News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 10, 2015: Amazing Grace indeed!
The praise has been endless for Barack Obama’s performance at the tragic funeral for one of the 9 victims in Charleston two weeks ago Friday.
How about this headline in the New York Times, “Obama’s Eulogy, Which Found It’s Place in History?” Or how about this in Daily Kos – “In Charleston eulogy, Obama facilitated one of the most unique moments in presidential history.”
There are a thousand more I could list.
I watched the entire speech beginning to end.
So how is it possible I was not impressed?
Easy. I listened past the rhetoric to the reality. Too bad more did not, and have not been since Barack Obama first began running for President. At least after falling for the trap for too long myself I got the real message.
Too bad too may others have not. Too very, very bad!
For Obama, as horrendous as the occasion and as much as he would have preferred never to have given that eulogy in Charleston, once the tragedy happened and he could not undo it this speech became a vehicle for what he does best but has not had adequate opportunity to do very often any more. Because his rhetoric now falls flat except for very unique circumstances.
A Black church, or more specifically a very large auditorium filled to the rafters with a largely Black audience all very much in need of a message of hope and better days to come was ready made to be impressed by Obama.
From that point President Obama became the ultimate preacher but just as with so many preachers the message delivered from the pulpit so often are filled with soaring words that produce nothing but temporary solace.
And so it was in Charleston, South Carolina, Friday, June 26, 2015.
Nothing is going to change for Black America or America in any way because of Obama’s eulogy although all the praise for his speech by definition comes with the imperative that it was more than empty words.
This eulogy turns out to be no different than so many other soaring speeches most of all during the first Obama campaign for President. How is it possible that violence against Black Americans is as bad as it was before Obama, how can it be that poverty and underserved neighborhoods and lack of educational opportunities for African Americans are just as bad or worse than before Obama – but Obama’s rhetoric is still praised.
All those who left that service in Charleston praising President Barack Obama’s soaring rhetoric to High Heaven should be ashamed of themselves Black Americans even more than the rest of us because Black America is the part of America who Barack Obama has failed the most.
So let me turn to the actual text of Obama’s eulogy to find the Truth.
This is straight from The White House transcript. Some excerpts …
“This whole week, I’ve been reflecting on this idea of grace. (Applause.) The grace of the families who lost loved ones. The grace that Reverend Pinckney would preach about in his sermons. The grace described in one of my favorite hymnals — the one we all know: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. (Applause.) I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind but now I see. (Applause.) “
“According to the Christian tradition, grace is not earned. Grace is not merited. It’s not something we deserve. Rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God — (applause) — as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Grace”
“As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us, for he has allowed us to see where we’ve been blind. (Applause.) He has given us the chance, where we’ve been lost, to find our best selves. (Applause.) We may not have earned it, this grace, with our rancor and complacency, and short-sightedness and fear of each other — but we got it all the same. He gave it to us anyway. He’s once more given us grace. But it is up to us now to make the most of it, to receive it with gratitude, and to prove ourselves worthy of this gift.”
“For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens. (Applause.) It’s true, a flag did not cause these murders. But as people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, now acknowledge — including Governor Haley, whose recent eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise — (applause) — as we all have to acknowledge, the flag has always represented more than just ancestral pride. (Applause.) For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. We see that now.”
“But I don’t think God wants us to stop there. (Applause.) For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty, or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. (Applause.) “
WAIT A MINUTE …so 7 years into the Obama Presidency he tells Black America and all of us that we have been blind and NOW it is time to do something??? NOW at the end of his Presidency it is time for the BLACK President to do something about these injustices and inequalities???
And for that Obama received wild applause????
Want some more how about this .. “MAYBE NOW” ….
“Maybe we now realize the way racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it, so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs, but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal. (Applause.) So that we search our hearts when we consider laws to make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote. (Applause.) By recognizing our common humanity by treating every child as important, regardless of the color of their skin or the station into which they were born, and to do what’s necessary to make opportunity real for every American — by doing that, we express God’s grace. (Applause.) “
Then Obama emphasizes it by repeating …
FOR TOO LONG … and the audience replies ..
FOR TOO LONG when they should have replied …
Obama what have you done about it the last 7 years!!!
That is enough I am hoping to spare both of us any more of this.
For this Obama is praised for an historic speech?
Here is what I think while preachers every Sunday mount pulpits everywhere and give their own version of “inspiring” speeches traditional churches are in permanent decline all across the land.
Apparently fewer and fewer believe in what these preachers are saying.
It is exactly the same for President Barack Obama.
Amazing Grace indeed!