President Jimmy Carter, still far ahead of his time

The author meets Pres. Carter, Natl Press Club 1978An “overwhelming portion” of the public animosity directed at President Barack Obama and his efforts at healthcare reform this summer is based simply “on the fact that he is a Black man,” according to former Pres. Jimmy Carter, a southerner, who grew up in racially divided Georgia, personally witnessing Jim Crow segregation in all its forms.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a Black man, that he’s African American,” Mr. Carter told a town hall meeting days after the outburst during the President’s speech to Congress Sept. 9, by South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson.

“I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans. That racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of a belief among many white people, not just in the South, but around the country, that African Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply,” the former president continued.

Mr. Carter grew up on a farm in the 1930s, where he admits he “stayed barefoot from the middle of March until the middle of October,” has worked to overturn racial segregation throughout his career in public office. When he was sworn in as the 76th Governor of Georgia Jan. 12, 1971 he declared in his inaugural speech that the time of racial segregation was over and that racial discrimination had no place in the future of the state.

He was the first statewide office holder in the Deep South to make this declaration in public, and he appointed many Blacks to statewide boards and offices, during his term. As president, elected in 1976 he continued that policy, appointing Blacks to a number of positions never before held by Blacks.

“When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the President of the United States of America as an animal or a reincarnation of Adolph Hitler, or when they wave signs in the air that say ‘We should have buried Obama with Kennedy,’ those kind of things are beyond the bounds of the way presidents have ever been accepted, even with people who disagree,” Mr. Carter told NBC News. “And I think that people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree, by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African American. It’s a racist attitude.” Continue reading

Mayor Adrian Fenty, a big disappointment!

I am sorely disappointed with the job being done by D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty.

It’s not personal. Let me begin by declaring I support the decision to give his children preferred admission into an elite D.C. Public School. It is not unfair to other children in the system that the Mayor’s children should be granted special consideration. My son received it. He was admitted into Hearst Elementary School, instead of West Elementary, simply because of a compelling case for an exception made by his mother.

At the same time, I am not especially perturbed that the swimming pool at “the” recreation center where His Nibs swims daily got “Pimped Out” with heaters and other World Class improvements. There’s nothing wrong with installing the accouterments at the pool where Da’ Mayor swims every day to train for triathlons and such… They had to put the fancy stuff somewhere… Why not at his pool? It’s public property isn’t it…

So, I don’t have any beef with the outcome of those matters concerning Mayor Adrian Fenty.

But as far as the way he has governed is concerned, I am gravely disappointed with the job being done by the Mayor. I’m even concerned that there are sinister “hidden agendas” in some of his policies and decisions. Continue reading

Dismantling Obama administration, brick by brick

President Obama, Sept. 1, 2009 The White House State Dining Room

Tell me again, who exactly won the Presidential Election in 2008. Was it Barack Obama or Glenn Beck? Inquiring minds want to know.

I’m not being facetious. In just one week, two Obama administration appointees, who would seem to serve “at the pleasure of the President,” resigned their positions under pressure from the sharp-tongued TV talker. A star is born, and it looks like this guy is in for more than simply “15 minutes of fame.”

The case of Mr. Beck’s pressure resulting in the resignation of Van Jones from the conspicuous position of White House Green Jobs Czar was widely reported. Less well known is the plight of Yosi Sergant, who had assumed the post of Communications Director at the National Endowment for the Arts, resigning his position following accusations of a conflict of interest by the self-same loud-mouth.

So, was there a secret election held since January, and a new President chosen by the electorate and quietly sworn in?

What’s worse, Glenn Beck and his crew are not done yet. They now have their eye on Cass Sustein, confirmed by the Senate as the President’s Director of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and then Mark Lloyd, Diversity Director at the Federal Communications Commission, and once they’ve notched those scalps on their belt they plan to aim straight for the President’s jugular–Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett. Continue reading

They don’t really care about us!

Michael Jackson, Jan. 16, 2004

Michael Jackson was correct. “They don’t really care about us!”

In his most controversial composition ever, he says again and again: “All I want to say is that/ They don’t really care about us!” The “they” involved being the all-powerful, oppressive, White, authoritarian, rulers; and the “us” being the poor, righteous masses who live under “their” boots on “our” necks.

Someone should sit President Barack Obama down to watch the two versions of that video (one in which the “us” are poor Black Brazilian street children and the other in which the “us” are Black inmates in a penitentiary) and then explain to the President that contrary to what he may have thought when he was inaugurated, he and his agenda of good for the masses of Americans is not a “they,” but rather is an “us.”

In his case, the “they” are clearly gun-toting, White Republicans and other sundry conservatives, who mean him and his ambitious plans for reform absolutely no good. Continue reading

Edward Kennedy’s Last Quorum Call

Sen. Edward Kennedy's Last Quorum Call 

I joined more than 5,000 people at the East Plaza of the U.S. Capitol Aug. 29. It was the only opportunity for members of the general public here in Washington to pay respects to Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential and longest serving senators in American history. He died Aug. 25 at his Hyannis Port home after a 15 month-long struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.

Where did they hide their tears? I wondered as I watched his family members assemble for a brief prayer outside the Senate chamber. They were so stoic. It was, after all, their hurt, their loss, their father, their uncle whose remains were at the front of that long, long cortege.

Dozens in the crowd who knew him only by reputation, wiped away tears or sobbed silently. How did his family members retain their composure? Where were their tears? Had they cried themselves out in private?

The sun dipped behind the Capitol Building before his body arrived. There were periods of sun, then the buttermilk sky looked like it might rain. Onlookers reminded one another that rain at a funeral was a good sign, from Heaven. Continue reading