An important aspect of the Age of Obama will soon come to a close with the departure of Eric Holder, the first Black U.S. attorney general. Holder’s record in office makes up a great part of the Obama legacy – which, after six years turns out to be scarcely any different than what could have been expected from any center-right white corporate Democrat. Like former president Bill Clinton, whose Wall Street dominated administration deregulated the banks and set the stage for the economic meltdown, eight years later. Obama’s first act in office was to bring back Bill Clinton’s Wall Street wrecking crew. So, in a sense, Obama is actually a protégé of Bill Clinton, and will likely be succeeded in office by Hillary Clinton.
Obama’s and Eric Holder’s most singular contribution to American
political economy is having articulated the concept of banks being Too
Big to Fail, or to jail. Back in the late Eighties and early Nineties,
one-third of the nation’s savings and loan institutions did fail, and
over a thousand individual executives were prosecuted, with a large
proportion of them sent to prison. But, Eric Holder’s Justice Department has specialized in protecting big banks and defending the Lords of Capital.
At this late date, with his exit probably only weeks away, Eric
Holder is trying to put a final spin on his legacy by demanding that
some of the world’s biggest banks, including JP Morgan Chase and
Citigroup, plead guilty to a felony
for manipulating foreign currency prices. Of course, not a single
living, breathing banking executive would be branded a felon. Rather,
the banks, as institutions would bear the shame. But, institutions have
no shame, and cannot be jailed, and the banks will not be prevented from
continuing to deal in foreign currency trading and all the other money
streams they have manipulated, with impunity. However, Eric Holder will
ride off into the sunset of a multi-million dollar corporate law
practice claiming that he finally busted a bank for felonious conduct.
Meanwhile, the ridiculously ineffectual Congressional Black Caucus is circling its wagons
around Holder’s replacement, Black New York federal prosecutor Loretta
Lynch. Lynch last month told a Senate committee that she fully supports
the practice of civil forfeiture, which allows police to confiscate
people’s money and property on mere suspicion of involvement in illegal
activity. Even Eric Holder has advanced some very limited reforms to civil forfeiture, but Loretta Lynch appeared gung ho about the seizures.
The Black Caucus, in an uproar, denounced Republican libertarian
Senator Rand Paul for saying he’d vote against confirming Lynch because
of her position on civil forfeiture, and he sniped that Lynch ought to
be a little more concerned about poor people, who are more likely to
have their cash seized by the cops. Black Caucus chairman G.K.
Butterfield, one of the most pro-corporate members of the Caucus, fumed
that Rand Paul was using civil forfeiture as an excuse to “keep an
African American legal scholar” from heading the Justice Department.
But, of course, the Congressional Black Caucus has adopted no position
at all on the pros and cons of civil forfeiture. They have no opinion.
All they care about is that a Black Democrat get the attorney general’s
job – and that they get to hold on to theirs.
Glen Ford for Black Agenda Radio from here
For socialists this piece reinforces the fact that difference in colour or ethnicity is not the problem. The capitalist system is. Look around the world, entrenched elites of all races do whatever it takes to stay in control and democracy along with the majority of populations are the losers. Focus on the real difference between sections of the people - it's time the 99+% started pulling together against that tiny minority preventing our liberation. It's in our hands - together.