Sunday, September 30, 2007

''Fired Up, Ready To Go''

When glazing at a map of South Carolina most people would recognize the state capital of Columbia and the historic city of Charleston.

While both cities play integral parts in the race for the White House 2008, the small desolate county of Greenwood might carry the most importance as the state prepares for the January 29th Democratic primary.

This is the place where Presidential candidate Barack Obama first learned the chant ''Fired Up, Ready To Go'' by rambunctious council woman Edith Childs. During a speech he gave in front of twenty people at the local church several months ago, Ms. Childs belted out these five words and all of the residents responded in unison ''Fired Up, Ready To Go''.

Obama was unsure of how to respond to this upbeat and exuberant crowd so he replied by saying the same five words over and over again until he began to feel excited and essentially ''Fired Up''. As I discovered at his speech last Thursday at Washington Square Park, he utilizes this chant as a rally cry to bring all the people together and to get them behind one common cause.

As the Presidential scene heats up and Obama becomes even more prominent everybody will start to hear him echoing this sentiment. This is a terrific opportunity for him to distinguish himself with this one chant and gravitate all Americans to get up and make a difference.

Ron Paul, Bill O'Reilly, Politics, Blacks and Racism

This video spawned from the reactions I got from my first two videos on the subject of Ron Paul, Bill O'Reilly, Blacks and politics, as well as the "window" that was opened to another part of how society thinks.

Overall, I think it's very good to have a dialog on race as many of the improvements in American society and racial and sexual relations have come within the last 70 years, but many young adults active in politics now were born after the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Civil Rights Act before it. Thus, they lack a real tangible understanding of how America was and why these laws are on the books.

Congressman Ron Paul's presidential run has drawn many young people – many of whom lack an understanding that laws are in place to protect us from ourselves – or more to the point, each other. Thus, one person wrote to advocate dropping hate crime laws because they bought in to Ron Paul's expressed idea that to point out racism is racist – forgetting that Congressman Paul himself was recently recorded as pointing to an act that's racist.

But many Paul supporters got after me about asking a question about Paul's 1996 campaign newsletter and its racist statements for the CNN/ YouTube Republican Debates . I've not seen Congressman Paul address this question in the Presidential Race or in the debate of last week. As I state in both videos, I think it's time he did, and to denounce the support he gets from White Supremacist groups.

Some wrote comments that Paul's participation in the "African American hosted" debate moderated by Tavis Smiley was evidence of his lack of any racist thought. I disagree with this because Pau's a free marketier who seems to enjoy arguing with people (thus his appearance), but came away convinced that Paul could handle answering the question I posted for the CNN/ YouTube Debates. Indeed, a question that still remains unanswered.

I was also upset with that debate, as it placed the African American inferiority complex on display for a public audience. We see a debate where the Presidential candidates are thanked for attending and much time is spent chastising those who did not. In other words, thanks for remembering us Black Americans. Who cares if Giuliani, Thompson, Romney, and McCain didn't come? And why thanks the candidates who did come? Heck, they're supposed to be there in my view.

The other video that received a lot of views and controversy was my innocent video essay blasting Bill O'Reilly for his weird comments upon visiting Silvia's, an upscale Harlem soul food restaurant. O'Reilly said essentially that he was surprised to find the Black owners and patrons created a nice restaurant that was "like any other New York restaurant."

For Bill to make that statement in 2007, with the CEO of American Express being Black, and with other examples of Blacks who are running companies and cities, and restaurants, I was totally upset with Bill, and don't know what drove him to make statements like this.

Bill spent the entire week hammering CNN and other news outlets for hammering him on his statement. He enlisted the help of Fox News Contributor Juan Williams who was the voice on the other end of Bill in the now famous clip. Williams, who's Black, explained that O'Reilly had done nothing wrong at all and that they disagree all the time.

But Williams is a friend of O'Reilly and thus not really eligible to make comments as he's got a bias toward his friend. O'Reilly is not my friend or yours – we don't know him well enough to be comfortable with the "friendly racism" he expresses, nor should we. Williams is certainly a good friend, but he didn't get Bill off the hook in this case.

In closing, I'm happy we have an active dialog about race and racism, but I'm most displeased with the debate's display of African America's inferiority complex – it's something that must be eliminated and soon. We need to remove these mental chains and grow.