November 4, 2008

A black man in the White House

Put aside the politics. Put aside the ugliness of the campaign trail.
Let's take a minute to consider what our country has become.
When I was born in 1961, Jim Crow still reined in much of the South. Virginia had public schools that closed rather than admit black students. Blacks could not count on restaurants to serve them meals, theaters to allow them entry, landlords to rent to them, buses to offer them seats, or registrars to let them vote.
The country, as more than one national commission found during my childhood, was divided into a black nation and a white one. The divide was sometimes fearsome, and not just in Dixie.
It wasn't so long ago that Martin Luther King, Jr's plea from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that we judge a man by the content of his character rather than color of his skin seemed a distant dream.
Now, though, it seems that the world truly has been transformed, not by Obama but by us. We changed so powerfully and thoroughly in the course of just a few decades that something unimaginable in those days is now reality: a black American -- or, perhaps more fittingly, a biracial one -- is going to become the president of the United States.
An office that was once the home of slaveholders -- some of them my heroes in spite of their flaws -- is going to belong to a man who could have been bought and sold in the early days of our history.
Obama's election is not the end of the great racial tragedy that brought so much bloodshed and heartache to our land. But it is certainly a gigantic stride into a happier future, a future where there are no easy excuses for failure and no room to tolerate anything less than the ideals we have proven we possess.
King told us on the night before a gunman shot him down outside a Memphis motel that he had "seen the Promised Land" ahead.
Perhaps we all do now.
I hope that President Obama will prove his critics wrong and that he can bring us together to fulfill the common destiny we share to extend the American Dream to everyone, to give everyone a fair shake and a fair shot.
No doubt, he'll fall short. They all do.
But he has already, thanks to the votes of millions of Americans and the hopes of many more, shown all of us, and the world, that this country is better than ever, that the dreams of our fathers can become the reality of our children.
*******
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Geez, your old. Can you still walk?

Anonymous said...

Both Candidates knew what they would be inheriting, or should have known,
How long will it take for excuses to come forth when taxes are increased and defecits are increased?

Politicians of both parties are no different.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS A NONPARTISAN JOKE THAT CAN
BE ENJOYED BY BOTH PARTIES! NOT ONLY THAT, it is POLITICALLY CORRECT!!.......and so timely!

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises ...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The senator reflects for a minute, then answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I
mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above...

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says...

"Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted."

Anonymous said...

Obama is half white, the other half is Kenyan with some Arab mixed in. He grew up in Hawaii. He's hardly a typical black American. I say he's a phoney.

Anonymous said...

GOD BLESS THE USA!!!!

from the worst president in american history to what has the promise of being one of the best, america has shown it is ready for change.

lets all pray for president-elect obama as he prepares to lead this country back to its' former greatness.

-billy from bristol

Anonymous said...

An interesting this is we've still only have had one Catholic President (for a short 2 years). But since it's much cooler and more politicaly correct to have a black President and to be black than it is to be Catholic, I'm not surprized.

Of course we have had two Irish Presidents Steve, but one was Protestant. So maybe your heart should stop bleedin' fo' da' black man so much homie.

Bob Boudreau said...

Anonymous said...
Obama is half white, the other half is Kenyan with some Arab mixed in. He grew up in Hawaii. He's hardly a typical black American. I say he's a phoney.

November 5, 2008 8:13 AM


Obama sounds like a great cup of coffee to me!

Kenyan, Arabic and Hawiain, mmmmm

:-)

Anonymous said...

Technically, Pres.-Elect Obama is considered multi-racial. A great testament to the "melting pot" that is America.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

I prefer the coffee at were I work. Hopefully the companies you and I work for (manufacturers) won't be afftected by negatively leftist policies.

The point is he's not as "black" as some think.

Anonymous said...

A very old joke, retold with a new main character.

The first time this joke was passed around, the main characters who met St Peter at the pearly gates begging to enter heaven were George Bush and Dick Cheney!

The story ended the same way.

Anonymous said...

more important is the answer to the questiuon "how liberal is he?"

Anonymous said...

Interesting that polls showed Obama leading by double digits, and the final tally was 1-3 points.

We should do away with polls: they seem to influence the vote.

Bob Boudreau said...

Anonymous said...
Bob,

I prefer the coffee at were I work. Hopefully the companies you and I work for (manufacturers) won't be afftected by negatively leftist policies.

The point is he's not as "black" as some think.

November 5, 2008 10:00 AM


I was just trying to be funny and add a little levity, sorry.

Anonymous said...

The stock market increased more under George Bush than any other president!
Taxes are lower now than when George Bush took office.

Anonymous said...

Steve:

Just like the rest of the leftist media YOU are introducing race into the election.

Simple facts:

I do not detest Obama because he is black - I don't like his policies. I don't like those that he has surrounded himself with.

I didn't vote for McCain because he was white, I voted for him because he better (though far from perfectly) reflected my views.

Two things are obvious, the Equal Rights movement ends today, there are no more excuses that are acceptable.

And, the democrat party better deliver on on all of those promises because they have the White House and both chambers of congress.

All the way around - no more pussyfooting and NO MORE EXCUSES!

Bob Boudreau said...

Anonymous said...
The stock market increased more under George Bush than any other president!
Taxes are lower now than when George Bush took office.

November 5, 2008 12:28 PM

I would love to know where you get that information, from my search just now....

on 1/1/2001 at the start of GWB's terms...

the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 10786.85. At 1:30pm today 11/05/08 it is 9334.88 a loss of 1451.97 or about 15%

The S&P 500 was 1320.28 on 1/1/2001 and is now 973.90, a loss of 346.38 or about 30%

The NASDAQ on 1/1/2001 was 2470.52 and is now 1717.97, a loss of 752.55 a loss of about 40%

Anonymous said...

And two months ago it was around 15000, an increase of over 4000.

you didn't mention taxes.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the excitement over a black president. After all, it's only the color of his skin, which shouldn't matter in the least. What is shocking is that he is a socialist. "A socialist in the White House" is something that should make your hair stand on end.

Anonymous said...

I hope he falls short in his plan to steal my 401(k).

Anonymous said...

Actually the DOW showed its greatest gains under Clinton. It averaged 28% a year for 8 years. The market has had the worst performance since the early 1970's under Bush. If things don't turn around President Bush will leave office with a negative DOW which beats the previous poor performance under Carter who left office with the DOW a little more than 2 points above where it was four years earlier when he was sworn in.

The average pension fund has lost money over the past eight years especially when adjusted for inflation.

nobama said...

Bob:

The stock market took the largest plunge in post election history today.

On Nov. 4th 2008 capitalism took it on the chin. For the good of all opf us lets hope it gets back up.

Bob Boudreau said...

Anonymous said...
And two months ago it was around 15000, an increase of over 4000.

you didn't mention taxes.

November 5, 2008 4:11 PM


very true, but most economist will say that those figures were artificially inflated by bad economic policies (not just Bush, but actually going back through both Democratic and Republican Eras to Carter) on the government's part and bad fiscal / reporting information on the Corporate levels.

With regards to not saying anything on the "tax" issue, I didn't have a chance to look up info on that this afternoon, but took a few moments now to find out that in 2001 if you earned between $27k - $65k as a single person your federal tax bracket would be 27.5%. In 2008 if you earned between $32k - $$78k your tax bracket would be 25%.

A slight decrease in 8 years.

Historically though tax rates fluctuate, and the amount of fluctuation during GWB's terms in office is well within the normal fluctuations seen in historical charts on tax brackets.

Anonymous said...

This is for Bob Boudreau. Pssst... your slip is showing!
I am highly offended at your suggestion that our next president is like a cup of coffee.
How condescending! He is an intelligent, dignified, hardworking man. He is a devoted husband and a father, not a flavor.
And what's with the "mmmmm... " about, how yummy you think he might be? Please, spare us. He is not something for you to taste. Give him some respect. You, of all people, a man who won't hesitate for a second to gripe about comments you find the slightest bit offensive, should really watch what you write.

Anonymous said...

He's a socialist, anti-white, unAmerican, Constitution-hating phony. The comparison to a cup of coffee is nothing. Destruction is staring you all in the face.

Anonymous said...

Obama has only hurt the economy so far.

Bob Boudreau said...

Anonymous said...
This is for Bob Boudreau. Pssst... your slip is showing!
I am highly offended at your suggestion that our next president is like a cup of coffee.
How condescending! He is an intelligent, dignified, hardworking man. He is a devoted husband and a father, not a flavor.
And what's with the "mmmmm... " about, how yummy you think he might be? Please, spare us. He is not something for you to taste. Give him some respect. You, of all people, a man who won't hesitate for a second to gripe about comments you find the slightest bit offensive, should really watch what you write.

November 5, 2008 9:22 PM



As I said previously on November 5....

Bob Boudreau said...
I was just trying to be funny and add a little levity, sorry.

November 5, 2008 10:58 AM

That comment was as I said previously meant to add a bit of levity, not meant to be condescending or anything else your mind is thinking.

If you are offended, I appologize.

If you would like to speak in person about my comment, tell me who you are. I am more than willing to speak with you.

nobama said...

Fact:

1) Pres. George Bush cut taxes for the middle class. It's common knowledge that ALL rates were cut under GW Bush. Barake Obam WILL NOT cut middle class tax rates more than they are now.

2) George W Bush inherited a recession that was beginning in 2000.

3) Bush's tax policies kept us out of a recession and kept the economy strong after 9/11/2001.

4) Unemployment never went over
6.5 % under Bush. Most of the eight years Bush has been in office the unemployment rate has been aroung 5%.

5) The Connecticut economy has been doing relatively well due to the fact that companies like Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, Colt and any other manufacturer that make defence induistry components is doing well.

Anonymous said...

"AP...Stocks tumble, lose 10 percent in 2-day rout
Thursday November 6, 6:15 pm ET
By Tim Paradis, AP Business Writer"

---Looks like Obama isn't doing much for the economy so far.

Anonymous said...

You dumb ass republican cry babies. Bush had 8 years and look what he did. Obama isn't even president yet. Cry some more.

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing that we were not supposed to think of Obama as black before the election, and yet after he won the Oprahs and the Mayas and the Steves are singing songs of praise because there is a black man in the white house. If Obama had been white, people would have listened more closely to what his promises were, and he would have lost the election big time. Instead, it was all about the color of his skin. Didn't MLK talk about "the content of their character"? He would not be happy today, I think, since character was ignored over skin color. Discrimination goes both ways, and neither way is good.

Steve Collins said...

I've never seen a presidential campaign where people paid so much attention to what the candidates had to say. It would be a mistake to look at the result, which show an overwhelming victory for Obama across the country, and think voters didn't listen to his promises or examine his character.
I'm sure it's frustrating to support the losing candidate, but it's important to our democracy for winners and losers to come together and respect the decision made at the polls.
I'm sure all of us will disagree with some of the programs and policies that Obama sets forth as president. Some will probably disagree with most of them. That's fine.
But to argue that Obama won because he is black, as a few of you seem to do, is so stunningly obtuse that it's hard to believe anyone who's lived in America could make it with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

The sad news is that the Unemployment figures are rising; the good news is that George Bush will be on the rolls - thank you Obama....

Anonymous said...

7:57 Don't worry about Bush, he hardly needs a job. But many of us will by the time Obama is done.

Anonymous said...

2:06

Not the union people.
High on Obamas agenda is legislation to make it easier to organize.

And we want to keep jobs in this country???

Anonymous said...

I have heard so many Obama-voters say (with relief) that he will not be able to make good on his promises because Congress won't let him. And they flatly deny a lot of what he said during the campaign. They voted for Obama, but they don't want what he promised. So why did they vote for him, if not for his policies? I honestly do not think voters looked closer than his skin, and it made them feel good about themselves to vote for a black man.