Madea’s Big Dumb Publicity Stunt

madea benjamin

“Listen to me! I am a well-meaning idiot and have many important things to say and I must say them at the top of my lungs!”

Wherever the president goes the sideshow follows.   Vendors set up tables to hawk their t-shirts and buttons.  The press descends on the place hoping for a juicy quote, an off-guard mistake and even to cover what he says.  If it’s a public event, people make plans to come hear and see the president in hopes they might get close enough to snap a picture and maybe even shake his hand if he ventures near the crowd.

Other folks get excited too.  These are the professional protestors whose calling in life is appearing where politicians, CEO, celebrities and other famous people can be found so they can yell loudly, wave banners, and call undue attention to themselves.  President Obama has faced his share of heckling coming from this critics on the Right, but he gets it in the ear from what passes as the lunatic fringe of the Left too.  During his national security speech on Thursday, Obama came face-to-face with one Madea Benjamin,  a founder of the anti-war activist group Code Pink  interrupted the president several times before she was hustled out of the building.

Toward the end of Obama’s address, a woman identified in the White House pool report as Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the anti-war organization Code Pink, implored the president to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and otherwise criticized his foreign policy.

Through three separate episodes, the president traded words with the woman, asking her to let him finish and succeeding — at least momentarily — twice.

“Why don’t you sit down, and I will tell you exactly what I’m going to do,” Obama said, ending their first exchange. “Thank you, ma’am.”

But soon, Benjamin was back, apparently not happy with Obama’s comments about sending detainees to other countries, pleading with him to “release them today.” She was again quieted, and Obama even acknowledged her opinion was valid.

“Okay, Madea. I’m convinced. I’ll release the prisoners at Gitmo and lock your ass up instead.”

Tickled pink (Sorry. Couldn’t resist) Benjamin rushed to celebrate her little stunt plastering the web with a series of self-congratulatory stories, including “Medea Benjamin Calls President to Account”  By Medea Benjamin if there was any question who deserved the credit.

Like most zealots, Benjamin believes completely in the righteousness of her mission and is repulsively self-righteous in how obnoxious she is in shoving it in everyone’s face.

While I have received a deluge of support, there are others, including journalists, who have called me “rude.” But terrorizing villages with Hellfire missiles that vaporize innocent people is rude. Violating the sovereignty of nations like Pakistan is rude. Keeping 86 prisoners in Guantanamo long after they have been cleared for release is rude. Shoving feeding tubes down prisoners’ throats instead of giving them justice is certainly rude.

At one point during his speech, President Obama said that the deaths of innocent people from the drone attacks will haunt him as long as he lives. But he is still unwilling to acknowledge those deaths, apologize to the families, or compensate them. In Afghanistan, the US military has a policy of compensating the families of victims who they killed or wounded by mistake. It is not always done, and many families refuse to take the money, but at least it represents some accounting for taking the lives of innocent people. Why can’t the President set up a similar policy when drone strikes are used in countries with which we are not at war?

Benjamin makes some valid arguments, but can’t she find a way to make them without screeching like a cat with it’s nuts snagged on a fence?  Yelling at the president isn’t speaking truth to power.  It’s only publicly making an ass of yourself like getting drunk and urinating in public.

Madea’s Big Happy Protest Parties are all-purpose.   Here she is fighting for her right to dance at the Jefferson Memorial.  Why does anyone want to dance at the Jefferson Memorial?    Aren’t there all sorts of clubs, ballrooms, country bars and living rooms for that sort of thing?   Of course there is, but the right of the people to shuffle around  like zombies with tired feet shall not be abridged by a capitalist running dog lackey.

I grew up with Martin Luther King and the Freedom Riders marching for their civil rights and catching hell.  I was around in 1968 when college students took to the streets to protest the Vietnam War and drive Tricky Dick Nixon insane.   I saw the Black Panthers strut  around in public with loaded rifles daring the cops to start something.   You think I’m impressed by some ditz in pink flitting around like the world’s oldest fairy princess acting like a diva because she can’t twitch like a spastic at a national monument?    Is this what passes for the Left in this country has been reduced to?    Protest cabaret?

Welcome to the full-time malcotent.  George Bush had Cindy Sheehan (and a guy who tossed a shoe at him) and Obama has Madea’s Big Dumb Publicity Stunt, but while  this isn’t a Tyler Perry production it is another bad comedy.   This woman is a dunce who is impossible to take seriously and her clown act only serves to lessen the chance her causes will be taken seriously either.

Protestin’ ain’t easy.  At least not the way dummies like Mad Madea do it.   She doesn’t just give activism a bad name.   She makes it a bad joke.   Madea may actually be sincere in her beliefs, but the way she chooses to express them to the world is by acting out like a spoiled brat thrashing around on the dirty floor of a Wal-Mart embarrassing themselves.

"But..but I don't WANT to go to Gitmo."

“But..but I don’t WANT to go to Gitmo.”

Seeking Justice, Not Vengeance

These are the REAL Black Panthers. Accept no substitutes.

There is no situation so tragic that someone can’t find a way to either exploit it or make a buck off of it and the shooting of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer/vigilante George Zimmerman is no exception.   Nobody asked the so-called New Black Panther Party to jump into the middle of the protests and calls for Zimmerman’s arrest.   They just invited themselves into the situation to make an already volatile situation worse.

The so-called New Black Panthers announced they had placed a bounty of $10,000 for the arrest of Zimmerman and called for a mobilization of 10,000 Black men to capture him.  It’s unlikely anyone will collect the bounty, and I have serious doubts it even exists.  What this reckless and irresponsible action will do is make Trayvon’s killer a martyr for racists and allow the right-wing media machine to run to their microphones and  laptops to scare the hell out of their readers and listeners that a few guys dressed up in paramilitary gear are putting a price on the heads of their enemies.

I hate to burst the bubble of anyone who think that it’s great to put the fear of God into White folks, but these are not the Black militants you’re looking for.

There is no such thing as the “new Black Panther Party.” These are a  bunch of wannabee militants playing dress up.. They couldn’t raise TEN BUCKS to put a bounty on George Zimmerman’s head, never mind $10,000.

Two things are happening here. The Right is trying to dirty up Trayvon Martin’s reputation and the parasites and publicity whores are trying to make a buck off of him. It’s been said before and it bears repeating: DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

The feminist poet, Audre Lorde cautioned, “The master’s tools will never be used to dismantle the master’s house.” Apply this warning to the Martin tragedy and the ramping up of tensions by these psuedo-Panthers and everyone who seeks a just end to this story should know once we start going down the road of using the same evil tactics of our enemies, we become just as evil as they are.

Zimmerman was a vigilante and a gun-toting thug who felt his gun gave him the right to take the law in his hands. That arrogance cost a young man his life. How can it be justified to applaud a bunch of Black vigilantes trying to take the law in their hands?

I have no use for the so-called “new Black Panthers” and the real Black Panthers don’t either.

There Is No New Black Panther Party: An Open Letter From the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation

In response from numerous requests from individual’s seeking information on the “New Black Panthers,” the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation issues this public statement to correct the distorted record being made in the media by a small band of African Americans calling themselves the New Black Panthers. As guardian of the true history of the Black Panther Party, the Foundation, which includes former leading members of the Party, denounces this group’s exploitation of the Party’s name and history. Failing to find its own legitimacy in the black community, this band would graft the Party’s name upon itself, which we condemn.

Firstly, the people in the New Black Panthers were never members of the Black Panther Party and have no legitimate claim on the Party’s name. On the contrary, they would steal the names and pretend to walk in the footsteps of the Party’s true heroes, such as Black Panther founder Huey P. Newton, George Jackson and Jonathan Jackson, Bunchy Carter, John Huggins, Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, and so many others who gave their very lives to the black liberation struggle under the Party’s banner.

Secondly, they denigrate the Party’s name by promoting concepts absolutely counter to the revolutionary principles on which the Party was founded. Their alleged media assault on the Ku Klux Klan serves to incite hatred rather than resolve it. The Party’s fundamental principle, as best articulated by the great revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was: “A true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” The Black Panthers were never a group of angry young militants full of fury toward the “white establishment.” The Party operated on love for black people, not hatred of white people.

I want Zimmerman to be arrested, indicted, face trial and be convicted so he can spend the next 40 years behind bars. I do not want him to become some sort of martyr for racists and reactionaries. I want JUSTICE for Trayvon Martin, not VENGEANCE.

It’s a pathetic joke that these frauds are biting off the name of the genuine Panthers and presenting themselves off as the inheritors of their legacy when the truth is quite different.  If the press would bother to do their jobs and engage in a bit of fact-checking they might stop taking these importers seriously as the Black iron fist of righteous wrath.

Could the absence of justice in the Trayvon Martin case lead to riots like the Rodney King verdict?  It’s not impossible, but 2012 is not 1992 and Martin is a much more sympathetic figure than King ever was.  The passions are running high but there is a long way to go before windows start breaking and cities start burning.  It’s okay to be angry , but  caution must be taken not to allow themselves ourselves to be led around by the nose by the pseudo-Panthers.

Does the system deserve a chance to succeed where the police in Sanford failed?  Look at it this way.  If Trayvon’s parents are willing to wait and see, everybody else needs to do likewise.

Taking up the gun and following Zimmerman’s path of self-righteousness and vigilantism is not the smart move here and it isn’t going to get anyone closer to the elusive justice we all should want.

Dressing up like you're hard don't mean you are.