Obama Endorsed

In 2008, when we elected Barack Obama to the U.S. Presidency, I created this page to ask people “What does America mean to you?”  Although I received only a few responses, I continue to post this page with the trust that, eventually, people will answer this question.

I’m proud to say that my brother Carlton G. Cartwright, Founder and Executive Director of The Children’s Coalition, Inc. had the opportunity to videotape President Obama in West Palm Beach, FL

Be sure to see all of the videos – Parts 1-3.

Excerpt from The New Yorker’s Endorsement of President Obama:

In the realm of foreign policy, Obama came into office speaking the language of multilateralism and reconciliation—so much so that the Nobel Peace Prize committee, in an act as patronizing as it was premature, awarded him its laurels, in 2009. Obama was embarrassed by the award and recognized it for what it was: a rebuke to the Bush Administration. Still, the Norwegians were also getting at something more affirmative. Obama’s Cairo speech, that same year, tried to help heal some of the wounds not only of the Iraq War but, more generally, of Western colonialism in the Middle East. Speaking at Al Azhar University, Obama expressed regret that the West had used Muslim countries as pawns in the Cold War game of Risk. He spoke for the rights of women and against torture; he defended the legitimacy of the State of Israel while offering a straightforward assessment of the crucial issue of the Palestinians and their need for statehood, citing the “humiliations—large and small—that come with occupation.”

It was an edifying speech, but Obama was soon instructed in the limits of unilateral good will. Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Hu Jintao, and other autocrats hardened his spirit. Still, he proved a sophisticated and reliable diplomat and an effective Commander-in-Chief. He kept his promise to withdraw American troops from Iraq. He forbade torture. And he waged a far more forceful campaign against Al Qaeda than Bush had—a campaign that included the killing of Osama bin Laden. He negotiated—and won Senate approval of—a crucial strategic-arms deal with the Russians, slashing warheads and launchers on both sides and increasing the transparency of mutual inspections. In Afghanistan, he has set a reasonable course in an impossible situation.

[In contrast,] Mitt Romney has embraced the values and the priorities of a Republican Party that has grown increasingly reactionary and rigid in its social vision. It is a party dominated by those who despise government and see no value in public efforts aimed at ameliorating the immense and rapidly increasing inequalities in American society. A visitor to the F.D.R. Memorial, in Washington, is confronted by these words from Roosevelt’s second Inaugural Address, etched in stone: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have too little.” Romney and the leaders of the contemporary G.O.P. would consider this a call to class warfare. Their effort to disenfranchise poor, black, Hispanic, and student voters in many states deepens the impression that Romney’s remarks about the “forty-seven per cent” were a matter not of “inelegant” expression, as he later protested, but of genuine conviction.

If the keynote of Obama’s Administration has been public investment—whether in infrastructure, education, or health—the keynote of Romney’s candidacy has been private equity, a realm in which efficiency and profitability are the supreme values. As a business model, private equity has had a mixed record. As a political template, it is stunted in the extreme. Private equity is concerned with rewarding winners and punishing losers. But a democracy cannot lay off its failing citizens. It cannot be content to leave any of its citizens behind—and certainly not the forty-seven per cent whom Romney wishes to fire from the polity.

The Romney-Ryan ticket represents a constricted and backward-looking vision of America: the privatization of the public good. In contrast, the sort of public investment championed by Obama—and exemplified by both the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Affordable Care Act—takes to heart the old civil-rights motto “Lifting as we climb.” That effort cannot, by itself, reverse the rise of inequality that has been under way for at least three decades. But we’ve already seen the future that Romney represents, and it doesn’t work.

The re-election of Barack Obama is a matter of great urgency. Not only are we in broad agreement with his policy directions; we also see in him what is absent in Mitt Romney—a first-rate political temperament and a deep sense of fairness and integrity.

[Read entire article]

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“Summertime” – It’s Meaning

Too many women of every race sing the most well-known song from the opera “Porgy and Bess“,  “Summertime” with no understanding that George Gershwin wrote it for a BLACK WOMAN SLAVE holding a white child telling him/her that everything is gonna be alright cause ‘your daddy’s rich and your MAMA’S GOOD LOOKIN”, while she’s breast feeding this child and cannot even FEED her own chillun’ or her chillun’ have been sold to the plantation owner 100 miles away and she may never see them again.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow and there’s absolutely nothing to be done about it. What’s your opinion? And please don’t tell me to just let it go!!! It’s an abomination and I must express my disgust.

Watch this video.

Responses:

I’ll bet most people don’t know this.  I didn’t.  I tried to research it to put on my Facebook page to enlighten people but could not find anything about why DuBose Heyward wrote the lyrics.  If you have a reference send it to me so I can disseminate it to our Conductors for them to circulate.  We are so ignorant of our history and that is done deliberately on the part of whites.  I remember reading the book, Black History, Lost, Stolen or Strayed. White folks know that without knowledge of our history, we are at a disadvantage.

HB

In response to HB:

Dianne Reeves made a seething comment about this song in her rendition of it. I heard her sing it live in Montreux, Switzerland, in the 1990s. That’s when my mind was opened to the true meaning of the song.  In this video does it sound like she’s singing a lullabye? Certainly, her reference to Oshun, the Yoraba Orisha has NOTHING to do with Gershwin’s interpretation.

We have to make certain assumptions about the song “Summertime” written by George Gershwin for the Broadway play or opera “Porgy and Bess” with lyrics by DuBose Heyward. If it’s a lullabye sung by a black woman, during slavery time, or shortly thereafter, there is NO WAY she is singing about her own husband being RICH. She must be referring to a white child’s father. And, of course, “your Ma is good lookin'” written by a white man was not referring to a black woman because the standard for good looking women was, of course, a white woman.

Heyward’s inspiration for the lyrics was the southern folk spiritual-lullaby All My Trials, of which he had Clara sing a snippet in his playPorgy.[8][9] While in his own description, Gershwin did not use any previously composed spirituals in his opera, Summertime is often considered an adaptation of the Afro-American spiritual Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, which ended the play version ofPorgy.[9][10][11] Alternatively, the song has been proposed as an amalgamation of that spiritual and the South-Russian Yiddish lullabyPipi-pipipee.[12] The Ukrainian-Canadian composer and singer Alexis Kochan has suggested that some part of Gershwin’s inspiration may have come from having heard the Ukrainian lullaby, Oi Khodyt Son Kolo Vikon (A Dream Passes By The Windows) at a New York City performance by Oleksander Koshetz’s Ukrainian National Chorus in 1929 (or 1926). [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summertime_(song)]

Did you see this article about the opera?
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/Summertime-for-George-Gershwin.html?c=y&page=2

It is my contention that other people cannot tell MY story. Likewise, this reporter, Dan Sax, said “its depiction of black life by…white men” was met with “African-American opposition” (p. 2)
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I agree with you. I cringe when black women sing it without understanding the role. This particular version is not memorable. Maybe this is an issue you could take up from a point of view of history, and find a way to make it an area for discussion in the hopefully global atmosphere of your upcoming conference. You are an organization that deals with the history of women in the business..This is an extension of that history–and remember these other “races” singing this piece probably don’t even know that Gershwin left behind instructions that the role in the play must never be sung by anyone other than a black woman.  That may be a fragment of a fact–it could be that the entire cast has to be black–I’m not sure. In a workshop, that little detail you mention is a part of understanding what you should know in order to put the song ‘over’. I’m the wrong one to ask you to “let it go”. It’s part of the education process to discuss this with our younger sisters, and you do know two young black sisters brought “Porgy and Bess” back to Broadway just this past year, Susan Lori Parks and Dierdre Murray, playwright and musician,respectively. So the issue is timely.

BHB

To BHB:  Thanks for the words of enlightenment and encouragement. Truth is Light and it will set you FREE!

JC