Thursday, October 29, 2009

Former Senator Edward Brooke Receives Congressional Medal of Honor

  • Edward Brooke is the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote
  • Using perseverance, he avoided anger, disillusionment, President Obama says
  • Brooke, 90, was a GOP senator from Massachusetts for two full terms, from 1967 to 1979
  • Brooke, thankful for honor, says he misses friend Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died in August

Washington (CNN) -- Edward Brooke, the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote, was honored Wednesday with a Congressional Gold Medal.

"At a time when so many doors were closed to African-Americans, others might have become angry or disillusioned," President Obama told an audience in the Capitol Rotunda, where the ceremony honoring Brooke for Congress' greatest honor was held.

"They might have concluded that no matter how hard they worked, their horizons would always be limited. So why bother? Not Ed Brooke," he said.

Brooke, 90, was a Republican senator from Massachusetts for two full terms, from 1967 to 1979.

"He ran for office, as he put it, to bring people together who had never been together before, and that he did," the president said.

"I don't know anyone else whose fan base includes Gloria Steinem, Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy as well as Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush. That's a coalition builder," he said.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Loathe the War, Love the Warrior

My Two Cents:

by Ron Powell

Bravery and valor on the battlefield are of no consequence if the war being fought has no just and honorable cause or purpose....There are no legitimate goals or objectives in an unjust or invalid conflict being prosecuted by force of arms and the blood of good people.

My take on the war(s) in the Middle East is simple: We shouldn't have gone in the first place and we have no business being there now...Whether the Department of Defense or the State Department agrees with him or not, the young ex-marine who resigned his diplomatic postition in protest over our continued presence in Afghanistan has it absolutely right. We should stand with him in his brave and bold move to bring attention to the fact that what we are doing in that part of the world is just plain wrong....

In the wake of 9/11, and the notion that we are seeking to bring an international criminal and his criminal enterprise to justice, we have wasted resources and lives on a manhunt that ought to have been concluded long ago.....There is no succinct or cogent articulation of the reasons why we have been at this for as long as we have, and we should not commit another American life to a nefarious conflagration that has, at best, nebulous ideological, philosophical and political underpinnings......

If we truly believe that Bin Laden is alive and being harbored in the region, we should withdraw all of our troops and issue an ultimatum in the strongest possible terms and, failing that, anihilate all of the targets where he may be hiding in such a way as to not risk another American life and then, completely and absolutely walk away from it all.

Nothing good can come from continuing to work with an illegitimate government, rogue mercinaries, drug over-lords and wasting American tax dollars and American lives....I am in full and unfettered support of our troops in the Middle East. I do not, however, accept or agree with our 'reasons' for sending them there....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Then and Now


A Black girl escorted to school - 1960

On November 14, 1960, nearly 49 years ago, 6 year old Ruby Bridges faced hostile crowds, and had to be escorted by U.S. Marshalls , because she was the first black child to attend previously all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ruby was 6 years old. (Norman Rockwell created the painting above depicting that event.)
That morning, she had only been told by her mother that she was going to be attending a new school that day and 'had better behave.' Little did little Ruby know that she would be bombarded with jeers and even death threats; and that she would end up being the sole child in her first grade class because all the other children were kept home by their parents. All because Ruby was Black.


A Black girl escorted to school - 2009

On January 5, 2009, nearly 49 years after Ruby attended her school, 7 year old Sasha Obama, faced cheering schoolmates as she is escorted by her Mother and U. S. Secret Service Agents to Sidwell Friends Elementary School in Washington , DC . Her Mother, the current First Lady of the United States of America, had Secret Service escort because Sasha's daddy is now the 44th President of the United States.

Can this be one of the reasons why people under forty have a different view of the world.....????

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Soul Heaven: The 'Soul' of America

Some were absolute giants and some were less well known, but all of these performers had an impact on our culture and our lives in ways which most of us will not be able to recognize or acknowledge. In many respects these African-American artists charted and navigated the course for likes of President Barack Obama by making the African-American experience an integral element of America's culutural life and heritage. We owe them a debt of gratitude and many, many thanks......