Posted by CODEPINK Staff
For those who follow political news, you'll recognize the title of this post as a quote from Obama's speech to the Congressional Black Caucus annual awards dinner on Saturday.
His speech has gotten attention from across the media spectrum. According to Rachel Maddow, the mainstream press unfairly focused on the critical points in his speech. Black commentators have had mixed reactions to his demand to "stop complainin'." ColorLines points out that the CBC has been working on job creation longer than the American Jobs Act has been in existence. African-American author Karen Hunter claims the AP's transcription of the speech is "inherently racist" because it was published as spoken, with dropped g's. Tavis Smiley was particularly incensed, asking Representative Sheila Jackson Lee if Obama would dare to tell Jews, Latinos, or any other constituency to stop complaining.
Personally, I agree with Smiley's criticism. And as a fan of Zora Neale Hurston, I reject the idea that transcribing speech as it is said is "inherently racist." I agree that we need to get moving.
But here's the thing - until the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are ended, until all troops and war profiteers come home, until all people have the right to marry and all gender identities are accepted, until everyone has food to eat, a home to live in, free education, universal, single-payer healthcare, until nuclear power and nuclear weapons are abolished, until our infrastructure is rebuilt and the water and power industries are fully regulated, until significant money is spent on research in renewable, sustainable energy, I will march on. And I wont waste a minute of my time or a dime of money on political campaigns. We need to continue occupying Wall Street, challenging Obama at every public appearance he makes, and gathering in Freedom Plaza. Politicians wont hand us change. Just as the New Deal was forged because of the demands of people in the streets, just as Civil Rights laws were enacted because people refused to condone racism, we must continue to challenge the empire. Will you join me in telling Obama to Make Jobs, Not War?