I got a fundraising letter from Barack Obama yesterday and it really threw me. The return address read “Chicago, IL 60680.” This move that was “rumored” and then accomplished over the last few days obviously was planned very far in advance, and is the “cherry on top” of the RBC meeting on May 31. The FIX was in way before then, long enough to print up all those lovely gray envelopes with Chicago, IL as the return address.
Upon opening the envelope, I saw two names: “Barack Obama” was on the bigger, gray sheet, behind a smaller white sheet with the name of “Reverend Joseph Lowery” across the top and, in smaller print, “President, Souther Christian Leadership Conference (1977-1997).
I’m not sure what impact this was supposed to have on me. Although I consider myself well-educated politically, the name didn’t immediately ring a bell.
The letter was a pitch which carried on the emphasis on race and the refrain that it was “time” that has dominated this campaign.
I have walked this earth now for many a mile and many a year, and there are times when it seems like every step of the way, I’ve been told to wait.
I walked from Selma to Montgomery and beyond with Martin Luther King Jr.–with whom I co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)–and even the sincerest of people often greeted our struggle for civil rights with a plea of patience.
Today, I am proud to march alongside one of the most inspiring leaders our country has seenin a generation. His name is Barack Obama, and he holds out the promisew of a new politics steeped in possibility. And once more, we’re hearing that tired old refrain.
“Yes, the skeptics say of Barack, “he surely is an extraordinary leader. And yes, he most certainly was right to oppose the war in Iraq when other politicians were backing it blindly. And, why of course, he’s rightabout all those aching and unmet needs here at home. But he hasn’t spent enough time in Washington, D.C. Why doesn’t he wait?
It turns out thay Lowery has been called “the dean of the civil rights movement” by the NAACP (bio here). He challenged the premise of the Iraq War at Coretta Scott King’s funeral in 2006:
“We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there, that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance, poverty abounds, for war billions more, but no more for the poor.” (Source is from the video of the comments which was cited along with a transcript of a very interesting interview of Lowery and Ron Christie on February 12, 2006 conducted by Chris Wallace. )
In the interview, he also makes comments he’s critical of the Democrats as well as Republicans and calls for “more programs.” He calls Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton the “shakedown cruise” element of black America. Finding discrimination and trouble behind every corner, these folks were extremely successful in extorting ridiculous sums of money from government and corporations that would oddly find their way into the leaders’ pockets rather than the constituencies they claimed to represent.”
Does he believe Obama is any better??
Also noted in Lowery’s resume are “Lowery’s efforts to combat injustice and promote equal opportunities” which have “led to the extension of provisions to the Voting Rights Act to 2007″ and how he continues to work “to encourage African Americans to vote, and recorded a rap with artist NATE the Great to help spread this message.”
It’s rather to ironic to read about Lowery’s commitment to voting in light of how Obama has toyed with primary voters this year and has had the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee back up the disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan to ensure his coronation. (Of course, it pales to Gore’s amnesia about the latter’s run-in with a corrupted vote.)
It’s also ironic to see Lowery accepting a guy who dissed the lessons of the 60′s and the Viet Nam War, isn’t it?
Of course, Hillary Clinton actually lived through the era with Lowery. But, ironically, she is now a racist, according to the Obama campaign. Apparently, she “marginalized” civil rights leaders of the era by mentioning the FACT that it took a President, namely LBJ, to sign legislation to actually codify many of the goals of the civil rights movement. As a young student laywer working one summer for a firm which defended the Black Panthers (Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein which was based in Oakland, California), her job was to organize shifts of Yale student monitors to watch the proceedings to ensure that there was no government misconduct or civil rights abuses during the prosecuting of those accused of murder. I guess now that the Black Panthers support Obama this negates anything Clinton did in the 60′s when things were really hot and mainstream law firms shied away from taking this sort of case.
Obama’s gray letter neatly follows along the lines of Lowery’s and then goes on to state that “this time will be different” and urges the reader to “join a movement–”a calling” to “change politics itself.”
He goes on to say that “change is required–the NEW SPIRIT we need, a spirit of responsibility and honesty, of seriousness and sacrifice–starts with you.
Who writes this crap? He talks about “responsibility.” How many times has he gone to the “not the person I knew” excuse for his relationships? How many of his group has he thrown under the bus? How many times has he flip-flopped. Honesty? OH, PLEASE!! Seriousness?? Oh, like giving Hillary the “street finger” and the “brush off?” Sacrifice? Oh, yeah, he and MIchelle want “youth” to sacrifice and eschew the big bucks as they get help from shady characters to buy a house they can’t afford. And there are other “favors” that have come down in Chicagoland that have resulted in Michelle’s nifty raise at the public hospital…
He throws in a line about “shuttered mills” as a sop to John Edwards and blabs about how “We can accept a politics that breed division and conflict and cynicism. That is one option. Or, at this moment,…we can come together and say: “Not this time.” (The letter’s bolding, not mine).
Enough to make you gag, isn’t it?? Talk about IRONY! After this guy has painted the Clintons as racists and has split the Democratic Party into two camps…the thinking crowd versus the robot crowd and his own operatives who act like thugs?
His letter ends with a flourish, a P.S. that explains:
I’m in this race for the same reason that I fought for jobs for the jobless and hope for the hopeless in the streets of Chicago; for the same reason I fought for justice and equality as a civil rights lawyer, for the same reason I fought for Illinois families for over a decade; because I believe that Americans who care about our country can work together to change it. We can–but first we must prevail in this campaign. Please join our movement today.
I guess hope for the hopeless in the Rezko slums aren’t part of the story and that decade of fighting for families consisted of about 50 days a year, voting present a bunch of times, and then going to DC and playing footsies with Exelon and nuclear waste to the tune of over $227,000 in contributions (his 4th largest contributor..another figure I found was $249,000.) See “Nuclear Leaks, Response Tested Obama in Senate, NT Times, February 2, 2008. (What does Al Gore think of that?)
Rev. Lowery states that he is “…too old, in short, to wait for Barack Obama to be President of the United States.”
It strikes me as rather sad that Rev. Lowery thinks that waiting for Obama will result in the fulfillment of a dream he must have. Because as I said to an acquaintance months ago, “Barack Obama is no Martin Luther King, Jr.” I guess because Obama calls his campaign a “movement” that equates with the “movement” which Lowery ascribes to King in the NPR interview below.
In April, Obama skipped the commemeration of the 40th anniversary of King’s assassination which were held in Memphis. But Hillary, along with John McCain, was there.
From the BBC:
Mrs Clinton, who is competing with Mr Obama to be the Democratic Party’s choice to run for president, spoke at the church where King gave a sermon the day before he died.
She described meeting him when she was 14 and, with tears in her eyes, recalled her despair a few years later on hearing the news of his murder.
In an interview on NPR conducted on the day of the anniversary, Lowery commented on how King and his colleagues how “fought with, with truth and with love…and I think we need to know more about that Martin than the Martin we always picture saying ‘I’m dreaming.’” The segment ends with a clip of King talking about how he wanted to “leave a committed life behind.”
Does Rev. Lowery think Obama fights the same way and with the same commItment? Really?
JUST SAY NO DEAL