Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The following is a response to my letter to the Metro West News of June 8, 2008 by a George Hickey. His letter appeared June 20, 2008. See:
My response is as follows:

I thank Mr. Hickey for his compliment and criticism of my letter in the June 8, 2008 edition of the MetroWest Daily News which was entitled 'Do We Dare Hope.' My letter supported Barak Obama's candidacy. I will address a few of Mr. Hickey's comments. First, yes, the stain of slavery has been 'lightened some' after over 300 years. Barak Obama still, however, has had to suffer insults and worse, threats to his person consistently. Moreover, African Americans everywhere suffer every day the slings and arrows of outrageous racism which stings and burns like the nooses of ropes which are still used to intimidate them. It has been an inch by inch crawl for a person of color to achieve that which the rest of us take for granted.

Second, I give no credit to George W. Bush for anything including as Mr. Hickey mentions 'keeping us safe.' As a matter of fact many experts with whom I concur believe that the responsibility for the attacks of September 11, 2001 belong squarely at the feet of George W. Bush. Who can forget Bush's flip response when he was told by the CIA that Bin Laden was 'determined to strike in US'. He crudely said 'All right now you have covered your ass' dismissing it and then he did nothing. In addition, many also believe that invading Iraq far from making us safer has, indeed, put us at risk by angering potential terrorists and empowering Iran.

Third, equating the eloquence of Barak Obama, a candidate for the presidency, with a Frank Sinatra or the movie 'The Notebook' is an incongruous non sequitur. I might equate Barak Obama's verbal inspiration with other presidents such as Lincoln or Roosevelt. Words mean something and give us reason to hope our historical reality could change for the better. Sinatra sung beautifully but I did not think he had the power to determine who shall live and who shall die.

As I write this response there have been, this week, dozens killed in Iraq including some US soldiers. It is folly to think because of this colossal foreign policy error that we are 'winning' or that we are somehow safer. Gore Vidal once said 'fighting terrorism is like fighting dandruff. It is impossible.' Continuing to blast, as war hero John McCain would, often innocent people into oblivion sending millions into exile has not made us safer. I submit, it has put us more at risk. I believe we need a new new deal. I will have the audacity to hope there is one.
The following is a reply to my Obama blog below. Below that is a reply by me.

Slavery existed for thousands of years and the cost is horrible. It is very sad reality that people have enslaved people on all the continents of the world. Slavery still exists in many countries today. Americans did not invent slavery but embraced it. And fortuantley we have outlawed it. Christians were slave in Rome. Jews were slaves in Egypt and the list goes on. It is a horrible thing and a horrible way to treat humans. And Africans had enslaved Africans even before the Europeans got involved. Europeans enslaved other Europeans. There was a serf system and that was slavery. Slavery existed all of the world. There is no excuse to treat people horribly or to force any humans into slavery. All humans deserve respect and love.

And I agree that we are all genetically the same. I believe that there is only one race. We are the human race. Our skin color has to do with how close or far from the equator our ancestors come from. It takes generations. The darker the pigment of the skin the more melanin to protect our skin from the sun. The lighter our skin the less protection. We have brown eyes, green, hazel eyes. Hair can be black, brown, blond or red. Some people have freckles some don't. Really no one is black or white. People have shades of brown from very dark to very pale and shades in between. So why make a big deal of the differences?
No two humans look exactly alike. We are all unique yet we are all similar, we need to respect each other and stop making a deal out of how people look. We need to let go of any grudges or anger we have and go forward and make the world a better place. We have to start with ourselves. Improve our own attitude and take care of our families and community and respect ourselves and our neighbors and all humans. We

My Reply to the reply:

I will briefly comment on your comment to my blog. I agree with you too. There has been slavery for as long as homo sapiens has existed on the planet. It is often quoted Biblically which probably indicates it existed over 5000 years ago as well.

What makes our slavery a bit more egregious, in my opinion, is that the nation itself was, of course, founded on an egalitarian principle. A dark man, though, was considered less than a man and was, therefore, not included in the sentiments of the nation's founding. Not until events leading up to the Civil War and many decades afterward was the black man included in our foundational documents. That is, as I see it, the stunning irregularity of the American experience and its most uncomfortable truth.

The candidacy of a Barak Obama is long overdue. All those who fought for that to happen have a right to their anger. I am angry too. It simply was not fair that this was so.

Many things are surely not fair. We must, though, play the ball where it lies. It is lying just short of the goalpost waiting for the votes to kick it through. Barak's candidacy is a HUGE step to that moment of glory. This time we will score a win for humanity -- for ALL humanity. The world is watching as victory awaits.