Posts Tagged ‘roosevelt

23
Aug
14

Where The Hell Were These Blackademics Before 2008?

Barack Obama in 1992 as director of Project Vote; which achieved its goal of registering 150,000 African American voters

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Don

Where the hell were these blackademics before 2008?

They damn sure didn’t help the black farmers get their money, they damn sure didn’t get black people health insurance, and they damn sure didn’t help our black gay brothers and sisters from getting kicked out of the military.

So where the hell were they?

I’ll tell you where they were, they were at each other’s schools sitting on some fucking panel theorizing about how to end racism or make it better for African Americans.

But do you know where President Obama was?

He was out in the streets registering people to vote, he was condemning an unjust war before it became fashionable to do so.

We got pictures of Barack Obama fresh out of college walking in poor black neighborhoods registering people to vote.

We got pictures of a young Barack Obama helping black folk.

We got pictures of a young Barack Obama sitting in a village in Kenya breaking bread with his grandmother.

And these same motherfuckers want to question his blackness

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Barack Obama in Chicago, 1995, photo by Marc PoKempner

Illinois State Senator Barack Obama at a community meeting in his district with his state representative (second from right) House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie

Barack Obama in his first year at Harvard Law School after working at Developing Communities Project as a community organizer from 1985 – 1988 where he set up a tenants rights organization, job training program, and college preparatory program. He enrolled at Harvard Law School in the fall of 1988 so as to better help his community

This photo released by Obama for America shows Barack Obama teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. After Harvard Law School, Obama returned to Chicago, joined a small civil rights firm, ran a voter registration drive, and lectured on constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School

Barack Obama with his grandmother Sarah Hussein Obama in her home in the village of Nyagoma-Kogelo, western Kenya, 1987

Barack Obama at an antiwar rally in Chicago in September 2002

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@SmartyPants

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o2

After his graduation from Harvard Law School, working on a voter registration drive in Chicago

29
Mar
12

a word from japa21: channeling FDR

Channeling FDR

by Japa21

The last few days have been extremely emotional around here, specially with reaction to the reporting on the arguments before the Supreme Court about the Affordable Care Act. We have seen everything from outright panic to pleas for calm. From dire predictions of the entire law being tossed out to confident statements of all of it being upheld.

And it isn’t just that particular instance which seems from time to time to bring forth cries of doom and gloom to rampant jubilation. Every time new poll numbers come out there is a myriad of reactions. When numbers come out that show the President losing some of his advantages over Romney or (Heaven forbid) Santorum, there is the tendency to either, once again, panic or go into denial by blaming the methodology (not always incorrectly) to pleas to ignore the polling all together.

When positive news of the economy is cited, there are pleased smiles evident throughout the postings, but when some bad news occurs, the doom and gloom crowd comes out in force. There is a natural, based on history, concern about the negative approach the Republicans will take in the upcoming campaigns, as evidenced by the “America’s worst enemy” ad that Chips posted yesterday.

All of the negative reactions come under the heading, as Al Giordano called it in 2008, of “Chicken Littling.” There is a natural human tendency to focus on the worse things that can happen instead of working toward the best possible outcomes. And this is where it is important to remember the words of FDR:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

One thing that FDR realized, and was warning against, is the debilitating impact of fear. It saps us of energy and optimism. At its worse, it brings forth despair and hopelessness. And where despair and hopelessness reign, apathy follows. There is a tendency to give up, to think that nothing we will do will matter, so why try at all. And that is exactly what the Republicans are hoping to happen.

Ever since Reagan, the Republican Party has used fear to push forth its agenda. Fear of blacks, fear of immigrants (legal and otherwise), fear of the “Evil Empire”, fear of Muslims, and fear of traitorous liberals. They have used this not only to create a motivation for their base, but to dispirit the left. And we have seen time and again how it works.

The miracle of the 2008 campaign is that then candidate Obama knew this and also realized that just focusing on issues would not be enough to counter this fear driven methodology. He knew that there had to be just as strong an emotional message sent out there to lessen the impact of fear. Hope was that message and the vibrant “Yes We Can” that underscored and strengthened that message of hope. He created the belief in the American people that we can conquer fear driven ideology, but only if we band together and not let our fears cause us to falter.

And that brings us to now. We have to believe, once again, that no matter what happens, we can move forward. That a setback here or there, be it in Republican obstructionism, or the ruling of the Supreme Court, or any negative poll or economic news, is merely that, a setback, not a defeat. Because if we view those things as defeats, fear seeps in. Fear that ultimately we will never succeed, fear that those who care only for the privileged few will always win. And with that fear comes the hopelessness and despair.

The message of hope given us in 2008 must never be abandoned because of a setback. Remember, hope and hopelessness cannot exist side by side. And fear feeds on the absence of hope. What we need to always consider when we face a setback is not the awful consequences of that setback but what we need to do to overcome that setback and have the confidence that we can and will overcome it.

I don’t know how the Supreme Court will vote on the ACA. Nor am I saying that an adverse ruling should just be shrugged off. But rather, if there is an adverse ruling we have a choice. Accept it as a crushing defeat or view it as a reason for us to continue to move forward to bring the change to this country that we all think is needed.

I know our President will look at it that way. And I know our President will always look at negative things as an opportunity to improve and work harder. If we have his back, how can we do anything less?

28
Aug
11

‘hardheaded liberal’

Michael Fullilove (Daily Beast): …. The president was accused of neglecting alliances and ceding too much ground to allies in Libya, but this week’s successes in Tripoli prove he’s heir to Roosevelt and Truman.

…. Conservative commentators have mocked Obama’s belief in the efficacy of international rules. Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope that “nobody benefits more than we do from the observance of the international ‘rules of the road’.” Many of these rules were established by Roosevelt and Truman, who believed that a rule-based system amplified U.S. power rather than constraining it….

…. Obama’s response to the Arab Spring, though initially uncertain and clumsy, came to be characterized by a blend of caution and hardheaded liberalism. He now places a lesser premium than most of his recent predecessors did on the stability provided by Middle East allies, and a greater premium on their people’s right to democracy. But some of those allies can no longer provide stability anyway.

…. Events this week indicate that Obama’s approach in Libya has managed to cripple the Gaddafi regime in a way that maximizes the Libyan people’s ownership of the victory and minimizes the risks and costs to the United States. The contrast with George W. Bush’s approach in Iraq is stunning.

… Obama’s critics also fail to acknowledge that he is much more popular with allied publics than was his predecessor ….  it has restored drooping public support in allied countries for the idea of allying with Washington. For example, the number of Australians who believe the U.S. alliance is very important to their country’s security has shot up by 23 percent since the nadir of the Bush administration.

…. Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the founders of America’s alliance system, were hardheaded liberals. They would certainly recognize Barack Obama as their heir.

Full article here

Thanks Dorothy

15
Nov
10

back at the office

President Barack Obama holds a meeting on the economy with his advisors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 15, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)




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