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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Days Of Barack Obama

I have taken my title as an adaptation of a book title by Jim Bishop, "The Days Of Martin Luther King, Jr." The book is a bit hagiographic, but much of it is deserved. I wanted to evoke Dr.  King, because much of what we owe to Obama is in fulfillment of a dream, certainly articulated by King.

We cannot possibly overestimate the magnitude of what has happened. Every time a black kid dreams about being the president, they'll think of Obama. Every time the teachers exhort the children to study hard, that maybe this is the only ticket out of difficult circumstances, Obama will be in the background. Maybe one less person will tell the kid to live in reality, and to leave dreams and hopes behind. What's that worth? Are you sure you know how much?

I hope they put up a picture in every black school.

You could say much in criticism, and it remains true: he was a better symbol than a president. But what a symbol!

Fair to say that the ceaseless attacks on religious liberty and passionate advocacy of abortion serve as massive counter-signs to the witness of his own beautiful family.

War has spread, not receded. Unity is a word, but not a reality. Falsehoods about the nature of marriage and the family are the law of the land. There will be a reckoning for this.

But I find that I am not happy he is gone. I already miss him. He's nothing, if not predictable. There will be change, and there is always hope. He spoke of them, and he meant it, even if he doesn't know what they mean exactly.

May God bless and protect the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I've Said It Before, And I'll Say It Again

Do your friends and family know that you love them? Do you know that they love you? By all means, do things to show your love. But remember, the universe was spoken into existence; it might be a good idea now and again to just say it.

I was talking with someone the other day, and my friend said, "You know, I wish my Dad would just say 'I love you.'" I paused, knowing my friend, and said:

"Have you said it to him?" (No.)

Seriously, though, how would they know if you don't tell them? Dads get scared, too. Let Uncle Stevie handle this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy Birthday, Champ

"The Greatest" would be 75 today. The fights never get old to me. The person behind the fights doesn't, either. Maybe I should read some biographies of him. Do you remember the opening ceremony for the Olympic Summer Games in 1996? Who else could have been the one to light the flame, to represent all of us?

I have the luxury of youth, it is true. Those who were polarizing in their own days as they fought for black justice became straightforward American icons by the time I came along. When Denzel (Washington) played Malcolm X, that was the signal that it had become safe to revere radicals. Washington is the Poitier of his time, and the fact that I am understood shows perhaps that radicals are still needed.

Anyway, guys who punch other guys for money probably shouldn't be the social peacemakers in a sensible world, but you know. Anything you can do to disarm people so hard words and high ideals can be heard is a good thing.

Rest in peace, champ. And happy birthday.