If this ain’t treason…

If I had ever uttered some of the epithets against Presidents Ronald Reagan or George W. (for worst in history) Bush, which are being sworn loudly, by the hour by some of these right-wing radio talk show hosts against Pres. Barack Obama, then I would have surely ended up in a stockade somewhere.

The well known, corpulent talker with the drug addiction problem famously proclaimed that he did not need a 400-word essay to say what he felt about the President of the United States, less than a week after Mr. Obama took office. “I can say it in four words,” he brayed from his stable. “I hope he fails!”

The way I see it, to announce one’s desire that the leader of his or her country “fail,” in any dangerous endeavor is tantamount to wishing for the victory of the enemy of that person’s country.

That’s not like declaring that you think the President is wrong. That’s also different from observing, after the fact, what the effect of a dismal policy may be. That is a wish for the defeat of one’s own country’s leader, and all the patriots who follow that leader. Now, if that ain’t treason, then I don’t know what is.

Recall that Cindy Sheehan and all the Gold Star Mothers for Peace were unforgiving critics of former Pres. Bush. But Ms. Sheehan earned her Gold Star after her son was killed in the reckless, needless, immoral, and illegal war and occupation of Iraq, declared by Mr. Bush. Many other critics still hope to see him, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other members of that administration investigated and brought up on war crimes charges, either in this country or in the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Continue reading

Obama exposes skeletons in White House Press closet

Now that the unthinkable–an African American President–is happening before our eyes, some light is being cast on a number of other White House realities.

One of the most glaring is that the lens through which the world looks at the first Black Commander-in-Chief is focused almost exclusively by White hands. Yes, the White House Press Corps is just that: virtually all White. No surprise there.

Like the rest of the “Big Time” media, the White House Press Corps is a tight, White coterie. Way back–28 years ago to be precise, long enough ago to be forgotten, then forgotten again–my Black Journalism Review commissioned and published an article in a special edition with Howard University, commemorating its annual School of Communications Conference asking the question: was there “Racial Discrimination on Sunday TV Panel Shows?”

The answer was in 1981, and is in 2009, a resounding Yes! “…some of the nation’s leading Black writers believe that the (Sunday) shows discriminate against African American journalists, denying to all but a few Blacks, the prestige and authority which comes from appearances on (those) programs,” John W. Lewis Jr. wrote in 1981.

And that reality remains across the board in the elite media circles today, most especially at the White House, the most elite news beat there is. Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris and ‘buzzard’s luck’

By way of full disclosure, I worked as press secretary for U.S. Senate appointee Roland Burris’s first statewide campaign for Illinois State Comptroller in 1976. I was never paid a dime, and never got out of Chicago’s Loop with the candidate. It was that kind of a campaign. It went nowhere.

Roland Burris has been appointed to fill the remaining two years of the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. The Senate Democratic leadership and 50 members of the Democratic Caucus have vowed not to admit him, or anyone else appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, because of the governor’s arrest on so-called “pay-to-play” corruption charges.

Although Senator-designate Burris has had many subsequent statewide political and electoral victories (he eventually won the State Comptroller’s race three times and was elected the state’s Attorney General), and I believe he will ultimately prevail in this ordeal, in his current plight in political purgatory reminds me of my first impression of this decent, honest, and ultimately honorable man. He has “buzzard’s luck.” That is: Continue reading