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The thing is done. Barack Hussein Obama is America’s 44rd president and first biracial president. I almost â€“ almost â€“ envy black people excited about Obama. They really do have a pep in their step.
Yesterday truly was an historic moment for the United States. For better or for worse, Obama’s got four years to do his thing. In my world, values trump skin color, and I can’t get excited about the reign of someone whose system of belief is so different from my own, even if he’s half-black.
During the campaign, Obama said one of the first things he’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. Since he thinks women have a right to commit infanticide, I believe him. Then again, he’ll be so busy dealing with friends and foes trying to cash in favors, he might forget.
Readers have asked for my opinion on the following portion of Rev. Joseph Lowery’s prayer:
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest,
and in the joy of a new beginning,
we ask you to help us work for that day
when black will not be asked to get in back,
when brown can stick around,
when yellow will be mellow,
when the red man can get ahead, man;
and when white will embrace what is right.
That all those who do justice and love mercy
I know white people are so weary of being made to feel responsible for everything wrong in the “black community,” from out-of-wedlock pregnancies, to the inability of people with bad credit to get home loans or, depending on which way the wind blows, their ability to get sub-prime loans, to the academic achievement gap, and on and on. Personally speaking, that is, I, myself, would rather be left alone. I don’t blame anyone else for my lot in life. It falls squarely on me. At least, that’s the way I choose to see it and how I conduct my life.
I understand how frustrating it can be that even in prayer, someone’s implying that you’re embracing what is wrong, that your efforts have been insufficient, that you must do more for people who are blessed to live in the greatest country in the world. Opportunities abound, but some people don’t want to do what it takes to seize them. Complaining and blaming are so much easier.
Somewhere along the way, equality of opportunity morphed into a desire for equality of outcome. But thanks to the true diversity of individuals â€“ not just the skin deep-only kind â€“ that won’t happen. Individuals will always have varying levels of talent, motivation, curiosity, drive…equality of outcome can only be produced by rigging the game and subsidizing the players.
Obama will be like any other president: going back on his promises, disappointing the base, etc. People who see him as some kind of great biracial hope who’ll bring together all the colors of the rainbow are deluded. He’s just a man. He has no magic powers. He doesn’t have the power to make rogue nations that hate us suddenly fall in love with us, for example. What he probably will end up doing is appeasing these nations. They will always hate the United States and live to see its destruction; an ally in the White House will make their efforts to destroy us easier.
Whoa! Pardon the digression. Back to Lowery. Keep in mind that he’s an 87-year-old black man who lived through Jim Crow. As co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Lowery was on the front lines of the civil rights movement. If anyone knows how this country once treated blacks, it’s Lowery. Make allowances for a man who witnessed something yesterday he didn’t believe he’d ever live to see.
Despite my difference of opinion with people like Lowery, I am grateful to him and to others for making the road easier and less steep for me.
(Photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing)
Update: Fabulous Carlotta Morrow writes, via Facebook:
“I agree with you about Lowrey. He offended many whites, but I just believe it came out the wrong way. Many of us oldies remember the phrases “black get back, white is right, and so on…” I took it to mean that those phrases have been wiped out but for those like you and me, we believe those phrases were wiped out long ago. Many were offended because it sounds like he’s still living in the past…as if Obama’s election meant nothing! The offense is understandable and Lowery needs to clarify if nothing else.”