Barack Obama is the most radical candidate ever to stand at the precipice of acquiring his party’s presidential nomination and the American presidency. It is apparent that he is a member of an international socialist movement which hopes to use the United Nations as a vehicle to shake down U.S. taxpayers for trillions of dollars in slavery reparations. One group, the African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission, is demanding an astronomical $777 trillion.
In 2001, Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ passed a resolution declaring that:
“WHEREAS: The institution of Slavery is internationally recognized as crime for which there is no statute of limitations, AND
WHEREAS: Uncompensated labor was demanded from enslaved Africans and their descendants for more than two centuries on U.S. soil; AND
WHEREAS: The principle that reparations is the appropriate remedy whenever government unjustly abrogates the rights of a domestic group or foreign people whose rights such government is obligated to protect or uphold has been internationally recognized…”
In that same year, Martha Biondi, Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University, notes that the United Nations World Conference Against Racism was held. It was the result of “a decade of advocacy and organizing at the U.N. Human Rights Commission” and work by the so-called December 12th Movement. The conference issued a “Declaration and Program of Action,” which held that “slavery and the slave trade” constituted a “crime against humanity” and that “Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian descent and indigenous peoples were victims of these acts and continue to be victims of their consequences.”
“The United Nations has emerged as an extraordinary stage for the reparations movement,” she says.
As President, Obama could take that stage.
Biondi adds that the reparations movement “offers an innovative and compelling way to move beyond inadequate and besieged civil rights discourses, to revive black-led global anticapitalist and anti-imperialist projects, and to radically intervene in the discourse of globalization.”
The conference, held in Durban, South Africa, was described by supporters as “a landmark in the struggle to eradicate all forms of racism….The World Conference is a unique opportunity to create a new world vision for the fight against racism in the twenty-first century.”
But the event was considered so extreme that the U.S. delegation, led by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, walked out. A follow-up, known as Durban II, is planned for 2009. This “Durban Review Conference” would be funded through the U.N. regular budget, of which the U.S. is expected to pay 22 percent.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose name has been floated as a vice-presidential possibility for Senator John McCain, told a U.S. Senate committee in February that the State Department had not decided whether to attend the event. Later, however, Rice told the Washington Times that the U.S. still has trouble dealing with race because of a national “birth defect” that denied blacks the opportunities given to whites at the country’s founding. “That particular birth defect makes it hard for us to confront it, hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today,” she said.
In this extraordinary interview, Rice, who had always been assumed to be a conservative in her view of racial issues, was quoted as saying, “Black Americans were a founding population. Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together—Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That’s not a very pretty reality of our founding.” The paper said that Rice told editors and reporters at The Washington Times that “descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that.”
Her comments could be used as justification for slavery reparations.
Meanwhile, on March 26, Florida became the sixth state in the nation to apologize for its role in slavery. The Tallahassee Herald-Tribune reported that Florida’s Republican Governor Charlie Crist commended lawmakers “for doing the right thing” and did not rule out considering reparations for Floridians whose ancestors were slaves.
Attacking The U.S.
Dr. Conrad W. Worrill, past national co-chair for the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N‘COBRA) and “Minister of the Interior” of the Provisional Government / Republic of New Afrika (RNA), was a delegate to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism. The RNA seeks the creation of a black nation in the U.S. in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
“Our strong African in America delegation, the Durban 400, lobbied for a major resolution on reparations in concert with the African Heads of State,” he says. “Under the leadership of the December 12th Movement and the National Black United Front, the Durban 400 successfully influenced the final conference resolution…”
He added, “We were successful in gathering 157,000 signatures from African people in America who agreed that the United States Government committed acts of genocide against us. We traveled to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in May of 1997 and officially filed our genocide petitions, clearly pointing out that the vestiges of slavery, as it relates to the Prison Industrial Complex, validates the contemporary demands for reparations.” The petition was a “Declaration of Genocide by the United States Government Against the Black Population in the United States.”
The “Durban 400” was the name for the so-called African American NGO contingent to the World Conference Against Racism and was organized by the December 12th Movement and National Black United Front.
In 1999, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights took testimony from N’COBRA and others on the subject. The account said that “The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America said that people of African ancestry residing in the United States were experiencing harm as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The observer for the International Association against Torture stated that the trans-Atlantic slave trade had caused the displacement and deculturalization of millions of people. The observer for the African Americans in the United States of America specified that the lingering effects of plantation slavery had resulted in the disappearance of the original language, religion and culture, and that African Americans were still dying from the torment of the past owing to genetic alteration. The observer for Espacio Afroamericano highlighted the marginalization of and racial discrimination against the black communities in Latin America as a result of the slave trade.”
The account went on to say that, “The above organizations recommended that a forum for African Americans be established at United Nations Headquarters and a new working group established in Geneva to study conditions throughout the Diaspora. They also recommended that a special rapporteur be appointed to investigate the continuing racial discrimination and a team of experts be constituted to prepare a report of present conditions.
“In addition, the observer for the Black Reparations Com-mission recommended the holding of an international conference on the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its aftermath and the victims’ right to remedy and to seek United Nations intervention in the creation of national, regional and local political bodies to educate African American people on the principle of informed consent as it related to the political choices and options of a freed people.
“Additional recommendations included United Nations intervention to assist in the establishment of a national consultative assembly for African Americans in the United States of America and the establishment of a permanent committee on the inalienable rights of African American peoples which would report directly to the General Assembly, similar to the Committee on Palestinian rights.”
The campaign is a new version of an old communist tactic. Indeed, Worrill was photographed in the Final Call, the Nation of Islam newspaper of Louis Farrakhan, holding a copy of the document, “We charge Genocide,” which was presented to the U.N. in 1951 by the Civil Rights Congress, a communist-created and -contro
lled organization. The document alleged that the U.S. Government was systematically discriminating against and killing black people.
One of Barack Obama’s mentors, Frank Marshall Davis, was a member of the Communist Party USA and filled a young Obama, before he went off to college, with anti-American thoughts and ideas.
In her paper, “Formulating Reparations Litigation Through the Eyes of The Movement,” Professor Adjoa A. Aiyetoro, a legal consultant to the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations, offered a detailed argument in favor of using the courts to obtain the financial reparations. She represented the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) at the World Conference Against Racism and served as a leader of the African and African Descendant Caucus at the event.
Aiyetoro was involved in a filing before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that affirmative action for blacks was a legitimate form of reparations.
The American Bar Association published an article, “The Legal Basis of the Claim for Slavery Reparations,” which maintained that the demand for reparations “is well founded in international law.” As a precedent, the author, a British lawyer named Anthony Gifford, cited the U.N. Security Council for passing a resolution “binding in international law” and “requiring Iraq to pay reparations for its invasion of Kuwait.”
Obama’s Other Mentor
Barack Obama’s pastor and mentor, the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright, was the keynote speaker at the 2007 annual conference of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. Wright’s talk, “A Call for Justice and Repair,” followed a statement in which he declared that “The Biblical principle of true repentance is that the offended party is given compensation to take up for that which has been stolen from them, the losses that have been inflicted upon them and their families.”
But Wright isn’t the only controversial member of Obama’s church. Dr. Iva Carruthers, who describes herself as an active member of the church, is an outspoken advocate of reparations for blacks and was a participant in N’COBRA’s 2004 conference.
Carruthers was identified, along with Wright, as a member of Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee. Wright has since been dropped from the group. But Carruthers is sometimes referred to as a spokesman for Wright and works with him closely.
Indeed, Carruthers may be even more controversial, especially on the issue of reparations. She wrote “The Church and Reparations- An African American Perspective,” which was reportedly “distributed by her denomination” at the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism.
Not only are members of his church involved in the reparations movement, Obama is said to have been politically close to former Chicago Alderman Dorothy Jean Wright Tillman, who led an effort by the Chicago City Council to demand reparations for slavery. “Chicago has become the de facto center of the slavery reparations movement,” noted a journalist for the far-left paper In These Times.
The Obamas’ 2006 income tax return shows that they gave $22,500 to Trinity United Church of Christ, which they attended with such figures as Wright and Carruthers.
Despite going to the same church, however, Carruthers said that she has no idea as to where Obama stands on the controversy. “I don’t have any insight at all,” she said, before saying that she had to leave for another engagement.
Carruthers is the General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, which includes Wright on its board and describes itself as a social justice organization. The website of the group includes a statement that “Dr. Wright represents the best among us, one of the best in this tribe of prophetic preachers. He has made his church a place where one could express the centuries-old pain of being Black in America, while finding strength for a brighter day. An attack on this man of the God is an attack on all those of the cloth who believe in the social Gospel of liberation.”
Illinois Slavery Commission
Both Wright and Carruthers were involved in the Illinois Transatlantic Slave Trade Commission, established by the Illinois state legislature in 2005. Its purpose was to examine the “past and present effects on African-Americans” of the slave trade and it issued a report in 2007. Wright was an “associate” of the commission while Carruthers was the “senior research consultant.”
Its findings included that Christopher Columbus was part of the Catholic Church’s “century of blood” in the establishment of the slave trade system, and that civil war U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, acknowledged to be “the most famous son of Illinois,” didn’t morally object to slavery but only wanted to “restore the Union to white consensus.”
In 2003, Carruthers spoke on behalf of Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ at a “summit on reparations” opened by Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. Another group represented at the Farakhan summit was the Republic of New Afrika. Farrakhan followed with an “international address” entitled, “Reparations: What does America and Europe Owe? What does Allah (God) promise?” Farrakhan spoke at an N’COBRA event.
In 2007, Carruthers endorsed a document urging that “Financial and human resources be identified and made available, in trust and otherwise, with appropriate church, community, and academic entities to effect institutional development and remedies from the Transatlantic slave trade system and colonialism at the local, national and global levels.” The document said that reparations should be “offered for the healing of peoples who were once enslaved.”
Like Obama, Carruthers and Wright have been deeply involved in African affairs. They traveled to the “motherland,” as they call it, where Wright was photographed in Ghana in “full ceremonial regalia” as a “development chief” and Carruthers was elevated to the position of “queen mother.” Obama’s wearing of African garb became a national controversy.
But the more important issue, from a public policy perspective, is how he would handle taxpayer dollars.
While Carruthers said she did not know where Obama stood on the issue of reparations, the Chicago Tribune reported that he was asked in 2004 about the matter and “spoke about how slavery had left a stain on the country that has yet to be eradicated.” Nevertheless, he said that he opposed “just signing checks over to African-Americans.”
During the presidential campaign, the issue came up during a Democratic presidential debate and only Dennis Kucinich said he favored reparations. Obama changed the subject, saying he favored more spending on schools.
Carruthers said that reparations have to include much more than financial payments. She may have in mind not only an apology from the federal government but some form of spiritual or psychological help for black victims of the slave trade.
In this regard, the N’COBRA conference that featured Wright also included a panel discussion of “Post-Traumatic Slavery Syndrome.” In a variation of this theme, the Philadelphia branch of N’COBRA had advertised a sold-out lecture
on the subject of “Post-Traumatic Slavery Disorder (PTSD),” described as one of the Psycho-Racial Spiritual Diseases of Americanized Africans (PRSDAA). The speaker, a psychologist, said that black-on-black violence could be attributed to undiagnosed PRSDAAs.
The Clinton Role
While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are now engaged in a fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, it was the Clinton Administration that helped to make reparations into a national issue. President Clinton had proposed a $10 million federal research program to study the problem of racism in America. It was described by the Associated Press as “a way to measure the impact of racial bias in everyday life” and was seen as potential backing for legislation proposed by Rep. John Conyers to establish a national commission to study the matter.
Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has endorsed Obama for president.
Conyers’ bill to create a “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans” was first introduced in 1989. He praised N’COBRA in a statement he issued in 1999 and sponsored a subsequent event, “Capitalizing on Our Strength Empowering the Reparations Movement,” featuring a representative of N’COBRA.
The issue became so big that the CBS Evening News, then hosted by Dan Rather, did a story about the controversy, highlighting the fact that the Chicago City Council had become the fourth major city to pass a resolution calling for reparations.
Randall Robinson, the director of the group known as Trans Africa, wrote a book, The Debt, on the subject, and hosted a conference on reparations featuring such luminaries as actor Danny Glover.
One thing is certain: Carruthers is hoping for an Obama win. Federal Election Commission records show that she gave his Illinois Senate campaign $500 and his presidential campaign $2,300.
Another thing is certain: The Hill newspaper reports that Conyers hopes to move his reparations commission bill when Obama is in the White House. The paper said, however, that Conyers “has not called on the senator to endorse his measure because ‘I don’t want to put him on the spot.’” The Hill said that Obama’s campaign “did not respond to requests for information about the senator’s position on the bill.”