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Sorry Ms. Jackson, but I just gotta say it… Is it me, or was Barack Obama a lot cooler a few months back when he was Muslim?

I know I’m not going to make any friends among the land-locked flocks in the Obaaaaahmanation, but from this perch in Berlin, orbiting the U.S.A. (third rock from the Sun), one of Obama’s inaugural notable quotables has raised my warning flag:

“To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect…

…To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
~ Obama

Hm? Vielleicht? I’m sorry ya’ll, but i don’t care how competent a high-five our current Commander-in-Chief can administer, I think this comment, specifically the last line, is lame in *at least* two ways: 1) it completely defers responsibility for the current SNAFU in the middle east away from the U.S. (Why dont we remove those bases in Saudi Arabi, stop the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop funding the massacre of Palestinians by funneling billions into the Israeli military, stop meddling in other countries self-determination as we have done in Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, etc… maybe that fist will just naturally open up a lil bit, eh?) and 2) it begins the era of brand new war on an wholly undeserving front: the war against Fists.

I, for one, love the symbolic power of the fist. I like mine served raised and clenched. But, I’m not the only one: The clenched fist has been a symbol of resistance and solidarity across a wide range of ethnic and socioeconomic peeps and political organizations for generations, to name just a few:

The Black Power Movement,


The Anti-Apartheid Movement,

The Zapatistas,

The American Indian Movement,

Tibetan Independence

And the Pro-Beard Lobby.

From the young,

To the old,

From souljas,

To sailors,

To civilians,

From the big,

To the small,

From the famous,

To the infamous,

To the rest of us.

If you look for people who have fought for…

and chased their dreams of freedom and liberty in the face of resistance,

You will always find a Raised Fist.

So this one is for you Barack…

… A toast to fists: Raise em if you got em!

He would if he could…

Take a flick (under 1MB please) of you and your favorite fist, clenched and raised, and send it to Ill upload them here.

“First they came for the fists… and by the time they came for me,
there were no more fists to raise up…”

Radio F.A.T. Europe signing off…

Posted on January 26, 2009



  1. eekOnomic says:

    You like youre sailors alot dont you? Haha

  2. Dan Phiffer says:

    Being raised as a pacifist, my gut reaction is to reject this. I will think about it.

  3. Dan Phiffer says:

    That was kind of vague — what I mean is there needs to be political room for reasonable heads to work or we start hearing our politicians using phrases like “evil-doers.”

    Basically I’m hearing “Iran” where he’s saying “Muslim world,” it’s all symbolic like the fist image. Even Obama’s word-smithing is not up to the task of communicating his basic message, which I think is about engagement with an Other.

    Anyway, this is something related to all that I read recently:

  4. WithAClue says:

    “Why dont we remove those bases in Saudi Arabi,”

    …. like we did, oh 5 years ago?

  5. […] With the election of Barack Obama, there is a connection between critical legal studies and the ‘constitutive’ effect of embracing the first African American as President of the U.S. The implication that Barack Obama is part of – or somehow is a leader in – the civil rights movement, could not be more damaging. A figure within the political system cannot take the place of or be a leader in any popular movement. That is co-option. The election of Barack Obama will most likely bring an end to confrontational approaches to social difference before it ameliorates real social differences. And if confrontational approaches have historically won decisive political victories in areas where liberal legalism has failed, the election of Barack Obama would soften the confrontations, and hence have little or no effect on society. picture/text from photoblog on […]

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