Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – February 28, 2014

It seems that there are people who think that any black American slave who resisted was a terrorist. And that tells us a lot about those people. And in Arizona it seems that persecuting Latinos has been replaced by persecuting gay Americans as a legislative blood sport. And in Africa, it seems that persecuting gay Africans is more of a priority than fighting hunger and disease.

My Hero is Your Terrorist

Denmark Vesey was born a slave. Although he managed to buy his freedom, his wife’s master would not let him purchase her freedom – or that of their children.

Denmark Vesey ultimately led one of the major slave revolts in American history, an insurrection that spread fear and panic in the hearts of every slave owner and every supporter of slavery. The fact that his revolt did not succeed and that Denmark Vesey was hung did nothing to assuage their terror.

Almost two hundred years later there is a plan to erect a statue in his honor in Charleston, South Carolina, the site of Denmark Vesey’s rebellion. And there are some noble white South Carolinians who are complaining because, in their view, Denmark Vesey was a “terrorist” who didn’t “work within the system”.

The absurdity of the naysayers is obvious and further comment is unnecessary. Let’s just hope that the statue is erected…………………and very soon.

Arizona Crazy

The state government in Arizona has been so obsessed with persecuting Latinos in the name of immigration security that it took the Supreme Court of the United States to curtail some of the more egregious legislative actions. Sullen and unbowed, the Arizona Bigots have clearly focused on yet another target – gay Americans.

Recently, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a measure passed by the legislature that would have given the operators of public facilities – hotels, restaurants, theaters, etc., the right to refuse service to individuals whose lifestyles offended their religious beliefs.

This was a gossamer legislative veil over the intent to give these same operators of public facilities the right to refuse service to gay Americans. And Governor Brewer, with visions of Super Bowl and gay consumer dollars galloping away from her state wisely vetoed the measure.

But what is it about alternative lifestyles and different concepts of love and caring that make some people so hateful in the first place?

Back into the Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness describing the bleak and horrific characteristics of the European colonization of Africa. Over a century after that book was published we are now witness to the leadership of too many African nations advocating draconian legislative actions which criminalize the lives and lifestyles of gay Africans. Death sentences, life sentences, banning and shaming are all part of the New African Fascism.

In too many parts of sub Saharan Africa there are challenges of crime, civil unrest, genocide, hunger, disease and poverty. Can it be that alternative lifestyles and different concepts of love and caring are the priority issues when so many Africans are suffering, not from homosexuality, but from ineffective, corrupt and misguided governance?

It may be time to hit the reset button in Africa.

Have a great weekend – stay strong and be great!

Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – January 27, 2012

While you were sleeping a name change took place and the United States of America became the United States of Stupid. That might explain how the Teapublicans complain when the economy of this country improves and when an American hockey player makes the news by boycotting the White House to protest the growth of government. And just to keep things interesting, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona wins the January 2012 Angry White Woman award. Go Jan!

Good News, Bad News

Earlier today it was announced that the Gross Domestic Product for the United States increased by 2.8% for the past quarter. While this does not match the growth rates of Brazil or China, it is significant positive news and an indication that the economy is continuing to improve during the administration of Barack Obama.

Predictably, the G.O.Tea Party zealots will argue that a) it is not enough of an increase in the GDP and b) in any event, the policies of Barack Obama didn’t have anything to do with it. Of course, if the economy were showing signs of decline, it would absolutely be the complete fault of President Obama.

If nothing else, the Teapublicans are predictable. And it appears that there is nothing else.

Hockey Puckhead

During this past week the Boston Bruins hockey team, the current Stanley Cup champions, visited the White House for a tradition salute by the president. This team has only two American members and one of them, Tim Thomas, boycotted the White House appearance claiming that he wanted to show his distaste for big government.

Given the unprecedented level of blatant disrespect that has been shown to President Obama during the past three years it should be no surprise that a hockey puckhead would want to join the party. But someone should remind Mr. Thomas that it is big government that pays for a builds many of the hockey arenas in which he makes a living.

Also, as a native of Flint, Michigan, he may want to ask some his former neighbors how they feel about big government after it bailed out the auto industry and save hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of households in Michigan.

That would, of course require the use of logic. And it is obvious that what Tim Thomas was really protesting was the presence of Barack Obama in the White House.

Arizona Dreamin’

Speaking of disrespecting President Obama – I have been a serious observer of politics in the United States for 50 years. During that time I have seen presidents who were absolutely despised by their opposition – Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton come to mind. During that time I have never seen a senior public official personally confront a president in the incredibly rude and offensive manner of Governor Jan Brewer when she “greeted” President Obama at the airport in Arizona.

Yelling, finger pointing, with veins on her neck bulging while doing her version of the Angry White Woman; she appeared to really lose it in her confrontation with the president. This faded former cheerleader later stated that she thought that President Obama was “thin-skinned” and excused her behavior by hiding behind the tried and true defense that white women can use in confrontations with black men – she said that she felt “threatened”.

Of course back in the day, the merest hint that a white woman felt threatened by a black man would be enough to find that black man at the end of a rope. It is still enough to get a black man sanctioned or fired in the workplace. In the case of Governor Brewer, it is just another insult that President Obama has to ignore.

Have a great weekend!