photo taken by members of Chicago PD
That Gospel includes Mary's extremely political proclamation in the first chapter:
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;So it seems appropriate to do political commentary on our own imperial backdrop today. Specifically, I find myself reflecting on Hillary Clinton's current defense of her old friend and co-conspirator, Rahm Emanuel.
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
Rahm Emanuel is ambitious, intelligent, and mean as a rattlesnake. He is a former investment banker with deep ties to Wall Street, a gutter-fighting politician, the current mayor of Chicago, and one of the most unlikable characters in the Democratic Party. He is also an alumnus of the same Chicago Democratic Party machine that gave political birth to Barack Obama - the first African American President of the United States.
There is some irony here, inasmuch as he is currently under siege in Chicago for his defense of one of the most corrupt big city police departments in the country (and that is saying something!), which is now under intense scrutiny for the police killing of Laquan McDonald. Gawker recently published and article calling Chicago PD the most racist department in the country, so no surprise that CPD is involved in yet another killing of a black teenager - this one resulting in murder charges (the policeman - Jason Van Dyke - was on a police videotape shooting this kid sixteen times when the victim's back was turned and he was ten feet away from the cop).
Emanuel, who was involved in a very tight re-election bid, is believed by many to have colluded to withhold the police tape until after his election. The recent resignation of his police chief has led Chicagoans to demand Emanuel resign, too. Emanuel's ego and concomitant combativeness pretty much rule that out; and in this hour of need, Hillary Clinton has rallied to him. They are both powerful personalities in the business-controlled Democratic Leadership Council as well as friends, so this is no surprise either.
Since Clinton's last racial gaffe in the Democratic Primary race against Barack Obama in South Carolina in 2008 turned the tide in Obama's favor and ultimately lost her the nomination, one would have thought that she had at least learned to perform as if she had some shred of sensitivity to the lives and concerns of black voters; but alas, here in the wake of Ferguson and Charleston, when the Black Freedom Movement has been resuscitated in the form of Black Lives Matter, her defense of Emanuel suggests the contrary.
Whether the Sanders campaign will make hay with this - by consolidating its identity with the Black Lives Matter movement and thereby contrasting itself with the Clinton camp - remains to be seen. Sanders is aiming for a working class constituency, and the white working class has shown time and again that they can be tempted away from class solidarity by a persistent devotion to white supremacy, even though most African Americans are themselves working class. But Sanders has a substantial lead among that other demographic that rode the Hopey-Changey train into the 2008 station - voters under 30 years of age. If Clinton loses a substantial fraction of the black vote, she is - in a word - toast. (Lest we forget, the first member of the Clinton dynasty signed the Crime Bill into law that rocketed our gross incarceration rate - especially among people of color - past China's.)
Her only refuge, given Bernie Sanders' claim to be a socialist (a word that frightens the young far less than the old), is that old bone-headed, but reliable, swindle - "electability." The Democratic news media, i.e., CNN and MSNBC, will spout this term as early and often as possible; but the truth is, given that Donald Trump - by exposing the racialized underbelly of the Republican Party with his not-so-baffling popularity - has actually made an embarrassment like Ted Cruz look good, whoever gets the Dem nomination will have a downhill battle.
This is not an endorsement for Sanders or a call to arms against Clinton - even though she represents the absolute worst to me in American politics. Even if Sanders did get the nomination, and then the Presidency, symbolic as it may seem, he would immediately confront a governing apparatus, as well as a thoroughly self-organized world system, that will overwhelm him.
I've never entertained illusion about Sanders - like all the rest, an American exceptionalist, a pro-Zionist, and a technological promethean, not to mention he'd begin his office by swearing allegiance to that hoary hogwash known as the United States Constitution.
He'd be a new ruler who has no capacity to rule, like all the rest. The machine grinds on until it breaks; as will the next. My hopes are still grounded elsewhere, in that child born into Roman subjection who refused that kind of power (and here we are, our polity the modern Rome).
We are called to discern - as best we can with these mortal instruments - so we can tell the truth; not attempt to take hold of some Future with our pride. In this way, we can speak plainly, never worried that we need to conform our speech to fit anyone's pre-existing agenda.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiber'ius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturae'a and Trachoni'tis, and Lysa'ni-as tetrarch of Abile'ne, in the high-priesthood of Annas and Ca'iaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechari'ah in the wilderness; and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."