Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Powerful Plagiarism

Quite a night and quite a speech by Barack Obama last night.

What a great line - "We are the ones we have been waiting for...". Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman could not stop gushing over it. It is poetic. Problem being, Barack did not attribute the author who wrote that poetic line.

Our own shadows disappear as the feet of thousands
by the tens of thousands pound the fallow land
into new dust that
rising like a marvelous pollen will be
even as the first woman whispering
imagination to the trees around her made
for righteous fruit
from such deliberate defense of life
as no other still
will claim inferior to any other safety
in the world

The whispers too they
intimate to the inmost ear of every spirit
now aroused they
carousing in ferocious affirmation
of all peaceable and loving amplitude
sound a certainly unbounded heat
from a baptismal smoke where yes
there will be fire

And the babies cease alarm as mothers
raising arms
and heart high as the stars so far unseen
nevertheless hurl into the universe
a moving force
irreversible as light years
traveling to the open eye

And who will join this standing up
and the ones who stood without sweet company
will sing and sing
back into the mountains and
if necessary
even under the sea:

we are the ones we have been waiting for.

from Passion: New Poems, 1977-80, by June Jordan
copyright 1980 June Jordan

It will be real interesting to see if the media gives Barack Obama the same treatment they gave Joe Biden.

From Wikipedia:

"Public figures commonly use anonymous speech writers. If a speech uses copied material, however, it is the public figure who will be embarrassed. Delaware Senator Joe Biden was forced out of the 1988 US Presidential race (but remained in the US Senate) when it was discovered that parts of his campaign speeches were plagiarized from speeches by British Labour party leader Neil Kinnock ... Biden was forced out of the Presidential race after the Michael Dukakis campaign released a video showing Biden using one of Kinnock's speeches without properly attributing it. Biden called the charges "much ado about nothing;"[*] it was also revealed that Biden had used and properly cited the Kinnock speech on several other occasions, although he failed to do so on the one instance recorded by the Dukakis campaign.[*]"

This will be a good test of the Obama campaign. Time for damage control.

Hat tip to Jodi Vander Molen, from a comment at Donklephant.

UPDATE: Or maybe June Jordan got it from a Hopi Prayer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very interesting.... it probably goes on more than we know.

are you going to forward this blog to the media or to obama's office?
sister r