 2, 2013
Republished in on May 5, 2013
Republished in (Ireland & Scotland) on May 9, 2013

By Larry Pinkney

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

–Martin Luther King Jr.

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

–Malcolm X [el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz]

Much of the leadership of the so-called ‘progressives’ in the U.S. has for the past five years amply and repeatedly demonstrated what can only be accurately described as crass opportunism and hypocrisy.

When U.S. wars of imperialism and aggression, predicated upon lies, were being waged by the George W. Bush regime, so-called ‘progressives’ were loudly denouncing such polices. But ever since the onslaught of the double-talking, war mongering, drone man, “Kill List’ Barack Obama and his Democrat and Republican minions, their silence has been deafening and their ongoing complicity in this regard, against everyday ordinary Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in this nation and throughout Mother Earth can only be described as despicable.

In this year of 2013, Barack Obama, with the continuing silence and complicity of much of the leadership of so-called progressives in the U.S. has already gone far beyond the egregious actions of his predecessors in the White House. Progressives are hypocritically rationalizing perpetual U.S. wars, drones, Guantanamo, the NDAA, Obama’s ‘Kill List,’ intense government subterfuge & entrapment, outrageous corporate hegemony, and the flagrant disregard for civil liberties, human rights, the U.S. Constitution, and international law. These so-called progressives in this nation are in fact helping to facilitate the veiled, velvet-gloved de facto U.S. fascism in ‘black face’ of Barack Obama.

This complicity on the part of many so-called progressives in this nation did not begin in 2013. It has been ongoing for years now. In the November, 2009, Born Black Magazine article titled, Silence of the Lambs? Liberal Hypocrisy and the Complicity of the Left, I wrote in relevant part, “In fact, the black elite (working in conjunction with the white elite) are key linchpins for the deepening unemployment, economic oppression, and disenfranchisement of the masses of everyday Black people, and indeed all economically oppressed and disenfranchised people. None of this is mere happenstance. It is ever so deliberate.” (Reference:

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made crystal clear, “There is a time when silence is betrayal.” The silence and betrayal by ‘progressives’ in their onerous and hypocritical support for the constant outrages against everyday people, nationally and globally, by the Obama/Biden regime speaks volumes as to how incredibly disingenuous and dangerous they actually are. These supposed progressives are not progressive at all. They are opportunistic frauds and hypocrites – enemies of the ordinary everyday struggling Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people of this nation and world.

We must remember the words of Malcolm X, when he said, “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” The leadership of the fake progressives in this nation are not “for truth” nor are they “for justice.” They are for themselves, and certainly not for “humanity as a whole.”

Silence is complicity and it really is betrayal – betrayal of the aspirations and legitimate needs of everyday people. Our task is to be true to principles in this long and protracted people’s struggle. It is time to creatively build a conscious people’s movement that is steeped firmly in principles that is an integral part of the everyday people’s in this nation that “benefits humanity as a whole.”

Remember: Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. 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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