Monday, February 25, 2008

Is Obama Progressive? - From Burning Cane/John Delloro

LA Labor leader John Delloro's blog Burning Cane has some great analysis for organizers and activists on the political significance of Obama's candidacy for President for our longer term social movements.
Check out John's views, along with Howard Zinn, Grace Lee Boggs, Bill Fletcher, Scott Kurashige, others.
Delloro is Executive Director, Dolores Huerta Labor Institute and a teacher in UCLA's Asian American Studies Department.

I met John in the early 90's through his student activism in LA and his leadership in APALA [Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance].
Scott Kurashige wonders if there are similarities between the negativity expressed by some of the "Old Left" of the "New Left" in the past with the criticism leveled against the Obama campaign by some of the "New Left. " Howard Zinn argues that the current concerted public attention with the elections is disproportionate to the amount of energy that needs to be given to direct action. Bill Fletcher suggests a measured "critical support" of the Obama Campaign.
Both Howard Zinn and Bill Fletcher raise valid points when one considers Obama's policy positions. However, Scott is also correct when you step back and examine the Obama campaign as a whole. Do we restrict the possibilities for social transformation if we limit our understanding of the Obama campaign to the legislative stands of the candidate? Are there opportunities offered by the Obama campaign to build real movement?

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