Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them…

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

You’ve all seen the video by now of little Tyren Scott,  a fourth grader at a charter school in New Orleans, who got to ask  President Obama the last question at the town hall meeting the President held there in his city.

“Why do people hate you?”

“Ahhhh…” we collectively say to ourselves.

Our hearts break as we listen to a little boy ask the question on the minds of plenty adults and children as they witness the rage that has been directed at President Obama over the last few months.

But what about the President’s answer? How do you rate the President’s answer?

Watching the video, I find myself wondering if His O-ness missed the moment. Oh sure, he tried to explain to the little fellow that it was all politics, and then wanted him to know that he needn’t worry that he  [the president] could take care of himself. I get that. I even get that the President was probably sideswiped by the boy’s question and was so moved by the his genuinely not understanding all that was going on that  His O-ness  fumbled for a moment there on how best to respond knowing that cameras were zooming in on him. I get that.

But still I wonder.

Might there have been a better response to the little boy’s question about hate and American politics? I haven’t yet figured out what I wish the President had said.  I just know that I was looking for something a little more thoughtful.

What else, or what differently, might President Obama have said in response to the little guy’s question, “Why do people hate you?”

Congratulations, Mr. President!

Friday, October 9th, 2009

mr. president

As my late father would say, “Well sir.”

Those of us in the U.S. woke to the jaw dropping news this morning  that 9 months into his term, President Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Wow!!

Word is that even the White House, including His O-ness, was shocked and called all hands on deck to decide whether to accept or not. (Read what the president finally had to say about receiving the honor.)

Obama is the third sitting president to win the prestigious award out of Oslow. Woodrow Wilson won the 1919 prize in recognition of his Fourteen Points peace programme and work in achieving inclusion of the Covenant of the League of Nations in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War One. Theodore Roosevelt won the 1906 prize for his role in ending the bloody 1905 war between two of the world’s great powers, Japan and Russia. (Jimmy Carter won in 2002 as ex-president for his work in using his status as an ex-president to intervene and faciliate peaceful solutions to international conflicts.)

In response to criticism to Obama’s selection, saying that nine months into his presidency he has yet to make any significant international achievement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee countered by saying that it was trying “to promote what [Obama] stands for and the positive processes that have started now.”

As hard as it is for some of us to understand this fact: some things just ain’t about you. Whether you’re being nominated for the Nobel Prize or you’re being pummeled to death politically by your opponents.  It ain’t about you. It’s about about the cause, some doggone larger issue, tumbling around in other folk’s head that you, by golly, represent in their minds.

So, move over His and Her O-ness. We’re all stunned. Proud, but scratching our heads too. Not saying you don’t deserve it. Just saying, “Well sir.”

Enjoy it while it lasts. But don’t let your guard down. Experience says, they’ll tear palm branches down from trees one week and hail you as “The One” and turn around and call you an impostor a week later and leave you hanging from a tree.  In the meantime, thank ‘em and figure out how to leverage the award to accomplish some really urgent items on your agenda.

You lose Rio, but you win Oslo. Go figure.

Congratulations, Mr. President!

Is any Black person who disagrees with the President a ‘crackpot’?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Dear “Is any Black person who disagrees with the President a ‘crackpot’?”

Sorry it’s taken a few hours to yank off my clergy collar, sit down and respond to the comment you left on the blog earlier today. Too bad that after reading your comment I had to dash out the house and get to my child’s volleyball game. But perhaps it was just as well. I needed to let off steam. “Spike it down her throat!” I bit my lip and kept myself from yelling at my child who plays the outside hitter position. I’m committed to civil discourse, for the most part that is.

v'ball

Let’s start here: Turn off the right-wing, conservative chatter you evidently listen to and reread my original post. I actually never got around to addressing whatever (legitimate or illegitimate) disagreements folks may have with Obama’s health care policies. A closer reading will show that what concerned me in that post was the foreboding, sinister, escalating threatening tone of Obama’s opponents.  YOU may be one of the few Obama dissenters committed to civil discourse and civil debate, but look around and you’ll notice that you’ve been dropped off at the wrong town hall meeting. Your fellow dissenters have left the building and are down the street arming themselves with assault rifles. The fighting has begun.

When women weep on television that they fear the president has designs on brain washing their children and others march the streets with signs saying “Monkey see, Monkey budget,” and when someone alleging to be an African American woman comes on the blog accusing me of being unfair and less than kind by casting such opponents are fringe, dangerous types – wingnuts– I’m wondering what planet does “Is any Black person who disagrees with the President a “crackpot’?” live on.

Let’s move on to your main bone of contention:“Many people believe in a free enterprise system and are not happy to have government run every area of their lives.” “Big government” is what you all call it, I believe. Short cut for “taxes” and “forcing equal rights for all down folks’ throats”, am I correct? Strange that you launch right into talking about big government and the free enterprise system, but never bother to say outright what you think about the notion of health care for all, which is the issue everyone is up in a roar about. And yeah, as a former broker and accountant I know well that you can’t go on spending more than you take in. But if gutting the poor is what it takes to balance the budget, I’m not for it. If denying health care to the huddled masses (e.g, the poor, the unemployed, and those with pre-existing conditions) is the price we pay to balance the budget, then “hell no.” Excuse my Ugaritic.

“No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick” is the way it circulated on Facebook last week.

There’s gotta be another way. How about: Increase my taxes, and those of Donald Trump’s and “Is any Black person who disagrees with the President a “crackpot’?” so that the forty-nine year old man at her church who just lost his job of 16 years can have health care. Bring our troops home and cut the military budget so that poor women don’t get cervical cancer because they can’t afford the cost of an annual Pap smear.

Guess what? I’m a product of the free enterprise system too and have no doubt benefited from that system in many ways, knowingly and unknowingly. But that doesn’t mean I’m ignorant of its flaws and don’t find myself wishing from time to time for a better, and more humane, economic system for this country. Just because capitalism is the system we inherited and the one we know best doesn’t make it sacred and holy, and hence above critique. And while I’m at it, just because the free enterprise system is the only thing I’m familiar with as an American doesn’t mean I’m dumb enough to actually trust the free enterprise system to do justice and be compassionate to all people at all times. No. No. No. No, I do not trust the free enterprise system (e.g., employers, insurance companies, the medical system) to make both preventative and curative health care available and affordable to everyone. Profit making enterprise have absolutely no interest in doing such a thing. Cure everyone? That would put them out of business.

History has shown again and again and again and again that” systems” do not do the right thing, unless forced to do so. From time in memoriam governments, lawmakers, judges, tribal councils, and elders have had to, step in and intervene on behalf of its citizens and demand that the rich, corporations, systems, institutions, and society treat citizens fair and humanely.  Slamming the gauntlet down and declaring: It’s illegal to discriminate.Pay people a living wage. You can’t seize children and put them to work. Cease and desist from sexual molestation in the work place. Stop dumping toxic waste into the environment. Service and maintain airplanes regularly and routinely to keep air travel safe .

reformLaws are on the books for a reason. Because human beings are not inherently good, and less so are their “systems.”

Have you ever noticed “Is any Black person who disagrees with the President a “crackpot’?”that “big government” always become the war cry of those like you when it’s folks others than yourselves big government is assisting. But let a hurricane  decimate your home, or let another Wall Street investment firm go under taking more of your savings and retirement fund with it – and big government is your Uncle (Sam) whom you fully expect to step in and come to your rescue.

But, is what those people doing any different than what we did during the Civil Rights movements?  We who? You marched in the Civil Rights movement? I don’t think so,

I just don’t want to believe that a black person came up with drawing an analogy between the civil rights marches of the 50s, 60s, and 70s and the Tea party march this past Saturday.That just doesn’t sound like anything a black person would do, certainly not one who knows that the only difference between her and her black great mother is timing and laws.  Turn off FoxNews child! True. Both events are marches. True. Both groups protest some perceived wrong by the government. But the parallels end there. The marchers of the 50s, 60s, and 70s were protesting unjust laws on the books which elevated once race over another and denied rights to one group of citizens based on race and some trumped up notions of inferiority. Saturday marchers were protesting laws proposed to get on the books that are designed to make services available and accessible to all citizens regardless of race or class based on some trumped up notions of manifest destiny.

Is any Black person who disagrees with the President a ‘crackpot’? Hmmm…let’s put it this way: Any black person that disagrees with his O-ness resolve to reform the system and make health care available and affordable to all regardless of color and class, and any black person who sides with those serving cyanide laced racist kool-aid to topple his O-ness’ health care initiative and his administration — is downright foolish.

It just seems that most of time the only people who consistently leave comments [on this blog] are the “Amen Corner.” So today I thought I would offer a slightly different type of comment.

[Neck snap. Eyes narrow.] You don’t say?

Grey Goose on ice. Please.

What’s All This Racket Outside My Door?

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the Negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. (Sojourner Truth speaking in 1851 at The Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio.)

Let’s begin with sports.
My girl Serena had a meltdown during the semifinals Saturday night that even folks like me, a Die Hard Serena fan, can’t defend, but one I suppose that’s been brewing for decades given the intense scrutiny and criticism she and sister Venus have been subjected to ever since they bounced onto the tennis courts with all those darn noisy beads in their hair. Here’s hoping Serena uses the toughness and smarts she’s gained over the years and figures out a way (with a good public relations firm) how to recover from the serious damage done to her career and image with her outburst. I agree that Serena did nothing Saturday night that the bad boys of tennis, McEnroe, Agassi, and Connor didn’t do all the time. But I’m not in the mood for whining about racism (nor even sexism). I’m looking for ways for Serena to turn this thing around and get her career back on track.

And then there was Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech Friday night. Who knew the man could talk? I didn’t. As I was huffing and puffing there on the elliptical machine watching the ceremonies I kept thinking that I’d never seen an interview of Jordan in all my years of keeping the sports channel on as background noise when I’m writing.  Jordan offended many in his speech, they say, by refusing to play the role of the gracious giant. Jordan was funny, fierce, and frank in what he had to say to his colleagues about the game, the politics of the game, and his rise to fame. I’m tempted to say something about the white arm candy wearing a rock on her finger he brought along with him to the ceremonies. But I won’t…because I’m bigger than that. At least he didn’t mention her when he started thanking family and loved ones.  Cough. Cough.

 And now a ceremony of a different sort…
Then there was Kanye West’s self destructive behavior at the MTV’s VMA awards last night. Interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for “Best Female Video” to announce that Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.  What the….? Is the boy still grieving his mother’s death and having a problem pulling himself together? Repeat after me: All black people are not stark raving crazy.

But try telling that to Saturday’s Tea Party Activists. Don’t be fooled for a minute. They are part of a well organized conservative wing-nut strategy to overthrow the Obama government. Yeah, you heard me right. Overthrow the government.  Obama and the white male advisors he’s surrounded himself with had better get hip (old school for “wise, savvy, man-up). These nuts are not playing. Toppling the government is their goal. Revolting against progressive politics, against an America that looks different from the one they want, and against a black president, And conciliation and playing nice nice be damned.  Snuff out JFK. Gut Bill Clinton.  Do whatever you have to. Except for insiders, few knew who was behind the deadly political games. But now that a black man is president, the ante has been upped. Lunacy. Anarchy in the halls of Congress. Fringe elements  Crackpots. White women on camera weeping in fear that their children will be brainwashed by the president. Blacks joining Saturday’s Tea Party crackpots, one being a black woman on stage before the mike with a strip of fabric from a flag tied around her neck saying, “I’m here too, and my neck isn’t red.” (It took me a second to decode that one.)  Again, no whining. It’s nasty out there. Tell Michelle to cover up bring the girls inside.  Call the prayer warriors. But, don’t forget to call for your fighting warriors also. There’s going to be blood in the streets before it’s over.

Finally, to those of you who have left comments welcoming me back from blog retirement, thanks but I didn’t retired. I simply got off the merry go round of trying to live up to the expectation  (mine, not yours) that I HAD to post something several times a week whether I had anything pressing to say or not.  I’m not back. I blog when I can and when I can’t keep quiet anymore.