January 20th, 2009 | By Sonnie Johnson
Yesterday, I took the President Elects advice and committed myself to a day of service. It did not turn out as I plan, which is always the case. I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow. I still have to wrap my brain around the enormous generosity of the American people, even in the hard economics we are currently facing.
Yesterday was special for another reason. I got to tell my daughter the complete history of the Martin Luther King Jr. legacy. Not just the version that was taught to me.
I told my daughter that the liberals hated Dr. King. They thought he was the most dangerous man in the United States of America. A man that only preached non-violence was placed on thewatch list of all major government entities.
My daughter looked up at me and asked “What is a Liberal?”
I responded “most democrats”. Maybe a stroke with a broad brush but it fits.
I thought about going off subject and explaining to her the concept of political parties but this was a moment to teach her a much better lesson. I’m perplexed on how to bring up racial issues to my daughter. If I tell her of the black man’s struggles before she is ready, I could scar her for life. If I wait to long, someone else can get to her before I have the chance.
So, I thought it better to talk to her about the other side on Dr. King’s Dream. We instantly think of Dr. King as a civil rights advocate. But we forget he was a poor rights advocate. See, he realized something we refuse to see. It’s not the color of your skin that holds you back, it’s the lack of money in your pocket.
He realized that most whites that protested against him, were in the same boat as the blacks he stood up for. They to were poor and the thought of having more people to compete against scared them. Put that on top of the words of hate inherited from their parents and you had a recipe for disaster.
Just as when you take a poor black man whose parents have told him nothing about the success he could become, only of the pain they have endured. Then give him little to no opportunity to support his family and what do you get? A recipe for disaster.
By now, my daughter was ready to get away. I use every opportunity to teach her something new. And she hates it. I let her go and found myself watching the Dr. King special. It’s funny the things you don’t pay attention to because you don’t know they are important at the time.
I started yelling at the T.V. It’s one of my favorite pass times. Watching the history channel and yelling at the T.V. Off point. During the last days of Dr. King’s life, he was depressed. Severely depressed. The famous last footage of Dr. King’s birthday was set into place by his followers because Dr. King hadn’t smiled in months.
His “friend” in the White House Democrat Lyndon Johnson had turned on him because he disagreed with America’s role in the Vietnam War. Some of his top black supporters turned on him the moment he went against Democratic Politics. And his practice of non-violence fell on deaf ears to those in the black community.
Then it hit me. We shouldn’t be happy the day a black man gets into office. We should be happy the day a broke man gets into office. Could you imagine? A man with enough character to capture the hearts of the American people without the need for Union support or wealthy donors. A truly broke man with nothing but his morals and values.
Such a responsibility would be great and a real chance at the change we need. See, a broke man would look at the money being spent in Washington and realize it’s being wasted. He would know you don’t get out of debt by going into more debt without their being some consequence. He would say, “We have people losing their homes and you want to pay for wooden arrows”. I have a feeling a lot of bills would get vetoed.
He would remember how he signed papers before reading them and got stuck in a bad loan. So, when Congress demanded fast action on a bill, he would say “No. Fool me once, shame on you.” And Congress would have to fall in line. Oh! How much change would come to our country.
See, the poor man would remember the opportunities he let pass. The jobs he showed up late for, the ones he left early. He would understand job creation means nothing if you can’t capture the soul of the people. What good is it to create thousands of jobs, if a segment of the population is content with letting the government take care of them? He would understand that he needs to make the jobs available but he also has to entice the people who need them most to take them.
Hey! I just got a wonderful idea. Maybe President Obama should have a Broke Czar. He’s created a Czar for everything else. Run the report by the broke Czar with no fear ofrepercussions . Let him get on YouTube and tell the American People this bill is full of stuff we don’t need, without fearing the wrath of NancyPelosi or Harry Reid. That would be change we could believe in.
Or would we ruin it for ourselves? Like those who took advantage of the easy loans but instead of getting something they could afford, they wereBallin while Broke. Or those that blame Former President Bush for their economic troubles. Or parents who complain about their children’s schools, but spend no time working with their children to compensate.
O.K. These are the worse. Take an average High School in an Urban Area. Let’s say the statistics of those who can read at a high school level is 20%. O.K. Yes, the school plays a big part in this but so do the parents. If 80% of the parents don’t know their child can’t read or knows and doesn’t care, why are they spending time complaining about what someone else needs to do. You need to take the time to make sure your child catches up and stop waiting for help to zoom in.
Because you never know what the future holds and Obama may appoint a Poor Czar, let’s all start to get ready for the vetting process. First, we all must make sure we’ve made plenty mistakes of our own in this poor man’s war started by Dr. King over 40 years ago. We must admit to these mistakes and have stiff backbones to learn from them. Next, we have to be unafraid to tell our government what we really think. That means we must pay attention to local elections and hold representatives responsible for the votes they make, no matter the color of their skin orpolitical affiliation.
Most importantly, we all have to remember what it was like to be poor. Remember what it was like when credit wasn’t available to you and you had to pay for things straight out. Remember the pride you felt when you could accomplish this. Maybe that’s what’s lacking. The pride you felt when you worked hard for something, instead of the instant need to want more just because it’s easy to obtain right away.
We can’t forget what the last couple years has taught us. Ballin’ While Broke affects everybody. Further confirming the need for a change of battlefield. Since we now have our first African American President, let’s now fight for our first broke President. The new era of struggle in America.
Funny, how Dr. King knew it in the 60’s and we’re just starting to catch on.