As a person who voted for Obama once, who appreciates a bit of pomp and circumstance, I watched the president give his inauguration speech. My immediate response was this tweet “With great rhetoric comes great expectations @BarackObama I hope your pledge to promote peace, help our poor, clean our energy wasn’t hype”
When I learned that he was again using a bible used by Martin Luther King Jr. to be sworn in on I felt conflicted. MLK was (In my too young to have experienced him personally experience all about peace, non-violence, rising of the poor, equality, and following his soaring words with actions based on those words. That is why I celebrate his life.
President Obama has some of the same power for words. But I have been disappointed with his actions. My friend Nick Espinosa summed it up wonderfully minutes ago.
“I want a president who acts, not talks like MLK. I want a president who doesn’t
deport record numbers of immigrants every year but works to keep families
together, who makes the banks serve the people who bailed them out
instead of the other way around, who doesn’t bomb brown children around
the world with drones but works to broker peace, who cuts military aid to
countries committing war crimes and brings our troops home, who uses
that money to rebuild our communities and the social safety to make education,
healthcare and housing accessible to all, who puts an end to the rule over our
democracy of corporations whose profits have skyrocketed while our wages
stagnate. I want a president who serves the people, not the 1%.”
As People like Nick Espinosa do what they can to make the world a better place fighting is passion, his causes. He does great work with Occupy Homes MN trying to make a difference one home at a time.
I still hope for movement on the issues that Obama’s words profess he believes in. I hope that the we reestablish the rights of due process and free speech that have been attacked aggressively in the past 12 years.
I was also moved by what Cornel West had to say on the topic of Obama using the MLK bible and couldn’t agree more.
Symbolism and rhetoric are important They can move and motivate, create joy and also fear. Unless your lips are followed by your feet, they don’t lead anywhere. Lead Mr. President, Lead.