Barack Hussein Obama Redistribution of Wealth Radio Interview


n 2001 Barack Obama gave a Chicago Public Radio interview to WBEZ.FM. In the interview Obama talks about how the courts have not gone far enough to help blacks, so the only way to give blacks more money would be to do it through legislation, which is why he became a Senator, and worked with Acorn and other community organizing groups. The audio that recently emerged of Sen. Barack Obama discussing "redistributive change" confirm what he said to Joe the Plumber is a core agenda for him.

Below is the transcript of the recently surfaced Obama interview where he trashes the Constitution and the Framers and advocates redistribution of wealth through unconstitutional tactics. The interview was conducted on WBEZ-FM in Chicago in 2001--that date according to the original internet distributor of this clip, YouTube user NakedEmperorNews (link to video). Drudge splashed it on yesterday morning. The line breaks with ellipses indicate where whoever assembled the video cut it to insert typed editorial comments. I believe there was no actual break in Obama's comments during those cuts, but there may have been. (An exception is the first break, where it cuts from Obama's statement re: the Civil Rights Movement and redistribution of wealth to a question from a caller, between which I'm quite sure other things were said.)

Obama: You know if you look at the victories and failures of the Civil Rights Movement and its litigation strategy in the Court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously disposed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I'd be okay. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and ... more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted it in the same way: that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties--it says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn't shifted, and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the Civil Rights Movement was because the Civil Rights Movement became so Court-focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.


Caller: The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn't terribly radical ... with economic changes. My question is, [is] it too late for that kind of reparative work, economically, and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place?

Host: You mean the Court?

Caller: The courts, or would it be legislation at this point?

Obama: You know, maybe I'm showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn't structured that way.


You know, you just [should?] look at very rare examples where during the desegregation era the Court was willing to, for example, order, you know, changes that cost money to a local school district. And the Court was very uncomfortable with it, it was hard to manage, it was hard to figure out, you start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, you know, in terms of the Court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.

You know, the Court's just not very good at it and politically it's just it's very hard to legitimize opinions from the Court in that regard. So I mean I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally--you know, I think ... any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts [cut, it seems before he finishes the sentence].

*And then he goes on to say, something about spreading the wealth around. damn socialist...