Wasted chances at plate
On April 11 President Obama managed to strike out twice. Was he participating in the great American pastime of baseball? No, he was participating in his great American pastime of taking swings at the opposition party. Sadly, again he showed his lack of presidential leadership by using his time at bat, during a video speech, to take verbal swings at the common-sense notion that in order to vote people should have a valid form of voter identification. With elections forthcoming it seems to him to be a good time to sway the populace into thinking that this is another insane Republican-driven effort to keep minorities out of polling places. His “stadium” was Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference in New York City.
Strike out number two was a result of not taking full advantage of his face time to speak out to the about 1,600 attendees over a subject that should have been much more meaningful to their interests and future. This time at the plate would certainly have been a great time to address the issues of pride and self-motivation. What better audience could he have had? Issues pertinent could have been unemployment, considering that over half of work-age black males are unemployed; welfare, being as this is so often handed down from one generation to the next; education, considering the fact that more blacks than any other race are failing to even obtain a high school diploma; pregnancy, at epidemic proportions among teenagers and young adults; crime, whether it be street, gang or black-on-black, it is a cancer that has spread far and wide in urban areas of America; and drugs, a problem that leads to so many other problems, just to name a few pertinent topics.
A powerful address by the president on the 50th anniversary of LBJ’s Civil Rights Act to the problems that still exist within the black community would have been far more meaningful and productive than another of his tiresome days on the campaign trail.
Happy Easter week
It is a real joy to be able to celebrate Easter — the resurrection of Jesus Christ — this week. The empty tomb and the countless witnesses give us hope. Visit one of Tampa’s many churches to learn of this great joy.
Civil rights issue
I call it the “New Civil Rights Movement.” Simply put, the right of same-sex couples to marry the person they love and cherish.
Last week we saw the Salt Lake City case argued in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, and this week an Oklahoma case of the same nature headed to the same three-judge panel. The question in both cases is do these folks have a right under the Constitution to marry the person of their choosing and have their marriages recognized in the states in which they live if they were married in another state. This right is nothing short of a civil rights issue. We see people such as Julian Bond, who for years has advocated for this right. There is no one living today who was closer to the heart and soul of the old Civil Rights Movement than Bond. This should give pause to many factions, especially those with religious backgrounds who object to what is commonly known as gay marriage.
Over 50 percent of traditional marriages in this country end in divorce, so to those who advocate that they are protecting marriage, I ask: What are you protecting other than a failed institution for the majority?