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Book Review
White House

How are we to understand Barack Obama’s meteoric rise to power? What does the movement which propelled him to power represent? And why has he not fulfilled the promises of his election campaign? Wazir Mohamed reviews a new book by Horace Campbell that seeks to answer these questions.

Horace Campbell’s latest book,* [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.

[1] Campbell 2010: 3
[2] These acts enacted by the United States Congress represented enabling legislation which afforded the opportunity for people of color in the United States to begin the long march towards full equality.
[3] Note must be made that it was in the USA that concepts such as scientific racism and eugenics took root and were used as mechanisms to legally degrade the humanity of people of colour.
[4]Campbell 2010: xiii
[5]Campbell 2010: 2-11.
[6]Campbell 2010: 15
[7] Campbell 2010: 121.
[9] ‘With a NAFTA agreement that has labor provisions and environmental provisions as side agreements, it strikes me, if those side agreements mean anything, then they might as well be incorporated into the main body of the agreements so that they can be effectively enforced. And I think it is important, whether we’re talking about our relationships with Canada or our relationships with Mexico that all countries concerned are thinking about how workers are being treated.’ See transcript of President Obama’s interview on his first trip to Canada (Democracy – February 20, 2009.) Also see President Obama’s letter of December 26, 2007 to the IOWA Fair Trade Campaign, ‘One of the first things I’ll do as President will be to call the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Mexico and work with them to fix NAFTA. We’ll add binding obligations to protect the right to collective bargaining and other core labor standards recognised by the International Labor Organisation. And I will add enforceable measures to NAFTA, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), CAFTA [Central America Free Trade Agreement] and other Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) currently in effect. Similarly, we should add binding environmental standards so that companies from one country cannot gain an economic advantage by destroying the environment. And we should amend NAFTA to make clear that fair laws and regulations written to protect citizens in any of the three countries cannot be overridden simply at the request of foreign investors.’
[10] Campbell 2010: 234 – Quote from Vandana Shiva.
[11] Campbell 2010: 238; Jonathan Kozol, Savage Inequalities, 1991: 83-84.
[12] Campbell 2010: 269.