The Greatest Gift of All at Christmas and In the New Year

The greatest gift of all this Christmas was the emancipation of the human spirit, a present everyone can receive, but virtually no one can buy.

With plant closings, homeowner evictions and unemployment on a frightening rise, this Christmas was not just another celebration of the acquisition of more stuff. As we lost stuff— wages, stocks, houses – we were forced to see what else there is about ourselves that gives us meaning and purpose.

And when the euphoria fades from the election of our first Black President Barack Obama, we must still face those issues of self-hate and cultural rot that no one person in the White House can fix.

But for now at the highest level, virtue is making a comeback. For eight long years under George Bush we have seen how mega-lies, cronyism, unbridled greed, corruption have destroyed our economy, tarnished our image around the world and at the very worst cost the lives of thousands of our own soldiers and Iraqi civilians needlessly. Today with the election of President Obama we see the re-birth in the American character of the blessings of hard work, integrity and the pursuit of excellence as realities rather than storybook fantasies.

I see the torch passing, not just from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, to Barack Obama, but from our African slave ancestors to every living soul with a vision, a dream, a legacy to be built and to pass on.

I first noticed that foreigners were looking at African-Americans differently, perhaps as an extension or a reflection of a rejuvenated spirit, when I was touring Egypt this summer along with a group from the Howard University School of Divinity. Other tourists, not only from Africa, but European countries were smiling and waving at us calling us “Obamas,” which based on past experiences abroad I found surprising.

Now as the entire world looks at African-Americans differently because not only is one of our own the leader of the most powerful government on Earth but also the new face or symbol of a professional excellence and morality.

Nevertheless there is still a demand for a change in our culture to embrace this new global reality. The greatest gift we can give to our first Black President is to put forth our best efforts on all fronts: the best parents, the best students, the best politicians, and the best caretakers of our senior citizens.

For those who believe in miracles, there are a few more we need. Barack cannot fix all our problems; some solutions must come from above. For example, my Christmas wish is that a lightning bolt hits the Supreme Court building and knocks Justice Clarence Thomas to the floor, and miraculously revives him as a principled Black man. He continues to be an embarrassment.

The latest scandal is how Uncle Thomas took up the cause to deny Barack Obama his history-making presidency based on the stupid challenge that he was not a “natural born” American, which would forbid him from becoming president under the Constitution.

None other than Republican Alan Keyes, who had parachuted into Illinois to run against Obama for president, teamed up with Thomas to press the case even after other Justices ignored it. The argument was that since Obama was born in Hawaii and his father was a Kenyan national, Obama had dual citizenship at birth, which disqualified him from the presidency. Happily on December 8, the Court rejected the case. Only a lightning bolt from heaven could release Thomas of his inbred self-hatred, which he bitterly projects on other Blacks.

Second on my wish list that we can’t expect President Obama to fix is the obsession with thug culture. The spectacle of so many “credible” adults standing and applauding Lil Wayne at a recent BET event was typical of why so many of our young people are drugging, gang-banging and busting through the charts with HIV/AIDS.

Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (Lil Wayne) has a CD on the charts called, “The Lollipop.” While the lewd lyrics are too pornographic to be quoted here, I assure you the lollipop Little Wayne is encouraging our boys and girls to lick is not candy. Yet, respectable adults who appear to be in their right minds stand and cheer this pornographic rapper with his pants down showing his underwear.

Lil Wayne, who is up for several Grammy awards, is a hero to many young people partly because of his thug credentials, which includes several arrests for possession of drugs and guns.

The rappers and the thug culture are creating a homicidal environment for our young people as more Blacks die in Black-on- Black violence than soldiers killed in a declared war in Iraq. Again, as HIV is pandemic in our community, those who sing about rampant sex are cheered instead of denounced.

If we can elect a Black president surely we can achieve the next miracle of creating a culture where a Supreme Court Justice to a pornographic rapper can stop projecting values that kill and destroy.

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