AMERICANS REJECT FEAR AND EMBRACE OBAMA

One of the reasons Senator Barack Obama’s campaign has become one of the healthiest movements in recent American history is this: the American people are sick and tired of politicians trying win their votes by traumatizing them with fear.

With all our dysfunctions, we Americans are family, and as one member of the family, I am dead tired of watching family members being traumatized with fear because someone wants their votes. Bush and Cheney, our co-American dictators, have used fear tactics that would impress some of the nastiest dictatorships throughout history. Now we have Senator Hillary Clinton inflicting an ad on the American people that blatantly tries to convince viewers that without her in the White House, their children are in mortal danger. The ad blatantly plays into the nearly universal desire to keep children safe. Radio talk show host Don Imus recently wondered just how low the Clinton’s will go to win the nomination. Answer? As low as it takes to win.

Americans are sick of it.

We are all members of the American family. We are all in this together. It does not make a difference to me if a member of my American family lives in Texas or Ohio or Pennsylvania or Rhode Island or my home state of New York. It does not make a difference to me if a member of my American family is Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. It does not make a difference to me if a member of my American family is gay, straight or bi-sexual. It does not make a difference to me if a member of my American family is Black, White, Asian, or Hispanic. It doe not make a difference to me if a member of my American family is Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist or agnostic. I do not like it when members of my family are being put through the blood chilling experience of fear because someone wants their votes.

The American people must pull together and send a powerful message to Washington D.C. that political fear tactics must stop. And it seems to me that the groundswell of support for Senator Obama shows we are doing just that. Yes, there are fear tactics being used to derail him too. Falsely linking him to Farrakhan or accusing his minister of being anti-Semitic when the Anti-Defamation League has said this charge has no basis in fact. It will not work this time. We Americans may be a wily bunch, but we are not stupid and when we have had enough, we have had enough.

News reports and polls from around the country show that Republicans, Independents, Democrats and others are aligning themselves with Senator Obama, not because Obama is a Democrat, but because he appears to be the one candidate for the presidency who is not using fear to manipulate. He is the one candidate for the presidency who is truly seeking to unite.

Please consider something for a moment. When Americans think of Lincoln, they think of a great president. His political party is an afterthought. When most Americans think of Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, they think of great presidents. Rarely do we think of the political parties they belonged to. Why? Because they were presidents who put the American people first. This is what my American family deserves now. An American president who will put the American people, all the American people, first.

Obama has my vote.

SHARPTON & JACKSON: A BIGOTRY DUET

Boston columnist Mike Barnicle was right recently when he said the reaction to Don Imus’s inappropriate remarks has included a “tsunami of hypocrisy.”

But before I get to that, let me first apologize to my readers and retract any positive words I wrote about Reverend Al Sharpton in the previous blog entry.

Watching Sharpton over the past couple of days and doing a bit of research into Sharpton’s past, it is clear he has no right to the title Reverend, unless, of course, you are one who believes a racist and anti-Semite can be a Christian minister.

Consider the following.

1) Sharpton was found civilly liable for falsely implicating a Dutchess County New York attorney in the rape (which never occurred) of Tawana Brawley. The whole fiasco was determined to be a hoax. Sharpton has never apologized to the attorney and still refuses to do so.

2) During a 1991 crisis in New York City’s Crown Heights, Sharpton said, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Again, he never apologized.

3) During a landlord-tenant dispute involving a Jewish-owned store in Harlem, the Wall Street Journal reported on February 29, 2000, that “Mr. Sharpton was even more malevolent. He turned (the) dispute between the Jewish owner of Freddy’s and a black subtenant into a theater of hatred. Picketers from Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network, sometimes joined by (Sharpton) himself, marched daily outside the store, screaming about “bloodsucking Jews” and “Jew bastards” and threatening to burn the building down.

After weeks of increasingly violent rhetoric, one of the protesters, Roland Smith, took Mr. Sharpton’s words about ousting the “white interloper” to heart. He ran into the store shouting, “It’s on!” He shot and wounded three whites and a Pakistani, whom he apparently mistook for a Jew. Then he set the fire, which killed five Hispanics, one Guyanese and one African-American–a security guard whom protesters had taunted as a “cracker lover.” Smith then fatally shot himself.”

Eight people dead, and no apology from Sharpton.

And so here is Sharpton, along with Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson passing judgement on Don Imus. Sharpton and Jackson clearly make their bed with the poisonous sheets of bigotry and hypocrisy. It has been a long time since either man has been in the same room with honor and integrity, although, I suspect when he was a younger man working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jackson knew honor and integrity well.

CBS and NBC’s claim that they fired Don Imus because they care about the way women and black Americans are treated is, well, a lie. It’s about sponsors and money. Neither network nor their parent companies are free of misogyny and bigotry in their offerings. Given the fact both networks gave Jackson and Sharpton an audience, one wonders why they didn’t they didn’t invite Mel Gibson to the meeting. And given Sharpton and Jackson’s bigoted behavior, why would they give either man airtime if their commitment to healing the public airways was genuine?

Now we have Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in the mix. Here is someone who knowingly promoted a distortion of truth that led to a war that thus far has cost more than 3,000 American lives and untold thousands of Iraqi lives. The fact she thought to comment on Mr. Imus makes a despicable thought look like an act of purity and honor.

Meanwhile, Don Imus has accepted, without excuses, responsibility for his behavior. He has met with and received forgiveness from the gracious and remarkable women on the Rutgers basketball team. He has been talking nearly daily with Reverend Deforest Soaries, the extraordinary man who facilitated the meeting between Mr. Imus and the Rutgers players.

Told today that Sharpton and Jackson said they hadn’t forgiven Mr. Imus, Reverend Soaries put it all in perspective. He said, “Where there is no forgiveness, there is no Christianity.”

May God bless Reverend Deforest Soaries, the women from Rutgers and Don Imus. May God help Sharpton, Jackson, CBS and NBC.