Monday, August 26, 2013

Who has Obama's back? Those who've been in the struggle all along

Today I'd like to point you all to a diary my friend Denise Oliver Velez wrote back in 2008 when the FISA bill was going through Congress. I don't agree with everything she said (as the saying goes, if I did, one of us would be unnecessary) - but the message is clear.
I have never had privacy. My parents had no privacy. I grew up under the persecution of the McCarthy period, and watched family friends driven out of jobs, and some driven to suicide. I watched my father watch the backs of his friends, and I have learned how to be a trooper since the day I could walk...

The Constitution that has been bandied about here in hysterical FISA diaries of outrage in the last few days has very little meaning for me...The privacy that you are so willing to throw Obama under the bus for has no meaning for me. I’ve never had the luxury to have any...

The Constitution was a series of compromises, and black folks got the worst of them. Legislation is a series of compromises. This country is a series of compromises. The young are impatient. It makes them refreshing but it also makes them stupid. They will throw themselves at the barricades and commit revolutionary suicide in the name of purity...

And so they rant diary after diary after diary...and I sit in wonder and wonder – where were you when we were dying? Where are you when were crying? Who among you challenged COINTELPRO? Who fought J Edgar Hoover? Who among you will go to jail for me? Will die for me, will call out the names of the dead killed by that piece of paper you now brandish like a sword to impale your former Hero? Oh how your Champion has fallen and will you banish him from your side of this game called politics? For I see now that for you it is but a game.

I don’t play games. Games are for children. I’m not in a tournament. Tournaments are for athletes and Knights of the Roundtable in fairy tales. I’m in a war – and this is just one battle, one skirmish in a war that has gone on since Christopher Columbus got lost on his way to despoil India. A war that I will not see the end of. A war that requires a patience that transcends death. A war that may determine if any human beings remain alive to carry on the struggle on this planet when I am turned to dust.

But I know my role in that war. I’m an aging foot soldier. I’m a protective grandmother, a woman, a black woman. I don’t forget, and I don’t forgive, but I do my duty and I stand as one among thousands. I say proudly, "Barack. Young man. I got your back." I will fight all and any who have falsely claimed to be a part of this struggle, but turned tail at the sight of the first puff of smoke. I will denounce them as cowards.
The way I see it, women and people of color know that RIGHT NOW they are in the fight of their lives to maintain the forward movements people like Denise and her generation struggled to attain.  And she's not about to get distracted from that fight by the games the purists want to play. You go girl!!!!


  1. She is so on point.

    thanks for this, smartypants

  2. Yes, thank you yet again!