Hold Your Applause

On Wednesday, President Obama publicly came out and announced his stance on same-sex marriages.  This is a few days after Vice President Biden announced his position on it as well, but with less fanfare. 

To no surprise to me, both have said that they are in support of same-sex marriages, which was something that the LGBT community have been seeking from both men since the 2008 presidential campaign.  In the past, the feeling was that the President has been lukewarm and not “all-in” to the issue. 

Today, everyone is using words like “courageous”, “heroic”, “brave”, and others, to describe the President. 

That is all well and good, but let’s hold our applause for President Obama and Vice President Biden.  They did what they are supposed to do:  take a position that will make some people happy and some people unhappy. 

I tell you where those applauses should be given to…

…the individuals, couples, and supporters of same-sex marriages and LGBT rights who have toiled and fought in the quest to change the perception and the laws that will make same-sex marriages acceptable in our society. 

They are the “courageous” “brave” heroes who deserves your applause.  Nothing against the Prez, but what he did Wednesday pales in comparison to what groups like One Iowa, same-sex couples, and supporters have done. 

What makes them courageous and brave is that they don’t quit.  Yes, they suffered a setback when the North Carolina General Assembly, not the people who live in the state, the legislature voted against same-sex marriages.  But unlike some supporters who are throwing up their hands and giving up because one group of lawmakers said “no”, these committed individuals are persistent.  They get up after being knocked down, dust themselves off, and go at it again. 

Those who are so quick to give up and be frustrated clearly do not understand that it is a long journey, not a race.  You can’t get all 50 states and society to change overnight.  It’s not that simple.  One loss doesn’t (or shouldn’t) define your legacy.  Neither does one win.  Ask the pioneers of the Civil Rights movement about having patience and faith when they could have easily given up.  Don’t give up. 

For every North Carolina, there’s Iowa, albeit it was the state Supreme Court that made the decision in re Varnum v. Brien

Getting the folks in this building to support same-sex marriages is tough, but so is getting ourselves to do the same thing as citizens.

As we spend most of our time  obsessing over elected officials and campaigns, the pro-same sex marriage groups doesn’t get enough credit or full support for what they do.  Ninety minutes after the President told the country that he was in favor or same-sex marriages, over $1 million dollars were donated to his campaign. 

Don’t you think that money could have been sent to the groups who are on the front-line of changing the attitudes and working towards ensuring legal rights for lesbians, gays, bi-sexual, and transgendered individuals? 

Kenneth Weishuhn should have received your support and encouragement for coming out.  Instead, people turned on him, used cyber-bullying, and faced hostility.  He didn’t have to commit suicide because of the blowback he received for being gay.  He should have lauded for being brave for announcing he was gay. 

President Obama’s decision to support same-sex marriages isn’t as brave or courageous as some want to make it out to be.  His support, however, greatly helps in the effort to change the attitudes towards this issue and the LGBT community in general. 

Those who are not in the public eye who are supporting same-sex marriages are not celebrated and lauded.  Those are the ones we should be lauding and supporting. 

They are the real heroes of this crusade.  Let’s not forget them. 

Death threats, rejection, push back, misconceptions, and other factors are what they face every day.  And yet, they continue on with the fight.  Nothing deters them.  They know the next day is a new day to make a difference. 

What is considered “courageous” and “brave”? 

When all of us, as citizens, are willing to learn how important the issue of same-sex marriage is to the LGBT community, and the openness to support it, not just in spirit, but also financially. 

Don’t you think it’s time that the individuals, couples, and groups who are working towards changing the societal and legal attitudes towards LGBT and same-sex marriages get more of our applause for being brave, heroic, and courageous for taking the risk of doing what is right? 

It’s long overdue, if you asked me.


Foaming at the Mouth

America will like Obama, because he doesn't sound "ghetto."
Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.

When did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid began channeling Joe Biden, Trent Lott, and  Rod Blagojevich?

Over the weekend, excerpts of a new book called “Game Change”:  Obama and the Clintons, McCain, and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Helieman and Mark Halperin were released.  This morning, Reid is making the rounds as part of his apology circuit after an unflattering “racist” comment was published in the book.

Here is the excerpt, in it’s entireity:

In a “private” conversation, Reid discussed candidate Barack Obama’s racial profile. The authors wrote that Reid’s “encouragement of Obama was unequivocal. He was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama’s race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.”

Doesn’t that statement sound eerily similar to the one Joe Biden said in 2007, courtesy of CNN.com?

In the article published Wednesday, Biden is quoted evaluating presidential rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois. His remarks about Obama, the only African-American serving in the Senate, drew the most scrutiny.

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

If a Republican would say this, he’s a racist, but if it’s a Democrat, it’s “terms of endearment”?  It a poor choice of words no matter what political affiliation you belong too.  But, let’s not sweep this under the rug so quickly.  The fact that Biden and now Reid have said these comments have shown that there are some in the Democratic party who’s happy, but still having a tough time explaining on how Barack Obama is the President of the United States.

"How many times is Biden gonna say something stupid?" Obama said of his running mate in October 2008 during a campaign

What I’m saying is this:   2008 was about race, not “change”.  That’s the sad truth.  If it was Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton running for the White House again, it’s likely John McCain or John Edwards would be running the show today.

The terms “articulate” and “no negro dialect”, to me,  is the ultimate insult towards African-Americans who are well-educated and successful like Barack Obama.  It’s a slap in the face and demeaning.  Period.

The interpretation is that there’s no way that the President of the United States can sound so “articulate” and be “clean-cut”.  On the flipside, people would most likely not elect an African-American who sounds and emulates Snoop Dogg, despite his popularity in the mainstream.   So, if he sounds “articulate” with “no negro dialect”, then he must an Uncle Tom.  If he “talks” black, then he’s too “ghetto.”

"Can a brother get a break?!"

President Obama must be rolling his eyes in private disgust today.  What does Biden, Trent Lott, Robert Byrd, and Reid have in common?  They’re old white men over the age of 60, long-time Senators, who haven’t figured out that the more you talk and the less you catch yourself with what you say, the more people will hear and listen to how stupid you sound.

I feel bad for Obama, but he’s a big boy, and he’s a lot like me when it comes to accepting apologies and moving on.  Joe Wilson apologized and that was that.

I mention good ol’ Blago at the start of this blog.  Well, the former corrupt disgraced governor of Illinois got loose on a barrage of issues, including on Obama, that will shortly start getting some major press, courtesy of the newest Esquire magazine article .

“It’s such a cynical business, and most of the people in the business are full of —- and phonies, but I was real, man — and am real. This guy, he was catapulted in on hope and change, what we hope the guy is. What the —-? Everything he’s saying’s on the teleprompter. I’m blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up.”

When will elected officials learn how to shut up and keep their comments to themselves?

I'm more "hood' than you, Obama.

What Lott and Reid have said pales in comparison to what Bill Clinton uttered to the late Ted Kennedy in “Game Change.”  I wonder how much furor Clinton should get.  I hope to hell he gets his comeuppance. 

No wonder why I don’t like coffee.