Hey BaRocket, Now You're Talkin

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BSN Commentary: Election 2008

On August  28th, 2008, the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s monumental I Have A Dream speech, 84,000 people united for the historic Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado to witness, celebrate and support Barack Obama, the first African American ever to be nominated for President of the United States by a major political party.  

Critics scoffed at Obama’s decision to use the Invesco Field football stadium rather than a more traditional venue reminiscent of the White House or Lincoln Memorial.  But Obama’s reasoning being the desire and intent to “make sure that everybody who wants to come can join in the party and join in the effort to take America back,” could not be denied as the masses heartily and relentlessly chanted in unison with synchronic rhythm, “Yes We Can!”

It was a time of reflection and hope as Obama clearly and emphatically defined his promise of change for Americans and the world. While closely examining every word and gesture, I envisioned smiles and newfound strength in the hearts of thousands of home health aides who, as they care for the sick and disabled of others, cannot afford health care for their own children; hope for the homeless including homeless families with school aged children and babies who I watched being turned away around Christmastime from  a homeless shelter intake center governed by administrators who apparently have no sense of human compassion; hope for the hard working mother or father who, for the life of me, I will never understand why they must subscribe to food stamps in order to feed their families regardless of how hard and long they work;  hope for the forgotten and ignored -- the Esmin Greens of America. Esmin Green was coldheartedly ignored to death in Kings County Hospital’s psychiatric emergency room in Brooklyn, New York on June 19th of this year. Apparently, hospital staff and security guards didn’t feel Ms. Green had enough of it to merit saving her life. So they just stood by and watched or walked by that lady, failing to come to her aid, as Ms. Green collapsed, went into convulsions and died on the cold emergency room floor right in the midst of hospital staff and security. Equally disturbing, Brothers and Sisters is the fact that, it could have been any one of us – or our mothers, grandmothers, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, sons or daughters, even babies.  Let us face facts.  We are all Esmin Green.

But in Obama, I see promise of a new beginning for America.

When he stated before his address, “What I want is a family that is transmitting the values Michelle and I inherited to the next generation: Hard work, self-reliance, respect for other people, a sense of empathy, kindness, faith,” I believe it.

When he said during his speech, “I will cut taxes for 95% of all working families, because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class,” I believe he is sincere about it.

When he proclaimed, “I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas and I will start giving [tax breaks] to companies that create good jobs right here in America,” I believe it.

When Barack said, “I will eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow,” I believe it.

And when he said, “I will invest in early childhood education, recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support.  And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American – if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education,” I believe that too.

In fact, I believe Barack intends to keep every one of his promises to the American people.  As for the naysayers and skeptics, even you have to admit – at least he gets it.

Furthermore, in this imperfect world of less than perfect people, I cannot help but love Bill and Hillary Clinton, who I believe get it and have a sincere agenda to help restore the life and vitality to the people of our great land.

But whether or not you believe all that was said and done, it is clear that we can no longer accept the current paradigm that favors pimping the American people. A system that has reduced our society from cars to shopping carts and from cash to food stamps; a system that forces hard working men and women to have to depend on food stamps to make ends meet rather than cash money, while the rich ride on their backs and drink their sweat.  We can no longer tolerate a system imposed upon society where customer care and congeniality is a thing of the past as underpaid employees fall deeper into despondency due to low wages and no sense of reward for their efforts; where multitudes of unemployed wake up every morning perplexed as to how they got into this position when they did everything demanded of them to acquire the “American dream.”  We have endured 8 years of progressive oppression, and enough is enough.

As for McCain, that stunt of choosing beauty pageant runner up turned Governor, Sarah Palin  as his running mate, if it were not so insulting, it would be laughable.  As evidenced by the timing, immediately on the tail of Obama’s historic speech, this news was clearly a desperate attempt for attention. Does he really think the American people are that easily fooled as not to see right through his condescending move to pick a woman for his VP hopeful to level the minority playing field?  Imagine pictures of a United States Vice President or even United States President donned in her pageant bikini flashing a big grin for the judges, circulated all over the world. Imagine what our enemies would do with that!

In closing, I have a message from my mom, Doris Cook, for those who don’t vote for whatever reason they choose.  Mama said, “If you don’t go out there and vote, then you voted for McCain.”


Brenda Jeanne Wyche is Managing Editor for Harlem Business News.  If you have a solution, contact Brenda@blackstarnews.com .  Maybe we’ll talk.

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