Sunday, September 25, 2011


"If I recall correctly there is a passage in the novel A LESSON BEFORE DYING by Ernest Gaines in which a black man about to be executed shouts out - 'Save me Joe Louis.' I was thinking of this when I read a black activist's account of how President Obama did nothing to save Troy Davis. Really? What was President Obama suppose to do?  What can a heavyweight champion of the world do when someone is confronted with death? Reaching out for Joe Louis instead of even Jesus is interesting. We seem to think that some people have unlimited power. We still view the presidency with a degree of mystery. If you're unemployed right now do you think Obama is going to find you a job by next week?  Is Obama going to make your bed?  Feed your kids?  Babysit a race?  What is going to happen when Obama is no longer president? Are black people going to return to slavery days?  Will there be a new back to Africa movement?  Obama's lesson to black people is like something taken from 'The Wiz.'
His message is simply - believe in yourself. Obama wanted to be president and he is. What do you want to do?  Do you want to change the world?  Well, start doing it before you die. Don't wait for someone to take your life. The lesson before dying is to live."

—E. Ethelbert Miller (from his blog E-Notes)


harryn said...

In response to your question: "What can Obama do"? ...

I believe he's doing all he can by careening around the edges of the center and trying to appease everyone while trying to salvage his presidency.

Unfortunately, efforts to emasculate him in the early days of his term around the Health Care debacle with vitriolic accusations of dictator and socialist caused him to move quietly and gently. And who wouldn't when you have a wife and family to protect from savages with targets painted on your head? Hell, Joe Louis would have taken a dive ...
Equally despicable is the behavior of Republican and Tea Party opposition vowing to make him a one term president and signing pledges to avoid tax increases to further erode opportunity and growth.

What is even more unacceptable is the brinksmanship that is being tolerated by voting audiences that are watching our futures vanish as the evening news replaces (or at least competes) with entertainment. To quote David Byrne; "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around" ...

Just watched my morning dose of the Today Program talking about teenage suicides because of bullying and Morning Joe with Jeb Bush and Cory Booker talking about education reform and its impact on the future American economy and security. Not that either could agree on anything except the "American Dream" - which I have to take issue with because the dream is wrought with illusion and false realities. Its become more of a delusion with the fundamental ingredient missing - aspiration! I remember hearing conversations around my parents kitchen table (with the kids present) - with aunts and uncles talking about opportunities - how to do more and how to achieve. Plans were implemented and there was pride in accomplishment and punishment for failure - or at least embarrassment for not working hard enough or reaching out for help if you did fail. Today it would be more likely to shield kids from those conversation so as not to 'stress' them.
I'm curious to know what the mandate is for allowing stress - no wonder no one can handle it. Remember when your parents told you to eat what you didn't like because there were kids starving in other places in the world? It's still true - now that's stress.
What a pathetic country of dreamers and diletantes - or a Robert Hughe's called it: "A Culture of Complaint".

Obama's "Hope" is still mine as well, but it doesn't come by just voting and letting the other guy do the work. As he said in a recent speech: "Time to put on your marching boots" ...

Tim said...


we must bring
our own light to the darkness.

nobody is going
to do it
for us.

as the young boys
down the

as the fry cook
gets his last

as dog chases

as the chessmaster
loses more than
the game

we must bring
our own light
to the

nobody is going
to do it
for us,

as the lonely

as the great beast
in nightmare

as the final season
leaps into

nobody is going
to do it
for us.

-Charles Bukowksi