Choosing a vice president (VP) is the first truly presidential decision a presidential candidate makes. A VP has to be ready to take over the presidency at a moment’s notice, ready for the awesome responsibility of serving as commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful nuclear-armed military, ready to lead the country through war, recession, depression, political crises, international incidents, and everything in between. Republican John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his VP in 2008 contributed to his defeat in November because she came to be widely perceived as an embarassing ignoramus unfit for the presidency after a series of disastrous T.V. interviews.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has chosen activist and writer Ajamu Baraka to be her VP. Is he fit for the presidency?

Since Baraka has never held public office, he has no voting record to evaluate or track record in the exercise of political power; instead, we must appraise his fitness for the presidency based on his extensive writings. Pieces dating from summer of 2014 onward have been removed* without explanation from his personal website but can be found using Google’s cache feature which has preserved the original URLs. The removed articles make for an interesting — or rather, incriminating — reading:

1. “The Charlie Hebdo White Power Rally in Paris: A Celebration of Western Hypocrisy”

The largest marches in French history in the wake of jihadist rampages targeting Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish grocery store — marches that included Muslims and French people of North African and Arab descent — were white power rallies, according to Baraka.

2. “The Yemen Tragedy and the Ongoing Crisis of the Left in the United States”

“The world that a President Sanders promises — continued war crimes from the sky with drone strikes and Saudi led terror in support of the Western imperial project” is how Baraka characterizes a President Sanders’ social-democratic utopia of tuition-free public colleges and universities, paid maternity leave, $15 an hour minimum wage, single-payer health care, and a foreign policy in which war is the last and not the first resort.

To Baraka, the only thing worse than a Sanders presidency is the way in which the Sanders campaign strengthened(!) “racist cynicism”:

“In their desperate attempt to defend Sanders and paint his critics as dogmatists and purists, the Sanders supporters have not only fallen into the ideological trap of a form of narrow ‘left’ nativism, but also the white supremacist ethical contradiction that reinforces racist cynicism in which some lives are disposable for the greater good of the West. And as much as the ‘Sandernistas’ attempt to disarticulate Sanders ‘progressive’ domestic policies from his documented support for empire (even the Obamaite aphorism ‘The perfect is the enemy of the good’ is unashamedly deployed), it should be obvious that his campaign is an ideological prop – albeit from a center/left position – of the logic and interests of the capitalist-imperialist settler state.”

3. “Why Is Cornel West Sheep-Dogging for the Democrats – Once Again?”

In this diatribe, Baraka confidently — and wrongly — claims that West will ultimately endorse Hillary Clinton, accusing West of being “not committed in any way to a national electoral politics outside of the two party system when you decided that instead of voting for the only national third party candidate running in 2012, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, you made a conscious choice not to cast your vote for anyone!”

That West might do something different in 2016 than in 2012 is a possibility that seems to have escaped Baraka’s brilliant mind.

4. “Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance”

Commenting on Beyoncé’s controversial half time Super Bowl performance that paid homage to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Baraka writes:

“I saw the imagery and symbols of authentic black radicalism grotesquely transformed into a de-politicized spectacle by gyrating, light-skinned booty-short-clad sisters. … No folks, real opposition to this white supremacist, colonialist/imperialist order is not cool, or sexy.”

Scratch a 1960s Black radical and find a 1950s male chauvinist who evidently has something against light-skinned African-Americans.

5. “The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement”

“[W]hile the victims of the violence in Paris may have been innocent, France was not. French crimes against Arabs, Muslims and Africans are ever- present in the historical memory and discourse of many members of those populations living in France. Those memories, the systemic discrimination experienced by many Muslims and the collaboration of French authorities with the U.S. and others that gave aid and logistical support to extremist elements in Syria and turned their backs while their citizens traveled to Syria to topple President Assad, became the toxic mix that resulted in the blowback on November 13. Although a number of the dead in Paris are young Arabs, Muslims and Africans, in the global popular imagination, France, like the U.S. (even under a Black president), is still white.”

Even France’s far-right National Front party doesn’t say France is a white nation!

6. “Netanyahu’s Victory is an Even Bigger Victory for Palestinian Solidarity Movement”

Describing the right-wing Israeli prime minister’s 2015 victory at the polls as a “bigger victory” for the Palestinians solidarity movement is reality-based as the notion that electing Donald Trump president would be a ‘yooj’ victory for Mexican-Americans or Muslim refugees.

ajamu_baraka

These are just 6 of what appear to be 24 articles written after August 6, 2014 that were removed from Baraka’s website. Even if there are no mind-boggling statements in the other 18 removed articles, that still means 25% of the time Baraka rants and raves like the lunatic fringe leftist that he is. That Stein picked Baraka as her VP tells us all we need to know about how bad her political judgment is.

Fortunately neither Baraka nor Stein will ever get America’s nuclear codes because neither of them will ever become president. But like Ralph Nader in 2000, they could win just enough votes in one or two states to tip the Electoral College outcome in Donald Trump’s favor and end up giving Trump the nuclear codes instead which would be much worse.


*UPDATE 8/15/16: The removed articles have been restored. Their disappearance and re-appearance from his site have not been explained.

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