“So, What’s The Big Deal?!”

desileneHappy Friday, All!

And yes, T.G.I.F.!!! An interesting week for me, and apparently for the nation with a manhunt for an alleged “cop killer”, and the President’s “State of the Union” address followed by Marco Rubio’s response during which a simple sip of water has almost outshone the content of his remarks!!! Sensationalism at its best! In sociology, we called it the “diverting the eye” technique!

Have you ever accomplished something in your life that took discipline, perhaps a lot of time and hard work and maybe even learning some things … things new and different even? It is a feeling of personal satisfaction as well as a feeling of belonging to a group of folks that have achieved something important in their lives. Seems that no matter how reserved one may be with ones feelings of achievement, perhaps coupled with a dose of humility, someone somewhere somehow tries to discredit what you’ve been able to do, even if it is only to start something different and important for oneself, yet positive for others. During the President’s address, he mentioned a woman who is not only African American and 102 years of age, but who also waited on line in a voting district in Florida near Miami for over three hours to vote. Some reports say six hours and others say three hours.

The next day, the Fox News Host, Brian Kilmeade commented: ” … she has no right to complain … she was happy.” Have you ever heard of that type of “logic” employed in American History before?! There were people during the slave years in this country that used to say that ” … slaves were happy and better off than if they were free …”! Now, here is a woman … yes a woman … part of a group that got their right to vote in this country in the early 1900’s. Yes, and a woman … an African American woman … whose ancestry was once enslaved in THIS same country just a generation before hers … But another Fox News host said, “What’s the big deal? She was happy … that she got to do her civic duty … she voted!” Now, I am not sure who raised this guy … or his other two cohorts, if you will, but that type of “logic” is complete ignorance of the history of TWO integral groups in this country that had been denied the right to vote until after the mid- 1900’s after many marches, lynchings and deaths! Do you think any of the Fox News team on that program will even live to be 102 years old, let alone be voting after waiting on a line over 3 hours?! What planet are these characters from?

Well, I am glad that the POTUS has enough decency and dignity to acknowledge someone during … yes DURING … his State of the Union address and make it known to all that the voting procedures in Florida need to be improved immediately. If Romney had been elected, I am sure that he would NOT have mentioned a person like Ms. Desilene Victor, nor even taken the time to know about someone like her. Yes, this is still African American History Month and I am more proud than ever to be an African American, if you will. I hope you all are staying in touch with the achievements of African Americans as they continue to occur.

Have a great weekend!


John I. Cook, Director

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