Expressing my view!

Sharing with whoever would read my thoughts

Reflections: Mr. President Obama

Could this be true? America has a Black president

There is an emotional catch in my throat as I look and listen to all the commentaries and analyses, historical comparisons to Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, who was spot on when he said the U.S. would have an African-American president in 40 years; and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who suggested a Black president in about 25 years, and contemporary parallels: the economic crises with Bank of America needing money to help them stay afloat; the three automotive industry giants needing money to keep more than half a million employees and subsidiary concerns, two of them forecasting being unable to stay in business come March; the second half of the promised $750 billion appropriated as a financial bailout of the finance sector: people are asking where has the first half gone, has it evaporated?There is no evidence financial institutions have resumed inter-bank lending, that businesses have been getting the advance credit they need to operate and produce, and an average 500,000 homes per month are going into foreclosure, there has been no mortgage renegotiation.

In recent days, there has been no mention of the issue of immigration. It was touching indeed to see his paternal grandmother who traveled from Kenya sharing the dais. Obama himself knew that without the strong support of the Hispanic community, who had grown to despise the Bush administration for the draconian immigration policies and renditions, the Berlin-like wall along the border between Mexico and the U.S.; that he would not have won.

Looking at television close up shots of the faces of people who had gathered on the National Mall, many men and women whose eyes welled with tears, many women their mascara running – haven’t they heard of waterproof mascara, or for many for whom the tears brim over their eye lids, like the waters of Lake Pontchartrain cresting the banks of the levees and inundating the basin below – sliding down their cheeks? Tears which hold not just the salt from their bodies, but the expectations commingled with longing, for all those who are Black in America, who struggled and endured ignominies and humiliations of every kind, yet did not live to see this day, when a Black man is president. The tears flow as many think of those Blacks who still endure slave like conditions, whose lives are inextricably bound to their white counterparts, and who dare not murmur a word or breathe a sigh of discontent or disagreement for fear of a disengagement or termination, which would reduce them to penury.

In a commentary on the eve of the Inauguration on BBC America’s Notes to Obama, national poet Maya Angelou said that she was not presenting a poem, she was presenting ruminations or reflections of what an Obama presidency means to and for her. She said that while the nation needs him, it is he who needs us more.

“We need him, the race needs him, the banks need him, and the economy needs him. He brought to us something we cannot live without, hope. He offers us the chance to have a great president, with whom we can identify, not as a Black president, but a president who would speak for the voiceless, for the poor black, poor white and for the disadvantaged Hispanic person.

I believe he needs us more than we need him. I believe that each of us has to do something more. I believe that we Americans deserve the most we can get. I will work alongside being of use and I will look for you working alongside, being of use,” she said.

During the Inauguration, when Obama took the oat of office, was there a hint of petty vindictiveness and partisanship, even subtle racism? Could it be that because Obama opposed John Roberts’ confirmation as Chief Justice, that Roberts felt to get back at Obama, to fumbled the words of the oat of office while the world looked on, as if to remind the President that he is still subject to the White establishment? Roberts’ subsequent apologies to the President, even re-administering the oat of office, have only highlighted the shadow of incompetence of the Bush administration, but which with tiny wisps and tendrils are trying to reach out to contaminate the new administration. What a mark on an historic and memorable day. Did anyone see the television close up of Obama’s expression during the fumbling? No doubt if it hadn’t been re-administered, constitutional lawyers would have had a field day on the legitimacy of the President.

As he promised, Obama has issued executive orders closing Guantanamo Bay within a year, which while keeping a campaign promise to the American people and assuaging the Islamic world, opens up other problems: reports suggest that some of the detainees would be brought at imprisoned at Levanworth prisons, which is on U.S. soil and places the detainees under the dictates of the Constitution: is there justification to holding them, how are the rules of evidence applied and exercised, what proof is there of involvement or collusion, except for some of the 250 detainees, who were held on hearsay or suspicion, and what about the Patriot’s Act? He has also ordered troops home within 16 months, and outlawed torture.

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January 22, 2009 - Posted by | African-American News, Black Men, Blogroll, community, Economy, Obama, Politics

1 Comment »

  1. Dude, I liked the overall meaning of your article … but why did did you chose to write it in such a ‘baroque’ manner … ?!!!

    Comment by Gilmour Poincaree | January 22, 2009 | Reply


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