Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obama, Justice for a Friend, Justice for the Rest of Us

A letter I have written to Barack Obama:

Dear Mr. Obama:

Regarding your eagerness to jump in without knowing the facts, you show yet again your indifference to fact, substance and justice. As you have with your bailout, your exclusion of labor from discussions on stimulus packages, your exclusion of single-payer as an option on healthcare, you show yet again that you are a president of the privileged -- indifferent to the circumstances of the people whom you serve.

You work for us. You are our servant, lest you forget.

Henry Louis Gates may be right. The officer may be. They may both be wrong. Who knows -- probably not even them. We do know that Gates, like you, is among the most privileged people of color in the entire world. He has little if any first-hand experience of the conditions of those people he now claims to represent. You, admittedly, have somewhat greater claim in that regard. But let's not pretend that you have any idea what it is like to be black in Bedford-Stuyvesant and confronting a cop determined that you are guilty. You are utterly ignorant on the conditions of any such person or the conditions of roughly 300 million other Americans. If you did, you could not now be displaying such revolting hypocrisy on economic justice or civil liberties.

Whatever the facts and ultimate outcome in Cambridge, you jumped in -- for a personal friend -- without any more facts at hand than any of us. YET you won't say WORD ONE in criticism of ANYTHING the Bush administration did -- torture, war in Iraq, attacks on civil liberties. You say NOTHING in substantive pursuit of justice. You rule out any investigation of likely Bush war crimes.

YET you leap to pre-judge a tempest in a teapot in Cambridge, MA.


With regards,

Hugh Sansom

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