TOWARDS the end of the prologue of his best-selling book, “The Audacity of Hope”, former U.S. president, Barack Obama writes: “Recently, one of the reporters covering Capitol Hill stopped me on the way to my office and mentioned that she had enjoyed reading my first book. “I wonder,” she said, “if you can be that interesting in the next one you write.” By which she meant, I wonder if you can be that honest now that you are a U.S. senator.
Of course, Obama’s journey to the White House has not been without its challenges, having to succeed George W. Bush, who has spent eight years in office despite making some of the biggest gaffes in the office’s history. But Obama, ever the optimist, had to prove that America could renew its image, sentiments he expressed in his aforementioned book. After the world was filled with wonder as to why the younger Bush ever got to the White House, Obama was to be the wonder boy who would rescue it from shame.
But Obama was audacious enough to face down criticism in a respectful way, often engaging in self-deprecating humour to lessen the sting. From triumph to misstep, he ensured that America must embrace certain positive values that have shaped its character. Among those values is immigration, without which America itself would not be as great as it thinks.
President Donald Trump’s recent racist remarks that referred to Haiti and African countries as “shithole countries” in his attempts to justify plugging the immigration flow from those countries go counter to the embrace America has extended to the world for many decades. Not only has Trump faltered in using his words poorly, but he was also showing up his insensitivity to a nastier degree.
As a so-called leader of the free world, Trump should know better than to lambaste other nations with such hurtful rhetoric, especially when cities like Detroit which have been decaying for years now since the economic meltdown nearly a decade ago continue to struggle to survive.
As a region that has always chosen to play second fiddle to the United States, the Caribbean must understand Trump’s statement clearly by recognizing that it is a blatant attack on people not of Trump’s pigmentation. With Haiti being a regional metaphor for standing up against suppression and Africa being the cradle of origin for many of the region’s people’s ancestors, Trump’s statement on immigration policy went beyond that. Plain and simple, the region demands an apology from Trump – without any undue delay.
Just when America was beginning to show that it had any semblance of being audacious about hope for itself and the rest of the world, Trump has emerged to diffuse that process by creating division instead of unity. If Trump truly knows what it takes to lead, he should know that being respectful of other cultures play a crucial part in building relationships.
After all, had it not been for America’s open immigration policy Obama’s father would not have migrated to America to study, thereby meeting Obama’s mother, a white American who – like her parents — embraced her son with all that she had.
As for the cited prologue, Trump is a different kettle of fish altogether because while Obama did his best by being audacious to live up to the positive promises he made as a senator and later president, Trump has used his time in office to trample upon the very things that contributed to making America great in the first place: people. Today’s Trump is much the same – and honest – as he has ever been, even though his brand of honesty as president is what rubs many more people the wrong way.
Trump & Obama: (as St. Lucians are wont to say) “Même bête, même poil!”
Not surprised that you have fallen for the audacity of hope-a-dope from Obomber, the smiling, respectful, outwardly erudite, but deadly psychopath! Sorry to wake you up from your delusional remembrances of the Obama administration, but here are just 3 points of reality concerning it:
1. Obama’s Legacy In Africa: Terrorism, Civil War and Military Expansion
“Obama’s war on Libya was the opening salvo of a continent-wide destabilization, the effects of which are still being felt today.”
“With the Libyan state destroyed, the US has been able to further expand militarily all over the continent.”
No American president has done more to destroy African independence than Barack Obama. “Within two years of his pledge to let Africans resolve their own problems, U.S.-NATO jets were dropping bombs on Libya in support of al-Qaida-linked terrorists who would topple and brutally assassinate Moammar Gadhafi.” Most African militaries are now subordinate to and dependent on the U.S. Pentagon.
In his two terms in office, President Obama has put nearly the whole of Africa under U.S. military sway. He was the first U.S. president to bomb an African country — Libya, whose “nationalized oil reserves and plans to use gold as the chief reserve currency in Africa threatened US capitalist penetration in Africa.” Obama rewrote international law, invoking “Responsibility to Protect” as “justification for the destruction of sovereign nations.”
2. The Deporter-in-Chief
“President Obama waged eight years of ceaseless war on the undocumented population.”
Donald Trumps racist rants against immigrants have overshadowed the fact that “more undocumented immigrants have been deported under Obama’s rule than any other in history” — and that Hillary Clinton “has championed militarization and the deportation of Central American children alongside Obama.” The Obama administration laid the groundwork for Donald Trump’s immigrant-mania “by escalating the US government’s war on the undocumented.”
3. Waging War on Civil Liberties
“Mass unemployment and poverty has brought the war home in the form of the national security state.”
“Obama’s record on civil liberties is objectively worse than his predecessor, George W. Bush.”
Liberals and leftists supported candidate Barack Obama largely because they thought he would be good for civil liberties. Instead, Obama introduced “indefinite military detention without trial or cause,” increased wiretaps 34 percent in his first two years, imprisoned more whistleblowers than all his predecessors combined. The First Black President spends Tuesday evenings on his Kill List.
Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and the courageous individuals who released the WikiLeaks documents have played a large role in uncovering Obama’s support for Washington’s enormous spy dragnet. However, Obama’s assault on civil liberties has not been limited to mere spying. In 2010, the homes of 20 anti-war activists around the country were raided by the FBI. The investigations of the activists were all directed by the Obama Administration’s Joint Terrorist Task Force. None of the activists have been charged with any formal crime to this date. By 2012, Obama had prosecuted more whistle blowers such as Manning under the Espionage Act than any other President in US history combined .
These attacks are part and parcel of Obama’s total war on civil liberties. The first “Black President” is also the first President to possess a personal “Kill List” of potential drone targets to be assassinated by Presidential decree. Obama also signed the National Defense Authorization Act in 2012. This Act expanded Presidential powers to include the indefinite military detention of citizens without trial or cause . It also included a provision that birthed the Conflicts Records Research Center. The newly created think tank signed off by Obama gave the Department of Defense an additional arena to collect intelligence on each and every person the US deemed to be a threat to its “national security.”
Instead of your fictional diatribe, perhaps you should pretend to be a journalist, for once, and read about the major FISA abuses which occurred under the Obama watch!