NEW YORK––The U.S. president’s wife and partner in imperialist crime, Michelle Obama, delivered what many petty bourgeoisie Africans consider to be a great commencement address at the City College of New York on June 3, 2016.
U.S. neocolonial first lady Obama, during her almost 24-minute speech, spoke of diversity, critiqued subtly the 2016 Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and raised up her neocolonial husband and U.S. president, Barack Hussein Obama.
In the beginning if her speech, Obama noted that this is her very last commencement speech as U.S. first lady. She noted that it was her last time to “share a little bit of wisdom with the graduating class.” Let’s analyze the wisdom which she so generously bestowed upon the 2016 City College graduates.
Michelle Obama’s petty bourgeois ideas on diversity
Obama’s speech was mostly centered around the topic of diversity, as she celebrated the various languages and countries that the graduates represent. She mentioned that whether the graduates’ families came to the U.S. in chains––like her family––or more recently with the determination to seek “a better life,” each graduate is at that point due to “unyielding determination.”
The U.S. first lady fails to adequately conceptualize for her graduate audience that Africans who arrived to these shores in chains had their “better life” violently ripped from them through the plunder, enslavement and colonization of Africa.
She also omitted the genocide of the Indigenous people of North America, and how their better life was stolen from them in exchange for small pox, land theft and massacres.
Even the millions of “recent immigrants” who come to the U.S. in search of a “better life” are in fact chasing the resources which have been stolen from them due to the parasitic capitalist aims of white power imperialism. Michelle Obama’s failure to conceptualize this for her audience is unsurprising.
Michelle Obama then goes on to stand in front of a graduating class of mostly students from colonized nations––over 11,000 of the 2015 admissions to the school are non-white––and praised the fact that they commuted for hours to get to their colonial education, while juggling multiple jobs yet still struggling to pay their tuition and support their families.
The struggles that colonized people face in the U.S. due to this parasitic capitalist system spawned out of the enslavement of Africans and the genocide of the Indigenous populations is nothing to celebrate. In fact, doing so is a slap across the face.
Michelle Obama praises colonial education which forwards the imperialist objectives of white power
Michelle then goes on to praise the “rigorous curriculum and renowned faculty” of City College. In doing so, she revered the graduates for winning countless honors and awards and getting into “top graduate schools.”
So-called top graduate schools have curricula which do not stress the worldwide Revolutionary struggles on the Sixties and ignore revolutionary theory which must be applied in today’s colonial world to secure our freedom. So one must ask, what purpose do these schools serve for the colonized working class and our liberation?
The answer is none. In fact, colonial education serves the white ruling class. It creates passive petty-bourgeois Africans and other colonized populations. It teaches colonized people to have a stake in the very system which oppresses us––all while keeping us in debt.
Revolutionaries, like those in the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), would note that the way to achieve “a better life” would be to commit class suicide. In doing so, members of the petty bourgeois class acknowledge that they have no stake in the colonial system, and align their ideologies with the working class in their struggle to overturn colonialism and parasitic capitalism.
Those who commit class suicide recognize that actively investing in the system which was born through enslavement and genocide, is investing in their own demise.
Michelle Obama then continues with a statement that infers that City College was founded on diversity. One wonders how diverse a college campus could be in 1847––20 years before the abolishment of U.S. slavery?
Unbeknownst to Michelle Obama apparently––who we saw previously express that her ancestors were forcefully displaced here in chains––City College was founded by white man Townsend Harris, who more than likely held slaves during the 1800s.
The school was founded for white immigrant men from Europe. Africans––Obama’s ancestors included––and other colonized peoples were not a concern for the school’s founder, except when aiming to benefit from our stolen resources.
The U.S. first lady then honors the “founding fathers” by stating that they put forth ideals that “we were all created equal and entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”––a quote from the U.S. Declaration of Independence. This contradictory document was written in 1776, while Africans were still being stolen, bought and sold.
A true African leader who is aligned with the goals and aspirations of the colonized working class would not hesitate to outline the contradictions in this worthless document. Michelle Obama choses instead to celebrate and spread the lies of the white ruling class to the new generation of graduates.
The first lady on Trump; or was it Obama?
Michelle Obama states in her unnamed reference to Republican nominee Donald Trump: “I have seen how leaders rule by intimidation, leaders who demonize and dehumanize entire groups of people often do so because they have nothing else to offer. And I have seen how places that stifle the voices and dismiss the potential of their citizens are diminished, how they are less vital…less free.”
In the above quote, she also unintentionally references U.S. president Barack Obama. The U.S. president “rules by intimidation” when he bombs Syria, Libya, Somalia and other colonized people to further his imperialist aims.
The U.S. president also “demonized and dehumanized and entire group of people” in his attempt to “stifle the voices and dismiss the potential” of the African working class when he referred to the youth who were engaging in righteous struggle during the 2015 Baltimore Uprising as “thugs.”
The only thing that the U.S. president has to offer Africans and other colonized people is white power dressed in a black face. During his almost eight-year term, Obama has single-handedly made the African working-class less vital and even more oppressed.
Michelle Obama critiques Trump’s talk, yet ignored her husband’s walk
In an allusion to Trump’s call to build a wall on the border with Mexico, Obama remarked, “here in America, we don’t give in to our fears, we don’t build up walls to keep people out.”
Michelle Obama conveniently omits her husband’s support for the illegitimate State of Israel and their massive wall built on stolen Palestinian land to keep the Palestinian’s out.
She also forgets to mention that the U.S. president has deported more immigrants than any other U.S. president. Obama clearly doesn’t need to build walls “to keep people out.” Why build a wall when he can just deport them?
So, while Trump is talking the imperialist talk, Barack Obama walks the walk.
Michelle Obama: “I wake up in a house built by slaves”
In the closing portion of her speech, Obama, in an apparent effort to show how far the U.S. have come, stated: “I wake up in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters, two beautiful black young women, head off to school waving goodbye to their father, the president of the United States.”
In one aspect, she is correct. The U.S. has come a long way from seeing Africans produce and reproduce life for the white ruling class with heavy resistance, to having petty-bourgeois Negroes like the Obamas eagerly pursuing white power’s aims.
The Obamas do not represent the African working class. They represent white power as they use every opportunity to spread the lies of the oppressor.
The African People’s Socialist Party and our vanguard of revolutionaries struggle daily to ensure that working class Africans are made aware of these lies and learn the truth. The APSP is the Party of the people, which work to see the oppressive colonial system overturned.
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