Category Archives: Politics

It’s About Change – Race, Class and the Re-Election of Barack Obama


I have been reminded of three incidents involving a stranger, a friend and an acquaintance the days following President Obama’s historic re-election.

First, I will relay the incident with the stranger. When I was a teenager, I loved reading fashion magazines to see all the latest trends and beauty products. I was reading the letters to the editor of one magazine and discovered that, for the first time ever, a black model had graced the cover the previous month. The letters from readers were mostly positive for this “bold” move. I thought it was ridiculous to consider the model’s selection for the cover as bold given the time period was the late 1980s-early ‘90s. The last letter, however, changed my mind. It was from a woman who explained that while she applauded the magazine’s decision to select a black woman as the cover model she also appreciated her white world. If she wanted to look at black models, she would buy a black fashion magazine. Simply put, she did not appreciate seeing a black woman on the cover the magazine. As I scanned the inside of the magazine, I discovered the articles, advertisements and photos were still geared towards her “white world” and I was sure it was same for the previous month. That, obviously, was either lost or did not matter to the reader. She still felt her world – as she knew it – was being compromised.

The second incident involves a friend. We were chatting during a break in our work day. He began to tell me how he had railed against an officer some months earlier who had pulled him over for speeding. He went on and on about he interrupted the officer while he was speaking and shouted expletives at him. When I asked him if the officer responded to his tirade, he said he didn’t. My friend said the officer just looked at him and let him go with a warning. When I told him I found it hard to believe that he could get away with such disrespect and disregard of an officer and his instructions, he thought a moment then said, “It probably would have gone differently if I weren’t white.”

The third incident involves a social media acquaintance the day after President Obama’s re-election. The acquaintance was upset at the results but resigned to the outcome. I knew her political leanings from earlier posts throughout the campaign so her written tantrum wasn’t surprising. However, a comment written in response to her post caught my eye. The commenter was also upset, but the reason was enlightening. He was saddened because “the America of my parents and grandparents is gone.”

Yes, America is changing. Whether it is for the better or worse depends solely upon your perspective. President Obama’s re-election proved that White privilege no longer assures victory. It is not enough to be White, male and rich. It is not enough to play on the emotions of middle class whites by promising action without clearly defining an action plan. Rich, white males are going to have to put forth the effort, i.e. work, and seriously consider what is best for all Americans and not just be concerned about one class (upper) while stirring up the inherent fears in another (middle). White men can no longer play the race card.

It is also not enough for black men to blame society for a lack of opportunity and/or direction. At one time, there were chains and laws that prevented them from sharing in the American dream. The only chains and laws preventing them now are the ones placed and enacted through generation after generation of mindsets. Every door isn’t open just as every door isn’t open for poor whites, Hispanics, Asians, and other ethnic groups. However, enough doors are open so that with a sufficient amount of drive, goals and the desire to achieve those goals, i.e. work, success can happen. Black men can no longer play the race card.

Race is the superficial issue at hand; the core is class. The Haves versus the Have-Nots. The classes are blinded by race because, historically, the Have-Nots have been Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other ethnic groups. That is no longer the case. Economic hardships affect all races but not always all classes. Unfortunately, we live in a world where a disproportionate amount of Haves are not willing to share a portion of their wealth and influence to assist the Have-Nots, which are the majority. I’m not referring to welfare or hand-outs; I’m referring to a fair representation of taxes to ease the burdens of millions of hard-working and tax-paying citizens. It is common sense that, in a country that assesses taxes, those who have more should pay more. Instead, the Haves play on the fears of the Have-Nots by threatening to terminate workers, suspend cost of living increases or close companies and move to other countries with weaker policies. The Haves know that money is a motivator because it is what motivates them, not loyalty to country or concern for the masses. The Haves garner the support of the Have-Nots because the Have-Nots fear losing their jobs and all for which they have worked. The Haves continually play on the Have-Nots fears out of their own fear of compromising –not losing – the abundant wealth they have accumulated. That fear is being projected upon the President – a black man from meager beginnings who, by all conventional wisdom, did not stand a chance of being elected the leader of the free world much less re-elected. He has shaken the certainty of the white world. He is proof that America’s old way of thinking is falling by the wayside. His re-election signals the end of playing race cards.

America is now a true melting pot of ethnicities and a land of opportunities for all. Those sentiments are no longer just propaganda distributed to the rest of world. We’re finally living it. We can accept this change and work together. Or, some can continue to resent this change and refuse to bend. All businesses know that they must adapt to change in order to maintain their standings or they will fold. The same holds true for societies. Now is not the time for arrogance, hate-mongering and posturing. We need to come together as Americans without all the labels and fears. Our refusal to do so will, ultimately, result in our downfall.


It’s Not About Race – 2012 Presidential Election Editorial


The election was not about race.

On November 5, 2008 – the day after the 56th presidential election in which Barack Hussein Obama was elected the first African American (or black or, for the nit-picky, biracial) Commander-In-Chief of the United States of America, I walked into my place of employment expecting the usual syrupy, “Good morning, darling,” from the nice grandmotherly receptionist. Instead, she barely looked up as I passed her desk. She did not speak to me. I shrugged it off, thinking she may be having a bad morning. Little did I know at the time that her “bad morning” would continue with me and select others for the remainder of the work week.

I walked to my desk expecting to be greeted with the usual office chatter, but there was none. Only the humming of office equipment and distant chimes of incoming calls could be heard. When I made it to my desk, I asked a co-worker what was wrong. He looked behind him at our other co-workers who pretended not to hear my question, their attentions firmly set upon their computer monitors. He then rolled his chair close to me and whispered so softly I could barely hear him, “What do you think?” It took a second for it to register. I then chuckled at his insinuation and shook my head no. He nodded yes and slowly rolled back to his cubicle. I turned around and began preparing for my day. He is being paranoid, I thought. The atmosphere in this place is reminiscent of a funeral. The heaviness in the air couldn’t only be the reaction to the election. Obama was President-elect; he hadn’t even taken the Oath of Office yet. Besides, the election was not about race. It was about being progressive, righting the wrongs of old policies and mindsets so America could regain and retain its position as the leader in an ever-changing world.

Later that morning, a female supervisor to whom I did not report asked me to join her in her office. Another lady from her team followed us. She made sure the office door was shut then offered us a seat. She looked at us, beaming.

“I am so happy about last night,” she said, finally. I noticed she, too, was whispering.

I returned her smile but said nothing. My co-worker, however, expressed similar sentiments.

“We can’t show it, though,” the supervisor continued, “because they are mad as hell. We have to stay neutral, OK?” “They” were the Caucasian majority in the office.

I remained silent. The co-worker next to me offered her opinion which matched the supervisor’s. We left her office a few minutes later, smiles erased, pretending we were discussing other matters.

I walked back to my desk, somewhat ashamed. That was the type of attitude the election was supposed to end, the old “Us” versus “Them”. How could she automatically assume another group was enraged over an election that was decided by the popular vote? An election by popular vote meant “they” had voted for Obama, too. The supervisor’s statements, to me, reeked of reverse racism. We needed to get beyond those attitudes.

The election was not about race.

I noticed I had voice mail when I returned to my desk. A client was having an on-going issue with receiving his daily reports. It was a programming issue that I, as level one support, could not resolve. I facilitated a conference call with the client and the level 2 support – the man who actually developed the program. Together we accessed the client’s computer via remote. The client and the level 2 associate had met and were on friendly terms. The client and I were also friendly but had never met. The conversation turned to the election.

“What do you think about last night?” the client asked Level 2.

It was apparent to me that Level 2 did not want to discuss the election given the time he took to craft his response. “I think the decision was made and we have to live with it,” he said.

The client’s level of perception, however, was limited because he continued. “I don’t have to live with anything. I did not and would not vote for him. I’m so pissed right now.”

Level 2 laughed nervously, “Well, now, I think we should give him a chance…”

“I’m not giving him anything,” the client interrupted then paused for a beat. “You know, they say his role model is Abraham Lincoln. What do Lincoln, Kennedy and Obama have in common?”

I am not at all embarrassed to say that Level 2, being an older gentleman (I know because we had met on several occasions), was way sharper than me. While I seriously pondered the question, he attempted to steer the conversation back to the programming issue the client was having.

The client was having none of it. “Come on, what do they have in common?”

Level 2 sighed. “I don’t know. What do they have in common?”

“Nothing… yet,” the client said and laughed as if it were the funniest thing he’d heard in a long, long time.

Level 2 chose not to respond. Instead of attempting, he forcefully steered the conversation back to the reporting issue. He told the client he would need to do some research and would call him with a resolution in a few minutes. The call ended. I hung up the phone, disappointed as my opinion of the client was lowered.

My desk phone rang about ten minutes later.

“Hey, we got off the phone before I could tell you how much I appreciate you getting the programmer involved in resolving this mess with the reports,” the client said.

“No problem, that’s my job. Hopefully, this time we’ll get it resolved instead of patched,” I replied, my tone dry on purpose hoping the call would end quickly.

“No, no. I really want you to know that I appreciate you and all that you do. You have been excellent and I truly enjoy working with you,” he said.

“Thank you. You’re too kind.”

“No, I’m not just being kind, I mean it. I like you and I like working with you.”

“Well, thank you again. I appreciate that.” I then asked, “Has the programmer contacted you yet?”

“Ah, um, yeah and everything is resolved now, don’t worry about that. I just wanted you know that I think you are an asset to your company and that I appreciate all that you do for me. I’ll let you get back to work. I’m sure you have other clients you need to check on. Talk to you later.”

Click.

That’s when I conceded the election was more about race that I wanted to admit. And that racism is so embedded in American society it will take a lot more than an election to erase it. To put it bluntly, it ain’t going away anytime soon.

Yes, there are white people who are mad as hell because a black family has occupied the White House for the past four years. Anybody would be better than Obama, they think, so they’re voting for Romney despite not having a clear understanding of how he will turn the economy around. As his running mate, Paul Ryan, stated, the math would take too long.

Yes, there are black people who don’t give a damn about the current administration. An inordinate number of black people are so used to hard times that the economy is not and probably will never be a major concern for them because they’ve never been a part of it. All they care about is the president is black and they’re voting for four more years. Of whatever. As long as the black man stays in office.

And, yes, there are people who are concerned about America – its present and its future – and, if they vote, will do so based upon that concern and not by a candidate’s posturing. They, unfortunately, are the minority.

I, too, am a minority, not because I am a black woman but because I reject the labels Democrat and Republican, conservative and liberal. I am tired of both parties automatically assuming they either do or don’t have my vote. I am tired of millionaire politicians souring our political process into sparring matches rather than honestly discussing plausible resolutions to our issues. I am tired of off-hand remarks garnering more attention than the topic being debated. I am tired of pundits rating the candidates’ debate performances rather than their platforms. I don’t think the outfits the candidates’ spouses wear deserve news coverage.

#Winning (at any and all costs) has become so valued in American society that we have come to expect and accept deception and lies as a normal part of the political process. No one wins when nearly half the population is struggling. No one wins when lines in food pantries are made up of people who work full time jobs but don’t make enough money to adequately feed their families. No one wins when companies lay off workers, cutting off paychecks and benefits to thousands, while executives still pocket hefty bonuses.

If you were unable or unwilling to take advantage of early voting, please vote this Tuesday, November 6. Don’t vote according to your emotions but according to your common sense. Don’t vote according to your political affiliation or race or sexual orientation, but according to the privilege of being an American citizen and wanting the best leadership for our country. Re-elect President Obama or show him the door. Whoever is elected won’t #win anything; but will inherit an awesome and tremendous responsibility and burden. The past twelve years have not been easy and the next four won’t be either. Don’t make it worse by being indifferent. This election really isn’t about race, although most have turned it into just that – a racial tug-of-war. This election, as all elections, is about America. Let’s stop being a house divided because a house divided cannot stand. If we continue this path of denial and apathy, outside forces will not bring down America. We will.


The State of the Union Address and Republican Response – Doing What’s Right or Hollywood Hype?

At least no one shouted, “You lie!” this time.

President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address tonight in full campaign mode, highlighting his accomplishments (the death of Osama bin Laden, creation of jobs, the success of the auto industry) and future goals for America including:

• Tax reform for businesses that outsource jobs and tax breaks for businesses that create jobs in America (which seemed to be met with bipartisan approval)
• The appointment of a trade department to regulate and investigate foreign piracy and taxation (not so much bipartisan approval. Even I, a supporter of the president, feel this may be a waste of taxpayer money)
• Immigration reform (there were camera shots of John McCain who appeared somewhat bemused)
• Unemployment reform (change it from an unemployment program to a re-employment program, met with bipartisan approval)
• Equal pay for women (met with approval from the female members of Congress and the Senate. Camera shot of Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ widow)
• Clean energy
• Banking reform
• Agriculture Reform
• Health care reform (strictly partisan approval)
• Unit to investigate reckless lenders (Again, not so sure I agree with this one – waste of taxpayer money. Received, in my opinion, a deserved lukewarm response)
• Revoking tax breaks for wealthy Americans (also met with lukewarm response. What can one expect from an auditorium mostly filled with millionaires?)
• Congress and Senate reform (stepped on some toes with that one)
• Foreign policy

Of course, the Republican senators and congressmen spent the majority of the time with stern countenances as President Obama relayed his vision. Speaker of the House John Boehner set the Republican tone earlier by calling the president’s speech “pathetic” so that was no surprise. What’s surprising is that neither party is willing to work with the other to better the conditions and circumstances of the everyday American citizen. Actually, it’s shameful. The president stated he does not want to return to the same policies that placed America in this recession. I argue no one – Democrat or Republican, Tea Party or Libertarian – wants that. Hopefully, they will prove it by stopping childish name-calling and finger-pointing and getting to the business of fixing this country. Note: I found it strange that as ABC went to a commercial break, it was announced that the State of the Union Address and Republican Response were being brought to us by The Descendants, which is a current theatrical release starring George Clooney. Well, ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Company. Which begs the question: Did I just view a big Hollywood production?

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana delivered the Republican response. The response went pretty much as expected: The President is wrong. His polices are wrong. His ideals are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Republicans are right. The only way to cure what ails America is vote in a Republican president and Senate. He advised America’s problems are mathematical, but didn’t provide an actual formula or solution. To really get the viewer’s riled, we were enlightened to the fact that the Obama administration works to divide Americans by courting favor to certain groups. We were also enlightened that the current administration feels we are too incompetent to self-govern. Woo-Wee, them there’s fightin’ words!

Hmmm, this may really be one great big Hollywood production, after all.

Disrespect To The Highest Levels

Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden were booed at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Finale in Miami. They were there presented as grand marshals and were there to show support for military families.

Much speculation has gone into why they were booed, and there have been many valid points given. Deep down, however, everyone knows the real reason why they, no scratch that, Mrs. Obama, was booed. Thankfully, Rush Limbaugh has finally led that humongous elephant out of the room.

Those darn Obamas are a group of uppity blacks. Hey, black people are OK to dance and sing and play sports, but they have no business in politics. That’s just crossing the line. And that fact that we, the American people, have to refer to them as “Mr. President” and “First Lady” is just disgraceful. The reality of a black family living in the personal quarters of the White House is unconscionable. Who do they think they are?

If my tone seems sarcastic, it’s because it is. How much disrespect does one family have to endure? It was a shameful showing for NASCAR and the country for the crowd in Miami to boo the First Lady and Dr. Biden. I have one question, though. If both women were booed, why is the focus on Michelle Obama? Because everyone knows she was the true target of the crowd’s disdain, as much for her husband’s controversial politics as for the color of her skin. Yes, I went there. Limbaugh noted Mrs. Obama’s fiscally irresponsible spending in his polarizing support of the crowd. I can remember former First Lady Nancy Reagan – wife of President Ronald Reagan who the current crop of Republican contenders cite as the greatest president – was also criticized for her spending and redecorating while her husband was in office. His administration championed budget cuts while his wife spent millions received through “donations”. She was known to favor glamorous gowns and expensive china and did not appear to have any regrets even though the country was in a recession during that time as well. Despite all of this, I don’t think one person in that NASCAR crowd would have booed her had she been presented as grand marshal. You want to know why? They know it would have been disrespectful to her as a former First Lady and as a person, just as it was disrespectful to Mrs. Obama.

Oh, Rush. You’re very critical given your own past indiscretions with painkillers. One would think your criminal investigation and subsequent redemption would give you a little more compassion and understanding. But then, compassion and understanding don’t pull in the big ratings, do they?

I won’t even delve too deeply into Newt Gingrich’s plan to have children in disadvantaged neighborhoods work as janitors in their schools to reinstitute the value of work. The value of work and a hard-earned dollar should be instituted across the board so that things like this don’t happen to the privileged.

America has become a divisive, greedy, rude and disrespectful nation where not even the office of the presidency is shown respect. This is a very sad commentary of our times.

America’s Debt-Ceiling Crisis – To Some It’s Just A Game

Real estate mogul Donald Trump speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington June 3, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

I used to like Donald Trump. Before Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.

Before then, Trump was a pretty cool dude in my eyes. Of course, I only know his public persona, but there was something about his arrogance and unapologetic boasting of wealth that was strangely appealing. Although I was concerned when he re-opened the ridiculous “Birther” notion that Obama wasn’t a natural born U.S. citizen, I still held him with certain measure of respect.

No more.

Donald Trump. Multi-millionaire Donald Trump is advising Republicans to force a default so America can lose its AAA credit rating. Why? To ensure Obama isn’t re-elected.

What world does he live in?

Oh, that’s right. He lives in a world of privilege that his children and grandchildren also inhabit. Well, for those of us who live in the real world, a default could mean higher interest rates. It could mean watching our 401Ks dwindle. It could mean having to tighten an already tight belt.

For the Donald Trumps, John Boehners and Barack Obamas out there, this is not a game. There will be NO winners in a default. We already live in a society where the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the Middle Class is disappearing. Yet, you men of privilege take to the airwaves and act like victims when you know a default would have less a financial affect on you than it would the average American family.

Again, I implore our elected officials to get back to the business of doing what is best for America instead calculating personal gains. Donald Trump proves wealth isn’t an accurate measure of intelligence or common sense. He does prove that the rich only care about winning and being rich. He doesn’t give two hoots about America. Or, maybe he doesn’t give two hoots about an America that is led by a Black man.

Both groups, Democrat and Republican need to compromise on this issue in order to regain the trust of the American public. Don’t be misled by a pretentious, media-savvy usurper with a personal ax to grind.

Is This Behavior Befitting Elected Officials?

AP

I’ve never hidden the fact that I am a supporter of President Barack Obama. I like his vision for the country and his ability to stay focused on his goals in spite of heavy, soul-wrenching opposition. Whatever your take on the president, you have to admit no other Commander-In-Chief has faced such an uphill battle with regards to his birthplace (yes, Hawaii is a vacation spot AND a US state), respect (what other president has had a member of Congress call him a liar during a State of the Union address?) and roadblocks when it comes to his vision for America (only doctors, independently wealthy and relatively healthy individuals could view universal healthcare as an affront to personal liberties.)

With that said, I am more than disappointed in Obama’s and Speaker of the House John Boehner’s inability to compromise on a resolution for America’s debit-ceiling crisis. These are intelligent men that are coming across as both stubborn and arrogant. It’s very easy to cross your arms and draw a line in the sand on the “principle” of this issue if you are a millionaire. A government shutdown is not going to adversely affect them on a personal level. Their children will still attend private schools. Their mortgages will be paid. They will not have to choose between paying a bill, buying groceries are refilling their maintenance medications. However, the vast majority of their constituents are not as privileged.

This is not a game; this is life. In a culture where workers are expected to do the jobs they are hired to do, it is sad to see these two engage in such childish antics as walking away from negotiations then holding press conferences to try to outdo the other. Shameful.

My message to Obama, Boehner and all the members of Congress and the Senate: Please grow up. Buckle down and do what is best for all Americans instead of pandering to people who would least be affected by a government shutdown. Enough is enough. Elections are right around the corner. If you can’t do it, I will make sure to vote for someone who can.

George Stephanopoulos vs. Michele Bachmann – The GMA Interview

Still from Good Morning America

At home today convalescing a bad back so I played Eenie Meenie to determine which morning news show I would watch. Good Morning America won. The first interview was conducted by George Stephanopoulos. His subject was Tea Party presidential front-runner Michele Bachmann. First, let me note that I like Stephanopoulos and, to date, dislike the Tea Party. I anticipated watching him throw out the hardball questions and listening to Bachmann’s response. Instead of an insightful interview, I was treated to an American History pop quiz.

Everyone who has graduated elementary school should know John Quincy Adams was not a Founding Father. Unfortunately, Bachmann did not know this when she made a recent comment the Founding Fathers working tirelessly to end slavery and identified J.Q.A. as a Founding Father. Stephanopoulos, citing an article that listed Bachmann as one of the worst offenders when it comes to perpetuating inaccurate comments, asked her if she were willing to admit she made a mistake. Rather than answer the question, Bachmann responded with a prepared speech about how wonderful America is. So, Stephanopoulos asked the question again and Bachmann, again, dodged. At this point, it was obvious this woman was either totally clueless or completely unwilling to accept she was wrong. Either quality should make one question her ability to lead the free world, but I digress. Instead of accepting Bachmann’s reluctance to provide an unscripted response, Stephanopoulos seemed to take pleasure in spotlighting her ignorance. He asked yet again if she really thought Adams was a Founding Father and smirked when she, yet again, provided a ridiculous answer.

Although I am not a Bachmann fan, I was disappointed in Stephanopoulos’ tone. It wasn’t professional and lends credence to the long-held notion that the news media are partisan and elitist. Of course, Bachmann played her part in the exchange. It doesn’t make one weak to admit a mistake. She could have even imported her “I Love America” standby into the admission, something along the lines of, “You know, my love for this country is so strong that I misspoke during the heat of the moment. Of course I know John Quincy Adams was far too young to be a Founding Father. Most Americans understand my intent. I’d much rather focus on my platform.” She only compounded the issue by trying to rationalize her mistake. Not a good look. Certainly didn’t endear her to me.

I, for one, would have appreciated hearing how she plans to get the country back on track instead of being subjected to a verbal sparring match about our country’s history then the somewhat sexist question of if she has prepared her family for the rigors of campaign life. Is Mitt Romney being asked that question? How about Ron Paul? The interview ended with me knowing as much about Michele Bachmann as I did before the interview, which is very little. Then, again, maybe that was the intent.

See the interview here.

No Release of Bin Laden Death Photos – Good Decision

So, President Obama has decided not to release Osama Bin Laden’s death photos even after there has been a public and media outcry for proof. By all professional accounts, the type of wounds inflicted upon Bin Laden would make viewing his corpse disturbing, to say the least. Most reports advise the photos would be downright gruesome. For that reason, I support the President’s decision.

What public good could come from releasing the photos? This operation was not a Hollywood production. The body is not going to be in the pristine condition we have been conditioned to seeing from the entertainment industry’s depiction of war. The blood in the pictures is real. The trauma to the body is real and far more graphic than any Hollywood make-up artist could imagine. Are these images we want children to see? Even if media and Internet outlets warn of their graphic nature prior to showing, how many kids would turn away or resist the urge to click on the link? How many adults would? After viewing the photos and being left with their lasting images, then what? Would 9/11 never have happened? Will the countless lives lost suddenly be erased? Or, would it simply enflame the already heightened tensions between the United States and al-Qaida? Would it provide more fuel to their dogma, increase enrollment in their training camps, and provide even more inspiration for them to destroy America and everything for which she stands. The purpose of capturing Bin Laden was to make the world a safer place, not more dangerous. I think the images of us celebrating his death in the streets is enough; there is no need to release his death photos.

Conspiracy theorists will continue to doubt the government and the President. They have already proven this by their insistence for the release of the long form of his birth certificate then doubting its authenticity once he relented to their demands. If the Bin Laden photos were released, I’m sure they would then insist they were doctored, pointing to absurd notions like the way the blood pooled on the carpets to bed sheet wrinkles. Note: You do know that there are those who insist 9/11 was a government ruse even though there was live coverage of the event. Guess what, THEY insist the photos of the planes making impact upon the Twin Towers are doctored.

There is no way to please everyone. The President, the Leader of the Free World, has to always consider the better good in his decisions. And this decision not to release Bin Laden’s death photos is good.

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead

Osama Bin Laden is dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Did you find that slightly annoying? No, not the fact the world’s most wanted, ruthless and maniacal terrorist has met his fate. I’m referring to the reiteration: Osama Bin Laden is dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Those watching CNN’s coverage of the President’s statement confirming the death of Public Enemy No. 1 were subjected to correspondent John King’s drone repetition of this breaking news. I understand King’s consistent delivery of this message was actually meant to convey the significance of the event, but I was left with the feeling that the moment was more about King being the “first” to confirm this news and less than the network being the medium providing some measure of closure to the families of the thousands of innocent lives that were lost that fateful day ten years ago.

We should temper our rejoicing of Bin Laden’s fall. His death is not the end to the war on terror. In fact, America is now on heightened alert with the very real possibility of retaliation by al-Qaida. We should commend the brave Navy Seals who risked their lives to bring the world one step closer to peace. In addition, we should commend President Barack Obama for having the foresight and patience to order the U.S strike at the right moment and not just when an opportunity presented itself. The highest praise, however, should go to God for guiding the steps and actions of our special forces and the president.

Proverbs 24:17-18 counsels us, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.” So, let’s use this moment, this emotion-filled historical moment, as a time of reflection and honor to the victims of 9/11 and to the servicemen and servicewomen who have and are risking their lives for the betterment of our country and our world.

What’s So Bad About Obama ? – Revisited

I posted this op-ed piece about President Barack Hussein Obama several months ago. In it, I lamented over the utter lack of respect that is shown this man, the elected President of the United States. From calling him a liar during the State of Union Address to planting seeds of distrust about him and his platform, I thought it couldn’t get any worse.

But it has.

It is beyond disturbing, in fact it is downright pathetic, that so many people who tout themselves as intelligent refuse to believe the president is a natural-born citizen. Let’s have a common sense check: Do you really think ANYONE could hold the highest office in the land without having EXTENSIVE background checks, not just by the government but by news agencies and also the opposing camp? If they were unable to disprove his citizenship, why is this still an ongoing issue?

For those easily influenced by money and power, the words of Donald Trump have weight. Always remember, a man’s actions show his intentions more than his words ever could. Of all the hurdles facing Americans right now – joblessness, the economy, healthcare, education – the issue most important to him was stirring the pot of ignorance surrounding President Obama’s birthright when it had long ago been settled. This is a clear indication to me that a Trump presidency would be more of a 4 -8 year PR stunt then 4 – 8 years of being led by a man who truly cares for the welfare of America and all Americans.

In listening to satellite radio yesterday, many young listeners called in saying it was about time the president provided his birth certificate because, in their words,” you have to to show a birth certificate to even work at McDonald’s!” Now, I have never worked in the fast food industry, but I have worked for major global financial corporations. I have had to provide my social security card. I have had to provide my driver’s license. I even have had to provide a copy of my college degree. But I have NEVER had to provide my birth certificate for any position. I’m not doubting there are positions that require this documentation, but I do think they are far less commonplace than those callers would like to believe.

America, wake up. You can dislike the president for his platform. You can dislike him for his delivery. You can even dislike him for his race. That’s your prerogative and your privilege as an American. Just don’t be proud of being ignorant of cold, hard facts. If you feel the president has an “agenda”, then also know those who oppose him have agendas as well. And if their agendas seem to be solely focused on discrediting the president, question the motive instead of blindly following. Do some research of your own and stop relying on the constant stream of inaccuracies and innuendo being poured on the American public.

God, I pray, please bless America.