Tag Archives: Barack Obama

The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Lyndon_Johnson_signing_Civil_Rights_Act,_July_2,_1964
It was late February, the week between when the Arizona state legislature passed S. 1062, allowing a “religious exception” to provide service to people, presumably gay people, and when Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill. I was watching JEOPARDY!, in real time. A clue popped up about the Greensboro Four, the young black men who, in February 1960, sat in at a Woolworth’s “whites only” lunch counter.

Suddenly, the Daughter started singing this song, about it, Rosa Parks, and the Little Rock Nine like events, which I had never heard before:

“Some young men in Carolina sat down at a counter and asked for something to eat
Cause they had a dream, yes they had a dream
And when no one served them, they just kept sitting, they never missed a beat
Cause they had a dream, yes they had a dream
They had a dream that all our children could live in harmony
And go to school together and work in the land of liberty”
Continue reading The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Cheney and Iraq

Cheney
Charlie Rose’s PBS show was on one night a couple weeks ago, and Thomas Friedman was on, talking about this climate change movie he was involved with; I taped to watch the next night. One sentence jumped out at me. In the places where Arab Spring seemed to have worked, notably Tunisia, it involved an understanding that there needed to be a sharing of power.

Then I started watching the NBC Nightly News, and the foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, was back in Baghdad, Iraq. He explained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Continue reading Cheney and Iraq

13 o'clock: racism in reverse?

RNC1.Screen-Shot-2013-12-03-at-2_08_07-PMEvery Black History Month, I put together some recent articles about race for the adult education class in my church, and how the reason we still have Black History Month is because there’s still weird stuff going on. This year was better/worse than ever, with items like the issue of some noted cases of Shopping While Black or even Working While Black.

Hey, that Duck Dynasty guy said HE never saw any racism when he was growing up with black people, so it’s a good chance that racism never really existed at all.

But this really bowled me over: Study Finds White Americans Believe They Experience More Racism Than African Americans.
Continue reading 13 o'clock: racism in reverse?

The Obama Presidency: Five Years Down, Three To Go

President Barack Obama Honors TeachersI know judging a two-term presidency with 36 months to go is a dodgy proposition, but what is the point of writing a blog if not to make these brilliant observations?

THE GOOD:
I had great hopes because the very first thing he tackled was wage discrimination. He was stuck with a horrendous economy in freefall, and the stimulus, despite spending that ought to have been better targeted, had overall good effect. GM and Chrysler were saved from almost certain death, which would have had a huge ripple effect on other parts of the economy.

The Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare, was not what I wanted, as I think his team took the single-payer option off the table WAY too early. Still, the fact that it doesn’t doom persons with pre-existing conditions to, likely, no insurance is a plus, and I appreciate the provision of keeping young adults on their parents’ policies.

Although he may have become more directed on the issue because of something his Vice-President said “too early,” Continue reading The Obama Presidency: Five Years Down, Three To Go

Bumper stickers and spittle

We don’t have any bumper stickers on our cars; never have. My wife doesn’t like them, and that’s fine.

There are some out there that I like, though. The CoExist one. There’s a couple about women empowerment I’d support. One that read, “Straight, but not narrow,” with a little rainbow next to it I would have appreciated more had the not-very-big car not taken up two spaces in my physical therapist’s parking lot.

Overtly partisan political bumper stickers I’m less fond of. Particularly if your candidate loses, it’s kind of embarrassing. Those Michael Dukasis 1988 stickers seemed so sad. The Romney 2012 seem almost disingenuous Continue reading Bumper stickers and spittle

Race in America, late summer, 1963

NBC News did a very interesting thing last month: it rebroadcast the August 25, 1963 episode of the news panel program Meet the Press, 50 years after the original broadcat. You can read the transcript at the site as well. The guests were Roy Wilkins, head of the NAACP, and Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. They were speaking three days before the massive March on Washington.

What I found fascinating is that there are two overriding themes in the questioning. One comes in the first question Continue reading Race in America, late summer, 1963

March on Washington, a half century later

It’s likely you’ll see a LOT of stories about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Every single one will marvel about how much progress has been made in America in the area of race, since 1963. Almost all will point to a black President, the current Attorney General, and two recent Secretaries of State as examples. The divergence in opinions come on this point: some will claim that we have “reached the promised land,” making sure to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. from that day a half century ago – as though he were the only speaker there – while others will suggest that we haven’t quite gotten there yet.

When President Obama suggested that we look at race again in light of the Trayvon Martin case, that Obama could have been Trayvon 35 years ago, some, such as TourĂ© at TIME, thought it was a brave personal observation. He wrote: “The assertion that blacks are hallucinating or excuse-making or lying when we talk about the many very real ways white privilege and racial bias and the lingering impact of history impact our lives is painful. It adds insult to injury to attack all assertions of racism and deny its continued impact or existence.”

Others labelled Obama “racist-in-chief”, playing the “race card” and worse. Continue reading March on Washington, a half century later