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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Obama is no friend to women or Black people

Last week, in a story most people probably missed because it got almost no coverage, President Obama single-handedly put into effect regulations which in effect implement the Stupak amendment, imposing a total ban on any abortion coverage in the new "high-risk insurance pools." There was absolutely nothing requiring him to do this.

Then yesterday, it was a single Black woman, rather than a large group of women, that Obama (and, by the way, the NAACP as well) threw under the bus - Shirley Sherrod. After a rightwing group - the same rightwing group that posted the heavily edited and highly misleading videos that were used to discredit ACORN - posted a video with a speech by Sherrod suggesting she was a racist who had discriminated against a white farmer, the White House, without even getting her side of the story (i.e., the truth), pressured her (repeatedly and successfully) to resign. Even after she had appeared on various TV shows explaining the truth, and the full video had been posted, the White House still "stood by" its actions (now, still later, they are "reconsidering").

Does the Obama White House stand by its friends? Yes, if those friends are named Netanyahu or Karzai (although him they'll probably throw under the bus someday too, once they get a suitable replacement). No, if they are the women's groups and Black people who were instrumental in putting him in office.

Real antiwar activists undoubtedly weren't fooled into thinking Obama was any kind of progressive when it came to foreign policy, although plenty of liberals undoubtedly saw him as "antiwar" (despite his clearly-stated pledge to escalate the war in Afghanistan). But most people probably saw him as a "friend" to women and Blacks. Isn't it about time everyone woke up and saw him for what he is, just the latest administrator of the capitalist assault on people the world over?

Update: It's implied, but I thought I'd make it explicit. The Obama Administration vigorously defends Israel against warranted charges, like committing war crimes in its invasion of Gaza, or massacring nine people on the Freedom Flotilla. It won't even defend its other friends even when the charges are unwarranted.

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