• Farid Benfeghoul

    Dear Omid,

    To say it plain. All we need is Love, But is that love you and Martin Luther King – and a few others – Jesus, Mohammed, Ibn Arabi, Rumi, Rabbi Bar Shemtov, Ramakrishna, Tierno Bokar, Cheikh Alawi, Master Eckhart, Mother Theresa (please excuse the name dropping…) – are talking about really of this world? Surely that Love – provided I halfway understand what is meant – always is/was/will be there, deep within us (a common place of course!), even in the worst among us (simply because Love does not exclude anything or anyone). But how to mobilize that Love, how to bring that subtle energy into the materiality of our existence, into the solidity of so-called “Realpolitik”,when we, more often than not, have trouble implementing it even on small-scale everyday life? Perhaps by starting to believe in it? But you are right, what we definitely need is Love.
    Best regards,

  • Honey Hill

    Brother Obama is faithful to his wife. Dr. King was not. If a man cannot even give his wife true love, then I do not trust him to know what love is. Dr. West has no idea of what it is like to be the Pres. He speaks, as you do, as if Barack can enact changes to laws and policies…as if he is a monarch…and then put him down because he does not live up to an image. Open your eyes to the disservice you do to him, and to those you influence.

  • Fact check

    Mr. Safi,

    I take offense at your characterization of the US military, its employment, and its global presence.

    It’s easy to manipulate and mis-use statistics to try to emphasize your point, but it’s rather misleading. “We have military bases on more than 150 countries, and a real democracy does not behave that way.”

    We may have military members STATIONED in 150 countries, but 1 or more people in a country (many of whom are OLMSTED SCHOLARS or otherwise posted abroad to pursue advanced degrees and promote diplomacy (which, by the way, is an extremely important function of the military that you so readily demonize)) does not constitute a base. I am a military member and have been one of a handful of people stationed in a country for a school assignment. I can tell you: 5 soldiers/sailors/airmen/Marines attending school and building international goodwill constitute neither a base nor a threat. One site as an example: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/14/ron-paul/ron-paul-says-us-has-military-personnel-130-nation/

    Further, utilizing imagery of our military dropping bombs on civilians and children in Muslim countries is rather one-sided (and offensive), and neglects not only the self-harm inflicted within these countries by their own citizens, but also the hundreds of millions of dollars that we have spent on reconstruction, infrastructure, educational and health programs, etc. in these countries (at the expense of helping ourselves).

    Your main theme might hold weight that we have a long way to go. As an academic, however, I would expect much less hyperbole and misrepresentation than what I saw here.

  • Dear Honey Hill, Thank you for your comment. Of course President Obama is not free to make laws, and of course he has faced so much obstruction from the other side of the isle. However, there are many choices that he has made in ways that came under his own power as commander in chief, ranging from having used drones to keeping Guantanamo Bay open to having a kill list. These are violations of human rights that even his supporters (myself included) have to hold him accountable for. I hope that being a supporter does not translate to issuing someone–even the President–a blank check. May God bless you.

  • Dear Omid,
    I am one of your fans ever since I heard you at a SERMEISS mtg at W& M. I read your occasional blogs eagerly and pass them along to special people.
    But I do believe that you confuse the roles of prophet and ruler here. The prophet’s role has always been to identify wrongs and to call for righteousness.
    The good ruler will listen,think, and maneuver toward what is do-able. An absolute ruler may have the freedom to dictate changes but a democratic one cannot. The prophet rarely can be ruler: usually he is killed by the system.
    I too was disappointed by Obama’s performance in the first term, so much so that I could not vote for him again. But I am willing to postpone judgment until the end of his administration to see if he can produce some of what he had promised. He is no prophet in the classical sense, despite some outward similarities, including that he had to walk on a stony and difficult path. Peace.

  • EssEm

    What’s with all this “Brother” stuff? It’s a rhetorical tool of the protected and privileged minorities to point out their solidarity against, yes against, the rest of the country, especially the White majority.

  • Dr. West does know what it’s like to be human. And that’s what he and others expect the president’s policies to reflect – a sense of humanity.

    However, President Obama’s policies – not least among them the increased militarism – stand in direct contrast to the interests of humanity. Hence the indignation felt by people of conscience at the ludicrous comparisons between America’s foremost peace activist and the warmonger currently occupying the Oval Office.

  • Fatimah Fanusie

    Dear Omid,

    I agree with Farid. I don’t think your position is realistic, given the nature and history of humanity. Which large, ruling societies have achieved the ideals you speak of?

  • cken

    “Racism is with us, the poor are with us, the downtrodden are with us, the marginalized and the despised and the dispossessed and the discriminated against are with us.”
    Sadly these are conditions of human nature which have been with us since the beginning of time, and likely will be in the foreseeable future. Try as it might, no government can do anything, or at least very little, to change this.

    If for the sake of argument I accept your premise that the reason we are crumbling is because of our militarism, then answer this question. If we reduce our military are we not then more likely to be militarily overtaken by China, Russia, or some Muslim country?

    I appreciate the aspirational dream of world peace and love, but given human nature I can’t foresee it ever happening.

    If the U.S. became pacifistic, say like Switzerland, what country would you nominate to be the reigning world power which would ensure peace, love, and freedom?

  • Dear Cken, I am not interested in finding an alternate Empire to take the place of the United States, be it China or Russia or any other country. Rather, my hope, prayer, and commitment is to build on the dream of Dr. King: “To make of this old world a new world.” I want us to see a world in which we live as brothers and sisters, as fellow citizens, not of finding yet another master.
    May God bless you.

  • dreamer

    Fantastic article! Must be read by all Americans. Thanks, again, Omid, the kindhearted awakener!

  • Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.

    You definitely know what youre talking about,
    why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  • John Martin

    Brother, you are so right!