Day: July 13, 2013

Condolences To The Family Of Trayvon Martin: Racial Justice Has A Long Road To Travel!

The decision of the jury in the George Zimmerman Trial in Sanford, Florida, finding him not guilty in the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, is a tragedy of major proportions, and my condolences to the family of Martin, who will not see racial justice in his death!

There is no question that racial profiling was part of the mindset of George Zimmerman, and that IF Trayvon Martin had been white, this tragedy would not have happened!

So as this author said just yesterday, any young black male from age 14 to 35 is an endangered species, and any one who has a racist intent can feel free to shoot and kill such a person and claim self defense!

So it means that every black parent has to live in constant fear of the demise of their sons because we have a crazy system which allows the use of firearms by people who should not have such firearms, and with the recognition that fifty years after the March on Washington, racial justice still has a long road to travel!

Just because we have a black President does not mean that the fight for racial justice, racial equality, and equal treatment under the law has been won, far from it! It is clear that battle will continue long into the future, but this is not the time to despair, but instead to regroup and organize for the struggle ahead for all decent people in this nation!

The Kennedy Half Century Began 53 Years Ago Today!

On this day in 1960, John F. Kennedy was nominated for President by the Democratic Party at their national convention in Los Angeles. He went on to a very tight and much debated close victory over Richard Nixon, including widely accepted accusations that his election was fixed in Chicago by Mayor Richard J. Daley!

Kennedy’s impact on the nation was massive, and made greater by the fact that he was assassinated, and even though we learned about his controversial sex life in the White House, and he has faced growing criticism on his policies and actions in office as the years have gone by, it is still a reality that he is adored by vast numbers of the American people, and made out to be an icon!

His brother, Robert Kennedy, was also martyred after a controversial career as Attorney General under his brother, a short Senate career, and his assassination while seeking the Presidency in 1968 to finish the work of his brother.

And then, there was Ted Kennedy, the youngest brother, who was first seen as a lightweight in the Senate, had the scandalous Chappaquiddick incident in which a woman died in his car as it was being driven by a drunk Kennedy, and was totally defeated in his later attempt to take the 1980 Presidential nomination of his party away from President Jimmy Carter.

But Kennedy went on to a distinguished, record setting career of 47 and a half years in the Senate, honored as the “Lion” of the Senate, and regarded as one of the greatest Senate giants in its more than two century history as an institution.

And then there was Joseph Kennedy II, son of Robert Kennedy, who served in the US House of Representatives from Massachusetts for 12 years; Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted, who served in the House from Rhode Island for 16 years; and now Joseph Kennedy III, grandson of Robert Kennedy and son of former Congressman Joe, who serves in the House of Representatives from Massachusetts since the beginning of this year.

And there have been other Kennedys or Kennedy relatives who have been in public office, including Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, daughter of Robert Kennedy, who served as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland; and JFK brother in law Sargant Shriver, who headed the Peace Corps, the War On Poverty, and was Ambassador to France.

So the Kennedy half century of influence is marked today by the JFK nomination for President in 1960, and it continues in politics and in history!

Howard Dean’s Statement About Generational Differences Of Presidents We Elect Brings Up Interesting Point About 2016!

Former Vermont Governor, 2004 Presidential competitor, and Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean was on MORNING JOE yesterday, and brought up an interesting point about generational differences of Presidents we elect to the Oval Office.

Dean said it is highly unlikely that we will see Hillary Clinton have no competition for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, because for the nation to go back a generation in birth from one President to the next is unusual—in this case to go back to a “Baby Boomer” born in the late 1940s after electing a President born in the early 1960s. Therefore, Dean states that he believed someone born closer to the birth year of Barack Obama would be more likely to be the nominee, a person such as Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley or New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as examples–with O’Malley one and a half years younger than Obama and Cuomo three and a half years older than Obama.

So Dean has brought up the age issue, just as Republicans have, with their numerous potential candidates in their 40s and early 50s–including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, and Rand Paul among others.

This statement by Dean caused this author to check out how often has America elected a President much younger than his predecessor, and has uncovered the following:

William Henry Harrison—nearly ten years older than Martin Van Buren
Zachary Taylor—eleven years older than James K. Polk
James Buchanan—thirteen and a half years older than Franklin Pierce
Ronald Reagan—thirteen and a half years older than Jimmy Carter

A few other Presidents have been a few years older than their predecessor, but these are the only four cases of “generational” differences of Presidents we elect, although not precisely a “generation”, which is described as twenty years.

If Hillary Clinton was elected, she would be nearly 14 years older than Barack Obama, more difference than even Buchanan or Reagan from their predecessors.

If Joe Biden was elected, he would be nearly 19 years older than Barack Obama, the greatest difference between two Presidents in American history, and literally a “generation”!

This is food for thought, and realize that Harrison and Taylor were elected for their war exploits as generals, and all the cases mentioned above were before the Civil War, more than a century and a half ago, with the one exception of Ronald Reagan.

The question is whether, and said in irony, is either Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden another Ronald Reagan? Again, this is said with tongue in cheek by a writer who has never been a big fan of Ronald Reagan!