Hope for Hillary Springs Eternal

Hillary Clinton to Accept Secretary of State Post

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Hope for Hillary springs eternal.  This deed is done.  Numerous accounts say the documents are signed.  The die was cast, perchance before the public knew what they might say or do.  Change has come; yet, it has been thwarted with but a single statement.  Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State, according to news sources.  Today, as more than a decade ago, First Lady Clinton is welcomed into the White House.

Senator Clinton spoke of her certainty on the campaign trail.  She trusted, once again, she could and would sit in the most esteemed Executive residence.  Indeed, the word heard on the streets is Hillary Rodham Clinton has succeeded.  She found her way to the place she calls home.  With the Chief Foreign Policy Officer appointment attained, a sense of her articulated desire is an action, a fait accompli,  

Conventional wisdom is Hillary will realize her aspiration.  For  now, that prophecy is but a oft-expressed faith.

Years ago, the prominent First Lady crossed the threshold from the front.  Today she enters from a side door.  Tomorrow, or in 2012, the soon-to-be sanctioned Secretary intends to stride across the promenade, placed upon the path to the Oval Office.  All the while Bill Clinton was, as he will be, by her side.  

Americans may recall the day the duo initially appeared on the national scene.  From the first, when the people gazed upon the potential co-Presidents, up until, and through the 2008 Primary Election, the coronation of the Clintons, together, and one at a time, was expected.  Moments ago, when the announcement was made, few gasped in amazement.  Citizens have always known; America is Clinton country.  The periodicals only print what was a foregone conclusion.  Hillary has arrived once more.  

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is Hillary Clinton’s castle. The people, throughout this global village, are hers.  The former First Lady Clinton reigns.  In our name, she will speak with world leaders, Premiers and Prime Ministers.  Secretary of State Clinton will establish the rules.  Hope for Hillary is more than a perpetual power.  What she wants is realized.  However, what others had yearned for may be lost with her appointment.

People may muse.  When an individual freely expresses a desire to obliterate another nation, with what she thinks raison d’être, as Hillary Clinton has, that person does not define diplomacy as an ambassadorial arbitrator might.  For those who crave planet-wide peace, a scornful Secretary of State Clinton could be the cause for much concern.  Some say, with Hillary at the helm, world peace may remain the impossible dream.  Her vision may be international doom.

No one can know with certainty what will be.  Nonetheless, while the Obama Transition Team proclaims the terms of the contract have not been confirmed, others believe as was guaranteed, in the New York Times.

Clinton Decides to Accept Post at State Dept., Confidants Say

By Peter Baker

The New York Times

November 21, 2008

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat and accept the position of secretary of state, making her the public face around the world for the administration of the man who beat her for the Democratic presidential nomination, two confidants said Friday.

The apparent accord between perhaps the two leading figures in the Democratic Party climaxed a week-long drama that riveted the nation’s capital.

Mrs. Clinton came to her decision after additional discussion with President-elect Barack Obama about the nature of her role and his plans for foreign policy, said one of the confidants, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the situation.

Mr. Obama’s office told reporters on Thursday that the nomination is “on track” but this is the first word from the Clinton camp that she has decided.

“She’s ready,” the confidant said, adding that Mrs. Clinton was reassured after talking again with Mr. Obama because their first meeting in Chicago last week “was so general.” The purpose of the follow-up talk, he noted, was not to extract particular concessions but “just getting comfortable” with the idea of working together.

A second Clinton associate confirmed that her camp believes they have a done deal. Senior Obama advisers said Friday morning that the offer had not been formally accepted and no announcement would be made until after Thanksgiving. But they said they were convinced that the nascent alliance was ready to be sealed.

Internationally everyone awaits further corroboration.  Few doubt what seems pre-determined.  Most have faith the coalition of challengers is complete.  For now, Hillary Clinton will hold hands with Barack Obama.  The President Elect can pull her up and into the White House, officially.  His assistance may secure a forever achievement, a legendary legacy.  The future, perchance, belongs to the First Lady, the Senator, the Secretary of State; the potential is eternal for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Source for the Secretary of State Clinton . .

A Hopeful History

DNC 2008: Official Nomination of Barack Obama

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

What does one say when, by acclamation, a man whose background and experience may be more American than most who have been nominated to be the Presidential candidate , is chosen to represent the his Party?  How might one find words for this moment?  Overwhelmed with feelings, does an individual shout, Hooray?  Through the tears of happiness, might we exclaim, “This is incredible!”  Can we communicate the sensation.  The possibilities are phenomenal.  This historic moment is fascinating.  Oh joy; oh bliss.  Perchance we can believe not only in change, but also in the beauty of people dedicated to a cause.  Possibly each of us can have faith in unity.  We can perchance, begin anew.  Hope is alive.  The dream survives.  The impossible is probable.

It is important to express a deep, sincere, and special gratitude to Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Every one of us might  acknowledge our earnest appreciation for those Clinton supporters who cast a delegate ballot for Barack Obama.

Let us each wish upon the stars in the skies and those in our eyes.  Democrats, Independents, Republicans who remember the intent of our forefathers, let us do what we must to ensure government is again, of, by, and for the people.

Calm Communicators Unite Us. Cruel Commanders Divide Us


copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Americans are at odds.  As a nation, we are splintered.  The parts do not function as a whole.  Some wish to control and command.  Others prefer to work for the common good.  As we stand, we are a country divided.

The most recent Internal Revenue Service data, shows one percent of Americans received twenty-one and two-tenths [21.2] percent of all personal income.  In 2005, fifty [50] percent of the people in this nation, those who have long struggled to survive, earned twelve and eight-tenths [12.8] percent of all wages and salaries.  In the United States, dollars earned split the population.  Wealth is not all that separates us.

Color causes schisms.  Citizens live in regions of the country labeled Red, or Blue.  Brownish immigrants, with or without papers, are relegated to reside in neighborhoods far from the affluent or influential, even when authentic assimilation is meant to be an option.  Frequently Black Americans are housed in communities where opportunities are few.  When persons of various hues intermingle with the massive pinkish population, in the United States, the people of color are alienated.

Were Americans do physically unite, they would likely remain segregated.  Americans subtly separate themselves from those they loathe, and form the people they love.  Few ever consider what they do to create a rift.  In America, demeanors, the way in which we communicate, divides us.

In this nation, a large portion of the population is frequently aggressive, abusive, and antagonistic.  Those they encounter, the not obnoxious or toxic ones, accommodate, appease, appear unaffected, or remain anxious when in the company of the people who believe the best way to appear authoritative is to dictate what needs to be done, by whom, when, where, and why.

At times, the public is able to openly observe and discuss abuse, but usually, only when it is evident in the extreme.  Banner headlines may scream a need to attend to what, for the most part remains hidden.  Neglect, Abuse Seen in 90, 000 Infants.  However, mostly Americans demonstrate their angst in manners identified as normal.  No one speaks of what is standard.  Perchance, the reason is, in the States reactive behaviors, which reveal annoyance, are so common as to be customary.

Daily, in periodicals we read of what we would wish to think is not traditional, but may be.  The accounts scream to us.  Citizens in this country think it outrageous when they realize.  In Chicago, youth violence is increasingly prevalent.  Twenty-two [22] students were slain in this heartland city so far this year.  Our fellow country men remark, ‘This sort of thing occurs only among ‘those people.’  Surely, the rest of us are sane and serene.  ‘The average American would not strike out in such a manner.’  People say, ‘Weaponry is for outlaws,’ or at least, mechanical arsenals are meant only to combat a political enemy.  Those who reside in the United States never imagine that “they” would use a gun in anger, or lash out when with a friend.  Few consider how frequently they attack those they say they are fond of.

When words are the weapon of choice, and blood is not spilled, most in this country think no harm is done.  War and wounds are what we see on the battlefields, and mostly abroad.  In this country, life is calm.

We read of skirmishes elsewhere daily.  Americans witness what occurs in the Persian Gulf.  Iraqi deaths are on the rise regardless of the Americans attempt to Surge and subvert the violence.  Now, that is awful.  Thankfully, this nation is not torn apart by war.

Few ponder the fact that these excessive examples illustrate and amplify what is apparent in American homes.  People pounce easily and often.  We cruelly criticize and intentionally drive a wedge between unions.  We conquer; and in America, we destroy.

In this country, enemies are thought to be around every corner.  We publicly rant and rage when we refer to people of another race or religion.  Privately, many are punitive towards those who reside in our homes.  When we look upon those the “commanders” consider beloved, we see differences, and ignore similarities.  He is wrong; I am right.  She is flawed.  “I am perfect.”  Spite is right.  Malice is might.  Vindictiveness is used to undermine viciousness.  In many American homes, tit for tat is the acceptable.

Those in authority, “Tsk, tsk,” the ones who they would wish to weaken.  Children are infrequently given information about the consequences of their choices.  Calm and complete communication is too often a rarity in our abodes.  Rather than work to create cohesive communities within a household, parents and their progeny dictate, and divide.

Adults learn their aggressive manners in childhood.  A slight from a toddler’s first teachers cuts to the core.  Terse comments, a tease, or a taunt directed at a teen does not simply slide off the back of one scarred by a lifetime of verbal slashes.  Adults do not deflect digs; some have merely learned how to present the appearance of being unaffected by an oral assault.  In truth, “Sticks and stone may break my bones, and names hurt me more than a physical attack might.”  Many may relate to a common event and decide this is not my business.

As I was leaving gym one morning, I overheard a mother berating her daughter for refusing to put her face in the water during a toddlers’ swim class.  “You’re such a little coward,” she told the sobbing child — who could not have been more than three years old.  “It’s the same every week.  You always make your daddy and me ashamed.  Sometimes I can’t believe you’re really my daughter.”

Although my stomach churned with rage on the child’s behalf, I said nothing.  After all, I rationalized, the mother would just tell me to mind my own business.  But I had no doubt that what I had witnessed was in many ways as bad as a brutal beating.  It was emotional child abuse.

“The bruises don’t show on the outside, so there are no statistics on how many children are victims,” says Dr. Elizabeth Watkins, chief of pediatric primary care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City.  “But anyone who works with children knows that the problem is widespread.”

University of Minnesota psychologist Byron Egeland, who has conducted extensive studies on parenting and early-childhood development, says the effects of emotional child abuse may be at least as devastating as those of physical abuse.  Research conducted by Egeland and his colleagues suggests that emotionally abused children suffer an even greater decline in mental and psychological development as they grow older than do physically abused children.

This abated state does not necessarily translate to an academic deficit.  Often times, persons who were beaten down emotionally excel in their physical and intellectual endeavors.  Countless adults, who were verbally assaulted as children, believe that the cruelty and callousness they endured, has made them stronger.  People in older bodies show no physical blemishes.  A mature member of society is not noticeably bruised or disfigured.  Most middle-aged grown-ups, those once exposed to such exploitation have learned to hide the scars.  Hurt hearts do not inhibit intellectual growth; nor do the effects of verbal and emotional injuries restrict achievements.  As a tot, a teen, or an individual in his or her golden years, a person harmed by words can thrive and triumph.  The attitude is, “I will show them!”  The thought that provokes our success is, “I will do well.  Then, they will [finally] love me.”

The truth is mean Mom’s and dismissive Dad’s do love their offspring.  They simply do not know how to show it.  Too often, we do as was done to us.  As adults, we become the people our parents were.  While we may have abhorred mother or father’s behavior, it is what we know.  We grow to be as those who taught us were.

At birth, we learn of what we despise most.  In our parents dwelling, as tots, we become acquainted with insults, invectives, and insolence.  The invisible barbs are experienced as a barrage of bullets; each pierces the flesh.  Mothers mock us.  Fathers jeer.  Brothers and sisters, bully.  In our earliest years, we begin to think of when and how we can leave the company of those who say they treasure us.  In time, as children we decide the best defense is a good offense.  Hence, we become equally odious, angry, and ambitious.  Often adults, who were verbally abused as children, when they speak of their parents, state, “They did the best they could.”  Indeed, perfectionist parents do what they believe is best, and they expect their progeny to do better.

In ambitious middle-class families, one of the most common forms of emotional abuse is the denigration of any achievement that falls short of perfection, such as when a child is punished for bringing home a B instead of an A. Jeree Pawl, director of the Infant-Parent Program at San Francisco General Hospital, observes that “perfectionist” parents may display irrational expectations.

After a time, Mom and Dad no longer need to express what they expect; children know what is necessary.  In fact, a young person will demand more of him or herself than either parent ever did.  In our youth, we become self-critical.  Our parents likely did not disparage us as well as we demean ourselves.  Each day, we improve.  We can deliver venom more vigorously than Mom or Dad ever did.  Persons, who were the victims of verbal mistreatment in their youth, inflict the same sarcastic and sardonic on them selves as they age.

The use of hurtful declarations becomes a habit.  Spoken stabs pull a person down.  Those not stated aloud do us in with greater force.  The voice within is perhaps more furious than the one separate from self.  Our self-assessments are as a cancerous virus.  Merciless messages kill.  Yet, no one notices the cause or effects of the illness.  Too many Americans share the symptoms; hence, the pain is standard.

Parental verbal abuse may wound children’s psyches so deeply that the effects remain apparent in young adulthood.  Such abuse may wreak psychological havoc greater than that caused by physical abuse.

With an M.B.A. degree under her belt, 24-year-old “Jaime” (not her real name) should have glowing job prospects in Chicago.  But she harbors memories that erode her self-confidence and make her bristle with anger-memories of her father shouting at her, during drunken rages, that she was ugly and of little value.

Indeed, verbal abuse during childhood can scar people deeply, a new study suggests.  It was headed by Martin Teicher, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.  Results were published in the June American Journal of Psychiatry.

Although the injurious effects of child physical and sexual abuse have been the subject of considerable inquiry, not much attention has been paid to the possibly noxious effects of verbal abuse on children.

People attend to what they see.  The battered hearts, the wounded souls are not visible to the eye; although the effects of these are apparent if we wish to see them.  Researchers studied and discovered what lies just beneath the surface.

People who were verbally abused had 1.6 times as many symptoms of depression and anxiety as those who had not been verbally abused and were twice as likely to have suffered a mood or anxiety disorder over their lifetime, according to psychology Professor Natalie Sachs-Ericsson, the study’s lead author.

“We must try to educate parents about the long-term effects of verbal abuse on their children,” Sachs-Ericsson said.  “The old saying about sticks and stones was wrong.  Names will forever hurt you.”

Moms and Dads wield words as weapons daily.  An innocent and sweet child may be saddened by what is said to them.  Frequently, a lad or a lass, who has come to expect the worse is fretful, frightened, or apprehensive when near those who vocally attack.  After a time, a child turned teen, may appear angry, as an adult resigned, acquiescent when with Mom or Dad.  Still, the pain seeps out.  It spills onto all the injured individual encounters.

The cycle starts subtly.  It is all so subterranean.  How often is a child told, “You need to take responsibility”?  Yet, how frequently does neither guardian seems to accept that they play a part in what occurred in their own lives.  After a night on the town, too much food, and an abundance of alcoholic beverages, Dad may bellow, “Stay out of my way today if you know what’s good for you.”  Then, as if to inform his brood, father would offer, “I’m in a bad mood.”  Daddy does not wish to be liable for his own limitations.  Thus, if he was under duress, or hassled, surely, someone else must be to blame.

It is a “me against the world” mentality.  Those who command and seek control, the power they did not feel they had in their youth, see themselves as separate from the others.  Hence, the great divide.

Mom may be no different from Dad.  This sweet, soft-spoken woman, a mother committed to her children often commented, “My life would have been perfect if it were not for you.”  She would then say, “Get out of my sight; you are a bad boy, a hateful, ungrateful girl.”  Then, moments later, Mommy would say how much she loved you, or I.  Life and love, as a child, and later as an adult can be caustic, chaotic, and troublesome, even if we emerge confidently.  Either parent can do the damage.  Both can build the barriers that teach one of the brood to be boldly brazen.

Weeks ago, Americans watched an esteemed achiever, a Presidential aspirant, vent wrathful words.  The statements  made echoed in every American household.  On television and radio airwaves we heard, “Shame on you. “It is time you (act in a manner) consistent with your messages in public.  That is what I expect from you.  (L)et’s have a debate about your tactics and your behavior  . . .”  Only days prior, we, as a nation, were moved by the magnanimous words, “(Y)ou know, no matter what happens in this contest — and I am honored, I am honored to be here with [the same person who was slammed two days later.] I am absolutely honored.”  Hours before the homage was delivered in a face-to-face encounter, the self-proclaimed “fighter” raged, she was ready. The person she humiliated after offering a sincere homage was not.  Then, in a fit of anger, this eloquent and accomplished adult exclaimed to her audience, “Let’s get real.”

On an occasion or two, the New York Senator states if she and her adversary worked as one, all dreams would come true.  Quickly, Hillary Rodham Clinton reminds us that the same individual who she thinks praiseworthy is incompetent.  He cannot command; nor is he qualified.  The waling wounded Clinton claims the man who might steal her win is but a “child.”  She demeans his experience while she exaggerates her own.  In a breath, the scared child, now a grown Senator, cries out.  The former First Lady, who continues to carry the weight of a world built on pain within her, tells us the man who angers her is eloquent, admirable, and yet, inadequate.

One day this wise woman is passive or polite; then in the next moment she is aggressive and antagonistic. As Hillary Clinton speaks of  Uniting the States,  creating a cohesive Democratic Party, she works to divide these entities.  She loves her country, her challenger, and her community; yet . . .

The push-pull of these love-hate relationships may remind us of what too many of us as children and adults experience in our family homes.  In the “United” States, division, derision, declarations that divide a union are natural.  Most accept the conventions that have been familiar throughout their lives.  Few are disturbed by the divisiveness a Presidential candidate puts forth.  Perchance, the American people relate.  Might we consider the climate that was the candidate’s childhood, her history, and the truth that fashioned her family?

The couple fought. In 1926, Dorothy’s father filed for divorce, claiming that his wife had hit him in the face and scratched him on three separate occasions, according to Cook County records.  In a March 1927 court hearing, Della Howell’s own sister accused her of abusing her husband and abandoning her two daughters.

“She had a violent temper and flew at him in a rage, and would fight him,” testified the sister, Frances Czeslawski.

Della Howell did not show up to contest the divorce — she could not be found by subpoena servers.  Dorothy’s father was given custody.  But, either unwilling or unable to take care of his daughters, he put them on the train to California, where his parents, Edwin Howell Sr. and Emma Howell, had moved a few years previously. . . .

The grandparents were ill-prepared to raise Dorothy and her sister, Isabelle.

Edwin Howell Sr. had emigrated from Wales. He worked as a machinist in an auto plant and as a laborer for the Alhambra street department, according to Alhambra city directories from the time. He mostly left the girls’ care to his wife.

Emma Howell was a strict woman who wore black Victorian dresses and discouraged visitors and parties.  Once, discovering that Dorothy had gone trick-or-treating on Halloween, she ordered her confined to her room for a year except for school.

“Her grandmother was a severe and arbitrary disciplinarian who berated her constantly, and her grandfather all but ignored her,” Clinton wrote. . .

“Once I asked my mother why she went back to Chicago,” Clinton wrote in “Living History.” The answer? “‘I’d hoped so hard that my mother would love me that I had to take the chance and find out,’ she told me. ‘When she didn’t, I had nowhere else to go.’

Too many of us can recall a time when we wanted to be appreciated, admired, accepted by those who brought us into the world, or taught us to be the best we could be.  Even when those we care for harm us, we still crave their adoration.  A child who feels less than cherished will try harder.  Humans will do whatever they believe they must do in hopes that someday, they will be treasured by their first teachers, the people they call family.

Hillary was the best student among her siblings, the one who took her parents’ lessons most seriously. . .

Hugh Rodham, unlike many other fathers of his era, raised his daughter to be ambitious.  When she brought home straight A’s, Rodham would say, “Well, Hillary, that must be an easy school you go to,” she [Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton] wrote. . .

Hugh Rodham took thrift to even greater heights than many survivors of the Depression. If Hillary, Hugh Jr., or Tony left the cap off the toothpaste, he would toss it out the window and send the child to search for it.  An allowance was out of the question. “I feed you, don’t I?” she remembers him saying.

Clinton speaks of her father admiringly, but  . . . no one disputes his gruffness. “He was character building, like our winters in Chicago,” Ebeling, Clinton’s best friend, said. . . .

He was “highly opinionated, to put it mildly,” [Hillary] Clinton wrote. “We all accommodated his pronouncements . . .

Hilary is as many warriors in society are.  She expects the electorate to tolerate her brusque, sometimes demeaning, statements, just as she accepted much of what her father said.  If the people wish to argue with the aspirant, as occasionally she did with her dear Dad, Clinton thinks that is fine.  After all, she is a fighter.  She knows how to win.  Just as Hugh Rodham did when he felt his children were uncontrollable, the dictatorial, decidedly aggressive decider known as Dad escalated the argument.  “You are with me or against me” is a common refrain among those who command cruelly.

Many progeny adapt to parents who can be punitive.  After a time, offspring learn, the boundaries that divide them are best when they remain as invisible, just as the wounds on the heart are.  Children convince themselves, they are strong.  They are in control.  As long as they go along to get along all will be well, and it will be, until the next emotional upheaval.  Even then, those who scream and demean will be fine, for what they experience is familiar.

I offer a personal anecdote, one that helped me to understand the divide that exists among us in America.  There are the “fighters” well-trained to battle, and the peacemakers, those who talk in tones that are more tranquil.

I realized this only in recent years.  A time ago, after I had lived on this glorious green Earth for more than three decades I thought I understood people.  I experienced much in my lifetime.  As a child, I settled in the suburbs, the city, and the country. In my earliest years may family had all the fineries. We were exceptionally wealthy. Then, there was the divorce.  My Mommy, new Daddy a sister, and I were extremely poor when I was in Elementary School.  Eventually we evolved into Middle Class.  I felt as though we were average.

At seventeen years of age, I declared my independence. I left home, lived on my own, and struggled to earn enough money to survive. I inhabited neighborhoods not thought to be safe.  My knowledge of life and it’s various styles, I believed was expansive.

Then, it occurred. I met a man.  Immediately, I knew I loved him.  I had never been easily impressed.  Romantic relationships were not part of my repertoire.  This person, I perceived as beyond special.  I admired him, and I intensely appreciated him.  This gentleman was brilliant.  He was very successful.  He smiled ever so warmly.  Until . . .  suddenly, he yelled.  The wrath was intended for me.  As Gary excitedly expressed his disgust, his face was flush.  His eyes and veins were bulging.  This cherished chap was agitated, accusatory, and exceptionally anxious.  To this day, I know not why.  I have asked.  Yet, an explanation was not forthcoming.

As Gary ranted and raged, I stood frozen, as a deer in headlights.  I was stunned.  In my whole life, no one had ever yelled at me, or so I thought, previous to that day.  There was one other occasion.

That narrative aside, as Gary and I stood face to face, as he screamed and shrieked, he articulated the assertion, “You are having a tantrum.”  I marveled. I am a calm person.  As a child, I was just as serene.  In my entire life, I did not recall being explosive.  As I observed Gary and listened to his words, I was uncertain which aspect of this encounter was more amazing to me, his conduct, or his contention.  After, the damn or dam broke, he seemed free of his agitation.  I was anxious, although still silent.  I knew not what to say or do.  What had I witnessed?  What did it mean?  How did I feel about it?

In time, I did learn as Hillary Clinton, and others whose hearts are hurt by words, do.  I could choose to tolerate the brusque and debasing language. I could choose to appease, to please, or to patronize.  However, I also understood no matter what I decided to do, there would be consequences.  There would always be a chasm between Gary and I.  I would never fully feel comfortable, for I did not know what might bring on another brutal belch of bitterness.

I walked on eggshells, and he, with all his hollering, hoped to secure the impression that he walked on water.  I came to discover that Gary had been challenged all his life.  His parents were the purveyors of agenda after agenda.  As a child he had felt as he now teaches others to feel, as though he was and is less than.  Gary was told too often, he was not good enough, smart enough; he was wrong.  If Gary received an excellent evaluation in class, he too was meet with the remark similar to the ones the New York Senator heard in her youth.   “Well, that subject is just too simple.”  “An “A” grade is not good enough.”

Dissect a heart.  Dismember a sweet spirit.  It is the American way, divide and conquer.  In a competitive society, where cruelty is common, most everyone will suffer, so that the few spoiled souls can feel, even if only for a moment, that they have succeeded.  Sadly, their triumph is our demise.

Gary, Hillary, and too many we encounter have become so familiar with belligerent behaviors they no longer think there are other ways to work with people.

I was raised in a family where no one yells.  To say I am jarred by loud aggressive rants is to understate what I feel.  For a time, I team-taught with an instructor deemed superior.  This person won District-wide awards.  I understood why when I assessed the curriculum this teacher originated.  Yet, this individual chastised students vociferously and with ample abandon.  When in a rage, this educator’s voice traveled throughout the building.  I literally jumped in fright on more than one occasion.

Even without the volume, this teacher’s words could cut like a knife.  When the venom was directed at me, I froze.  I am extremely sensitive to the lexis.  The phrases this instructor used were not part of my reality.  Our philosophies on life were disparate.  Yet, I truly enjoyed this individual when the conversation was amiable.  When jovial, the professor was a delight.  Indeed, this person often was happy and genuinely fun.

When a scream was heard through the walls, students and I would react.  Some smiled.  A few laughed nervously.  Others and I were startled.  We cringed.  When the world was again calm, quietly, throughout the room, discussions emerged.  The demeanor of this academic was the topic.  Talk of the teacher was approached tenderly.  As I listened, I learned.  If a person grows up in a home where one particular approach to life is normal, they learn to accept and appreciate that manner of expression.  People who were taught to expect verbal lashings, as Hillary Clinton noted, learn to accommodate or accept.

If cruel criticisms were common in a home; howls were considered to be a sign, someone cares, painful as that might be. Those never exposed to love that did not hurt could not imagine the possibility.  Tis a sad state in this union, when those we treasure most are the ones we whip to a pulp with words.  A country divided cannot stand.

Perchance it is time to truly discuss what divides America. Dollars and legal documents are not divisive.  Paper does not have the power to pull us apart.  Race cannot physically separate us.  In nature, every hue is a significant part of the whole.  Religion does not cause a rift between neighbors.  A philosophy can only teach us.  Principles do not reach into our souls and cause us to slice and dice.  It is we who control the chaos that drives a wedge between our brethren and we.

Might Americans come together at home and on every avenue?  From Wall Street to Main Street let us speak kindly to each other.  Let us teach the children well.  

Perhaps, it is time to tell those you share a life with that you revere them without reservations.  If we choose to use words that consistently show we care for those we love, perhaps, peace will have a chance.  If our words were to mirror our stated beliefs, possibly, money would have no power, color could do no harm, and religious principles would be evident in our every expression.  Please, imagine and work to give birth to what for too long was thought impossible.  Let us live in an America, united in more than name only.

Sources, Scars, Screams in a divided society . . .

Trinity United Church of Christ; Pastor Wright Homilies and Hope

Audacity To Hope Jeremiah Wright Part 1

Please review and reflect upon the inspirational text.  Wright’s Sermon – “The Audacity To Hope”

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning.

~ Barack Obama [Senator and Potential President] March 18, 2008

When we are separate, our experience is never equal.  African-Americans mingle among the many Anglos in this country.  However, individuals with dark-complexions do not fully unite or fit into a society that segregates by color.  While Americans have forcibly progressed beyond the laws that allowed for racial discrimination, the bias and bigotry that filled the hearts of many citizens in the United States for centuries still thrives.  While we muse, we love thy neighbor, we react to those whose race is not our own.

Americans claim they are Christian, inclusive.  Indeed, we are a Judeo-Christian nation.  Yet, Jews are still scorned in America, as are people of any color that is other than a pinkish white.  Amongst Caucasians, the habit of hate has been passed on for generations.  Yet, when those whose skin is pale, hear the words of a Black man, a Reverend, Jeremiah Wright, who has been wounded by racism for all the years of his life, speak of his distress, they react as though they had never uttered a racial epithet in their lives.

The most respected Americans, white in color proclaim, “I have never heard such vile derisive language in an Anglo church.”  “No preacher, pastor, priest, or rabbi would ever express him or herself in such a loathsome manner.”  Shocked Caucasians inquire as if to invite a shared criticism, “Is this what Black people believe?”  If reasons are presented for such resentment, the response from self-righteous lovers of G-d and man is, “African-Americans are bigoted!”  “How dare they.”  The pink persons declare, “In the House of the Lord only words of love are spoken, at least that is the way it is in white churches, temples, and synagogues.”

However, this may not be the case.  Hate is harbored on every avenue in America, even in places of worship.  As Barack Obama dared to remind us, on Sundays African-Americans and Anglos who reside in the United States are perhaps more divided than they are on any other day.  The pale persons pray with those whose skin tone is similar to their own.  When we look at only the surface, all whites may appear equal; and they are in the eyes of the Almighty.  Yet, as humans gaze upon each other, they see differences.

A white man or woman, whose gender preference is unlike those of the self-ordained “absolved of all “sins” congregation may experience discrimination even in death.

Church learns vet was gay, cancels memorial

Texas congregation acted out of principle, not malice, pastor says

Associated Press.  MSNBC

August 11, 2007

Arlington, Texas – A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navy veteran 24 hours before it was to start because the deceased was gay.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil Howard Sinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister, Kathleen Wright.  But after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors, she said, it was called off.

“It’s a slap in the face.  It’s like, ‘Oh, we’re sorry he died, but he’s gay so we can’t help you,”‘ she said Friday. . .

Simons said the church believes homosexuality is a sin, and it would have appeared to endorse that lifestyle if the service had been held there.

“We did decline to host the service – not based on hatred, not based on discrimination, but based on principle,” Simons told The Associated Press.  “Had we known it on the day they first spoke about it – yes, we would have declined then.  It’s not that we didn’t love the family.”

Love rears its ugly head in many odd ways.  Fondness, in the form of fury and foment, is found on film throughout cyberspace.  As the “average” American bears witness, people, pale in color, have become a community of contempt.  Condescension is what appears in the Judeo-Christian churches throughout the land of the free.  Americans, be they  Jewish, Mormon, Protestant or Christian are calm when they contemplate the G-d and the all that he creates.  People are polite in public; however, when they are in the comfort of their homes they express what they claim is never stated.  The proper and pink teach their progeny to believe as they do.

The Year In Hate, 2005

A 5% annual increase in hate groups in 2005 caps a remarkable rise of 33% over the five-year period that began in 2000.

By Mark Potok

Intelligence Report

Southern Poverty Law

Spring 2006

Fueled by belligerent tactics and publicity stunts, the number of hate groups operating in the United States rose from 762 in 2004 to 803 last year, capping an increase of fully 33% over the five years since 2000.

The expansion of hate groups last year, documented by the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, seemed to be helped along by aggressive maneuvers that landed them on front pages and in national news broadcasts.  The National Socialist Movement, for instance, repeatedly made national news with provocative attempts to march through black, inner-city neighborhoods.  Other groups rallied with increasing fervor and frequency, and even undertook sure-to-infuriate campaigns like “Operation Schoolyard,” an attempt in the 2004-2005 school year to distribute 100,000 free racist music CDs to schoolchildren . . .  A growing Internet presence also helped groups’ propaganda to flourish; there were 524 hate sites counted in 2005, up 12% from 468 in 2004.

Yes, whites individuals and groups do indoctrinate their young.  The practice amid the pink population is as odious as they believe it is among African-Americans.  Whites are as blackened by bigotry as their brethren may be.  

Sadly, too frequently when we look upon another we see only what appears on the surface.  Just as the oppressed of one color or creed voices words that may be defined as dishonorable, so too do those in the supposed superior sect.  Each of us errors.  We are all emotional beings, complex and never viewed completely.  New York Times Columnist, Nicholas D. Kristof, addressed this truth in his recent editorial, Obama and Race.  The articulate author writes of what goes on within the walls of Trintiy United Church of Christ, Chicago, Illinois.

Many well-meaning Americans perceive Mr. Wright as fundamentally a hate-monger who preaches antagonism toward whites.  But those who know his church say that is an unrecognizable caricature: He is a complex figure and sometimes a reckless speaker, but one of his central messages is not anti-white hostility but black self-reliance.

“The big thing for Wright is hope,” said Martin Marty, one of America’s foremost theologians, who has known the Rev. Wright for 35 years and attended many of his services. “You hear ‘hope, hope, hope.’ Lots of ordinary people are there, and they’re there not to blast the whites. They’re there to get hope.”

Professor Marty said that as a white person, he sticks out in the largely black congregation but is always greeted with warmth and hospitality. “It’s not anti-white,” he said. “I don’t know anybody who’s white who walks out of there not feeling affirmed.”

Mr. Wright has indeed made some outrageous statements. But he should be judged as well by his actions – including a vigorous effort to address poverty, ill health, injustice and AIDS in his ministry. Mr. Wright has been frightfully wrong on many topics, but he was right on poverty, civil rights and compassion for AIDS victims.

What should draw much more scrutiny in this campaign than any pastor’s sermons is the candidates’ positions on education, health care and poverty – and their ability to put those policies in place. Cutting off health care benefits for low-income children strikes me as much more offensive than any inflammatory sermon.

Indeed, what is an affront to a person affected by a policy or practice is barely observable to one who will never realize how a political promise or lack thereof can destroy the life of those they love.  When in an impoverished community people depend on the kindness of a culture such as the society Thomas Paine described, one in which the commonweal was more important than the needs of any individual.  The disenfranchised rely on the good will of people who believe in the Lord, practice as Jesus preached, “Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Yet, inside and outside of a religious house, mere mortal man fails to adhere to the principles preached from the pulpit.  We need only remember the plight of a sweet young child, a twelve year old, Deamonte Driver who died of a toothache Sunday, February 25, 2007.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren’t so hard to find.

If his mother hadn’t been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte’s own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George’s County boy died.

Few in a white American world can imagine such a situation.  Certainly, a Caucasian churchgoer does not subscribe to the belief a child must suffer.  No clergy would caste a little one to the wolves or ask them to endure the burden of a national budget disagreement.  An ordained Minister, Reverend, Pastor, Priest, or Rabbi, a Shaman would not will a poverty-stricken parent, people within an impoverished community, or those not yet empowered, to care for a child without adequate means to assist the young person.  That is unless the religious leader is part of the “Fellowship” or “Family,” who congregates in Washington District of Columbia or other Capitols throughout the globe.

The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God’s plan.

This group of world leaders, the affluent and comfortable from Congress to the Cabinet, from the White House to the wondrous world of power elite, accepts as part of their mission, that those whose pigmentation is darker, or persons deemed to be of lesser value may be left to die when they no longer serve the “masters.”  This theological order differs from some of the other organized religion.

The Family avoids the word Christian but worships Jesus, though not the Jesus who promised the earth to the “meek.” They believe that, in mass societies, it’s only the elites who matter, the political leaders who can build God’s “dominion” on earth.  Insofar as the Family has a consistent philosophy, it’s all about power — cultivating it, building it and networking it together into ever-stronger units, or “cells.”  “We work with power where we can,” Doug Coe [Fellowship leader] has said, and “build new power where we can’t.”


African-Americans rarely and barely have authority equal to those of Anglos in this nation.  “Affirmative Action,” a policy established to appease those embarrassed by the actions of their ancestors, is granted and taken away.  Caucasians complain of “reverse racism,” for few can comprehend.

[B]lacks have not simply been treated unfairly; they have been subjected first to decades of slavery, and then to decades of second-class citizenship, widespread legalized discrimination, economic persecution, educational deprivation, and cultural stigmatization. They have been bought, sold, killed, beaten, raped, excluded, exploited, shamed, and scorned for a very long time.  The word “unfair” is hardly an adequate description of their experience, and the belated gift of “fairness” in the form of a resolution no longer to discriminate against them legally is hardly an adequate remedy for the deep disadvantages that the prior discrimination has produced. When the deck is stacked against you in more ways than you can even count, it is small consolation to hear that you are now free to enter the game and take your chances.

Chances are opportunities will be scant and tentative at that.  Former Congresswoman and Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro reminds us of this.  For the Clinton cohort, and a former member of the Clinton Finance Committee, Barack Obama, and perhaps all Black Americans are “lucky” to be where they are today.  For Ferraro, another Anglo American who evidently cannot connect to the experience of being poor or purplish-brown in hue, being Black in this country is apparently an advantage.  Perchance, it is a privilege to suffer at the hands of those in power, the people who do not wish to speak of their work or worship.  We cannot know.  For unlike the scenes seen in volumes of video in the worldwide web or in news network libraries, there are no recordings of what occurs in “Fellowship” [Family] meetings.  The “cells” remain cloistered, just as the rich do.

[T]he prayer groups have become cherished sanctuaries for their members-providing respite, however brief, from the cacophony of political Washington. Speaking about a group is strongly discouraged, and what transpires at meetings is strictly off the record.

No one will know if these elite powerbrokers express their racial hatred aloud.  One can only determine what is true through the policies these persons enact.  They may say they prayer for equality; however, the laws introduced and passed frequently, further disenfranchise the poor and people of color.

There is much evidence, anecdotal as the Ferraro affair may be, and research analysis, to suggest Caucasians in this country find it difficult to relate to the circumstances of those whose skin is a darker color.  The predicament of people whose skin gleams a brownish-purplish hue is incomprehensible to those who do not suffer from the effects of racism.

A Jew can pass amongst gentiles.  An Asian can climb, albeit inch-by-inch.  Hispanics are hindered in their assent; yet, not in the way a Black man or woman is. An African-American is never fully free from the stereotypes.  On screen dramas, depict African-Americans as villains.  The nightly news amplifies this message.  The public presumes if a crime is committed, certainly the lawbreaker will be Black.  

Our language leads us to believe black is bad.  White is good.  From childhood on Americans are indoctrinated.  Slavery may have ended with the Emancipation Proclamation; however, African-Americans remained incarcerated in caricatures.

From the introduction of animated film in the early 1900s to the 1950s, ethnic humor was a staple of American-made cartoons. Yet, as Christopher Lehman shows in this revealing study, the depiction of African Americans in particular became so inextricably linked to the cartoon medium as to influence its evolution through those five decades. He argues that what is in many ways most distinctive about American animation reflects white animators’ visual interpretations of African American cultural expression.

The first American animators drew on popular black representations, many of which were caricatures rooted in the culture of southern slavery. During the 1920s, the advent of the sound-synchronized cartoon inspired animators to blend antebellum-era black stereotypes with the modern black cultural expressions of jazz musicians and Hollywood actors. When the film industry set out to desexualize movies through the imposition of the Hays Code in the early 1930s, it regulated the portrayal of African Americans largely by segregating black characters from others, especially white females. At the same time, animators found new ways to exploit the popularity of African American culture by creating animal characters like Bugs Bunny who exhibited characteristics associated with African Americans without being identifiably black.

By the 1950s, protests from civil rights activists and the growing popularity of white cartoon characters led animators away from much of the black representation on which they had built the medium.  Even so, animated films today continue to portray African American characters and culture, and not necessarily in a favorable light.

Perhaps, the portrayals burned into our brains, when we were toddlers, those heard in church, in homes, in movie theatres, and on televisions, helps to explain why Anglo Americans cannot imagine what it like to be Black in America.  Few Caucasians have experienced the pain of prejudice.  Pinkish people cannot comprehend what it feels like to consistently be a victim of avoidance.  An Anglo does not think that their mere appearance might threaten another.  White people walk down the street without a care.  No one crosses the boulevard in order to steer clear of them as happens frequently to a Black man or woman approaching from the other direction.

Anglos do not know what it feels like to be shunned, snubbed, or scorned because your skin is dark.  Caucasians cannot pretend to know how what some say is a tease is truly a threat.  When Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman smiled and suggested today’s young players should “lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley,” African-Americans did not laugh. A noose in the neighborhood can cause ones’ blood to curdle.  A word as vile as n*gg*r, does not cut to the core of a white man or woman who has never lost a loved-one to brutal aggressions based only on race.  There is much the white world does not realize or rationalize as they sit in their ivory churches.

To whites, for example, it has been shocking to hear Mr. Wright suggest that the AIDS virus was released as a deliberate government plot to kill black people.

That may be an absurd view in white circles, but a 1990 survey found that 30 percent of African-Americans believed this was at least plausible.

“That’s a real standard belief,” noted Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a political scientist at Princeton (and former member of Trinity church, when she lived in Chicago). “One of the things fascinating to me watching these responses to Jeremiah Wright is that white Americans find his beliefs so fringe or so extreme. When if you’ve spent time in black communities, they are not shared by everyone, but they are pretty common beliefs.”

This thought is not merely a personal opinion, research documents the truth of this assessment.  White Americans don’t truly comprehend racial disparities in our country.  Philip Mazzocco, co-author of the a study titled, Whites Underestimate the Costs of Being Black, and Assistant Professor of psychology at Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus states, “The costs of being black in our society are very well documented.”  “Blacks have significantly lower income and wealth, higher levels of poverty, and even shorter life spans, among many other disparities, compared to whites.”  Researcher Mazzocco avows, “white households average about $150,000 more wealth than the typical black family.” Overall, the total assets for an Anglo family are about five times greater than that of an African-American family.  The disparity seems a constant in American history.  The chasm has persisted for years.  Mazzocco said. . . .

“When white Americans find it within themselves to say ‘I must be compensated for a past injustice done to me’ but the same logic evaporates when the injustice concerns black Americans, they are staring straight at bias,” Banaji [co-author Mahzarin Banaji, the Cabot Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University] said.

What is good for thou, is not tolerable for thee.  Hypocrisy is a theme we know all too well.  We witness it here in America.  We hear charlatan expressions in our daily lives.  Is this not the concern Caucasians present, when they criticize Reverend Wright?

Opportunely, those who protest too much forget the numerous groups who hate in the name of G-d, or the “Family” formed amongst the elite.  Nonetheless, pinkish people preach; white worshipers never speak words of woe, or wrath.  The Judeo-Christian clergy, and the congregation, at least when in church, do not speak badly of their brethren.  If only Jesus had known.  The Son of the Holy Father may not have felt a need to warn the hypocrites.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

~ Matthew 7:1-5 RSV

Perhaps, our best teachers, those who see most clearly, understand the complexity that is humankind.  Perchance, a parishioner hears what is truly said.  One with love in his or her heart does not hear the gospel as a reason for grief.  He, or she, the commoners within a congregation may understand the clergyman in a manner consistent with the whole being that stands before them each and every Sunday.  It seems Kennise M Herring, an “average” disciple of Jeremiah Wright lives the lessons of the Lord more fully than those who gather in gentler, kinder  churches.

I am a member of Trinity United Church of Christ and have been for 17 years.  Interestingly, I’ve never seen Barack in church, which may simply speak to the fact that there are 3 sermons and our family attends a different service than the Obama family.

I was in attendance in the sermon after 9/11 that has been circulated.  Ironically, I felt soothed following that sermon.  I certainly remembered upon viewing the clips the infamous God Damn America comments, but that is not what stood out for me in that service.  At the start of the service, Reverend Wright spoke poignantly about his fears as he was in New York on that fateful day.  He spoke about the tremendous pain he observed, the evil and horror of the event and of his personal realization that he may never get to tell all of us how much he loved us.  He spoke of realizing that his life with his family was not guaranteed and that he could not take anything for granted.  He made a commitment to tell us at each service that he loved us and I experienced his words-I love you-simply and freely offered as real and soothing.

Yes-he spoke about policy matters and clearly used strong language but at the time, neither I or my three children or my husband found it the salient part of the talk.  Despite the strong rhetoric, I left church feeling that “there is a balm in Gilead.”  Reverend Wright delivered the eulogy at my aunt’s funeral and it is not hyperbole to say that I was more moved by his words than I have ever been at a funeral.  He was warm, compassionate, empathic, and genuinely sad for as he said repeatedly about my aunt, “this was not ordinary parishioner, this was my friend.”

Reverend Wright frequently chided those of us too constricted to freely experience the passion often evident in the sanctuary and suggested that we were too educated to show our love for Jesus.  I, being one of the more reserved-ok-constricted ones simply smiled for I longed for the kind of intimate, passionate relationship with God that he seems to have cultivated with God.

In finishing, I have seen this man on too many occasions do too much that is good and meaningful.  He is imperfect-he will tell you that in a minute but I am certain in my core that he is doing God’s work and he loves God’s children even if he is disgusted by their behavior at times.

There are two Americas and the one I occupy is often invisible.  How I wish that the peek inside my world had offered a fuller portrait of this man and not the caricature.

Might the Anglo individuals who dwell in the more visible America, assess their own passion, principles, and preachers.  Might Caucasians consider the hypocrisy that lives within them and their clergy.  Would white Americans be willing to judge one of their own people as harshly as they do Barack Obama or his Pastor, Reverend Wright?  

Would Anglo Americans condemn one of the most profound and powerful Senators, Presidential aspirant Hillary Rodham Clinton for her affiliation with the “Fellowship?”  Potential President Barack Obama “condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy.”  Yet, Hillary Rodham Clinton, an active participant of the “most elite cell” [their term]  says nothing of the fact that . . .

The Family takes credit for some of Clinton’s rightward legislative tendencies, including her support for a law guaranteeing “religious freedom” in the workplace, such as for pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions and police officers who refuse to guard abortion clinics.

The former First Lady, Caucasian Clinton may not have considered how these laws affect those in the Black community.  Certainly, one would imagine that the Senator, a scholar would understand that without birth control, abortions are more likely.  Perhaps, she, as most Anglo Americans is unfamiliar with a life that differs from her own.  

As an elite, among the “Family” Hillary Clinton may not have experienced the hurt that is an African-American’s life.  Those in Black neighborhoods have limited access to pharmacists and clinics.  The notion that African-Americans might shop around for someone to serve them is absurd.  We need only consider the availability of viable transportation, the cost to travel, and the ultimate truth, the quality of health care services.  Those whose complexion is dark in color remain separate and unequal in an America dominated by the affluent who are lighter in color and pray within a selective Fellowship.

Perchance, prosperous persons, members of the Family “cells,” people such as Senator Clinton, do not rant and rage as they reflect on racism.  They cannot; they do not relate.  These prominent individuals do not need to discuss their mediation which remains publicly unmentionable.  They to talk of prejudice or the policies they ratify in order to retain power.  Possibly, affluent Anglos and those who merely wish to appear proper do not need to speak of the strife that is their life in church, synagogues, or temples, for their situation does not compare.

For most Caucasians and for former First Lady Clinton, church conversations are yet to be called into question.  However, we might wonder, what if Senator Clinton’s religious beliefs, her practices, and her pastor are not subjects of scrutiny.  What if all Anglos were subject to such severe scrutiny?  Might the discussion help eliminate the disdain?  Could empathy be the cure for what ails America.  Barack Obama asked us to consider that possibility.  Yet, apparently the request is denied.

Churchgoers in the white community continue to think they do not speak of cruelties committed against them, few as these may be.  These pious people truly believe they live by the Golden Rule, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Sadly, it seems Anglos do not wish to discuss hypocrisy either.  Perhaps, those with paler complexions should.  From Americans reaction to the topic of racism, it is obvious, parishioners in pinkish neighborhoods still have much to learn of the Lord and the lessons he hoped to impart.

Audacity To Hope Jeremiah Wright Part 2


Please review and reflect upon the inspirational text. Wright’s Sermon – “The Audacity To Hope”

Sermons, Sources, A Search for Truth and Hope . . .

Shame on Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton. A Shame for Americans

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Shame seems to be the issue of the day.  The North America Free Trade Agreement is also among the topics discussed.  Health Care plans are reviewed.  As the Presidential campaigns progress, let us reflect, and recall why these matters move the media and the people.

It was a cold day in January.  The year 2007, after much debate and ample discussions, Hillary Rodham Clinton concluded the time was now.  The climate was ideal.  The former First Lady sat poised on a couch.  The colors in the room were warm.  A lamp placed behind the sofa was lit.  Sunlight streamed into the room.  Photographs of the family were visible on a table nearby.  Finally, the stage was set.  The New York Senator looked into the eyes of her visitors.  Gently she smiled.  Hillary Rodham Clinton opened her home and her heart to an American audience desirous of change.  The woman many had hoped would be the first woman President of the United States affirmed “I’m in.”

Hillary Clinton invited us all to join her in a conversation.  She mused, she had a feeling; it was going to be very interesting.  Indeed, it is.  Weeks ago, the candidate realized a deep dip in the contributions.  This drop in donations caused much clamor.  On February 21, 2008, during the Democratic Debate, First Lady Clinton offered her admiration to the man who appeared to be more prominent in the eyes of the people, Barack Obama.  Then, a mere forty-eight hours later Hillary Clinton attacked her adversary.  

The Senator from New York claimed, while in the crowd at an event in Cincinnati, Ohio, just days prior to that State’s primary, she was handed two mailers.  A brilliant woman, organized, and aware, ready to take on the responsibilities of the Oval Office the day she crosses the threshold, did not realize that ten days earlier, the Ohio Daily Blog published an essay which spoke of the brochures.  Jeff received his copies.  Yet, Hillary had not yet sampled hers.  

The experienced, professional politician fumed as she spoke, of the accounts.  As a mother scolding her child potential President Hillary Clinton shrieked, “Shame on you Barack Obama!”  The genteel First Lady pointed her finger and challenged her rival Senator Obama to “meet me in Ohio, and let’s have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.”

As Americans listen to the words of the woman we once thought would receive her just coronation into the White House, we are reminded, this political campaign has never truly been about issues.  Personality, popularity, electability, and the ability to connect to wealthy contributors have long been the focus among the candidates and by extension the electorate.  Voters are subject to the voice of those who speak of what is important to them personally.  We might recall the times a candidate or two expressed what is true.  For them, this campaign is personal, full of personal attacks.

A day later, the Clinton Camp announced they would engage in a calculated campaign of smear.  Conduct unbecoming a possible Commander-In-Chief, when named Barack Obama is quite befitting of a potential President Clinton.

In the robo-call voiced by Clinton, she said she wants to set the record straight.  “Sen. Obama has sent out attack mailers that distort my record on NAFTA, but I believe Ohio deserves the truth,” Clinton says, “NAFTA has hurt Ohio families and I have a plan to fix it.  My opponent does not.  I’ll appoint a Trade Prosecutor to enforce our trade agreements, and crackdown on China’s unfair trade practices.  I’ll eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and invest in creating good jobs right here in Ohio.”

The Clinton attack mailer cites press reports of Obama praising NAFTA and other trade deals.  “Don’t be fooled by Barack Obama.” [or Hillary Clinton?]

Might we take a moment to reflect.  Let us begin with the records.  The text of Barack Obama comments may enlighten us on the issue of tactics and behavior, the topics Hillary Clinton would like to discuss in an Ohio debate.  The background also offers insights.

(Alan Keyes wanted to withdraw completely from trade agreements.) “Keyes, the Republican nominee, said the United States should move away from negotiating multinational trade agreements, arguing the country can cut better deals by bargaining one-on-one and imposing tariffs on countries that undercut American farmers with cheap products. ‘Why is it in American economics that you say ‘tariffs’ and everybody thinks you cursed,’ Keyes said. ‘We need to make sure we get a fair deal.’ He also called for complete elimination of the inheritance taxes, as well as the income tax.

“But Democrat Obama said Keyes’ ideas could lead to trade wars that would harm farmers, who are always looking for new markets willing to buy American crops. He said the United State should continue to work with the World Trade Organization and pursue deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the country must be more aggressive about protecting American interests. ‘We don’t want to set off trade wars. What we want to make sure of is that our farmers are treated fairly,’ Obama said. ‘The problem in a lot of our trade agreements is that the administration tends to negotiate on behalf of multinational companies instead of workers and communities.'” (AP, 9/8/04)

Hillary Clinton took a stand on the North American Free Trade Agreement and has for years.  The Former First Lady spoke in support of her husband’s Bill’s legendary policy.

Clinton promoted her husband’s trade agenda for years, and friends say that she’s a free-trader at heart. “The simple fact is, nations with free-market systems do better,” she said in a 1997 speech to the Corporate Council on Africa. “Look around the globe: Those nations, which have lowered trade barriers, are prospering more than those that have not.”

Praise for Nafta

At the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she praised corporations for mounting “a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of Nafta.” She added: “It is certainly clear that we have not by any means finished the job that has begun.”

Clinton “is committed to free trade and to the growing role of the international economy,” said Steven Rattner, a Clinton fundraiser and co-founder of Quadrangle Group LLC, a New York buyout firm. “She would absolutely do the right thing as president.”

However, as Hillary Clinton herself reminds us, speeches are not solutions.  While at a General Motors plant, the Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton proposes, “That’s the difference between me and my opponent, I offer solutions. It’s one thing to get people excited.  I want to empower you to live your dreams so we can all go forward together.”

“Now, over the years, you’ve heard plenty of promises from plenty of people in plenty of speeches. And some of those speeches were probably pretty good. But speeches don’t put food on the table. Speeches don’t fill up your tank, or fill your prescription or do anything about that stack of bills that keeps you up at night.”  Only jobs and a stable income can keep Americans safe and secure; hence, the need for American policymakers to assess the North American Free Trade Agreement.  As Senator, Clinton could finally take actions that would rescind a policy that haunts her husband and his heritage.  Thus, she did or did not.  Please ponder the documentation.

  • Voted against CAFTA despite Bill Clinton’s pushing NAFTA. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted YES on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (Jul 2003)
  • Voted YES on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (Jul 2003)
  • Voted NO on extending free trade to Andean nations. (May 2002)
  • Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam. (Oct 2001)
  • Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules. (Sep 2001)
  • Rated 17% by CATO, indicating a pro-fair trade voting record. (Dec 2002)

What is a voter to think?  Hillary Clinton Biographer Carl Bernstein avows, Hillary Clinton’s economics, the ones she preached to her husband in the White House are much closer to John Edwards then you would think. She argued with Bill Clinton when she was First Lady, her husband, she said ‘Bill, you are doing Republican economics when you are doing NAFTA.’ She was against NAFTA.  Yet, as the author expresses in his own assessment of the candidate . . .

A new biography’s unflattering portrayal of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton as someone who “camouflages” her real self for political gain is starting to attract attention – and not for the salacious stories, most books recount about the Clintons.

“A Woman in Charge,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein, gives scant attention to the tense days the former First Lady spent in the White House when Bill Clinton was sneaking around with his intern, Monica Lewinsky. Instead, the former Washington Post reporter, who helped blow the lid off Watergate, attempts to portray Hillary Clinton as someone who is willing to rewrite her own history to advance the political career she put on hold when she moved to Arkansas with her college sweetheart who would later become president.

“This is a woman who led a camouflaged life and continues to,” Bernstein told TODAY host Matt Lauer on Friday in an exclusive interview. “This book takes away that camouflage.”

The Bernstein book, which the writer refers to as the first “real biography” of Hillary Clinton, is a recent edition. There is ample, additional information; Hillary Clinton was for, no against, the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA].  Hence, again, we can only do as Hillary advises; look at the votes for verification.  As we observe, duplicity and a commitment to convenience, seem apparent.

This inconsistent configuration is no less obvious in the banter and behavior of Barack Obama. The expressions of Barack Obama and the conduct of Hillary Clinton are, as the First Lady imagined them to be many months ago, interesting.  

Words are not separate from work, whether we speak of one candidate or the other.  Even constituents can be considered complex beings.  We have wants, needs, among these are Universal Health Care.  Barack Obama understood this on that cold frigid day in Springfield, Illinois.  In February, on the 10th day of the month, in the year 2007, Illinois Senator Barack Obama stood in front of the Old State Capitol building.   A throng of supporters frozen; yet full of fervor positioned themselves where they could best see the man they admired.

Dignified as he spoke Presidential hopeful Obama reminded Americans that more than a century ago, on these same steps, Abraham Lincoln called on a divided house to stand together.  Barack Obama stated that in Springfield, Illinois he learned that “common hopes and common dreams still” live.  Then, the man who speaks and writes of the audacity of hope offered . . .

I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States. . .

Let’s be the generation that finally tackles our health care crisis. We can control costs by focusing on prevention, by providing better treatment to the chronically ill, and using technology to cut the bureaucracy. Let’s be the generation that says right here, right now, that we will have universal health care in America by the end of the next president’s first term.

Yes, we can . . .  be the generation that declares we will provide medical coverage for one and for all.  Yet, Barack Obama is, as of yet unwilling to propose that we, the people be insured equally.  Senator Obama, has not worked towards Universal Health Care.  Indeed, he argues against it, and presents a proviso, the plan may changed if need be.

Like former senator John Edwards (N.C.), who outlined his health-care goals in February, Obama would pay for his plan, which could cost more than $50 billion, by increasing taxes for people earning more than $250,000 and reversing tax cuts that President Bush approved. Obama would require almost all employers to offer insurance to workers or face a tax penalty, an idea that many businesses abhor and that is also in Edwards’s proposal. This employer mandate drove much of the opposition to the Clinton plan in 1994.

Like Clinton, who in a speech last week laid out some of her health-care ideas, Obama is focused as much on reducing the costs for those who are insured as on expanding coverage to the estimated 45 million Americans who are not. He called for the federal government to pay part of the costs for patients with chronic illnesses, so that employers would not have to do so, but also emphasized the importance of preventive care. It is important to “listen to our wives when they tell us to stop smoking,” he said, referring to his own unhealthy habit.

Like many Democratic politicians, he blamed drug and health insurance companies for stopping the passage of more expansive health-care proposals.

The lack of new ideas in Obama’s health plan in part reflects his approach. He has emphasized his freshness as a rationale for his candidacy, but that freshness has been much more about his tone and his rhetoric about hope and bipartisanship than his policy proposals . . .

One concept that Obama’s plan does not include is a popular idea from both Democrats and Republicans who work on health-care issues: an “individual mandate” that would require every American to buy health insurance.  . . .

The Clinton and Edwards campaigns quickly criticized Obama for not offering a plan that would require insurance for all. ” . . .

Obama’s advisers argued that such a mandate is less important than adding subsidies and other ways to make health care more affordable.  . . .

“The key is not the mandate,” said David Cutler, an economics professor at Harvard, who advised Obama on the plan. “It’s the affordability and the accessibility.”

It seems Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, neither of whom offer a Single Payer, Not For Profit, Universal Health Care can tout as they do with credibility.  Each vocalizes, “I will be the people’s President.”  Yet, as the nation peruses the plans it remains evident, that if either of these aspirants [or the Republican rival] enters the Oval Office in 2009, all men will remain unequal.  Those who lost jobs to Free Trade agreements will likely remain unemployed or become underemployed.  Circumstances for the constituents will continue to be dire.  Millions of citizens will be unable to afford or access medical care at any cost, to say nothing of the twelve or more million migrants who go without health care.  Mailers be damned.  Shame on Barack Obama?  Shame on Hillary Clinton?  It is a shame that the people were never given a voice or entrée into the election.  

Dennis Kucinich, potential President of the people, a live-time Union member, the one person to actively propose an end to the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], the war in Iraq [remember that refrain?], and Single Payer, Not For Profit, Universal Health Care, I miss you.

Sources of Shame . . .

Clinton Speaks of Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Not of War

© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Dearest Hillary . . .

Your speech at the First Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama  moved me.  The words, as written are glorious.  I cried as I listened to the sentiments; “It matters.”  Yet, I am conflicted.  The issues you mentioned are important.  I trust you care for your countrymen and women.  Those of color are no less significant to you than their white counterparts are.  I believe you too work to defend the rights of the impoverished.  Still, I struggle.  I have done so for days.  I meant to share my thoughts with you alone, for Hillary, you were the object of my renewed realization.  However, finally, I recognized that I am not equating your contrary views to a personal biased bigotry.  I am speaking to all Americans that think combat cures all or any ills.  Thus, I publish this treatise, a letter to you, or perchance to all of us.  I offer possibilities, probabilities that we all might wish to contemplate.

If we are to improve conditions for every American, then we must acknowledge the war that you, and others endorse, an escalation of troops in Afghanistan, will likely not be possible.  Perchance we might ponder the purpose of war and the results reaped from all this fighting.  That discussion will wait for another writing.

We cannot claim to believe in equality when we understand the means for manning the military.  When war is thought to be an option, even our mission, we must consider whom we send into combat and why they are willing to go.  Admittedly, I believe war is never an alternative.  However, I accept that as long as others think combat is necessary, we must assess what we have created in order to fight our battles.  Who are the persons we send to war and why they are willing to go into combat.

I surmise, as long as we, as a society, maintain the structure we have, sending more soldiers into hostile campaigns promotes the discrimination we claim to disdain.  Please breathe deeply; I am not meaning to give rise to a defensive stance.  I only wish to express what seems contradictory to me.  Our beliefs are often altruistic; our actions are far less so.

Since early childhood I have wondered, why do we not send Heads-of-State to fight their own battles.  Possibly, these men [and women] are thought too frail.  Thus, I ask; why not send the offspring of government officials into combat, assuming the brood of such strident leaders boast as their parents do, “We must win in order to stay safe.”  I await that answer.

Until then, I inquire.  Hillary please help me understand.  Knowing that you [many] wish to increase the troop force in Afghanistan, please tell me, where might these soldiers come from?  Why would these strong souls be willing to go into battle recognizing that they are placing their lives and limbs in jeopardy?  Do these soldiers not understand that they matter? 

Perhaps, for them, patriotism is the guiding principle.  Might their nationalism be more central than their personal sacrifice?  I think at times such a construct may be valid; however, from my observations and discussions, particularly with Veterans, authentic altruism rarely involves putting ones life in danger.  Internal conflicts are characteristically more crucial.  Thus, I query.  What motivates the young to place themselves in precarious situations?

As I assess recruitment practices and why the youth enlist, I realize the reason your sermon spoke to me.  If we apply the principles that you and other warmongers state they devoutly believe, then we will have no working Army, Navy, or Marines.  Ignoring the problems of the poor, the Black, and the Hispanic populations allows us to grow an infantry.  Denying people their Civil Rights and Voting Rights supplies us with a an Armed Force. 

Our service men and women are typically underprivileged, impoverished, and disenfranchised.  Some are isolated, or in horrible life situations.  They are white and persons of color.  Skin color alone, can afford whites more rights.  However, money maximizes all possibilities.

Many of today’s recruits are financially strapped, with nearly half coming from lower-middle-class to poor households, according to new Pentagon data based on Zip codes and census estimates of mean household income.  Nearly two-thirds of Army recruits in 2004 came from counties in which median household income is below the U.S. median.

Such patterns are pronounced in such counties as Martinsville, Va., that supply the greatest number of enlistees in proportion to their youth populations.  All of the Army’s top 20 counties for recruiting had lower-than-national median incomes, 12 had higher poverty rates, and 16 were non-metropolitan, according to the National Priorities Project, a nonpartisan research group that analyzed 2004 recruiting data by Zip code.

“A lot of the high recruitment rates are in areas where there is not as much economic opportunity for young people,” said Anita Dancs, research director for the NPP, based in Northampton, Mass.

As you noted Hillary, those typically denied their rights are “the poor and people of color.”  Yet, you and I believe to our core, these people matter.  Still, current practices negate their significance.

Granted, during peacetime the military makeup more closely mirrors the population.  After an attack on our nation, when patriotic gestures are popular, the elite think to serve with the fighting troops.  However, these times are few and fleeting.

Hillary, as you so powerfully proclaimed, there is reason to question what is true for the Blacks, poor, and persons of color.  ‘It does matter’ or perchance not, depending on our priorities. 

I think we, as a nation, must consider as long as Heads-of-State send the young and poor to fight their battles, they will continue to preserve a population that is both physically burly and profoundly in need of financial assistance.  If the youth are academically deprived, all the better.  With little education, and hardly any funds, adolescents have fewer options.  The underprivileged are ripe for military careers.  In the Armed Forces, a teenager or college age adult can secure a reasonably prosperous professional position.

Senator Clinton, as you stated, we, as a country must address the reasons Afro-Americans are deprived of their rights.  We all know that people of color, are purposely prohibited from participating in elections.  Discrimination today differs; nevertheless, it still exists. 

Accurate and complete information is not shared with those that need it most.  What is given is often sent belatedly.  When pamphlets are delivered in a timely manner the facts are frequently and intentionally in error. 

Hillary, I concur.  Individuals are still turned away from the polls in America.  That is not “right.”  Afro-Americans and persons of color are more often the victims of what might be classified as a crime.  Disinformation also effects poor whites.  Although, disproportionately, Afro-Americans are affected.

The US civil rights commission was yesterday investigating allegations by the BBC’s Newsnight that thousands of mainly black voters in Florida were disenfranchised in the November election because of wholesale errors by a private data services company.

Information supplied by the company, Database Technologies (DBT), led to tens of thousands of Floridians being removed from the electoral roll on the grounds that they had felonies on their records.

However, a Guardian investigation in December confirmed by Newsnight found that the list was riddled with mistakes that led to thousands of voters – a disproportionate number of them black – being wrongly disenfranchised.

The scale of the errors, and their skewed effect on black, overwhelmingly Democratic voters, cost Al Gore thousands of votes in Florida in an election that George Bush won by just 537 votes.  Moreover the Florida state government, where Mr Bush’s brother Jeb is governor, did nothing to correct the errors, and may have encouraged them.

This causes me to ask what I believe remains a burning question; why must we repeatedly reinstate the Voter’s Rights Act?  Is there a reason that this law is periodically scheduled to sunset?  I query.  Why is this Bill so easily threatened?  Might voters be guaranteed their rights, always? 

Please tell me Hillary, or anyone; what ever happened to the idea that “all men are created equal?”  As a nation, we seem to be impressed with the words, and distressed with the possibility.  Senator Clinton, your own sermon calls this to mind again.  I appreciate your awareness and beg for your assistance.

Senator Clinton, please realize and tell others to place this in the forefronts of their minds, people of color are not only misinformed and under-represented during election season.  Daily they feel stuck.  Perchance, they are. 

Many live in the inner city, ghettos, and slums.  Schools in these neighborhoods are lacking.  Housing is poor.  Transportation is terrible.  Jobs close to home are nonexistent.  The availability and quality of careers in these locales is depressing.  Homicide is prevalent.  These communities are in chaos.  Too often, the streets are killing fields.  Reaching out and telling them you [we] understand is not enough.  They matter! 

The Blacks, Hispanics, people of various colors, and the poor are significant not because they fight our battles or because they can cast a ballot for a Presidential candidate such as you.  They are vital because they are people, equal to us all.  I think we must show them that we care each day, not only on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday or in an election year.

Our fellow countrymen and women must recognize that the right to vote is only one issue affecting the disenfranchised.  Poverty and loss of hope create an intolerable circumstance.  When joining the military merely means exchanging one battlefield for another, something is terribly wrong. 

Senator Clinton, I do not want those with less influence and means to feel as though they must serve the military master in order to survive.  I have no desire to see people perish needlessly at home, in Iraq, or in Afghanistan.  I do not think you do either.

You must know that Blacks [Hispanics, and others among the disadvantaged] feel forced to enlist in the Armed Forces.  The military will train them and pay them.  That matters! 

Only recently, as the death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan increase are the poor questioning the quality of life in the military service.  With the prospect of death looming large, they too are declining to join.  Perchance life matters more than a paycheck or schooling with strings attached.

I think we must be honest and ask ourselves, how long will we maintain the fallacy ‘military men and women are committed to a cause.’  Does any one really believe that war works to the benefit of those thrown into battle.  Will we ever avow, most soldiers subscribe in order to survive.

Hillary, the military that you and others so actively claim to support, cannot be the only viable means of income for our poor and alienated.  Yet, for many it is.  These persons cannot achieve as their Caucasian counterparts can.  Those with little, if any savings, need funds for a future education.  They are searching for something of value, something to hold on to.  The dominance of discrimination effects many decisions.

An Armed Forces filled with those of lesser means and far less opportunities causes me great distress.  I do not believe we in America have a volunteer Army, Navy, or Marine Corps.  We have brigades comprised of the neglected.  I trust that this concerns you Missus Clinton.

These men and women realize few rights; yet, they fight for yours, his, hers, and mine.  I often wonder; do the wealthy or well-off European descendents create an underclass to serve in their silly wars. 

When assessing that more and more of the underclass are unwilling to go to battle, I realize I am grateful that at least they have that choice.  Apparently, after witnessing what is in Afghanistan and Iraq, those that once sought solace in the military accept serving this country may not serve them well.

Hillary, as you stand before this mostly Black audience and claim to care, I wonder.  Do any of us demonstrate the concern we deeply feel?  Knowing what you [we] know, why would you [we] wish to escalate the troop level in Afghanistan or Iraq?  Please, help us to help ourselves; do not continue to exploit the unfortunate.  Let them live and vote.  Do not force the disadvantaged to meet their maker.  People of color need not pay for the sins of their white overseers.  People with few opportunities need not be cut down in their prime.  They matter!!!  These beings are more than future, fighting, or fallen soldiers.

Realize those service personnel who do not die are likely to be severely injured.  The chances are high that all will experience some physical, mental, or emotional impairment.  Please let us all be principled in our support of our troops.

Afro-Americans, Hispanics, and the disadvantaged matter not because they are potential or past soldiers.  They matter as all people do.  Veterans and civilians alike, matter.  Freedom and justice must prevail for all Americans. 

I offer this supposition; would there be war if everyone was granted the respect they give their nation. 

Fortunately for candidates such as you Senator Clinton, we will not know the answer to my question any time soon.  Change is exceedingly slow.  Those that are deprived of their Civil and Voting Rights will still be available to fight the war so many, too many candidates endorse.  Even those that do vote will not have the power they might.  In a culture where ‘follow the leader’ is thought fun or fruitful, few cast a ballot conscientiously.  Most follow the crowd.  How sad and how true.

Senator Clinton, next time you speak of equal rights, civil rights, and voting rights, please ponder what these would truly mean to citizens of this county.  If we honor civil rights for all, equally, the “military industrial complex” could not exist as it does.  Please enlighten others.  People, the poor, and those with plenty matter equally!

Rights, Wrongs, Civil Discourse References . . .

  • Civil and Constitutional Rights.  New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Clinton: Afghanistan Needs More Troops. The Associated Press.  Washington Post.  Tuesday, September 26, 2006; 10:17 PM
  • pdf Clinton: Afghanistan Needs More Troops.  The Associated Press.  Washington Post.  Tuesday, September 26, 2006; 10:17 PM
  • Youths in Rural U.S. Are Drawn To Military, Recruits’ Job Worries Outweigh War Fears, By Ann Scott Tyson.  Washington Post.?Friday, November 4, 2005; Page A01
  • pdf Youths in Rural U.S. Are Drawn To Military, Recruits’ Job Worries Outweigh War Fears, By Ann Scott Tyson.  Washington Post.?Friday, November 4, 2005; Page A01
  • Inquiry into new claims of poll abuses in Florida, By Julian Borger and Gregory Palast.
  • Block the Vote – By Paul Krugman.  October 15, 2004
  • America’s Military Population, By David R. Segal and Mady Wechsler Segal.  Population Reference Bureau. December 2004
  • Voter’s Rights Act?  United States Department of Justice.  Civil Rights Division?.  Voting Section
  • Voting Rights Act.  Renew.  Restore.  American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation
  • Civil rights.  LII / Legal Information Institute.
  • Voting Rights  LII / Legal Information Institute.
  • Army Recruitment Goals Endangered as Percent of African American Enlistees Declines, By David R. Segal and Mady Wechsler Segal.  Population Reference Bureau  November 2005
  • Service in Iraq: Just How Risky? By Samuel H. Preston and Emily Buzzell.  Washington Post. Saturday, August 26, 2006; Page A21
  • pdf Service in Iraq: Just How Risky? By Samuel H. Preston and Emily Buzzell.  Washington Post. Saturday, August 26, 2006; Page A21
  • Steady Drop in Black Army Recruits, Data Said to Reflect Views on Iraq War.  By Josh White.  Washington Post.?Wednesday, March 9, 2005; Page A01
  • pdf Steady Drop in Black Army Recruits, Data Said to Reflect Views on Iraq War.  By Josh White.  Washington Post.?Wednesday, March 9, 2005; Page A01
  • Bayh, Clinton Call for More Troops in Afghanistan. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. January 17, 2007
  • Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961