Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Linking Obama to King and RFK

David Seaton's News Links
The New York Times has an article that, with a totally straight face compares Barack Obama to Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, who were assassinated within a few weeks of each other in 1968. Here is a sample:
There is a hushed worry on the minds of many supporters of Senator Barack Obama, echoing in conversations from state to state, rally to rally: Will he be safe? In Colorado, two sisters say they pray daily for his safety. In New Mexico, a daughter says she persuaded her mother to still vote for Mr. Obama, even though the mother feared that winning would put him in danger. And at a rally here, a woman expressed worries that a message of hope and change, in addition to his race, made him more vulnerable to violence. “I’ve got the best protection in the world,” Mr. Obama, of Illinois, said in an interview, reprising a line he tells supporters who raise the issue with him. “So stop worrying.” Yet worry they do, with the spring of 1968 seared into their memories, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated in a span of two months.
In my opinion this should be accompanied by a disclaimer, "I'm Barack Obama and I approve of this message", because it is straightforward propaganda and a gross manipulation if ever I saw one. The message being that the "change" that Obama propose is in some way comparable to the kind of change that King and RFK were pushing for, or that the climate today in anyway resembles that of 1968.

I have an almost total recall of that period. The European student rebellion, in which I had a small, walk on, part was in full swing and the entire western world was in ferment. Everything was changing at breakneck speed, politics, sex, music and dope were all taking new forms daily. The effect was dizzying. King and Kennedy were symbols of what was the sudden and deeply traumatic destruction of the familiar. There was deep rage and fear lurking everywhere. To be a symbol of what was, in fact, a revolution was to have a target hung around the neck. Another icon of the period, John Lennon, ended up finally paying the same toll.

How can anyone compare our post-post-post, period to that one, or Obama's stream of vacuous platitudes to what RFK and King represented?

This is what gets me incensed, how ersatz this Obamamania all is... It's like comparing
poor little Amy Winehouse to Stax/Atlantic. DS

1 comment:

anansi said...

Liked the comparison - so apt.