In his first few days in office President Obama probably thought it would be cool to greet his military guards with a salute – and a handshake. Once Pentagon advisors convinced him that that was a no-no, Obama followed protocol and now extends his hand only to salute military guards and escorts.
Months into office the President must now accept another fact of life: An American president – especially if he or she is African American – shouldn’t say publicly that police act stupidly even when they do, and especially if the issue involves race. His political advisors and a nation, still unwilling or unable to fully understand the black experience, undoubtedly will continue to drill that reality into his psyche until it sticks.
Two good things about our President: he’s willing to admit that he’s made a mistake and he attempts to move in the right direction, not for political gain, but because deep inside, he believes it’s the right thing to do. That’s why he’s hosting the professor (Henry Louis Gates) and the policeman (James Crowley) today for an afternoon drink at his Washington D.C. resident. Let the gentlemen involved sort through this thing, not the politicians or pundits.
President Obama repeatedly has said that if by the end of his first term he hasn’t performed adequately, let the people elect someone else to do a better job. And he knows that we, the voters, will do just that. Despite fear-monger hysteria and dooms day predictions from the far right, the world and these United States seem to be on a steadier, surer course.
In a short time the President has calmed the seas of a stormy world financial system that was left swirling dangerously close to an abyss by the previous Administration. No one on the far right talks about that. Indeed, too many of our politicians and pundits – on the extreme right and left – know what is right but do what is wrong for political gain, monetary gain and/or higher tv/radio ratings. Rush Limbaugh openly wants the President to fail, even if it means most of the citizens of this nation will suffer in that failure. Pundit Pat Buchanan in a rambling message of racism says this country was founded and built by whites and should be run by whites. Buchanan declares Hispanic judge Sonia Sotomayor, a summa cum laude Princeton (1976) graduate and Yale Law (1979) graduate, unqualified to serve on the Supreme Court judge, yet he’s confident that Sarah Palin is qualified to be President in 2012.
Brings to mind a line from one of Marvin Gaye’s hits – “Politics and hypocrites is (sic) turning us all into lunatics.” How true, how true.