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Now that Barack Obama has Won a Second Term – A Wish List

First, congratulations to President Obama.  Yet, I am sitting watching the election results, feeling a bit “blah.”  I see folk on social media talking about shedding tears of joy and cheering.  I watch the pandemonium on the television.  Yet, I don’t feel any of that emotion.  I remember that emotion.  I felt it after I voted for President Obama in 2008.  I felt in when myself, an ex-wife and two small children (ages 4 & 5) rode to Ohio on a bus and knocked on doors throughout the state for Barack Obama.

I felt the joy when, as an Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2008, I was asked what it was like to be a Black man supporting John McCain, when Barack Obama was running on the other side.  I told the NBC reporter, “I am no supporting McCain!  There is far more to inspire my children – Omari Jahi, Ajani Omar, and Khalil-Lullah – to participate in the advancement of our Country by the election of Barack Hussein Obama, than electing John McCain (or, Bill Clinton) could ever accomplish.”

But, this time…I don’t feel the joy.  And, when I mentioned that $6 BILLION has been spent this election cycle in order to maintain the status quo, a friend tells me that I should simply “enjoy the moment.”  I couldn’t help but ponder: why should I enjoy this?  What did we gain, besides the satisfaction of re-electing a Black man?  Yet because I’m not caught up in the euphoria of the moment, people are accusing me of self-hate and hating Black people!  Wow…that’s laughable.

Don’t get me wrong – I couldn’t vote for Mitt Romney…couldn’t vote for the present iteration of the Republican Party.  The GOP might still (unfortunately) be “old,” but it’s certainly no longer “Grand!”  It’s small-minded and petty…blinded by hate that has all but rendered it irrelevant.

Nevertheless, I definitely have my differences with President Obama.

His foreign policy is more hawkish than George W. Bush.  See here and here and here.  The President has authorized the domestic use of drones as part of the “War on Drugs.”  Rather than ending the “New Jim Crown,” Barack Obama is devising ways to strengthen it.  When it comes to the plight of Black and Brown people, the President has done his best (at least in his first term) to prove to White society that he’s not about to upset the established social order.

As I stated in “The Conundrum of Blackness and Voting When the President is Black,” President Obama says nothing of his plans to deal with economic and societal disparities that diverge on the basis of race.  Rather, President Obama (and his advisers) still want Blacks to believe that a “rising tide lifts all boats.”  The funny thing is that while Black Americans never accepted President Reagan’s “trickle-down economic theory,” Black people accept the same “trickle-down” ideology when it comes from the mouth of a Black man.

So, I ask again…what moment am I supposed to be enjoying?

But, now that Barack Obama has won a second term maybe we can hope for some action on racial disparities and income inequality.  Now that President Obama doesn’t have to worry about his poll numbers for the upcoming election, maybe he will now be courageous enough to bring about the change that will ensure equal opportunity so that everyone has a fair shot at creating the outcomes that are possible in this great Nation.

Now that Barack Obama has won a second term, maybe we can hope for some change in the justice system so that it no longer preys on the poor, the Black and the Brown.  Maybe he might muster the courage to dismantle the New Jim Crow and the system of Mass Incarceration that profits off the poor and disinherited.

I cannot enjoy the moment because so many in this Country suffer.  I cannot enjoy this moment because so many across the globe suffer.  I cannot enjoy this moment because I’d rather be vigilant.  Rather than be fooled again, I choose to keep my eyes on the prize and press on!

Rather than be swept away by the euphoria of the moment, I hope now that Barack Obama has won a second term he might be the transcendent President he (and we) made himself to be.  American truly needs great leadership and I believe (with my 2008 vote) that he can do it.  But, the version of Barack Obama we witnessed in his first term was not the Barack Obama I envisioned.  The Barack Obama we witnessed was a politician as usual.

I don’t expect him to be a Black President.  He never could be.  But, I did expect that his Blackness would help him to understand how the structures of America needed to change so that it could be inclusive to all people – foreign and domestic.  I did hope that his “non-Whiteness” would give us the opportunity to have a President who would shake the stigma of Government for “some” people.  But, four years later the scene is still a dog-eat-dog, mud-slinging, slugfest.  Such a shame…such a wasted opportunity.

Maybe now that Barack Obama has won a second term he will understand that he is free to be the man he was created to be.  Maybe he can be a man worthy of all the laud and honor.  Maybe now he can usher in the culmination of the Civil Rights movement and post-Racial America that had heretofore been prematurely declared.

I cannot enjoy this moment because if Barack Obama, himself, doesn’t reclaim his own hope and embody his own change, all this moment will be is just that – a moment in history.

Negroes, We are Free to Use Our Natural Minds in Electoral 2012

I continue to receive emails from fellow Black Republicans trying to sell me – and others – on support for Mitt Romney.  The most recent was from the Chair of a Black Republican organization entitled, “Prominent Black Mormons.”  The email (and post) is styled as an attempt to dismiss charges of racism against Mormons.  The defense used by the author is that there are Black Mormons.  Hence the title: “Prominent Black Mormons.”  My response is…SO WHAT?

So, because some Black people decided to ignore the bigoted ideology of the Mormon Church that means Mormon ideology isn’t racist? There were Negroes in the Confederate Army…does that mean the Confederacy wasn’t racist? We must be smarter than this and stop selling ourselves for the crumbs of our (former) masters.

Negroes…we are FREE to use our natural minds! We shouldn’t have to shovel crap any longer. Stature, standing and prestige in the eyes of Whites shouldn’t be of such importance that scholarship, integrity and truth go out the window.

The example that would refute racism in Mormon theology IS NOT the presence (nor absence) of Black people. It would be a refutation of racist scripture in their texts. For instance, from the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:20-25 states:

20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be bcut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.

21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.

24 And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.

25 And the Lord God said unto me: They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.

I have fervently searched for a refutation of Joseph Smith and this passage.  I have found none.  If you know of any, please post it to the comments!  Nevertheless, this passage remains in Mormon Canon.

Forget the fact that Mormons…the descendants of Moroni (the Mormon prophet – NOT Jesus), son of Mormon, believe themselves to be descendants of Jacob – and a lost tribe of Israel – who migrated to the Americas in the 600s BCE. According to their theology and history, in the 6th century AD, Native Americans came is slaughtered all the Europeans – stealing this land from Whites. Their messianic vision is to reclaim America for “it’s rightful owners” (i.e. White European Americans). Joseph Smith hoped to effect this petit-apocolypse by running for US President in 1844. Herein lies the parallels and problems with Romney’s candidacy – sans a refutation of problematic Mormon theology/ideology. And, Frances, this is not an “angry Black man” speaking…this is Mormon theology that can be researched, traced and verified. For more info, see [amazon_link id=”0670021261″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years[/amazon_link], pgs. 906-908.

It’s disconcerting that few on the Right – especially Blacks – took no issue with the Mainstream forcing President Obama to refute the Christian Liberation Theology of Rev. Wright, which was the same theology of Dr. King (who Black Republicans love to hail as one of their own), yet we want to silence any who present a similar challenge to the non-Christian Mormon theology. It’s interesting that President Obama was considered ineligible (by some) to stand for the Presidency because he might have been a Muslim, yet faith has no bearing when it comes to Gov. Romney’s (AND Harry Reid’s) Mormonism. And for those who think Mormonism is a “branch” of Christianity, I present Flava Flav: DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!!! If they revere a prophet other than Jesus, they cannot be Christian. Moroni is the Mormon prophet, so they are no more Christian than Muslims (who, like Mormons, also believe Jesus to be a prophet – just not the final prophet).

For a group of people who are against paternalistic politics typically exemplified by Democrats, it’s striking that simply because a White person may have marched for Civil Rights, we are supposed to ignore their paternalistic mores. Many have argued in support of Abolition and Civil Rights without believing Black people to be of equal humanity, i.e. [amazon_link id=”1566195519″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Harriet Beecher Stowe[/amazon_link], among many others. Additionally, many in the GOP would argue that by being in the Democratic Party, Blacks have signed up to support their own demise. So, why does the presence of Blacks in the Mormon faith automatically validate Mormon ideology?

Negroes…we are FREE to use our natural minds! We shouldn’t have to shovel crap any longer. Stature, standing and prestige in the eyes of Whites shouldn’t be of such importance that scholarship, integrity and truth go out the window.  We must be smarter…those who struggled before us fought too hard for freedom, for us to simply cede our intellect to the whims of the Mainstream.

This is not to say that Mormons are bad people.  It is a question of where individual Mormons – especially one running for President of all Americans – stand in their “core values.”  The text from the Second Book of Nephi in the Book of Mormon does wreak of racism.  Mitt Romney was a Bishop and President of the Mormon Church.  Eventhough some may say that position might be misinterpreted, he certainly had the gravitas to make profound statements refuting various doctrine that are degrading to the humanity of individuals.  Yet, no one has yet posed that question and challenged Governor Romney.  Moreover, no statement exists from Mr. Romney, refuting the distancing himself from Mormon Scripture on the issue.  Rather, when speaking with the late Tim Russert, Mitt Romney stated he would not distance himself from his faith.  See the video:

So, for Blacks of good sense – and any person of conscience to simply excuse this connection is puzzling.  Maybe some may not see it important enough to sway their vote.  But, surely Blacks of stature within the Republican Party should be faithful to their Charge they have to Keep, and pose the questions that would make Mr. Romney a more viable (and authentic) candidate for Blacks to consider.  This issue is of critical importance, because it shapes the very way policy will be developed.  And, as we have seen by both Parties through the course of history, even well-intentioned policy has the potential to cause harm if not informed by sound ideology at the foundation.  Certainly, we should have answers that satisfy the questions on this issue rather than dancing around it as if it is of no consequence.  We should not simply be rubber-stamping a Party nominee so we may continue to eat from the trough.

Negroes, We are Free to Use Our Natural Minds…let us use them!  (Part II to come…later this evening)

The Passion that Makes Us Great

A lot of talk has been about “Greatness” and “Exceptionalism,” as we consider the direction for this election.  Yet, the passion that will truly make us great is of a different sort.  The disciples had to learn this lesson…we must learn it too!

The Text is from the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 9. verses 30-37.

Revisioning Greatness

With all the talk of American Exceptionalism, we might consider the theme of Greatness through the Gospel and the words of Christ. How would He define greatness, and what would be required of such a “Great” Nation, as America? In these times, the Gospel of Christ calls us to “revision” greatness and what being great demands of us.

How Could They?!

“We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property […] and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.”

– excerpt from Dum Diversas, a papal bull of the Western Church.

I read this document while doing research for a recent article I wrote on the racial politics of “dark v. light imagery.” I knew the institution of the Church had a formal role in the enslavement and subjugation of people. Yet, the language here was damning. I mean, for the Pope to use his “Apostolic Authority” to give credence to this statement is tantamount to saying that stealing the land of others and relegating native people to slavery was sanctioned by God! Such blasphemy! Such audacity!

I find myself wondering: how is it even possible that someone professing faith in the Gospel and claiming authority from the Holy Apostles (and thus from Christ Himself) could claim that such crimes against humanity were sanctioned by the One who came to redeem all of humanity?

What do you think?