Today the President of the United States addressed the students returning to school. As soon as it was announced, there was this deafening dissatisfation from the conservative right. There were comments made indicating that President Obama was attempting to indoctrinate the children or this is what communist leaders do in communist countries all before anyone knew what was going to be stated.
After all the reports and comments that were being made I chose to read the speech once it was made available on the whitehouse website prior to it being delivered. As I read it, I thought it was very positive and not one of indoctrination. I thought of how many kids need to hear this message. There are those in communities and households that never get words of encouragement and support regarding their education and goals for the future. What bothers me about those that do not think that the President should say anything to “their” children are the same people that say that every citizen should pull himself or herself up by their bootstraps and not be a drain on society. Isn’t this speech what these very same people are asking us all to do…take responsibility for self? I also remember that not so long ago were upset because there were flag burnings taking place in the United States by some of its citizens. They would talk about the lack of respect for the flag and what it stands for yet these same people displays a lack of respect for the President and the office that he holds. I would never say that everyone in this country should be on the President Obama bandwagon. However, what bothers me is we have become a country of selfish, single minded, central thinking and unconcerned individuals. I have wondered, where is the American spirit that we seem to tout and stick out chest out about? If his address touches one student to move beyond the limits that his/her community, friends, family or society has placed on them then it was a rousing success. Not everyone has supportive forces in their lives to tell them that regardless of the odds they can do it. What happened when we were a nation that thought about those that were less fortunate than we were, or as the Bible say “the least of these”? If we look at the other issue that seems to be embracing the headlines lately (Healthcare Reform), you will notice that those voices that have been screaming at the town hall meetings were from those that have insurance and talking about their insurance. However, there are approximately 40 million in this country that do not have healthcare and not ONCE have we heard these disrupters speaking about those that are not fortunate enough to have healthcare coverage. Why is that?
The overtones are disappointing because it appear that the attacks on the President seem to have little to do with his policies but a lot to do with his skin color and willingness to spread a since of hope. Many of these same people would never admit that this is a race issue because they do not want to admit the stigma that racism or any “ism” carries. However, there are those that are not happy that a Black man is sitting in the oval office and nothing he can say or do would change their thoughts about anything he does or says. That is a sad state of affairs.
Aren’t we a nation of people that are bigger than that?