[Marxism] Anti-abortion homophobe Rick Warren to deliver invocation at inauguration

Joaquin Bustelo jbustelo at gmail.com
Wed Dec 17 19:07:50 MST 2008

ELI: "Will *this* be the thing that *finally* wakes up the liberals?" 

I do not see why it should. This is the *real* Obama, this is *exactly* what
he promised. Not just the milder, ad usum delphinis, post-Super-Tuesday or
General Election Obama, but the very early Obama, the Obama of the Iowa
caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, the Obama of the will.i.am "yes we
can" song:

*  *  *

We will remember 
that there is something happening
in America

That we are not as divided 
as out politics suggest

That we are one people, 
that we are one nation

And that together 
we will begin
the next great chapter 
in the American story

With three words 
that will ring 
from coast to coast
from sea to shining sea

Yes we can.

*  *  *

I bring this up because of the repeated statements on this list that somehow
Obama's supporters should be overcoming their illusions in him because he
named Mrs. Clinton or Ken Salazar or Gates. Or now this sky-pilot to pray at
his inauguration.

But folks -- THIS IS WHAT HE PROMISED. That he would strive to unite the
major political factions in the United States. "We are one people....
Together we will begin the next great chapter...".

WE on this list understand that there is not just tremendous tension, but a
fundamental contradiction between such appointments and "yes we can" REAL
change, "yes we can to justice, and equality," which is ANOTHER thing he
promised that will.i.am put into the song.

But that isn't how OTHERS look at it, not YET. The polling that I've seen
suggests that, if anything, Obama's cabinet choices have been *tremendously*
popular, more so than the last few incoming administrations. As masses of
people see it, though not the bourgeois, and especially not the
petty-bourgeois liberal Democrat factionalists, with his appointments Obama
isn't BETRAYING his campaign promises but FULFILLING them. 

Eli chose to focus on Rick Warren giving the invocation, but that wasn't the
reason for the ecstatic phone call I got this afternoon as soon as the
program for the inauguration was unveiled. The reason for that was that the
Reverend Joseph Lowery, long-time president of the SCLC, although I think he
is now retired, is to give the benediction at the end of the program.

My phone call was from someone who is one of the central leaders of the
immigrant rights movement in Georgia. And she was ecstatic.

Because the Rev. Lowery is more than a friend or supporter of the immigrant
rights movement here, he is family. And, yes, like in any family, we've had
our differences, and even out fights. 

But he is family and will always be because in the early years of this
decade, before the 2006 upsurge that put the Latino immigrant rights
movement on the map as a power to be reckoned with and respected in this
country, the Rev. Lowery embraced the movement, indeed, proclaimed it THE
civil rights struggle at the dawn of the 21st Century. 

In a city --Atlanta-- where the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King weighs more
heavily than perhaps anywhere else, he embraced and legitimized the fight
for respecting the full human rights of the undocumented. And he lent us
effective aid. I will be eternally grateful for the marshal training
provided by one of Lowery's close associates, the AFL-CIO organizer and life
long SCLC stalwart Rev. James Orange (who left us earlier this year) for the
very first demonstration the Latino immigrant rights movement had here five
years ago. Because James was there on Bloody Sunday on the bridge on the
Birmingham to Selma march, he was there in Memphis on April 4, 1968, but he
was there also on countless days and nights of marching and organizing that
history did not bother to record. And one of those he spent with us. 

A mountain of a man, the MAIN thing he did was to tell us our effectiveness
would come not from the cleverness of our tactics but from the strength of
our conviction in the justice of our cause. And his preaching was so plain
and artless and so truly from the heart that he had even the most hardened
atheists among us saying "amen" to that.

On Tuesday, January 20, Barack Obama will become the next
bourgeois-imperialist president of the United States.

But he will also become the first Black man to take the oath of office of
President. And the first son of an immigrant --albeit a temporary one-- from
a third world country to do so.

And those latter aspects, though not the former, insofar as they understand
it, will lead tens of millions of people in this country, and billions
around the world, to cheer and celebrate the day. 

The Rev. Lowery's part in all this will be small. He will be a symbol, a
link to the struggles and the martyrs who made what is different and unique
about THIS inauguration possible. But I believe it will perhaps be the most
important part of the inauguration -- the one whose past points to the
future, points to how real change can be achieved.

And, frankly, I don't give a damn about what the Rev. Warren has to say. He
is entirely of the past, and the present that needs to recede into history.
Slaves built that White House and on that Tuesday, a Black man, Black like
those slaves, will take the oath, but more, a true and legitimate
representative of those slaves will be up on the dais, to remind us of how
we got this far, and what we will have to do to go the rest of the way.
Obama won't be with us, but those who Lowery's presence evokes will assure
us, yes WE can.


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