Saturday, November 08, 2008

Southfield Grade School Lesson: 'Obama, Obama, Obama'

From the “This Isn’t Creepy At All Department”:

SOUTHFIELD -- Autumn Gresham cannot yet grasp the global impact of the nation's choice for president. She's only 8 years old.

But she paid homage to President-elect Barack Obama on Friday by painstakingly drawing dozens of red and blue hearts on a white poster surrounding his name.

“This is so exciting because he’s our first black president,” she said, smiling broadly while seated on the floor of the Brace-Lederle Elementary School gym during an assembly for Obama Day. Autumn was asked what his presidency means to the nation. “It means love,” she replied.

(“Political lesson: Schools find ways to integrate election into curriculum”).

Obama Day? I remember when the principal at Precious Blood School announced Kennedy’s assassination over the PA. He was the first Catholic president, and we were a private, non-government school, but we never had a Kennedy Day.

Then again, when did America ever look at the Kennedy years as historical?

But an Obama presidency, now that, if you'll pardon the pun (or if you don't) is a horse of a different color.

They could barely sit still as they squealed and compared posters while waiting for the program to begin. The First Family -- students dressed as Obama; his wife, Michelle; and their daughters, Sasha and Malia -- all dressed up in clothes fit for an inauguration, sat in front-row seats on the stage.

Steven Alexander II, 13, dressed in a tailored black suit and red silk necktie, said it was an honor to portray Obama.

“One of my teachers recommended me for this, and it is a wonderful opportunity to be in Barack Obama's shoes,” he said.

Steven reflected on the world impact: “Our world will move past racism, the economy will get better, and we won't have as many problems as we had when George Bush was in office.” Steven's father, Steven Alexander, 41, of Southfield, said he had tears in his eyes while watching his son address his classmates from the stage. As the younger Steven waved to them after his address, the students rose up holding their posters high and chanted, “Obama, Obama, Obama.”

“Yes, I did think it was possible that an African-American would one day become president,” said Steven's father. “I think God brought this man here to take care of things in the years ahead.”

I know I've always associated the Constitutional office of President with chanting. That’s just what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

Yes, and I’m sure God sent Obama to take care of things. This is His way of solving the problem of all those survivor babies after botched abortions.


Anonymous said...

Yah, and you just wait until the blacks and the rest of the poverty leeches figure out that their "Chosen One" isn't going to accomplish squat for them.

They will be the ones to tear down their foreign born, closet Muslim, Oreo elect.

Mark my words.

T.R. Clancy said...

Consider them marked. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

nice to know you approve of such hate speech t.r

Anonymous said...

Mr. anonymous,

What specific words posted by "anonymous #1" would you consider hate speech? Are you a mind reader? Did he speak this because he hates?

Please enlighten us and let us know what part of the comment is hate speech. And then tell me where did you learn to read minds. Can you prove your mind reading abilities? What am I thinking about right now?

After all, there are some out there who are advocating hate speech laws. So, your accusation is very serious. Back it up.


Anonymous said...

what part of " the blacks and the rest of the poverty leeches" ISNT offensive!?

THE blacks???? oh right i forgot, because all of THE blacks are poverty leeches.

"foreign born, closet Muslim, Oreo elect" Im sure he meant it in a positive way right?

you dont have to read minds, all you have to do is read!

Anonymous said...

If splitting hairs between very hateful speech and the legal definition of hate speech makes you sleep at night, well then that is on your conscious.

I make no claim that anonymous doesn't have the right to say what he wants, but what concerns me is that speech like that goes unchallenged. If you don't find an ounce of hate in his speech, then I really dont know what to say.

Anonymous said...

He said "the blacks and the rest of the poverty leeches". Now, I don't argue this may be offensive speech.

I cannot find an ounce or a pound of hate in this statement and neither can you. This doesn't mean it does not exist. It is simply not possible to go inside the writer's mind and judge whether he felt hatred when he wrote these words.

Maybe he is simply irritated or frustrated or perhaps, even angry. Are you defining hate speech as any speech that offends and angers you?

"If you don't find an ounce
of hate in his speech, then
I really dont know what to

News Flash - "Hate Speech" is subjective unless you are capable of reading minds. From your comment above, I assume you are now speechless. Take a silent moment and put your hand over your heart. Look up at an American flag and reflect on how blessed you are to live in a free country that will always protect your right to speak.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The comments are offensive but not hateful.

The reason for splitting hairs is that when "hate" is invoked by the PC police, effective discourse is disabled. You may not, and I certainly do not, like the choice of words, but offense and hate are not the same thing, and the difference between them is significant.

On another note, if you don't like what I have to say, I'll just go and cling to my God and my guns, per the president elect's prescient edict.

Anonymous said...

1st, there was no discourse until it was mentioned that these words went unchallenged.

2nd, i make no claim that the 1st poster hates said groups. I only claim that those words are hateful towards said groups. They are beyond offensive in my opinion because they single out an entire population and a person's identity in a patently negative, degrading, and offensive way.

While its clear that you disagree with my position at least you engaged it. Which is unfortunately not the case for most comments on this website.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. They are not beyond offensive, and 'hateful' is not the right descriptive term, regardless of how you personally feel. The difference between hate speech and offensive speech can have legal ramifications, so it is important to distinguish between the two.

T.R. Clancy said...

Anonymous #2 challenger, I think I should respond because I’m the one you accused of a sin of omission, after what you perceived as Anon #1’s offensive speech “went unchallenged” [by me]. This is not a defense, just an explanation of my point of view.

First off, I'll challenge people's ideas here all day, but I don’t challenge people’s speech (words) here, unless they are about ten times worse than this. In fact, I don’t subscribe to the “hate speech” philosophy at all, which is that there are certain words, phrases, ideas, and thoughts that cannot be uttered because they have been forbidden under the amorphous veil of being “hateful” or “offensive.” In fact,I find that philosophy hateful and offensive, because it silences free thought. There are worse things than offensive speech, like slavery, for instance.

I should clarify that the purpose of this blog is to promote free speech and free expression of ideas, and to act as a forum where people can say and express things that they may not freely be able to do in the world at large.

When it comes to people’s comments, (which I welcome and wish I had more of), it’s not my purpose to monitor people’s speech or their words, as if there are words that are acceptable and those forbidden, at the sight of which I have to blow a whistle or start writing tickets. That whole mentality is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do here!

As for the curiousity of criticizing me for not enforcing a hate speech code on this blog, you may as well bawl out the bartender in a cigar bar because those rude people at that table are aggravating your asthma with their damned smoke. The patrons came there just to get away from that sort of thing, and since you’ve got every other smoke-free environment in town to enjoy, why spoil it for the smokers?

If someone were using (too much) profanity in a comment or the n-word, I might delete a post. But less than that, I just can’t see inviting comments and then telling commenters their “words” are off-limits. Besides, I’m from Detroit, and I find Anon #1’s phrasing a far cry from what passes for a racist outburst in these parts.

My willingness to “mark” Anon#1’ s words had nothing to do with how he expressed his idea, (a way I wouldn't have expressed it myself) but with his idea itself, which I think is plausible, that the most carried-away supporters of Obama are going to be disappointed with him some day. He invited us to mark his words, so I thought I’d mark them. Moreover, didn't 95% of black voters voted for Obama, and didn't the article indeed focus on Obama as a black religious savior figure? It’s no more unreasonable to generalize that most blacks voted for him, (one day to be disappointed),then that most Democrats did, with the same fate awaiting them. But if Anon #1 had lumped Democrats together would you have been so upset?

Apparently the point of my original post, and any reactions you may have had to that, were all mooted by what you saw as the enormity of Anon #1’s rather tame generalization about blacks and poverty leeches, such that all further discussion needed to cease until some public shaming of my commenter had taken place, a shaming you believe was my primary duty.

This same test is being applied all over the place, amongst millions of people, which is why everybody is scared to death of the sound of his own voice. This is why all discussion about race came to an awful impasse and stopped there years ago.

In my view there are already plenty of media, newspapers, church basements, schoolrooms, radio shows, dinner tables, cocktail parties, front porches, political meetings, bedrooms, and work places where people so inclined can shush, shout down, and shame their fellow man for daring to utter a word or phrase indexed in someone’s “hate speech” catalogue. Why should I add to the burden?

This is freedom, brother. This is what it sounds like--wild, ugly, but with the unmistakeable ring of truth.