Past Rant V

“An Afterthought After the Obama Speech”

So it’s been a week plus since Barack Obama made his speech about race relations in the United States. I for one thought it was an amazing speech that hit on so many issues. That said, I also thought it was political suicide. We’ll see how that plays out in the future.

Bottom-line – U.S. Americans are scared of race, and anything having to do with conjuring up old skeletons of black fruit dangling from trees, or segregated areas (schools, bathrooms, restaurants, etc.), or the institutionalized racism that continues to this day. Black Americans and White Americans alike hate to bring it up. Black folk get angry, while white folk look dumbfounded as to why the blacks are angry. No one really wants to discuss this out in the open. Best left to academia where the conversation becomes so removed no one really cares what is being said. But Barack brought it back to the home front. He brought into our living rooms and work places. He brought it down from the lofty attic of academics and brought it up from the basement of the local barbershop. He brought it to us like adults.

Was Barack perfect? No. Was he eloquent? Yes. Was he divisive on some things? Yes. Was he being political? Of course, that’s his job. Was he being real? 100%.

As I was reading over blogs, news stories, sound bites, and all the other media stuff that bludgeons one with information these days I came to realize that people are talking again. Whether it is about race or health care, it seems people are having some really interesting discussions. That was great to see because at a time where everything is a sound bite it is nice to see people who really want to expand the conversation.

So, this brings me to the Good Reverend, Mr. Wright. I will say in full disclosure, I didn’t research his entire life. Quite frankly, I didn’t see the need to. He’s not running for President of the United States, or any other political position for that matter. Also, what did he say that was so incendiary? He said something about damning America, and that racism was institutionalized, and sponsoring state terrorism might have caused 9/11. Is that anti-American? I think if we, as a nation, take a look at the world we will see that he is right, and that’s what people are really angry about.

Recently the United States signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Why? Don’t we have anything else to give them other than weapons for killing people? 5 years ago we attacked a sovereign nation that did not do anything to us. Isn’t that illegal by international law? For the past half-century we’ve been feeding Israel arms and nuclear technology making them the most dominant force in the Middle East. What has Israel done with that power? Nothing. I have a feeling a peace agreement could have been done and in the books a long time ago, but the fighting continues. I always say, the stronger power should always step away first and take higher ground. It’s much easier for them. The United States, while creating great wealth and opportunity for many nations and people on this planet, has also caused a great deal of instability and destruction.

My first reaction on 9/11 was to call my sister as she lives in New York City and travels past there. My second reaction was – “What hat the fuck did we do to deserve this? I don’t condone blowing-up two massive buildings and killing thousands, but we must ask ourselves (from the point of view of the attackers), “Why are they so pissed off to the point of blowing-up civilian buildings?” These people weren’t deranged lunatics with diagnosed mental illnesses. Many of them had families and friends in abundance. Yet they chose to kill themselves so the United States would listen. To me that sends a signal people are really upset, and the United States government is doing more damage than good.

Now, Al Qaeda recruiting is on the rise, more and more troops are being killed in Iraq, the U.S. economy is sluggish and in recession, and people are losing hope. Reverend Wright didn’t attack Iraq. Reverend Wright didn’t sell arms to Saudi Arabia. Reverend Wright didn’t order the assassination of world leaders. Reverend Wright didn’t order the use of the Atomic Bomb on Japan. Reverend Wright didn’t sit back and give George Bush the authority to attack a sovereign nation (oops said that already). Reverend Wright didn’t bungle Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Reverend Wright didn’t create the conditions for $100+ per barrel oil, sky rocketing gas prices, and increased food cost. Reverend Wright didn’t order the building of more prisons. Reverend Wright is not a politician who stands with frail legs trying to get re-elected, while useless tax cuts pass through Congress. What did Reverend Wright do other than tell the truth – American is broken and it needs fixing.

The only way it can be fixed is for common U.S. American citizens to get off their backsides and demand more from the elected officials we choose to operate this country. We need to demand that a president like George Bush face criminal charges for causing the death of over 4,000 soldiers. He’s a lame duck now, so why not expedite the process. IMPEACH him and get rid of him. Bush has embarrassed and dirtied the hands of this nation for 8 years. He deserves to be impeached, and needs to retire to his Texas ranch.

Reverend Wright is not anti-America. I think he is very much pro-America. We’ve just been led so far down the wrong path it seems as though he is anti. Barack is justified in associating himself with Reverend Wright because he is a man who makes his own decisions. Reverend Wright doesn’t speak for Barack, and Barack doesn’t speak for Reverend Wright. They are friends, and whoever said you can’t disagree with your friend. Once again we take our eye off the prize.

Obama had to make that speech, so I hope people heard the parts where he talked about how to make America better, and what conversations we should be having. Those are conversations that people like George Bush don’t seem to want to hear. Those are conversations that scare people because the Bush Administration has dumbed-down the collective intellect of the people of the United States. Barack, and Reverend Wright are trying to raise the level of conversation. I hope people are really listening.


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