That's Mr. President to you...

I am sorry for all of the negative things I have said regarding your policies and possibly you personally. But you know me I have to comment on America’s newest favorite pasttime… Politics. I have to comment on the political moves of the week, the day, the minute. I am obligated to shed light on issues and things that may be overlooked, but that is what I do. Sure there are things I wish you would have done and things I wish you hadn’t done. You have your critics, but you also have your supporters. In all honesty, you are presiding over America at a time of true change. At time of divison and progress. You made us push forward when it would have been much easier to turn back. I want you to know that whether I was critical or supportive of your decisions it was not because I am black, or to become popular, or gain a following or even to use controversy as a platform. However, I can only apologize for myself I can not do so for others, they should take it upon themselves to come out of their glass houses and be counted, but most likely they wont.

I thought that congress acted stupidly when you saved the country three trillion dollars on the budget and then you asked for one trillion six months later to fund health care and they just told you No. You did the right thing you and expected them to act in kind. Yes, I chided you on repeatedly using these prime time speeches to get your point across. And privately I wondered if your constant emails to me could be considered Spam. Yes, I believe that you should have gotten rid of the blood sucking insurance companies all together and socialize health care. It looks all good now, but I still think you should have let the banks and automakers fail. If they were using predator lending practices, why are they not up on charges or fined. And the car has been obsolete for years, we should have moved on. I called you out on the call bring the troops home, which looks more like a move to relocate the troops. When California started issuing I.O.U.’s and saying that it was broke, I wanted you to do something! I wanted you to say that you would send those accountants in The White House to Sacramento to officially let everyone know, that it’s all a lie. I wanted you to say something about the Jena 6. When a policeman in Oakland California shot an unarmed black man, who was faced down, and Oakland residents rioted I wanted you to say something. When that officer was sentence to 2 years in prison the entire black community wanted you to say something. I wanted you not to pay attention to radio hosts who don’t write their own material or read. I wanted you to bankrupt BP for that oil spill. I didn’t want you to play politics in Washington. I wanted you to call out everyone one in congress who thinks that politics is a game and believe me Big O (if I can call you that) I am not the only one, but that would take all year.

I will say what most likely no one else will, Barack you’ve got guts! Not those quarterback we celebrate, Not the athletes that are on our children’s walls. Most of these so-called pundits can comment and afford to be wrong, but Barack in addition to your job as The Leader of the Free World and you have the unenvied honor of being member of a disenfranchised group of people. There are many African-Americans who want you to get rid of decades if not hundreds of years of oppression, injustice, and pain. Aside from that you have Whites watching you, looking for any hint of bias. Not many of the previous Commander in Chief’s ever have cared about minorities. For this reason you have been scrutinized and polled Ad nauseam and it wont stop now. I now realize that although you are a Black Man, and that these injustices and incidents must really, really eat at you, you can not be a Black Man in the White House. You are not a Black Leader. You are The President of the United States and from the way it looks apparently you can’t have any friends.

 All I have to say is that Barack you’ve got the hardest job in the entire 1st World and the fact that you are a Black Man makes that job harder than any other President before you. No one really wanted to be President at a time when America was so torn emotionally and economically. Yes, the Democrats pretended and the Republicans postured and derided you, but all of them are glad you won! They really are. Think about it they can target you all they want and offer no real alternative plan, no solution at all… and that has to be the biggest giggle in Congress. They wanted you to win as evidenced by the candidacy of McCain and the selection of Palin, privately they knew that no one wanted the job. If McCain had won when you be occupying Iran and North Korea right now and that’s no joke. He would have personally kicked all the gays out of the military. Bristol would have won Dancing with the Stars and no minority would have healthcare. Whew, the wool wasn’t pulled over my eyes that’s for sure. No one had the balls. No one had the guts. No one except Barack. Well Barack this is my apology to you, and I don’t do this often, but I am sorry for not realizing that your job is a hell of a lot harder than any of us will ever know…

You should be able to be human. You should be able to misspeak. It takes a very big person to give an apology and an even bigger one to actually mean it. Meaning things is a practice that has been lost in our society. It was not long ago it seemed that law enforcement were allowed to break one black man per week, alright sometimes two, or three, but where are we as a people now? That’s the question we all should be asking each other before be ask The President. We are the ones that should be inviting each other for beers.  Yes, this is clearly a learning and teaching moment, but not for you Mr. President, no sir, you’ve got bigger things to worry about. Barack you may not need it, but I will tell you what my grandmother told me long ago, … she said “Baby, you can’t please everybody.” Hey you’ve got a job to do, a job that no one else has… the job of running the country and I for one appreciate it because we are the ones who sat here and let it get messed up in the first place. On a side note I will be waiting on my beer invite to The White House.

Oh yeah, I will be calling you out again sometime in the future.

MG

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APTOPIX Harvard Scholar Disorderly

As I watched the spectacle that CNN’s Black In America series has become. I wondered has the racial divide in America once again reared its ugly head? Have the years of injustice toward black men at the hands of law enforcement reached a tipping point. While many citizen have given unquestioned support to law enforcement and particularly White Police. Was Gates wrongly arrested it sure looks that way, but is Gates playing the race card?

None of us were in the room with Sgt. James Crowley and Dr. Henry Gates. And from what I have read and seen this unfortunate incident may not just be about race it maybe about the frequently overlooked masculinity as well. The Police officer was called out on a legitimate call of a burglary in progress, with the reporting party just outside. The officer responded with a heightened since of duty and confirmation from the RP (Reporting Party) of two black males breaking in to her neighbors home. So Dr. Gates, picked his own lock because he left his keys, happens all the time. I am sure that when Sgt. Crowley saw Gates inside the resident he had a series of questions for him. Like who are you? What are you doing here? This is Harvard so all Gates had to do was not move too fast, answer the questions and show an I.D. All Crowley had to do was check the given information. Simply enough we all know the drill. I also know that as soon as someone gets mouthy with the po-po, they become more suspicious of that person. Here is where race and masculinity collided Gates a proud man has probably been proving himself to whites for quite some time, the man’s a legend for goodness sake, a trailblazer. I am a professor at Harvard and you don’t know who I am. I am in my home. This is my kitchen. My knives. My spoons. My door. Now get out! And that is probably how it came across. Maybe it’s me but if that is how any of us came across to any officer responding to a burglary call I think that nine times out of ten we’d be arrested also. If you inject race and or masculinity into any law enforcement call you can be sure that it will escalate. So now you are having words with the officer and he says something like, step out on the porch sir and you refuse. Two things: One Sgt. Crowley isn’t asking because he knows who you are and two if you are outside he can arrest you, and you don’t need an advance degree to figure that out.

If the officer were black this situation would have never happened that’s for sure. Why? Because he would have recognized who he was immediately. If Gates were white would this have happened? Who knows and they could have really been robbers, but we sure as heck wouldn’t be talking about it. What if this had occurred in Compton? If it had Gates would be lucky to be alive, really. To many African-Americans Gates is top-tier, but this White officer’s tone showed that he was not impressed. Clearly Sgt. Crowley did not know who he was messin’ with! Sure there have been many times where you may not hand over your information as soon as asked, but police are trained to respond in a negative fashion to this noncompliance. Yes, this was a black man and white man, but more than that they were two agitated men face to face. I guess the officer wasn’t supposed to respond to the call. Should Gates’ credentials matter in this situation? His social Class? Do Black’s not have cause to be wary of systemic racism?

Blacks have gone to school to demand equal treatment, respect and now it appears that even with the surname Dr. isn’t enough to overcome a slave heritage. You would think that the election of President Obama would have lessened any ongoing racial injustices… it hasn’t, which only goes to show that the election was about Green and not Black. Was Dr. Gates, who sometimes walks with a cane, a threat….sure, intellectually. One thing I do know is that Dr. Gates is aware of what the police do, but what is not clear is that in America, no matter how many shows CNN chooses to run on race, whites simply will not understand the daily humiliations that blacks have suffered at the hands of whites for decades. Suffice it to say “It’s a Black thing, you wouldn’t understand.” Cooler heads could have prevailed and Dr. Gates could have said “Thank You I appreciate your thoroughness officer.” And the Officer Crowley could have said “Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation, goodnight sir.” but that is not what happened. Here is where I am drawn to Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 movie Pulp Fiction, the scene where Marsellus Wallace is talking to Butch about pride. What was it he said about Pride?

Even Barack Obama has commented about the incident by saying, “Race Remains a factor in society”, thank you Mr. President for telling us what blacks already know and no one else wants to hear. Doctorate, Ph. D and degrees be damned nothing compares to Being Black in America, nothing. I hear many people throwing around terms like Racial profiling? Stereotype? Racist thoughts? But no one is throwing around the term that applies…Human Being.  Are those terms issues? Of course but I think that both of these Human Beings erred and both could have done something different to change the outcome. However, if they had we would not be having this racial discussion now, or should I say finally be able to voice our frustrations. This incident only goes to show how Post-Racial America isn’t, sorry Gates no street cred for you, and there is nothing  orderly about that.

MG

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