Tef Poe: We want justice for Michael Brown and every victim of police brutality.
This is the moment I asked myself, “Why did I vote for Barack Obama twice? Why are we being treated like this simply for demanding justice for our fallen brother?” I decided it is possible I’ll never vote for another American president for as long as I live. We live in America but we are clearly not included as Americans. Americans don’t unleash a completely militarized force upon other Americans. Americans don’t tear gas other Americans. Americans don’t drive tanks over the front yards of other Americans. By classical definition we are still poor black people who reside in America, but we are not considered equal to fellow American citizens and lawmakers. Our hopes and dreams are not valued or respected. Our worries and concerns often fall upon deaf ears.
During this time I’ve pulled children out of clouds of tear gas. I’ve witnessed white women who are members of the clergy collectively praying in front of tanks and armored vehicles. One of these women was mercilessly shot with a rubber bullet by the police while praying for peace. Our neighborhood was occupied by the police as if they were an invading army laying siege to their enemy and pillaging the remains. Our basic civil rights were stripped away as we were treated like cattle in the name of a sick, sadistic experiment in martial law. We assumed that our beloved, black president would come to our defense and speak about the perils of police brutality, racial profiling, and Mike Brown’s unfortunate demise. Instead we felt as if he co-signed this unfair treatment and endorsed the brutal show of force the police displayed towards us. We are our only allies. No one in the world will stand up with us against such tyranny.
8:48 pm • 21 October 2014
Why America needs a moment of clarity now
We could mince words about the vast differences and expansive power of local governments in these matters, over against the apparently limited power of federal jurisdiction. But that’s kind of beside the point. Movements are as much about symbols as about substance. And Barack Obama is a broken symbol, a clanging cymbal, unable to say and do anything of use. His silence is the sound of imploding dreams, his words mere distractions and detours from the future we want.
He has become a prime example that being the leader of the free world in a Black body is still no match for entrenched, local, systemic, committed racism. It’s sad that it has come to this. But this is bigger than Barack Obama. Just like it was bigger than King and hisdream. We have awakened from sleep. We have been startled out of it by nearly 30 gunshots ringing out insistently from the heart of America. Jay-Z might call it “a moment of clarity.” In Obama’s place, Cornel West has re-emerged, the wise and fearless elder, the one who we tried not to listen to, as he screamed into the wind for six years, the one whose approach chafed my hide on more than a few occasions, the one who is — despite all of our collective quibbles and begrudgements – right.
This moment is about all of us. About what kind of America we want to be. About what kind of America we are willing to be, willing to fight for. About whether we will settle for being mediocre and therefore murderous to a whole group of citizens. About whether there are other versions of ourselves worth fighting for.
Don’t sleep. Millennials, it seems, are the ones we have been waiting for. Fearless and focused, the future they are fighting for is one I want. It is high time to awake out of sleep. Stay woke.
5:36 pm • 21 October 2014
“Actually, I’m doing pretty good.”
— President Obama on how he’s doing as president
4:19 pm • 21 October 2014
“If Washington wants to do something about the Islamic State, it should send humanitarian aid to displaced civilians, restart talks to end Syria’s civil war, and condition all assistance to Baghdad on its willingness to improve conditions for Iraq’s Sunni minority. The last thing Obama should do is fight a war for allies who are losing a popularity contest to a group that beheads people.”
— “Obama’s Dumb War”
11:12 am • 18 October 2014
Critique from an Obama fan
“America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” Obama declared in his speech Wednesday night. He described it as a “counterterrorism campaign” that would “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS.
There’s some inconsistency there. Counterterrorism is the right prism through which to approach this, rather than all-out war, but it’s unlikely to destroy ISIS any more than it did the Taliban or militancy in Yemen.
Indeed, the president, in his speech, said that his strategy in Syria “is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.” That’s a plausible comparison, but Obama may be the only person in the world who would cite conflict-torn Yemen and Somalia as triumphs. […]
“We’re going to war because we’ve been spooked,” notes Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist at the University of Oklahoma. “But if we do it wrong, we could ensure that the violence spreads.”
8:54 pm • 14 September 2014
“To recap: we are going to war with no clear exit plan; we are doing so before the regional allies have been forced to take a stand; Obama is shouldering all of the responsibility himself, based on a hysterical public mood that could evaporate in a month’s time. To argue that this is a reneging of everything Obama ran on is an understatement. Even Bush went to Congress for a vote before the Iraq War. And the legitimization of panic and fear and hysteria undoes so much of what Obama had previously achieved in amending US foreign policy.”
— The Nightmare Scenario
5:36 pm • 13 September 2014
“I cast another absentee ballot for Obama. And this time, when he won, I felt my hope a little more absent as well.”
— I’m a Millennial and I’m disappointed in Obama
8:48 pm • 11 December 2013
“I’m really good at killing people.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly said to aides
8:48 pm • 4 November 2013
White House under assault over healthcare, NSA, Benghazi
A trio of issues — Obamacare, spying allegations and Benghazi — bring headaches to the White House this week.
In a place accustomed to tough stretches, this has been a particularly tough few days at the White House.
After emerging from the showdown over the Republican-led government shutdown relatively unscathed, the Obama administration finds itself under assault on three fronts: problems surrounding Obamacare, the revelations of the U.S. spying on allies, and the 2012 attack on the U.S diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, the latter for which a senator has threatened to hold up all of the Obama administration’s nominations.
2:24 pm • 1 November 2013
“Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient or disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum. In private conversations with aides, Mr. Obama described Syria as one of those hellish problems every president faces, where the risks are endless and all the options are bad.”
— U.S. President Obama’s experience with Syria
11:12 am • 29 October 2013