Pat O’Brien is running for Arkansas Secretary of State.
The caption for this picture reads,
“President Barack Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office May 8, 2009. The youngster wanted to see if the President’s haircut felt like his own. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)”
If there was every any doubt of the impact of an African American man as President, watching this kid confirm that “yes he has hair just like mine” should put an end to any sort of doubt.
And the picture is just cute as hell.
Arkansas Business published a list of 25 for the Future of course it has only 3.5 (the half is a brother sister duo). Of course, it also has many of the “sons and daughters” of the very important people of Arkansas. Of course, the Arkansas Times blog chimes in with
No kidding. Looked at our corporate boardrooms, state commissions and other positions of power lately? White males, paternalism and devotion to gender role stereotyping dominate. (Just try and get on the state Game and Fish Commission if you don’t have a penis.) So, no, I won’t be joining those shooting the messenger.
I love that. I love that like a bullet to the head. If I had remembered for two seconds when I set foot on Arkansas soil with my tier one law school degree and a dream that many, many people still think that women should be good little wives and very important attorneys would call me “sugar” at meetings or that I would be encouraged to do family law instead of criminal law or a whole long laundry list of other shit, I would have handcuffed myself to the Greenville bridge and refused to come home.
Okay that’s a hyperbole. It’s a lot more slight than I would like and a “very important attorney” did call me “sugar” the whole damn time. I’ve decided the next time someone calls me “sugar” I’m replying by calling them “Honeybritches” I don’t care if it’s Mike Beebe, Mike Huckabee, or Satan himself. Honeybritches it is.
Yes it’s annoying. It’s very annoying. I lived in liberal, less paternalistic quarters for far too long.
“Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.” — Barack Obama
There are very few moments in your life in which you are aware that this particular moment in time is going to change everything forever. Some of these moments include your wedding date, high school graduation, and the day a parent dies.
But every once in a while, you experience a moment that you know, as it is happening, is bigger than you. You know as each second goes from the present to the past that it is these moments that will be written down in history books and it is these moments that you’ll tell to your grandchildren later. One of these moments, I experienced in an Italian restaurant in Sikeston Missouri with, in addition to a whole crowd of people, a woman named Genesis: when the United States of America elected Barack Obama President of the United States. Another moment was today when I watched on my television in the relative comfort of my living room the swearing in of Barack Obama as President of the United States.
This was a big deal. This was a big deal for African Americans. This was a big deal for America. We have a President who likes to think, who encourages our input, and who isn’t afraid to answer our questions. He is not afraid of dissent and welcomes change. He’s a man who focuses on the positivity of hope for a better life rather than clinging to the fear of an unknown future and unknown violence on our borders.
We also have a man who came from the humblest of beginnings with the humblest of statures and raised himself up to become our President. He is the Horatio Alger success story. He is a man who could have done anything and chose to use his gifts to make the world a better place.
I can only imagine the number of kids sitting in schools across this country whose dreams will be just a little bigger, who will reach just a little bit further, and who will try just a little bit harder because of Obama. I wonder how many people will get out of the house and help their neighbors under Obama’s call to service.
Obama also changed America. Before Obama, the American ideal was the melting pot. People were supposed to come here and assimilate into the culture. When other cultures began to hold on to their identities, America seemed to get more fragmented, everyone was an African American, a Cuban-American, or some other and American. This change caused a level of divisiveness that was echoed in the McCain campaign with talk of the “real Americans” with “real American values.” The election of Obama bought in the notion that you can have a funny name or be from somewhere else and be a real American. The real America isn’t about assimilating to some standard, it’s about working hard and wanting to make life better for yourself and your kids. The real American value is going hand in hand with your neighbor to make the neighborhood a better place, no matter who he or she is.
I will look back on this day as a day as I was proud to be an American. I am proud to be a part of the Democratic process. This is the day that an African American with a funny man who wasn’t expected to win worked real hard and got to be President. This is the day we got tired of the scare tactics and decided to believe that things could get better.
I will look back on this day as a day where people gave apathy the heave ho and became empowered. They believed that Kennedy motto that they could do something for their country and that maybe their country could do something for them. It wasn’t just a place for a certain elite.
But now, I’m just going to sleep with a peace of mind, knowing that someone who is smart is thinking of ways to help the country.
Oh and could someone get Aretha Franklin’s hat for the Obama Presidential library? That hat was awesome.
This now ubiquitous video of an Iraqi journalist throwing shoes at George W. Bush will never get old for me. In fact, I like it so much that I fear I will be placed on the terrorist watch list. Oh Baby Bush has some lightning fast reflexes there. It seems that he is used to people throwing crap at him.
Oh the hilarity.
The Little Rock Nine have been invited to attend the swearing in ceremony of Barack Obama. This was at the suggestion of Senator Mark Pryor who pretty much didn’t campaign for Obama AT ALL. The Arkansas Times reports that Elizabeth Eckford, 67, who still lives in the house where she grew up, said she can’t afford the trip. It turns out that she doesn’t want to go because she hates crowds and the cold.
I guess if I went to school every day with a bunch of people yelling bad words at me, I would be hating crowds too.
The hilarious part is that Mark Pryor, the man who couldn’t be bothered to put up an Obama sign in his yard is now for having the Little Rock Nine come and the big time photo op that it entails. Did I mention he skipped out on the big Hillary for Obama rally on the Capital? Many many folks were completely lackluster in their campaigning even though Obama came here in 2006 to campaign for Mike Beebe.
This is very surprising and one answer for that just might be racism. In fact, John Brummett called the citizens of Arkansas out for it. (I can’t find the original link so here is the column about the letters received after the original column ran).
So when I read the article about the Tuskeegee airmen and the Little Rock Nine with the headline, “We’ve Completed Our Mission” from this quotation:
“The culmination of our efforts and others’ was this great prize we were given on Nov. 4,” he [retired Lt. William Broadwater, 82] said. “Now we feel like we’ve completed our mission. This inauguration will be the ultimate result.”
I’m sorry Mr. Broadwater but as long as there are people making jokes about whether Obama will plant a watermelon patch at the White house (something I endured at a funeral, of all places) or someone is raising a Confederate flag to protest the election or you see “The Anti-Christ Hussein Obama” at a tattoo parlor, the mission is not over. Unless you are referring to the fact that the Commander in Chief will be a black man which could be considered the ultimate end result of the Tuskeegee Airmen’s mission, then yes that mission will be accomplished January 20th.
But the war is definitely, definitely not over.
This “fish and Chips” logo on the back of a Mini Cooper in Little Rock cracked me up. There are so many fundamentalist that the “Jesus fish” is pretty ubiquitous around these parts. Every once ina while, I will see an “evolution fish” but this “fish and chips” fish makes me laugh. In fact, I think I want one for myself.
Look Ma. I got a Thank you postcard from the Obamas. It’s all kinds of sweet. It has signatures from Barack and Michelle. There’s the obligatory, we couldn’t have done this without you. Obama also keeps up with his recurring theme that this is our government. It is “by the people” and “for the people.”
Another interesting thing is that President-elect Obama seems to be keeping his promise about keeping us informed. He puts his radio addresses on youtube. He has updates on his campaign site. He updates on the change.gov site. Also, you can apply for a job on there. This, if nothing else, is a definite change than the very secretive Bush Administration.
I admit it. I was originally a Hillary supporter. One of the factors in my decision to support Hillary Clinton in the primaries was whether I thought that Americans were ready for an African American president. While I thought that America, in general, probably was ready, I had serious doubts about the electoral votes from Southern states and other potentially racist communities blocking Obama from the opportunity to be President. It seems that I was wrong and right. Obama became President and racism is still ugly.
When Obama got the nomination, I went to Kennett to campaign because Obama didn’t even open a campaign office in Arkansas until after the Democratic convention. If you signed up to volunteer as an Arkansan, the Obama campaign sent you to Missouri. That’s how I got there. Missouri was considered a battleground state and Arkansas, with its six electoral votes, was not. The Obama campaign was correct in this estimation.
I, as a lawyer, also signed up to be a poll watcher. I have been a poll watcher for quite a few elections and it’s fun. It’s also fascinating to watch all these people coming into the polls to vote. I said I was available to send to Missouri and so I was selected to go to Sikeston, Missouri.
Sikeston, Missouri is a town of about 12,000 in the south east corner of Missouri. It’s known for being the home of the original Lambert’s Cafe (a famous restaurant known for throwing its rolls) and the last lynching of an African American in Missouri.
I was trained and got a really cool t-shirt.
See I told you it was cool. I was told to be at the polls at 5:30. The polls were to open at 6:00 a.m. The polls closed at at 6 or 7. Is it wrong that I don’t even remember right now? Then again I was sitting out in the sun for a long, long time. Since I wasn’t registered to vote in Missouri and Missouri law requires you to be registered in the county in which you watch the polls, I was considered a “monitor” as opposed to a poll watcher. I watched the craziness that occurred outside the polls. If there was I line, I was the one to monitor the line and make sure people weren’t harassing voters in the parking lots. If there was problems, I was to call a group of attorneys located somewhere unknown to me (they didn’t even tell it at training) called the “boiler room.” My polling location was at a firestation.
I get there and was greeted by a campaign volunteer named Genesis. Genesis is the first book in the Christian Bible. (as well as the Jewish Bible since they like the Old Testament). Also, the word genesis means “The coming into being of something; the origin”
This particular polling location wasn’t one that would have long lines although there was a steady stream of people that came in and out all day. Around 10:00, a police officer came out and said that he was closing half of the parking lot for a training exercise. They became putting up police barricades and rolled out a fire truck. They managed to block one entrance to the parking lot entirely and blocked another one partially. The sidewalk was now harder to reach and some people would be forced to walk around the building. Parking on the street was not possible in this part of town.
Other facts that put this into perspective.
So yeah this was some weird crap. I called the boiler room. The pollwatcher from inside the polling place came outside and called the boiler room. A sheriff’s deputy who was stumping for the current sheriff called the Sheriff. Something was rotten in the state of Missouri and we were looking at it.
The then County clerk came. She came quickly. She must have already been in town.
There was yelling. She opened the can of whoop ass and the training exercise was over. The whole incident from start to finish was thirty minutes.
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