Posts Tagged ‘Sherrod’

Is the Obama White House too New England?  To me, that’s is an interesting question but I do think the South is not “representing” in that camp as well as it should be. Columnist Maureen Dowd just broke it down and made some compelling points based on the comments of  a Who’Who in Black politics.  A flag should have gone up when the name “Sherrod” was first mentioned.  I am proud to say I knew the name and would have known Foxman, Chavez, Evers, Long or even Duke (North Carolina or Louisiana.)      

People running America should know America.  My pastor recently mentioned the famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline and after church I pointed out that the telephone poll of voters only reached people who had phones.  I lived long enough to see a president who looks like me (I would have voted for Powell or Rice also) but this gentleman is so unique in his background that he doesn’t know “the trouble I have seen.”

During the presidential campaign, many CBC members were initially for Hillary Clinton because they knew she knew “the history” from living in Arkansas and having friends like Marion Wright Edelman and Grant Hill’s mother Janet, a Clinton college roommate.  For some, a Black president was enough but zero members of the CBC are in the cabinet was a concern. I knew our south Georgia congressman would have made a great Secretary of Agriculture.  In an interesting twist, my congressman grew up as a member of the Black intellectual elite while Secretary Tom Vilsack’s life story is Sherrod-like and poignant.

My friends from the Clinton-era Official Washington (the administration, Congress) saw it coming: the new White House would be full of Ivy Leaguers and brainy wonks who while diverse still don’t understand regular folks.  I don’t care; I still like Obama as much as Clinton and LBJ.  Yes, I said LBJ.  LBJ was no angel on race matters—none of us are- but he push legislation through congress and knew how to get tough when needed.     

The most successful business people surround themselves with the right advisors and the same should be said for elected leaders.  An urban senator should have some NRA member, pickup driving, America-feeding farm boys on his staff to provide a range of views on issues.  To be honest, every member of the CBC has forgotten more about my community than I will ever know but my background was valuable in other congressional camps.  Hey, that’s life. 

President Obama and Herman Cain seem puzzled if someone mentions Black issues and I like that.  They both seem to think that every issue is a Black, White, Brown and Yellow issue and they are right…in theory or in a perfect world.

Congressional offices, congressional campaigns and every White House should seek a certain amount of “range”.  I love the word range because nothing is cooler than having the loyal opposition learn that you have been listening, can outline their arguments and respectfully disagree.   Everyday, I learn a little something about people and as Don Henley sang, the more I know the less I understand.   

Dowd’s Column



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I don’t care what anyone says; President Obama is exactly the president “candidate Obama” said he would be.  The problem is people don’t know how to listen.  He isn’t big on party politics because he didn’t spend that much time in the national arena before ascending to the top.  That’s why he is constantly looking for Republicans with whom to work.  He thinks that is natural and logical in D.C. 

Of course, the GOP leadership dares their members to seriously dialog with the White House—let them fail so the Red Team can take the presidency in 2012.  Can any good American really say “let them fail”?  “I hope Hurricane Katrina kills thousands so the Democrats can win in ’08.”  “I hope BP’s oil reaches Key West, turns and goes up the East Coast so we can get the White House back.”  How sick can someone be to think those thoughts? 

I don’t know the plans of the Democrats or Republicans but we Obamacrats still believe in changing the way Washington works.  (Okay, this is just me thinking out loud.)   First, we must remember that Obama is not Superman or the second coming.  He is a very smart person and I think he is malleable.  The president would come toward the center if it produces results and keeps decent conservatives from drifting into radical ranks on the far Right  The center is mandatory to lead in America–belive that.

The situation with Mrs. Shirley Sherrod shows what I have always known: Obama is not familiar with the plight of southern Blacks because he thankfully has not been through our troubled past.  I am glad the brother grew up around sweet people and it reflects in his considerate nature but is he mean enough to scrap like Clinton—Bill and/or Hillary.  Mrs. Sherrod’s Baker County, Georgia, is similar to Hope, Arkansas so Bill knew how nasty things could get.  Speaking of nasty, we should discuss the fact that thuggish youth of all colors are more of a domestic terror threat than the Klan and the  Taliban put together.  In the public policy arena, one must have a certain amount of nasty in them. 

How can we help our community during this election season?  We should support our traditional candidates but develop a line of communication/dialog with a select group of reasonable conservatives (wrestle them from the Far Right.)  If a candidate is lock-step with the far Right’s approach of misinformation and hate-speak, they should be defeated for pitting Americans against each other and scaring folks for political gain (the same applies to the far-Left.)  

In the 90s, our community overwhelmingly supported the Democrats. When Newt Gingrich and company took the Congress, we were toast.  Conservatives vote when the only election on the ballot is a run-off for dogcatcher but our community is fickle about hitting the polls. 

Obamacrats (Republicans, Democrats, and Independents) should dialog on understanding, policy and logic. Personally, I could trade a few anti-Obama Blue Dogs for conservatives who are about dialog with the whole community.  Senator Johnny Isakson would be the best example of such a Member of Congress and moderates should have as much influence with him as the Far Right.  Those conservatives would be essential for this White House over the next two years and the people will decide in 2012. 

President Obama is one of the smartest people in American history but he can’t know everything.  We remember governing without our community’s input and must work to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  The African American community is very diverse and our conservative brothers and sisters believe in a limited government than in many ways makes good common sense.  They should talk with their other family about the questionable methods and techniques of the recent past because maybe we can make progress or at least peacefully function. 

I still believe in the version or incarnation of Newt Gingrich that simply stated that the limited role of the federal government was to foster an opportunity for children to grow, learn and achieve if they focus, work hard patiently and keep it clean.  If not, the life they get will be the life they made.  I can live with that. 

I can’t live with people who benefit from the Obamacrats but ignore us or worst slam the White House.  Obama is a nice guy but the rest of us grew up with these scrappy Tea Party people.  Scrapping and calling someone out is nothing new to us.

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Shirley Sherrod and her husband are civic rights icons in my community.  My father, a former high school agriculture teacher and big supporter of minority farmers, admired Mrs. Sherrod’s efforts to help Black farmers save their family lands. 

After being at the hospital with my mom yesterday, I was surprised to hear the Sherrod situation on MSNBC at 6:30 a.m.  Say what?  Stop the madness.

The snippet was clearly taken out of context and is similar to statements made by any of us who are fortunate to work in and around the federal government.  When I served as a congressional staffer, I loved loved loved the opportunity to help farmers, ranchers, veterans and business owners who never imagined that a young Black guy could be pivotal to sorting their problems with the big bad Fed. 

I heard Mrs. Sherrod speak at a UDSA event this year and was so pleased that an advocate for small farmers was now part of the establishment; Daddy is smiling on the other side.

In this time of PC and hungry new media, shall we just chill for a second and understand that older people get a pass on statements because they have earned it.  The nicest person in the history of Sylvester, Georgia, was Mr. Charlie Moore.  At the local gym, Mr. Moore went out of his way to be PC when talking about impressive “Black, African American fellows” on T.V.  Mr. Moore could say Negro if he wanted because he earned it by being nice to Black people….downtown…..in retail….in the 60s. 

My mother’s nurse (who doesn’t look like us) mentioned Proverbs 17:22 and I thought it was a cool passage as we prepare for the election season. 

A cheerful heart is a good medicine.  But a broke spirit drieth up the bones.  A wicked man receiveth a bride out of the bosom, To pervert the ways of justice.  Wisdom is before the face of him that hath understanding: But the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.  A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him. 

Also to punish the righteous is not good (nor) to smite the noble for their uprightness.  He that spaerth his word hath knowledge, and he that is a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool,  when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise,  When he shutteth his lips, he is esteemed as prudent.  ……. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but only that his heart may reveal itself.

Update: Mrs. Sherrod just said on CNN that she gave the same speech at Albany State Univsersity at a USDA event.  I was there and heard every word…no problem.  Are they tossing an icon under the same bus Mrs. Rosa Parks…..I better leave that alone.

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