Temas del día

29 de Feb de 2020

Nacional

Can Panama elect a black president?

Of course it can, now that Panama’s Supreme Court says independent candidates can run without the support of a major political party. Pi...

Of course it can, now that Panama’s Supreme Court says independent candidates can run without the support of a major political party. Pity, this judgment doesn’t apply until the 2014 elections.

With more independents running, winners need fewer votes and can spend more time campaigning, instead of backroom deal-making.

Also, the Legislative Assembly will have more dissident members and political parties will weaken. A fertile firmament for a black leader to emerge.

T HE PRESIDENT’S BLACK FATHER. The late Cirilo McSwee n was an Afro-Panamanian athlete, successful businessman, and Chicago-based civil rights leader. His family took in Omar Torrijos' son, Martin, paid for his schooling and gave him his first job at McDonalds.

Born in Panama in 1926, Mr. McSween earned a scholarship to the University of Illinois, where he was a Big Ten champion in the 440-yard dash in the early 1950s. After graduating, he earned millions selling insurance and acquiring McDonald's franchises, while marching with King and Jackson. After he testified before Congress in favor of turning the Panama Canal over to Panama, the revised treaty passed— by a razor-thin margin.

McSween died in November, 5th 2008, a day after the election of America's first Black President, Barack Obama. McSween would have been an excellent President of Panama. Ironically, he raised an ‘adopted’ son to fill that post.

POLITICAL ‘TURKEYS’. It was like a scene out of the TV sitcom WKRP. Last week Justo Lasso, one of the MOLIRENA candidates for Diputado of Arraijan, used a helicopter to drop $8,400 in one-dollar bills and pamphlets onto a local shopping center. A sure fire way to look silly (“watch me throw money away”) and cause panic and high-risk behavior. Lasso insists that he wasn’t trying to buy the election.

In the 1978 WKRP skit, the radio station decided to drum up some Thanksgiving publicity by dropping live turkeys from a helicopter flying over Cincinnati.

The station manager didn’t know turkeys couldn’t fly.

WKRP’s news reporter gave this on-air account:

“Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!"

Talk about Panama politics imitating art?

DEAR PHIL: Greetings from David, Chiriqui. Re: Your comment about Jesse Jackson in your article of April 28.

Amen. I recently finished reading a book about him. It is called "Shakedown"...exposing the real Jesse Jackson, by Kenneth Timmerman.

Every American should read this book, especially the black community so that they can see just how badly Jackson has used them.

I think it’s interesting that a couple weeks ago there was a story that the House Ethics Committee would question Jesse Jr...then, nothing more was reported. I cannot imagine that he and the Governor would meet for an hour and a half and not talk about how much the Senate seat was going to cost. J. C., BOQUETE.

HI J. C.: I’ve always thought Jesse Jackson Jr. was a smarter politician than his dad and there is nothing linking him directly with former Illinois Governor Blagojevitch’s ‘pay to play’ schemes, yet.

Nevertheless, Jackson and his lawyer recently met with investigators in connection with the ongoing corruption probe of the now-indicted Blagojevich. Federal agents are probing what deals Jackson’s representatives may have discussed with Blago’s camp to get Jackson the Senate seat left vacant by Barack Obama. More worrisome for Jackson, witnesses to the meetings and discussions were recently subpoenaed by a federal grand jury.

Timmerman’s book is well researched. Both Jesse and the Reverend Al Sharpton play the 'victim' card and continue to be marginal players in the civil rights movement. It wouldn’t have had to be that way if either man had the vision and competence of a Cirilo McSween.