Christine King Farris, sister of Martin Luther King, Jr, smiles as President Barack Obama is sworn in on her brother’s bible as she watches from Ebenezer Baptist Church following the 45th Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service in Atlanta, Georgia, January 21
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden pay their respects at the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in the Capitol rotunda
Parade: If you were female, we would ask, “How has being female affected your ability to govern?” So, how has being black affected your ability to govern?
PO: I’m sure it makes me more determined in assuring that everybody’s getting a fair shot—in the same way that being a father of two daughters makes me want to make sure that every woman is getting equal pay for equal work, ’cause I don’t want my daughters treated differently than somebody else’s sons. By virtue of being African-American, I’m attuned to how throughout this country’s history there have been times when folks have been locked out of opportunity, and because of the hard work of people of all races, slowly those doors opened to more and more people. Equal opportunity doesn’t just happen on its own; it happens because we’re vigilant about it. But part of this is not just because we’re African-American—it’s also because Michelle and I were born into pretty modest means. And so I think about my single mom and what it was like to go to school and work at the same time. And I think about Michelle’s dad, who had a disability and was working every day and didn’t have a lot of money to spare. But somehow our parents or grandparents were able to give us these opportunities partly because they lived in a society that said that was important. And as president, I want to affirm that that’s important and reject the idea that if we just reward those at the top, that somehow that’s going to work for everybody—’cause that hasn’t been how America got built.
Rachel Maddow made my heart move faster than one of my attacks, so I had to let her go when she got on PBO about the parade thing. She pisses me off when she goes on about it.
I wish Rachel would let it rest and honor the call of the Pentagon and PBO. He shared with Bob Woodruff last evening his feelings when Bob asked the question of him. I respect his decision and the Pentagon’s.
She could really get the viewers that she wants if she had taken her call into another level of how we all could respect our troops’ returning. This could be “A Country Showing Appreciation”. Then when all are home, we can have a parade.
I could see towns and cities all over the country having a “date night” for our troops and their spouses. Invite our local eateries in each state to donate their restaurants, lounges, music halls, theaters, concert halls to open up for one night with everything on the house. Then her viewers could donate a dinner, movie tickets and dinner, basketball game and dinner, broadway show and dinner, Sunday Brunch with family, town picnics with town and city halls sponsoring the food and entertainment for a weekend.
Beauty salon and spa treatments for family, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, cable companies, donating repair service for homes that have been neglected because of spouses were not able to be home to make some much needed repairs. Gutter cleaners service donated. Companies donated shopping sprees for clothing for the families for the spring. Some families may need a new automobile to get around, so have car dealers go in together and give out a limited number of cars for those needed families.
Sat. breakfasts and a gift from their our local hardware stores, local Macy’s to get a gift for the house, bed and bath gift baskets for their homes, furniture stores donating a home furnishing piece, local water companies picking up a two three month water or gas bill, grocery stores donating 250.00 dollars of groceries for a year, a car mechanic repair for a family car of at least 500.00, a retailer donating home appliances for the families, etc. School supplies and bookstores donating books and supplies for a year to each family. Enrollments for students in a sport, a year of piano lessons, dance lessons, healthy cooking classes from famous chefs a duration of time, donating musical instruments and lessons for 1 full year to children who have not been able to do so because mom or dad were away fighting for us.
Anything that would lighten the load for the family readjusting into the family’s home again with new and durable goods and services. Cleaning service for a home for a month. Phone service for at least two months, a computer for the family with internet service for a year. And the list could go on and be generous. These brave men and women were generous with their lives in their commitment to keep us safe. It may sound way out there, but nothing is way out there when you put your life on the line over and over in duties daily for all of us. Really. Yes, really.
Encourage a nation to get involved at this point to help and give back where it really counts. Then we can all step back and have our wonderful parade for all of our servicemen/women when they ALL are finished.