*His presidency was historic. The challenges he has faced during his first year have been historic as well.
But for this president the bigger the challenge, the bigger the victory. And President Obama scored the biggest victory last week when he signed into law healthcare reform that is as historic as his presidency. His efforts have ended over 100 years of failed attempts to reform the healthcare system dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt.
President Obama has charted a new course, taking us where no president has ever taken this country before. He’s like the Captain Kirk of American politics and he commands from the Oval Office much like Kirk did from the Starship Enterprise – with unwavering resolve to accomplish the mission despite the opposition.
As you know, it’s been a bitter, nasty partisan battle. The healthcare debate has polarized the county much like the issue of abortion did and continues to do today. Who can forget the rancorous, contentious summer healthcare town hall meetings and fights last year that elicited fear, promulgated lies, and rallied hate against the President? It was toxic and reminded us of America’s dirty underbelly that is still suited and rooted in racism.
Just as sure as there were those who reveled in the President’s victory and continue to bask in its afterglow, there are many who revile and rebel against it in a display of irreverence from racial epithets to insolent insults. The usual suspects include Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and they have pulled no punches in their less than thinly veiled racially charged comments against the President’s efforts to get healthcare passed and his recent victory. They are at the helm of stirring up a hornet’s nest of hate and unrest among extremists everyday on the airwaves. The only reason the sheets have not come out is because they are bickering over the thread count.
But I’ll be damned when an actor like Stephen Baldwin gets the mike and calls President Obama a “liar and the greatest gangster out of Chicago.” Now the inmates are truly running amok. If you missed Balwin’s rancorous retort last week on the Larry King Show, it was a moment that even gave King heartburn, indigestion and indignation too.
The President knew this journey would not be easy. Not the journey of healthcare reform, the journey as the first African American President in the “divided states.” He ain’t driving Miss Daisy, he driving policy. Just like a brotha driving a Ferrari through the coastline or a gated community, he’s bound to be stopped by law enforcement because he’s “out of context.” He looks like he doesn’t belong where he is, better known as “driving while black” or racial profiling.
Well that didn’t stop once Obama got to the White House. Now he’s “leading while black” and he’s been pulled over in various attempts to stop him since he arrived in Washington because he looks out of context, despite the fact that the majority of those who voted him in into office don’t look like him. It has been an orchestrated effort that will continue as long as he is leading while black.
In fact, before the ink dried on the healthcare bill he signed into law with 22 pens (which were donated to the National Achieves and given as souvenirs to various individuals) 14 states files suits to block the bill challenging its constitutionality. This will surely be another marionette show with various wires and strings being pulled to make the President look like a villain. It will be fodder if nothing less.
The office of President commands a level of respect that President Obama has not been afforded because of his race. There is no doubt about that. Healthcare is just the first of many frontiers he will shepherd the nation through as he leads with strength, grace and dignity – which are all attributes of “leading while black” – even though his poise, resolve and results are driving his opposition mad.
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