It is real easy to write about what is wrong. It is real easy to complain about what is wrong. It is real easy to overlook the positive and focus on the negative. I was starting to write this column and do just that – focus on the negative – because when so much of the world is raining down on you, it is hard to see dry land.
We as a country are at our own fork in the road. Make the right turn and we can come out okay. The right road may be bumpy and it may look like a mountain is sitting in the middle of the path blocking our way, but it is the right way to go. The left turn looks good, smooth as ice, but as we all know that left turn will take us off of a steep cliff.
This past week, another issue was placed before us where we had to decide which direction to take. A most disturbing cartoon was run in the New York Post. It came on the heel of the news story where the woman’s chimp ran amok and was shot after injuring the face of one of the woman’s friends. If you didn’t see the cartoon, it can be found all over the internet. To describe the cartoon, it involved two cops with their guns smoking and the chimp lying dead on the ground with two bullet holes in the chest. One police officer says to the other, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”
Since President Obama is considered the author of the idea for the stimulus package that just passed, many interpreted that the dead monkey on the ground was a metaphor for him. There was outrage, indignation and calls for the firing of the man who drew the cartoon as well as a boycott against the New York Post for printing it and the advertisers who bought ads in the paper. Originally the Post had declared it had the right to print what it printed. The Post defended the cartoonist and called the Rev. Al Sharpton, who was one of the leading figures in the fight against the cartoon, a media hound. Sharpton’s actions were so successful that a week later the owner of the paper issued an apology. So in the mist of bad news, we had Sharpton and others doing the right things and their protest resulted in the right action.
Most interesting is that the media tried to paint the outrage over the cartoon as if only black people were upset. The last I looked, President Obama was elected by numerous people and America should be upset. To many black Americans, we saw the lines connecting the dots immediately. To all of America, in a society where the numbers of guns purchased since the election of Obama has gone through the roof, to see a cartoon depicting dead the author of the stimulus bill is insulting. To have the author being a chimp had a double entendre meaning.
But another thought came to my mind once this controversy hit the fan. How will those of us who have put President Obama on a pedestal take it when he is attacked in effigy? When foreign nationals burn the U.S. flag and posters of the president, how will we take it when it’s President Obama’s face being used? How will we take it, the black America that says just the sight of a noose has traumatized some African Americans when others mad at the policies of this country hang the president from a noose? Or place his picture on an ape’s body?
President Obama so far has always taken the right turn. And those that have attacked him are finding out that people can see the right in what he is doing and are not easily swayed in the wrong direction. So far, President Obama has only been in office for 30 days and has taken all that has been thrust upon him with the greatest of ease. The next 30 days will be an interesting and telling time for the president.