Tag Archives: the commonwealth of God

How Lupe Fiasco Honors #MLK's legacy and How President Obama Doesn't #MLKDay #Inaugaration2013

Lupe Fiasco at the 2006 Intonation Music Festi...

Lupe Fiasco at the 2006 Intonation Music Festival in Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“My fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America. I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff the U.S. government allows to happen. The foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists.”-Lupe Fiasco

“I’m talking about ordering a drone attack. Ordering drone attacks that go and kill mothers, innocent bystanders, children. Militants too, but the collateral damage. You’re responsible for that, too.”-Lupe Fiasco

“For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam.”-MLK Jr.

“They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.”-MLK Jr.

“Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak of the — for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam.”- MLK Jr.

“We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors.”- MLK Jr.

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deutsch: 1964: Martin Luther King Português: Martin Luther King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All quotes by MLK Jr. are from Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s speech denouncing the Vietman War: Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence.

When I was in seminary, there were people wearing black shirts with the images of Martin Luther King Jr. and then Senator Barack Obama; Martin had the dream, Barack fulfilled it. Without a proven record or resume to even touch Rev. Dr. King’s legacy, these shirts infuriated me. Months later, when President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, again the comparisons with MLK Jr. appeared once more. However, this is where the comparison ends. They are, for better or for worse, both NPP winners, as well as men of African descent. What separates MLK Jr. (the reason why we celebrate his legacy today) is that he placed the universal love of all humankind (neighborly love that Jesus taught) over and against his political self-interest. This meant speaking up for poor children, who were hungry and homeless overseas, strangers he did not see every day.

By very stark contrast, President Obama could careless about these children in his day. Like Lyndon Johnson before him, President Obama has a policy of “guns and butter,” lip service to social justice on domestic issue, but a faithful commitment to warmongering. Conservatives feign outrage at the secrecy behind the drone wars, but not the act of drone warfare, the collateral damage itself. There are no tears for the children of Pakistan and Yemen. The fact is is that President Obama has increased the use of these strikes, more so than President Bush.

Lupe Fiasco, a hip hop artist, continues to be one of the few anti-war voices of reason. Lupe’s public confrontation last night, getting kicked off stage for using his fame to speak up for the oppressed stands firmly in the tradition of MLK Jr. Lupe’s anti-war and anti-racist stance places him as one of the heirs of the mantle of Martin Luther King Jr. As for President Barack Obama, A RESOUNDING NO!!!

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Postcolonialism and the Next Empire: China?

Recently, I have been watching the great t.v. show on DVD, The West Wing, and I came across the classic Thanksgiving episode in Season 2, “Shibboleth.”  In it, there is a discussion about American greatness, religious freedom, and Chinese regulations on religion and spirituality.  I sometimes wonder to myself what will become of the future of post-colonial studies.  What will our interpretations of history and power look like. I have a feeling well over a century ago, that wise sage of race relations, W.E.B. DuBois had it partially right in his essay “The Color Line Belts The World.” The next imperial structures, probably in the form of economic prowess may well be China. I don’t like American politicians and their alarmism about our current, ahem,  debt to them, but our current situation is our own fault, that, and the global presence that the Chinese government has now in the African continent. It gives me reason to wonder, to imagine.  To read more, check out this article by The Atlantic: The Next Empire.

Am I way off base? I think if post-colonial studies is to thrive in the decades ahead, there needs to be a discernment about which nations are becoming the super-powers and how does it manifest itself.  Otherwise there will be this outdated anti-American, anti-British polemic.

Athanasius on the Empire of God

3. And like when a great king has entered into some large city and taken up his abode in one of the houses there, such a city at all events held worthy of high honor, nor does any enemy or bandit any longer descend upon it and subject it; but, on the contrary, it is thought entitled to all care, because of the king’s having taken up his residence in a single house thee: so too, it has been with the Monarch of all. Athanasius, On The Incarnation, IX, 3.

1. For if a king, having founded a house or a city, if it be beset by bandits from the carelessness of its inmates, does not by any means neglect it, but avenges and reclaims it as his own work, having regard not to the carelessness of the inhabitants, but to what beseems himself; much more, did God the Word of the all-good Father not neglect the race of men, His work, going to corruption: but, while He blotted out the death which had ensued by the offering His own body, He corrected their neglect by His own teaching, restoring all that was man’s by His own power.
Athanasius,On The Incarnation, X, 1.

4. And as when a king is reigning in some country without appearing but keeps at home in his own house, often some disorderly persons, abusing his retirement , proclaim themselves; and each of them, by assuming the character, imposes on the simple as king, and so men are led astray bu the name, hearing that there is a king, but not seeing him, if for no other reason, because they cannot enter the house; but when the real king comes forth and appears, then the disorderly impostors are exposed by his presence, while men, seeing the real king, desert who previously led them astray:

5. in like manner, the evil spirits formerly used to deceive men, investing themselves with God’s honour; but when the Word of God appeared in a body, and made known to us His own Father, then at length the deceit of the evil spirits is done away and stopped, while men, turning their eyes to the true God, Word of the Father, are deserting the idols, and coming to know the true God.
Athanasius, On The Incarnation, LV 4 & 5

For Athanasius, Jesus the Messiah’s death is a triumph of God’s reign over and against the false reign the Satan, sin, and death. I just wanted to note the imperial imagery in On The Incarnation. It appears to me that Athanasius is fighting two battles here in OIC: first, against the Arian heresies denying the divinity of Christ, and second, the claims of the Emperor Constantius II who was at that time working to stamp out resistance to Arianism (Gonzalez, 177). Like priest-prophet Ezekiel, Athanasius is a prophet living in exile, proclaiming to both his people and to the empire that God the Word is the one true Emperor of the universe.

Truth and Peace,

Works Cited

González, Justo L. The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. 1st ed. The Story of Christianity. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984.