Last Wednesday, I was sitting on the train, minding my own business and working on my laptop for an upcoming Politichicks.tv article. I was headed back home from the Capital building in D.C. I had the opportunity to attend a legislative briefing and I was eager to write down my notes on the topic of the briefing: Iran and Syria. It just so happened this day was also the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream speech”. President Obama was speaking that day along with a host of other people honoring that historic day.
I felt a little optimistic. Even though I didn’t have the chance to head down to the Lincoln Memorial that day for the festivities and speeches, I felt honored to just be able to be a part of a place that held a historic significance in our nation’s history.
Then all of the sudden a woman in front of me on the train took off her ear phones and loudly turned on her IPad so that everyone sitting near her could hear the President’s speech. It was loud and I was working and another gentlemen next to me was working as well. The man behind me was trying to rest. It was obvious she wanted everyone around her to hear this speech. The man that was trying to nap very nicely walked up and asked her if she could put her earphones back on. She replied, “You need to listen to this speech. You may not like the President but you need to respect the office of this President.” Several of us replied that it was not about the speech but about the fact that we were working and trying to concentrate, rest, relax…She again replied (much more dramatically), “You need to respect this President and hear what he has to say.”
She eventually put on her earphones and everyone stayed calm and collected and went back to their personal business. However, I began to realize that I just witnessed a perfect example of the legacy of this current administration and President Obama.
I didn’t vote for Obama (twice) and I disagree with his politics on almost every aspect. However, I felt patriotic that day. I felt honored that this country has made great strides in the civil rights movement from the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. as well as others. I can celebrate the fact that our country has the first black President even though I disagree with the political stance he holds.
The lady on the train changed my optimism. She reminded me of what happens when a President subjects his racial worldview on a population of people who have different beliefs, backgrounds and political opinions. She showed an arrogance that I have also witnessed from this President and his administration. A leadership that is more outspoken in regards to racially motivated events like the death of Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman trial than in speaking out against real world issues like the dangerous Islamic regime in Tehran. A leader who has yet to propose a solution to our increasing economic debt or answering the ongoing question of what happened to those Americans who died in Benghazi. An administration that refuses to act as a leader of the free world but instead feels the obligation of being a racial community organizer.
So to now answer that woman’s stance. I do respect the office of the President of the United States. I believe in that position as defined by our Constitution. However, respect has to be earned and all I am witnessing around me is a country so politically and racially divided that I barely recognize it anymore. Where a woman will try and force a speech upon a group of people based on the color of their skin without even knowing the content of their character. A nation with a President so focused on fundamental “change” that it is now beginning to diminish everything Martin Luther King Jr. so valiantly fought for- Racial Unity!
Will this be the legacy of our first black President?