Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “conformity”

Little Quotes That Teach – Roger Ingalls

Freedom

“There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.” Walter Cronkite

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” Jim Morrison

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F. Kennedy

“The secret to happiness is freedom and the secret to freedom is courage.” Thucydides

Politics

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” Mark Twain

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” Aesop

“We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.” Stewart Udall

Religion

“The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” Thomas Paine

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Albert Einstein

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” Dalai Lama

“It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.” Thomas Jefferson

“Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.” Voltaire

Peace

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Peace begins with a smile.” Mother Teresa

“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” George Washington

Closing Arguments

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” Plutarch

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” Winston Churchill

“Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.” Confucius

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

Shaft Strikes Again – Norman Weekes

There are things we whisper to each other when white folk are not around.

Yes it’s true. When two or more Black folk stand by the water cooler we talk in-house. Most of it need not be shared. ‘They’ wouldn’t understand. It would take hours, maybe years of context to not be misunderstood. But at the risk of having my “Black Enough” card revoked, I’m going to share one of these secret communiques. For about two years now, ever since Obama started getting his ass kicked on every meaningful issue of concern to the Black community I’ve heard this or something like this:

After checking the room, looking over both shoulders one of my beloved – brothers or sisters will lean in and say  “Just wait until the second term. Then we’ll see the real Obama!”
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The hope is that unencumbered by re-election politics he’ll transform from Urkel to John Shaft. Maybe even Dolemite. Something other than what he’s already proven to be. The guy we wanted. Not the guy he is – Benson. I can hear the First Lady screaming “Benson! Oh no you didn’t!” Obama’s recent open mic gaff to Russian President Medvedev gave hope to the fantasy. Never mind he was referring to foreign policy and stating the obvious.

I understand the desire to believe that the conformity, reserve and caution is just an act until he’s free to be the real Obama. After all, we’ve done this everyday for hundreds of years. It’s a coping mechanism that has served us well in a persevering kind of way. At the same time we desperately want to believe Obama’s just waiting for the opportunity to “stick it to The Man” even if he is “The Man”.

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This theory ignores a cardinal rule of being Black in America. If you get in don’t f-it up for the next brother. The next Black president is alive today. Obama knows this. He may hope the next Black president is living in the White House today. If he is a Super Negro waiting to emerge, checks and balances will temper Obama’s second term. The Republican House and/or Senate along with conservative Supreme court justices who obviously sold their souls for eternal life will keep him in “check”. Wonder if Satan tried to return those souls after a quality check. Caveat emptor Beelzebub.

Second term Presidents rarely get wild and crazy in their second term. Nixon and Clinton were impeached and I’ve had the entire Bush 43 presidency erased from my memory. I don’t think his second term was very memorable but you can look it up.

In the final analysis the Obama we have is way better than any alternative. You know it, I know it, and the American people know it. As William DeVaughn reminds us: Be Thankful for What You Got.

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Norman Weekes is a volunteer in social justice non profits and occasional political activist. 

 

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