Archive for December, 2011
Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
I was planning to spend the Christmas holidays recuperating from a triceps injury and knee surgery, and enjoying time with family and friends. I wrote what was supposed to be my last column of 2011, and figured I’d re-engage just after New Year’s Day.
Then something so maddening came along that I couldn’t stay silent about it. What it says about liberal condescension toward blacks ought to make us angry, but because we’re fixated on labels rather than truth, not enough will react to make a difference.
Saturday, December 24th, 2011
After decades of promoting education as the first and most essential step toward black self-reliance and success in the larger American society, it appears that the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson is changing his tune.
While visiting the Operation Black Vote headquarters in London, England, Rev. Jackson was asked what black fathers should do to protect their sons from the troubles that compel so many young black men to make poor choices leading to crime, violence and untimely death. This is the central point in his response:
When I was younger I would say I wanted my children to get educated so that they wouldn’t have to go through what I’ve gone through. I’ve changed that position now. I want them to get a good education so they can have more tools with which to fight. The fight will not stop. I want them to have more tools. I want black fathers to have more tools with which to fight.
It has been 78 years since black historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, “the father of black history,” wrote his signature work, The Mis-Education of the Negro, in which he accused the American education system of his day of indoctrinating, rather than teaching, black children, and perpetuating their sense of dependency and inferiority in American society.
Today, Rev. Jackson is suggesting that education is just another tool in the arsenal of grievance, victimhood and protest that he and others of his ilk have employed on behalf of the black community in America for half a century, with decidedly mixed results. I believe, however, that Dr. Woodson would categorically reject Rev. Jackson’s suggested application of education, and accuse him of mis-educating black people in his own right.
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” ~ Matthew 25:37-40
Depending on which survey you read, Calvert County, Maryland is either the 13th or the ninth richest county in the United States. Given its proximity to Washington, DC, this isn’t surprising; Forbes Magazine put it best when it said, “Wealth radiates from the Capital.” That publication puts nine of the top 25 wealthiest counties in America either within or just on the outskirts of the DC Metro Area. Newsweek lists seven counties in the region among the top 10 richest in the nation.
It is fitting, in a surreal way, that the nation’s capital, where decisions are made that affect the lives of millions of Americans, knows little of what the rest of the nation is experiencing. This is particularly apparent when you consider that even in wealthy and beautiful Calvert County, where I made my home for ten years, thousands of people are going to bed every night hungry.
Sunday, December 18th, 2011
“Not sure why so many people who barely make $50k per year are so rabid in protecting the rich from tax hikes.” ~ Anonymous comment
The battle lines have never been more clearly drawn.
President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas was a watershed moment in American politics. The choice of venue, the invocation of progressive Republican president Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech in 1910, and the attention the administration called to the speech prior to its delivery was a clarion call as significant as President Ronald Reagan’s declaration at his 1981 inaugural address:
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.
Just as President Reagan in 1981 signaled a return to America’s founding principles of individual liberty, self-governance, free markets only lightly regulated for worker protection and public safety, and a government tightly bound by the restraints of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, President Obama’s speech was a dramatic call to reject those traditions in favor of a political ideology not of American origin, but which has taken root in soil fertilized by fear and watered by covetousness, envy and entitlement.
Saturday, December 10th, 2011
I had the pleasure this past week of sponsoring Tim Goeglein, former special assistant to the president during the Bush Administration, and currently the vice president of external relations with Focus on the Family, during his visit to Liberty University to promote his memoir, The Man in the Middle: An Inside Account of Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era.
Tim is a friend as well as a fellow author, and he is a living example of God’s grace who inspires me with his candor, humility and a countenance of joy whenever I see him. The most powerful political leader in the world showed him mercy at a time in his life when he will tell you he deserved scorn and disgrace, and the experience made him an even more powerful witness for Christ. God is always made strong in our weakness, and while the world, and many Christians for that matter, do not grasp that fundamental aspect of God’s character, it is essential to living the contented life he promises, with a peace that passes all understanding.
I tell you all this not to pitch Tim’s book, although you should buy it — I’ve read the excerpted first chapter, and I will buy it when money is less tight — but to touch upon a couple of points he made during his presentation to 92 students, faculty and visitors at the Helms School of Government, and a comment he made to me later over dinner.
He laid down a couple of statistics that I found staggering. The first is that, in absolute numerical terms, there are more Americans out of work than at any time in our nation’s history, even more than were unemployed during the Great Depression. The second sobering statistic is that two-thirds of the unemployed have been out of work for a year or longer. Tim’s recitation hit me where I live because, until I was hired into my current position this past August, I was in that number.
At a Hanukkah Dinner later that evening, hosted by the campus’s Stand with Israel club, I shared with Tim my own story of failure, repentance, redemption and grace related to my recent experiences with unemployment and underemployment. He said to me, “You need to tell that story.”
I’ve been pretty transparent about my job struggles of the past five years, and I’ve reflected in numerous articles and my book the trials and despair I experienced, and the lessons I learned as a result. Tim is right, though – I need to tell the story again, in one place, and pray that God can use my words to bring hope or peace to the tens of millions who are still out of work or who, like me, are underemployed, making much less than they did before, but still blessed to have work.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
A recent opinion piece in the New York Times revealed that Democratic Party strategists have effectively written off the white working class vote, 43% to 48% of the overall electorate. With that revelation, we have come full circle on a presidency built on a lie, one that was perpetrated on the American people the night of July 27, 2004 at the Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Here’s how it went down: (more…)