When I heard the sad news that my friend Herman Cain had lost his fight with coronavirus, it was the same day, Thursday, as Rep. John Lewis’ funeral. Lewis, a strong partisan with whom I disagreed on most issues, had indeed been a brave leader for civil rights since he was a very young man and deserves recognition for that.
President Obama shared many positive words of tribute to the man and his fight for civil rights, and that was all fine. But he somehow...just...couldn’t...resist...getting political. What is it about Democrats and funerals that they just can’t avoid politics long enough to honor the dead person?
Here’s a link to the transcript of his entire speech, but I’d like to call attention to the brazenly political part, which he led into by saying we have to “keep vigilant” for the “darker currents”…
"...Bull Connor may be gone, but today, we witnessed with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of black Americans. George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. We may no longer have to guess the number of jellybeans in the jar in order to cast a ballot, but even as we sit here, there are those in power who will do their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining our Postal Service in the run-up to an election that’s gonna be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don’t get sick.
"I know this is a celebration of John’s life. There are some who might say we shouldn’t dwell on such things. But that’s why I’m talking about it. John Lewis devoted his time on this earth fighting the very attacks on democracy and what’s best for America that we’re seeing right now.”
Okay, Mr. Obama, you couldn’t have planned your words to be more divisive. The segregationist BULL CONNOR (a Democrat, by the way) was the city official in Birmingham, Alabama, who in the 1960s directed that fire hoses and attack dogs (!) be turned on civil rights protesters, even children, who were peacefully protesting. To bring up that kind of ugly and truly “systemic” racism of old now in light of what is happening today is as divisive and inflammatory as it gets. You should be ashamed.
By the way, since you mentioned George Wallace, I will add that this old-time segregationist actually helps exemplify the progress we’ve made in our society, in that in his later years, after being paralyzed by an attempted assassin’s bullet, he came to denounce his earlier views. But no, we have to ignore progress and dwell on the ugly past.
We aren’t seeing, as you described it, “police officers” kneeling on the “necks” of black Americans. We saw one very bad cop with his knee on the neck of a black man, and that bad cop, along with others who were complicit, have rightly been charged with MURDER. And our government did not send officers to use tear gas and batons on “peaceful” protesters. This is hardly a “peaceful” protest, and black lives are being destroyed. The neighborhoods being destroyed are largely black neighborhoods. Many of the cops are black, too, and I’m sure the last place they want to be is in the middle of that mess, having to deal not just with the violence but with racist abuse being hurled at THEM just for trying to keep the peace.
But you just had to say those things, didn't you? Thanks, Obama!
Then you went on to talk about “those in power” who will “do their darnedest” to keep people from voting. You didn’t have to get specific; we know and your cheering audience knew you meant my party, Republicans, led by President Trump, trying to stop blacks from voting…”with surgical precision,” as you put it. And in the most laughable comment you made, you said we’re “even undermining our Postal Service” when we warn against problems with mail-in ballots.
Undermining our great Postal Service? The problems with mail-in voting are real and well-documented; thousands of ballots can be “lost” at a time. THIS can be carried out with "surgical precision," as can other types of voter fraud. Imagine this in 2020 on a massive, nationwide scale.
What we want is a clean election. Most of all, we have to be able to trust the results. We want everyone to be able to vote safely --- either with distancing and masks, or with a documented absentee ballot --- and for every vote to count. EVERY vote. That’s it.
Yes, as you said, we are seeing attacks on democracy now. But I see them coming from organizations such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, largely run and funded by white people on the left. The left, where you reside.
Oh, something else: You said that if making changes to the Voting Rights Act means getting rid of the filibuster, “another Jim Crow relic,” then we should. You also likened this summer’s protests to the ones led by Dr. King. I certainly can’t speak for Dr. King, but it seems to me that he would be sickened by the violence.
As for the filibuster, yes, it was used by senators (mostly southern Democrats) to hold off passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But it has been used many times for many reasons; mostly it’s a tool to keep a bare majority from running roughshod over the minority. But the ends justify the means, right?
How I wish I could ask Herman Cain what he thought about this. On second thought, it would probably just tick him off (along with all the leftists blaming him for his own death), and he's in a much better place now.