Yes, We Did, We Have Overcome
President Barack Obama delivered the goods to everyone in last Tuesday’s well-crafted, but no ‘barn burner’ Inaugural Speech. In a nutsh...
President Barack Obama delivered the goods to everyone in last Tuesday’s well-crafted, but no ‘barn burner’ Inaugural Speech. In a nutshell, he promised Americans that history’s curve can be deflected into a new direction through faith and hard work.
Obama reached out to Americans to make choices of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, instead of intolerance. He promised the world that America would not participate in a false choice between safety and ideals, or give up any ideals for expediency sake. This means no more pre-emptive bombings, torture, ‘gender-bender’ battles, or ‘my Christian way, or no way’.
Obama reassured the world that America is ready to ‘lead once more’ and to ‘leave Iraq to its people’. This confirms that his promise of an Iraq pullout was more than an electoral stunt. On the other hand, the crucial timetable for this pullout has yet to be given.
Obama was clear in insisting that America is a nation of Christians and Muslims and non-believers. The non-believers codicil sends the message that the federal government will not judge people’s worth by the size of the cross around their neck or the flag brooch on their lapel.
The proponents of stem-cell research, a promising new science used to rebuild limbs and neural pathways, can count on government help from Obama’s promise that he ‘will restore science to its rightful place’. Hmmmm?the Creationists who feel Darwin was a ‘Monkey’s Uncle’ also take a drubbing from that commitment.
Finally, Obama promised in his Inaugural Speech that government programs that aren’t working, will be cut. And, this puts him in dangerous territory. He better come up with a few large programs that were cut, soon, because every press conference’s first question will be: “which non-working programs have you cut so far, Mr. President?”
My first choice would be Bush’s Sexual Abstinence Pledge programs. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent to get millions of pledges—which were accompanied by the largest increase in unwed pregnancies seen in years.
INAUGURAL IMAGES. Obama’s two girls. You couldn’t have gotten cuter kids from Central Casting. Michelle Obama ’s gold dress cinched at the chest. A beautiful ensemble that didn’t shout, but whispered, ‘good taste’. Aretha Franklin ’s bow hat. Makes me wonder if my favorite Soul-Singing Sister uses cable tie-downs to keep from flying away. Dick Cheney in a wheelchair. Was it a hunting accident? The thousands of senior black women who came on walkers, or were assisted by friends, to stand shoulder to shoulder, daring to believe, again. Pastor Rick Warren ’s Invocation. A flaccid, limp, short, and unremarkable presentation from an evangelical ‘gay-basher’.
Pastor J oseph E. Lowery ’s Benediction. The 87-year-old civil rights pioneer and pro- gay rights activist gave a powerful, evocative prayer that rose up from the grass-roots and embraced the crowd. This part of his prayer: "We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right," was compelling proof of the oratory that flows from America’s black pulpit.
SCHOLARSHIPS. Speaking of oratory, two Panama City teachers: Carlos E. Pinto and Argelis Bernal Garrido, will use Florida State University English-as-a Second Language scholarships to attend two semesters of the semi-intensive English training as provided by the English Language Program at Florida State University-Panama.
The scholarships were provided by the University and the Canadian Association of Panama.