Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Struggle: Achievements and Principles

I wanted to make this pic my cover photo over at Facebook, but the text on the left side wouldn't be visible beneath my personal photo (well, that's not really me, of course, as I'm not a canine, though some of my best friends are). But since that wouldn't work out, and since I'll be guest blogging over here awhile by Redeye's special request, I wanted the pic of our accomplished President Obama to be my debut post. I know you're going to miss Redeye's style (with which I know I can't compete!) but I hope you'll give me a chance - because Redeye did!
I've never understood some people's angst for our President, and I've had to conclude that sadly, the rumors of him being black are true. Well, to be more accurate, he is actually of mixed races: he's Oreo, black and white, so to call him black just because he looks black is inaccurate.
I had always hoped that it was far more than race that made him despised by some. He is accomplished, coming out of rather humble beginnings, and yet, through his own striving and perseverance and making and taking every opportunity, he beat the odds of being a poor, undereducated, incarcerated black boy. That is, after all, too often the cultural stereotype, isn't it?
President Obama is a role model not only for young black males, but for us all. I am so glad that he has the personal demeanor that he does, and I am so ashamed and outraged at the likes of Georgia's Tea Partyian Rep. Joe Wilson for his "You lie!" stunts during the State of the Union (for which he recieved a formal rebuke from the House of Representatives). Notably, Sarah Palin recently revived the lyin' line, even dusting off the birthers' conspiracy theory for good measure. Some folks say anything for attention, especially if they can dress it up with what they call fighting for "principles."
I was reminded of principles while watching Melissa Harris Perry's segment today on NYPD's "stop and frisk" policy, which set quotas for police officers as "productivity goals." Apparently the principle of the police officers' work ethic is supposed to be stronger than our American principles of the 4th and 14th constitutional amendments. Never mind that 88% of all NYPD stops end without an arrest, and actually promote crime by leaving "entire neighborhoods demoralized and suspicious of police."
So young men in New York are routinely subjected to constitutional violations, even as our President demonstrates that color is no bar to achievement. He achieved and is a superb role model for us all, especially for youthful black men who again have another distinguished black man as an example and as a leader. And yet, there are those who attack President Obama not for his living our American principles, but for their own perversion of them.
We still have a long way to go to fulfill Rev. Martin Luther King's dream of "a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Or, as Melissa Harris Perry's father signed her birthday cards, "The struggle continues. Love, Daddy."

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