Y’know, it’s amazes me that the very same people who were quick to talk all out the side of their neck about George W. Bush, talkin’ all kinds of mess ’bout him AND his mama, are the first one’s to get all out pocket when someone takes a run at Barack Obama. Don’t get me wrong, Bush let the American people down. Our disappointment is really what opened the door for an Obama presidency in the first place. Change. Now we’re disappointed to find that, while certainly smoother, President Obama is proving to have an equal share of shortcomings himself. Why the surprise? They’re both human. If we hold one to a certain standard, we must hold them all to that very same standard. President Obama’s inability to gain control over the Gulf crisis is not much different then Bush’s inability to gain control over the Katrina crisis (that’s still going on, mind you.) But wait…do you see that little light way down yonder? Our almost-new President is learning from some of the mistakes of his predecessor. He didn’t just fly over the Gulf, he inserted himself in the middle of the madness, surveying the damage for himself. Perhaps if there was no Katrina, President Obama would not have known the importance of engaging the local communities this way.
But there’s a broader issue at play here. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who takes a personal or disrespectful shot at any president is out of line. The President of the United States regardless of his decisions always commands the respect of the office of the presidency. President Cheyney, oops, I mean President Bush had as many flaws as he had strengths but we held those flaws underneath a microscope and a bright light and we pointed, we ridiculed and we laughed. Even worse, we did it while the world watched. Now we’re doing the same with President Obama.
That’s why the president of Mexico came to our country, talkin’ slick about one of our states for their stance on immigration right to our collective face. Listen, Arizona may suck ass but they are OUR ass suckers and we exclusively reserve the right to call them out on their ass suckery. But El Presidente Calderon came all up and through with cajones the size of bowling balls, threw the huevos on the table and talked shit right to our faces. That’s our fault. We made this bed, now we gotta lie in it. Quite frankly, I think President Obama shoulda handed his presidential pen to one his aides and boxed some lumps right into Calderon’s forehead. How you gonna roll up in somebody’s house and talk shit about ’em? Back in the day, that kinda shit would catch you an eye jammie. I ain’t tryna start no mess but me and America? We go way back, we go back like movies and snacks…like rhythm and blacks…like Whitney and crack. Slowly but surely, taking shots at America’s leaders, institutions and way of life has simply become the norm throughout the world.
Perhaps the verbal slaying of our leaders wouldn’t be so bad but for two factors. First, we are at war and second, we are in a global financial crisis where we risk emerging no longer a superpower but rather a country saddled with so much debt that America’s very greatness will be repo’d…and everybody knows by now…the repo man is China. Yes, y’all, America could have bad credit on the other side of this crisis. We gonna have to put our shit in Canada’s name. The Brits have been waiting for this since 1776! At a time like this, we cannot let the one who leads be ridiculed. Criticized, of course! Cornel West said, “Respect, protect…and correct.” But ridiculed…that’s something different. We can’t have other world leaders and terrorists lining up to play Yo’ Mama with the President! Y’all have seen some of these presidential mamas. We can’t win that game. Look, it’s a very serious time in our country’s history. I mean folks ARE dying all over the world, well – all the folks, that is, except for Osama Bin Laden, the mofo that started all this damn fighting in the first damn place. Didn’t we just put Stanley “Toukie” Williams to sleep for the exact same thing?
Look…I get it -we’re struggled with the respect issue because our leadership (past and present) seems to be struggling with the effectiveness issue. The truth is 9/11, Katrina, healthcare, economic collapse, Afghanistan, oil spills – these are not simple problems. These are catastrophes. And sometimes when a catastrophe hits, you just gotta ride that mofo out to the end. Sometimes, nothing can be done to change the natural course of things. But we can expect that leadership, like leaked oil, will float to the top – sleeves rolled up, plan in hand, ready to mobilize the American people and get us moving through it. This is where our leadership has failed us. Don’t just get it in the oily water and float helplessly in the debris with us. Have a plan for getting us to a lifeboat. This aimless floating nonsense? We can do this on our own…we need you for some better shit.