On January 20th 2009 Barack Hussien Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America. Administering the oath of office to the new president was chief justice John Roberts an appointee of George W Bush the 43rd president whom Obama succeeded. Roberts opted to administer the oath from memory and botched it, everyone laughed off the mangling of the oath,no one was prepared to allow anything to cloud that fateful day many people thought they would never live to see.
America appeared jaded, the country wanted something inspirational to cheer about, we were engaged in two wars that were still dragging on with no end in sight and no understanding of what victory would look like .Many were already invoking the word Vietnam into the war discourse. America’s image abroad was in tatters , the country and it’s president were literally seen as a cowboy with a bad attitude. The economy was in a recession, the magnitude and scope of which experts grossly underestimated.
Despite the bad economy, two wars, the terror attacks of September 11th 2011, there was a genuine feeling of anticipation in the country. America seemed to have crossed that divide, it had finally come of age , it had elected a black man president!
It was awesome to see the new first couple as they held hands and basked in the glow of what must have been a surreal feeling of “this is not really not happening to us”.
Many of the over 3 hundred million Americans basked in the glow of the moment, blacks and whites, Jews and gentiles, for a moment we were all Americans. If the feeling in America was palpable, the images on television depicting the absolute joy on the faces of hundreds of millions the world over, on every continent, told an electrifying tale. They were cheering for Barack and Michelle, but one got the feeling they were cheering for America, that they were cheering for the goodness and decency deep within humanity. A goodness and decency that had finally worked its way to the surface. It had taken hundreds of years, many tears but finally our humanity had finally worked its way to the surface . Somehow we had finally come to the realization that the superficial difference of skin color was all that separated us. That the blood that flowed within our veins was all the same blood irrespective of the color of our skin.
We were for that moment in time, all God’s children.
But as we are well aware, there are other forces within the universe. We were brought crashing down to the rancid realities of the other side of what we had all witnessed . The other side of what we all felt. We were brought back to the preeminent feeling that we should not have indulged in that moment, because there would be payment exacted by the universe. The other shoe would drop. We became painfully aware that those euphoric feelings we experienced have similar consequences to the temporary high derived from a drug abuse indulgence.
All of us ,as we allowed ourselves the luxury of that euphoric indulgence, were painfully aware that not everyone shared in our joy. We were conversant based on the history of this great country, that there was a dark shameful side, that did not disappear the day Obama was elected.
What I certainly was not prepared for is the scorched earth return to Jim Crowe in the year 2012 in America. A scorched earth that not only scooped up African-Americans but threaten to engulf other groups who felt they had overcome in America.The avalanche of hate swept up women , immigrants, Gays and lesbians,Labor unions, working poor, the middle class, and pretty much anyone who wasn’t a member of the white male club.
Even though we expected that there would be a backlash against blacks for Obama’s breaching of the last bastion of white supremacy, we were largely unprepared for the Tsunami of hate that was to follow.
We never anticipated the return of Jim Crowe. We did not anticipate the Senate Minority leader saying his primary focus was to make Barack Obama a one term president. No one foresaw Jan Brewer Arizona Governor sticking her finger in the face of the president of the United States, Or rookie Supreme court associate justice Samuel Alito shaking his head and mouthing “not true” to his opposition to their recent citizens united decision. A colossal bad decision, the effects of which are already being felt in the fight for America’s Democracy. Maybe we should have seen the likes of South Carolina’s congressman Joe Wilson shouting “you lie” at the president, as he delivered his state of the union address.
In fact those of us mesmerized by the ascension of Barack Obama, were naive in our euphoric trance. How could we not see the possible attempts at delegitimization of the lunatic right in the form of the birther nonsense. How could we not recognize that some misguided elements in the military would refuse to take orders from the president, arguing that if the order is unlawful they have a right to disobey? How could we not see that Obama’s ascendency would not create a conflagration of hate groups? In fact how could we not see a total and unified coming together of republicans , house and senate in opposition of Obama that would virtually clog up the works, making it impossible to get any legislation of meaning passed .
There is nothing beneath the lunatic ignoramus fringe of the right that they deem too offensive to hurl at the president. Even those who were once considered reasonable(sic) have now fallen victim to the genealogical deficiency called racism. So it is now acceptable for Iowa US Senator Charles Grassley to refer to president Obama as stupid. Race aside, I would readily throw my hat into ring for Obama when it comes to intellect, over Chuck Grassley. No group is above the gutter behavior. We have seen that the power structure of the dominant white male is feeling uncertain of itself. High court judges, and top actors within the catholic church have not seen fit to maintain the thin veneer of faux respectability that once obtained in their enclaves. A veneer that masks a sore that refuses to heal, a sore called racism.
President Barack Obama won the presidency without winning the white vote. This is scary for white men who have seen the last bastion of their lies torn down and laid bare for all to see for what it was for centuries, a damn lie. All men are created equal under God, by god. The inferiority complex inherent in some, that causes them to visit all types of unimaginable evil on others different from themselves in order to show themselves superior has been exposed and they are scared to death. The very lies which gave them legitimacy has been stripped away, and they have been exposed to be just like everyone else, ordinary people , not superior, not from a master race, just a pile of matter like everyone else.
This aspect of white supremacy has served white men for centuries they are not about to roll over and die. As a mortally wounded animals can be particularly dangerous, so too is the vanquished lie of white supremacy. Obama represents all that they hated in others, he represents what they feared for centuries, the results of removing the glass ceiling and the sticky floor. Despite the vile putrid attacks leveled at him this president and his wife continue to smile and be graceful , exuding the grace and charm that many could only hope to emulate. This White house thus far, despite snares from their enemies has been scandal free. There is no talk of infidelity, no talk of impropriety, as such the hate mongers are left disparaging the Obama’s for being the products of ivy League education. You know you are doing good when your enemies can only conjure up lies and distortions in order to attack you.
President Obama has steadfastly sought to advance the equality of all ,just as he promised as candidate Obama,he signed
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 is an Act of Congress enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by on January 29, 2009. The bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stating that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new discriminatory paycheck. The law was a direct answer to the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007), a U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that the statute of limitations for presenting an equal-pay lawsuit begins on the date that the employer makes the initial discriminatory wage decision, not at the date of the most recent paycheck, as a lower court had ruled.(source wikipedia.com)
He has appointed two women to the United States Supreme Court. Associate Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor the first Hispanic to be appointed to the highest court in the land. His Administration has sided with women’s groups in their fight against Republican assault on their reproductive rights , one which started out in republican circles as an Obama’s assault on religious freedoms. That shell game did not survive the smell test and was rather quickly revealed to be an attack on the reproductive rights of women.
His cabinet is remarkably representative of women.
Hillary Clinton Secretary of State:
Hilda Solis Secretary of labor:
Kathleen Sebelius Secretary of Health and human services:
Janet Napolitano Department of homeland security:
The following equivalent to cabinet positions
Lisa P Jackson environmental protection agency:
Susan Rice Ambassador to the United Nations:
Karen Mills Small business administration:
By all accounts this is an impressive array of powerful women,the president has demonstrably shown his commitment to women and what’s important to them. Republicans may bury their heads in the sand , but this is exactly the reason Mitt Romney’s 4 point lead over Obama with women was wiped out and the president up in some polls by 12-15 points. Women are paying attention.
Republican candidates did not do themselves any favors when they remained silent or at best mouthed mealy-mouthed rationalization of loud mouth Rush Limbaugh’s attack on a George Town University law student Sandra Fluke. Limbaugh in traditional style refered to miss Fluke as a whore and a prostitute. Her crimes? testifying to a democratic Congressional committee on the problems facing young women in getting contraceptive coverage in their health insurance. Limbaugh’s boorish attack saw dozens of advertisers on his radio show running for cover.
Republicans in state after state have drafted legislation that seeks to strip away rights once believed to be settled laws. Many women are now wondering whether in light of recent developments, Roe:vs Wade is settled law.
Republican hate and hypocrisy has no limits, for the duration of Bush 43rd Presidency we were deluged with the term “judicial activism” from the president, neither the supreme court, the gods on the federal 5th circuit nor their political counterparts had a problem with the president blasting the high court.
Of course all of the aforementioned have a problem with President Obama stating that the supreme court has no business striking down a law passed by a congressional majority. In fact what the president meant was that the supreme court should, if there are constitutional issues with a piece of legislation, send it back to the congress for fine tuning. But that aside, is the supreme court above criticism? Where is it written that no one may criticize the supreme court, least of all the President of the United States of America.
What the last three years plus has shown is the entrenched racism in this country, cemented largely around white male. This election will be like nothing the world has ever seen before, it seemed they did not believe that Obama could win in 2008 , now they are not about to have him serve another four years. They will pullout all the stops, the results will be like none we have seen before . That is how hateful republicans fight, by using lies innuendos distortions and catering to people’s fears .
It is time that decent people stand up and repudiate the hate mongers and the wares they are peddling. America is stronger because of its diversity, not despite it. America was not built by white men alone, it was built on the blood sweat and tears of blacks , native Americans, and all of the others who toiled to make this country what it is. No one has a monopoly on her, it belongs to all that have come and gone. Those who believe they own America will have a hard time defending that position as this country gets more and more diverse. Their fear is palpable.