From the desk of author Michael Solomon

Michael Solomon was a 15-year veteran of the New York City Police Department and served  in its drug enforcement division, receiving well over a dozen awards for his excellent service
Date: March 24, 2008   Vol. 3 2- Issue 7

Did Obama Do His Homework?

If you listened to Barack Obama's explanation of his relationship with his former [?] Pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, you were probably impressed by the way he handled the podium and spoke so eloquently. You may have been taken in by his words, especially when he started his speech with "We the people."

If he had done his homework and reviewed the Black movement over the last forty-five years, he should have said, You the people. [My italics] Why? Because the self-anointed, movers and shakers of the Black Movement, like Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, do not appear to want to be part of "We the people." Their rhetoric and hypocrisy have kept the racial divide as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Some Blacks seem to want to be segregated. They celebrate the Black Miss America Contest, and Black Movie Awards; they have their own magazines, Jet and Ebony and a host of other Black-only functions. They have their own schools. How many White lawyers do you know who have graduated from Howard University?

If I started a Miss White America Pageant or published a magazine called The Caucasian, the press, Reverends Jackson and Sharpton, and everyone else in the movement would have a battery of lawyers with restraining orders at my door in minutes. Their lawsuits would follow close behind.

When is Black America going to start taking responsibility for itself? If Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today, do you believe that Jackson and Sharpton would have the power they have? Dr. King preached to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and make something of yourself. If you wait for the government, you may die waiting.

During the 2004 Presidential race, Senators Kerry and Edwards, cried out, "Help is on the way!" Look back at some of the great black leaders in the country who did not wait for government help and entitlements and did it on their own-Sen. Obama and his wife Michele included. So why is he advocating how White America and the government have failed the Blacks. He knows how to pull himself up. Why not lead by example.

The self-anointed leaders' like Jackson and Sharpton's rhetoric, helps keep the racial problem in the spotlight. They have also enlisted the help of the media in their quest. They want to keep racial problems in the vanguard even when they do not exist. I believe the press helps to stir up a hornet's nest every time they have something to report. They select and twist things out of context to fit their agenda, especially when it comes to race-relations.

Let us look back to 1997, when professional golfer Tiger Woods won the Masters Tournament.

For those of you who are not familiar with the tournament that takes place every year, the previous year's winner hosts a champion's dinner for the current winner. The host is also the person who chooses the menu.

At the end of the tournament Fuzzy Zoeller, a fellow professional golfer, was interviewed about Tiger's win. When asked for his opinion by the press, about Tiger, Zoeller said, "That little boy is driving well and he's putting well. He is doing everything it takes to win. Therefore, you know what you people do when he gets in here. You pat him on the back, say congratulations, enjoy it, and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year..."

The press had a field day. It got so out of hand that Fuzzy Zoeller lost his sponsor. He was asked by the press to make a public apology. Even Oprah got into the fray. Yet everyone on the professional tour knows what a jokester he is.

If Tiger Woods were Italian and Zoeller said next year tell him not to serve meatballs and spaghetti, or if he were Jewish and he said it looks like bagels and lox for dinner, the press would have laughed along with him. However, their agenda raised its ugly head, so they went ahead and made it racial.

Did anyone get hurt except Fuzzy? Was the remark racial? I do not believe it was. Every ethnic group has their own dietary pleasures and we make fun of them all the time, without harm. Why does the press always seem to exacerbate the situation? Every time they intentionally make something racial out of a situation, they move the Civil Rights Movement backward by helping to incite the movement's leaders.

On March 21, 2008, during a speaking engagement, Barrack Obama said-"after so many stops on the campaign and eating hundreds of fried chicken dinners-Don't you just miss those chicken dinners?" Duh!

When Alex Haley's book "Roots" aired as a mini- series on TV, it presented a double-edge sword. First, it brought to the forefront the problems during slavery. The second and negative event it caused was a movement that Blacks embraced, which said, we must go back to our African roots.

Suddenly children were given African tribal names. Some educators were dressing in tribal clothes. As a result, they find it difficult applying for employment when their new names resemble Kawani Lumumba Jones [Pseudonym] or they show up for interviews in a long robe and sandals. Yes, prejudice to some degree still survives in America today. However, it is being exacerbated by what appears to be a Black agenda.

Therefore, in retrospect, Obama missed the mark and, in doing so, missed the message. He did the same in Ohio when he proclaimed that if elected, he will renegotiate NAFTA to bring back the jobs to Ohio. What about the NAFTA created jobs in the rest of America, will they be lost? If he wanted to be honest, he would have said, "NAFTA is good for America. Sometimes it may hurt some part of the country, however, in the big picture, it is good for the country. It is up to you to move where the jobs are."

When Toyota and Honda opened their plants in Tennessee, they were hiring by the thousands. How many unemployed workers in Detroit relocated? There is a Japanese proverb that says, "A wise willow bends in the wind."

Senator Obama was one of the first to call for the dismissal of Don Imus, however, not of Reverend Wright. All Imus did was insult a basketball team- Wright insulted America. Do I hear the word hypocrite?

Therefore, it appears to me that Obama missed the mark. People have to learn to help themselves, not wait in line for entitlements.

I can picture Dr. King looking down from Heaven, watching Obama speak. He is pursing his lips and shaking his head from side to side.

And, that is my opinion.

Michael Solomon

Author of 'Where Did My America Go?"


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