Updated 03/02/2009 – 04:22 am
In the matter of people named Simmons, I probably wouldn't know Russell from Richard except that one is black and the other has a little "poofy" thing going for him beyond even his hair-do.
But I do know the name of Schneier... at this juncture, who in the Western Hamptons doesn't?!... and when someone passes along, even six weeks late, a link to an opinion piece in The New York Daily News with the bylines of Mr. Simmons and Rabbi Schneier, there is cause to click and read.
It's a nice "soft" little essay... nothing astonishingly revelatory, nothing especially insightful... and certainly nothing over which anyone is likely to take offense.
But what's it all about, Alfie?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in 1968... I remember it very well, one portion of which was the crazinesss involved with tracking down his killer immediately after the fact, and the paranoia-inducing fires1 which covered this part of Long Island, fires which among other things claimed the Scotch Mist Inn and the life of fireman George Raynor.
Mr. Simmons of Hollis, Queens and not even age 11 at the time of Dr. King's death, has more than a year on Rabbi Schneier... i.e., neither even as a lad marched on Selma with the man.
"This nation chose Obama not because of the color of his skin, but because of the content of his character."
I would hope that such is true, but having worked the local polling place last November 4th I know it is not, and for Messrs. Simmons and Schneier to suggest otherwise is, at best, Pollyanna-esque.
(When the authors speak to the 44th President of the United States carrying "within him the ancestry and faith of Africans, Kansans, Muslims and Christians," does this then make Barack Obama "the gefilte fish" President?)
"He aspires to be, and we need him to be, a President for all people."
That's sort of a "kissing your sister" type of conclusory sentiment, but we shall see what we shall see.
Certain names forming prominently in the tea leaves of the new Administration and Congress... Clinton (take your pick), Pelosi, Eric Holder, Roland Burris, Al Franken, Harry Reid... do not auger auspicion.
And on the global stage...
...Rabbi Schneier has given an interview to the Israeli-based Haaretz.com, "Can U.S. Muslims and Jews work together to change the world?"
The six minute video is quintessential Schneier, again invoking Martin Luther King Jr.'s name, and suggesting:
"Since '912 a group of us have given of our time and our resources to restore this historic relationship..."
...between Blacks and Jews.
(The Rabbi more than once refers to such a mix in the current White House, leading one to suspect that he is under the impression that Joe Lieberman was elected Vice-President instead of Joe Biden... but he is apparently referencing Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff.)
Rabbi Schneier also infers that the Jewish community was responsible for the election of President Barack Obama:
"...78 percent of Jews supported a black candidate...."
No blushing violet he!
But if the man can actually help forge an accord between Jews and Muslins, I'll gladly be the first to submit the name of Marc Schneider to the Nobel Prize Committee!
Bah Humbug, Speir.
Obama had ME at the evidence "of good moral character."
I don't care what color his skin is- he's a true American Mutt. That is a good thing.
Your observations in the miniculture of WHB polling booths fails to represent the groundswell change in the general American voting public during this critical national cycle. The kids showed up this time (9% more than 2000),a few more blacks showed up (13% of the voters compared to 12% in 2000), and the Latino citizen voting population went up 2% over the same time period from 7 to 9%. http://www.nonprofitvote.org/voterturnout2008#minorities.
While perhaps that may have been enough to put Obama over the top, (he won by 7,000,000 votes) they're all legal and STILL 1/3 of Americans eligible to vote didn't show up.
Moving on to the Simmons/Schneier collaboration article, how the heck are we to interpret that silly sentence --linking the religion of Muslims, Christians, and the ancestry of Africans and, drum roll, KANSANS???
I'm sorry, that made me laugh.
To conclude this complaint fest, I'm certainly none too pleased with some of the people placed or kept in positions of power, either. Still, it's not Rumsfeld, Cheney and Scooter. Who would you propose be assigned those positions; and when do you think Republicans will give sitting at the table another try?
Are they "quibbling over pennies" to quote a local Trustee, or can they suggest more substantive measures to give the economy a leg up that doesn't allow for the slow, yellow trickle-down of corporate beneficence?
We shall see what we shall see indeed.
Your linked "Vote Turnout" graphs are fine... on a national level. I'm talkin' E.D.s 10, 14, 30 and 37, the ones at the Sunset Avenue Firehouse.
And what do you suppose was the cause of the enormous-as-compared-to-previous-years voter-of-color turn-out? Candidate Obama's "good moral character?"
And, more importantly, if that "good moral character" thing was so compelling an attribute for you... and I do mean "you!," how do you account for your glassy-eyed support for William Jefferson Clinton all those years?