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Amazing Grace

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, June 27th, 2015 - 99 comments
Categories: human rights, obama, racism, religion, vision - Tags: , , ,

 

“Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group. The light of love that shone as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle.

The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court, in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness.

He couldn’t imagine that.”

The full eulogy can be found here.

As the Obama presidency enters its final years, we can look back on a leadership frustrated by Republican opposition to progress in the House and Senate, but which has made health care affordable for the working poor for the first time. A leadership that couldn’t shift the prejudice and bias against marriage equality in Washington, but still oversaw the greatest step forward for the American LGBT community just this morning. Can Barack Obama shift the narrative in America about guns in his remaining months? Here’s hoping.

If he can achieve a change in the mindset of the American people and move them away from accepting death by gun as a normal part of living in the USA, then Barack Obama will leave a legacy that can only be matched by the brutally curtailed promise of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Obama has little over a year to make the greatest change of all; a country no longer held hostage at gunpoint.

99 comments on “Amazing Grace ”

  1. ianmac 1

    What a great aspiration to change the gun mindset. What a great legacy for Obama should he succeed. Our Mr Key will have the equivalent as “changing the flag.” What a great man!

  2. b waghorn 2

    One wonders that if the next democratic candidate made gun control one of there main policies how they would go. You would think more people are sick of kids and innocents being slaughtered then foolishly think more guns are the answer.

    • I think there’s a good chance Hillary Clinton will run with it. The NRA already hate her, so she wouldn’t lose anything by taking them on and there are a lot of votes to be gained by championing the parents who have had to bury their children early.

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        Do you remember Newtown CT ?

        26 people killed , including 20 children. In spite of Obama’s pleas nothing has happened since then.

        Children in their classroom.

        Church goers in their own Church.

        Honestly they are all mad, and regrettably no votes in taking on the gun lobby.

        there are thousands killed by guns each year, mostly members of their own families.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          26 people killed , including 20 children. In spite of Obama’s pleas nothing has happened since then.

          “Obama’s pleas”

          Obama never spent any serious political capital on the issue of gun control. Mainly because he spent it all on Obama care. And also on getting the TPPA passed.

        • adam 2.1.1.2

          Newtown was it – I realised the gun debate was lost, when the yanks thought it was OK for kids to die.

          Move on, to other battles I say – they just will not be moved on that one. *sigh*

  3. red-blooded 3

    Obama has always been articulate and had a gift for creating an emotional bond with his audience. I also think he’s genuine in his grief and frustration and admiration for the families of the dead. Don’t let’s forget the other elements of his presidency, though: ongoing wars, drones, intrusive spying, the secrecy of the TPPA… He’s had good intentions in many areas and managed to achieve some of his goals in the face of implacable opposition, but he’s no angel and we shouldn’t deify him.
    It would be hugely uplifting to see a real attempt to shift the dreadful attitudes and ridiculous policies about guns in the U.S. I hope Clinton (or someone else) is brave enough to take it on.

  4. joe90 4

    Can Barack Obama shift the narrative in America about guns in his remaining months?

    Probably not.

    From 2010 through 2012, the annual rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans was 2.5 per 100,000 persons, meaning that about one in every 40,000 white Americans is a homicide victim each year. By comparison, the rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic black Americans is 19.4 per 100,000 persons, or about 1 in 5,000 people per year.

    Black Americans are almost eight times as likely as white ones to be homicide victims, in other words.

    So for white Americans, the homicide death rate is not so much of an outlier. It’s only modestly higher than in Finland, Belgium or Greece, for instance, and lower than in Chile or Latvia.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/black-americans-are-killed-at-12-times-the-rate-of-people-in-other-developed-countries/

  5. Richard Christie 6

    Obama has little over a year to make the greatest change of all; a country no longer held hostage at gunpoint.

    Way off target.

    Climate change. Climate change. Climate change.

  6. Colonial Viper 7

    Is this the same Obama who has greenlit drone strikes killing thousands of civilians, including children.

    • adam 7.1

      My favourite irony that one.

      Remember the old refrain – only an idiot would bring a knife to a gunfight?

      For the 21st century we can now put it as – only an idiot would bring a gun to a drone fight.

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        A drone “fight”? In what way have the victims of Obama’s drone assassinations been “fighting”?

        • adam 7.1.1.1

          They have not been, and that’s the point!

          If the hundreds of people who were armed stood no chance against a drone strike – what, if anything, do the 2nd amendment worshipers have?

          Leaving aside the thousands who were unarmed, and murdered by these new terror weapons.

          The state now has a almost limitless way with which to kill you, and it can pretty much do it remotely as well. So if you think having a few guns will solve anything – you’re not keeping up with miltech.

  7. joe90 8

    This has sent the wingnuts a winging.

    Shaun King
    ‏@ShaunKing

    Let me break a few hearts and tell you where President Obama learned to deliver that eulogy.

    That was quintessential Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/614516295472537600

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      Yeah, and Obama ain’t no Jeremiah Wright.

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        Obama ain’t no Jeremiah Wright

        He sure ain’t. And he ain’t no Nelson Mandela and he ain’t no Martin Luther King neither. And as his tone-deaf hymn-singing in Charleston demonstated all too painfully, he ain’t no Marvin Gaye neither.

        I find his antics utterly repellent.

        • Sable 8.1.1.1

          +1 Morrissey. Obama is a an utterly repellent individual, even his own party are split thanks to his TPP antics and more besides. I’m surprised he did not join the Republicans, its where he belongs in my opinion….

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.1.1

            both the democrats and the republicans are corporate led, corporate paid political parties. The Republicans have a more insane, reactionary edge to them, that is true.

  8. Sable 9

    The little creep is too busy trying to impose economic imperialism in the form of the TPP deals (started by the delightful George Bush no less) to give two hoots about anything else.

    Heck if he really cared about gun control he’s already had ample time to do something, anything, about it….. Not to mention armed police brutality in the US, particularly towards black people, which if pretty much universal….

  9. Michael 10

    I would love to see Obama pass gun control but he has tried and it hasn’t worked. The NRA is too powerful and controls nearly every Republican congressman/woman. And the GOP holds a majority in both the house and senate. So it is impossible to pass, unless Obama got it somehow by allowing the Republicans to have the Keystone XL oil pipeline which he has promised to veto.

    Hopefully there will be another Democrat in the whitehouse in 2016 and Democratic majorities in Congress.

    • Sable 10.1

      I personally do not believe Obama wants gun control. The arms industry in the US is a major sponsor of both of the main political parties.

      Just look at the manufactured crisis in the Ukraine, its all about making money off war, in other words arms and weapon sales.

      Oh and if you think Hillary is a nice person just take a look at what she and good old Bill did to reduce global warming. Doco “Who Killled the Electric Car”. A real eye opener….

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1

        Yep stationing hundreds of US made heavy weapons and tanks etc in Eastern Europe = $$$ for the Military-Industrial-Security-Congressional-Complex

      • That’s little unfair. Obama is clearly upset at how often he has to make speeches about this issue and depressed about the lack of change. It’s really mean-spirited to say this is an issue he doesn’t care about.

        The issue is that not even mass-murder can reach people who the NRA have convinced that reasonable gun legislation is an attempt to confiscate ALL of their guns and the first step to a tyrannical government. Obama can’t move them on his own, he needs help from the Senate and from Congress, which frankly he isn’t going to get.

  10. Ian 11

    SIGH – I wish you were tight Te Reo but it ain’t gonna happen. I lived in a major US city for 20 years (until quite recently) and any change in attitude and effective action on ‘gun control’ will (and has been) a long grind. Its impossible for most people who have not lived there to even begin to grasp the collective American mindset when it comes to guns. Even if America begins to think about things differently, the amount of capital tied up in the gun industry and the political clout of the ‘gun lobby’ is huge.

    Since 9/11 there have been more killed by acts of domestic terrorism (mass shootings), than by Jihadists or other external threats and yet almost no politician has made a serious attempt to address it because politically, it s a loser.

    So if Obama can make headway on this issue it truly will be an act of Amazing Grace.

    Now, about the TPPA he’s so keen to push through….

  11. Kevin 12

    For those that don’t know Amazing Grace was written by an ex-slaver.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      So you approve of slavery then.

      Kevin approves of slavery, so he will do anything to attack those who don’t.

      That’s what I’m getting from your fatuous drivel, Kevin. Perhaps you need to explain yourself more clearly. So that everyone can see what you are.

      • Richard Christie 12.1.1

        I assume ex– slaver implies that the composer of the song at some stage saw the error of his/her ways.

        • McFlock 12.1.1.1

          Indeed he did.

          “It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.”
          Worked with William Wilberforce to try to end slave trade in UK law.

      • mac1 12.1.2

        There is a whole layer of meaning which derives from Obama’s use of this song for his closing waiata, his sung expression of what he intended to say.

        If an ex-slaver can seek and receive redemption after changing his murderous and reprehensible past behaviour, so too can America change from its similar past. It too can now be ‘found’ and ‘see’ in terms of racism, gun terror and clinging to symbols of division and hate.

        It’s a song of hope and a song of inspired change of heart, most apt for Obama’s message.

        As an edited afterthought there is a beauty in the choice of this song. Amazing Grace has been adopted by the Black civil rights movements, and when Black persons sing it, they thereby sing about their need for divinely inspired change of heart from sinful ways, sinful ways that in the song were directed specifically at Blacks.

        • Kevin 12.1.2.1

          It is IMHO the greatest song ever written.

          • mac1 12.1.2.1.1

            Did it just the once in a concert with lap steel dobro for a man in the audience who had once told me the story of the song. For me it has another overlay of friendship, as well.

            Music has just such a way to touch the human heart. This song does that.

      • greywarshark 12.1.3

        Why attack each other for the sake of it? OAB you don’t have to critique everything you read. A statement by Kevin that Amazing Grace is from an ex slaver is a fact and a matter of interest. Why OAB should use that to criticise him is an exercise of negativity. When time spent on that could result in longer comments to inform us. But I suppose this will be said to be fatuous drivel.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.3.1

          I responded in a manner that I think best suits Kevin’s comment history.

          • greywarshark 12.1.3.1.1

            OAB
            OK then. Some RW people have a twist to everything they say I know.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 13

    The Americans keep millions of black and coloured slaves in prison who generate daily profit for private corporations.

    • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.1

      Why do you hate America so much? Don’t you like freedom?

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        5% of the worlds population, 25% of the worlds prison population, what part of that spells “freedom” to you?

        • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.1.1.1

          Do you, or do you not like freedom? Answer the question.

          • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1.1.1

            Did you notice how Rumsfeld claimed that Iraqis would welcome American soldiers as liberators bringing “freedom” and would greet US troops with flowers and gifts?

            I wonder how Iraqis are loving the actual reality of that American style “Freedom” now.

            No mate, you answer the question, what part of having 4 million people mainly Blacks and Coloureds in prison, spells “freedom” to you?

            • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Why do you hate America? All countries do bad things. Deal with it.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Did you notice how over the decades, the US had a major hand in destroying many democratic governments around the world – Iran, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Chile; and very recently in Ukraine. It also contributed to the operations of death and torture squads in some of these countries as well as in other countries like El Salvador and Iraq.

                So what’s that about “Freedom” you were saying?

                • Heartbleeding Liberal

                  Given that you have just been caught fabricating your evidence, you no longer have the privilege of making claims without citations. Come back once you have some.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Hmmmmm, I accurately communicated the gist of the situation. I am always open to you providing clarifications and comment if you believe that more detail needs to be added. LOL

                    By the way, what do you think of claims that Gen Patreous and Col Steele fired up a deadly sectarian death squad killing spree in Iraq as a strategy to take pressure off US troops there in 2003-2005? Freedom?

                    • No, you didn’t accurately communicate anything other than the fact that you like to shoot your mouth off about stuff of which you are profoundly ignorant. So no change there …

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Just keep humming Amazing Grace and praising Obama and all will be OK

              • greywarshark

                Bleeding Liberal
                Why do you love America?
                And answer this question.

            • te reo putake 13.1.1.1.1.2

              CV, try and keep to actual facts. Rumsfeld never said what you claim he did and the prison population in the States is a little over 2 million, of which just over half are black or hispanic.

              And don’t hector people about answering questions when you steadfastly refuse to do so yourself.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                “Q: Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?

                “A [by Rumsfeld]: There’s obviously the Shia population in Iraq and the Kurdish population in Iraq have been treated very badly by Saddam Hussein’s regime, they represent a large fraction of the total. There is no question but that they would be welcomed. Go back to Afghanistan, the people were in the streets playing music, cheering, flying kites, and doing all the things that the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda would not let them do.”

                —Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in a Feb. 20, 2003 interview with PBS’s NewsHour.

                http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/chatterbox/2003/11/whopper_donald_rumsfeld.html

                • Yep, so not what you said at all. Glad we’ve cleared that up.

                • Heartbleeding Liberal

                  This is what you claimed:

                  “Did you notice how Rumsfeld claimed that Iraqis would welcome American soldiers as liberators bringing “freedom” and would greet US troops with flowers and gifts?”

                  I don’t see that in your excerpt you have there.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                wikipedia:

                According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2011 – about 0.94% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,814,200 adults at year-end 2011 were on probation or on parole.

                • Heartbleeding Liberal

                  This is what you claimed:

                  “No mate, you answer the question, what part of having 4 million people mainly Blacks and Coloureds in prison, spells “freedom” to you?”

                  I don’t see that in your excerpt.

                • Yep, as I said. And half what you claimed. Still no evidence of millions in slavery though. No doubt you’re working on finding evidence of that.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Educate yourself

                    Garry McCarthy, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, did not expect to hear anything too startling when he appeared at a conference on drug policy organized last year by an African-American minister in Newark, where he was the police director.

                    But then a law professor named Michelle Alexander took the stage and delivered an impassioned speech attacking the war on drugs as a system of racial control comparable to slavery and Jim Crow — and received a two-minute standing ovation from the 500 people in the audience.

                    “These were not young people living in high-crime neighborhoods,” Mr. McCarthy, now police superintendent in Chicago, recalled in telephone interview. “This was the black middle class.”

                    “I don’t believe in the government conspiracy, but what you have to accept is that that narrative exists in the community and has to be addressed,” he said. “That was my real a-ha moment.”

                    Mr. McCarthy is not alone. During the past two years Professor Alexander has been provoking such moments across the country — and across the political spectrum — with her book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” which has become a surprise best seller since its paperback version came out in January. Sales have totaled some 175,000 copies after an initial hardcover printing of a mere 3,000, according to the publisher, the New Press.

                    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/books/michelle-alexanders-new-jim-crow-raises-drug-law-debates.html?_r=0

                    • About what? Putting up random links doesn’t actually help, CV. But at least you’ve learned a couple of facts this morning. Rumsfeld didn’t say what you thought he did and it turns out the Americans don’t actually “keep millions of black and coloured slaves in prison who generate daily profit for private corporations”.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Not my problem if you want to continue to turn a convenient blind eye to the massive for profit US prison-industrial complex which targets mostly blacks and coloureds.

                    • “… for profit US prison-industrial complex which targets mostly blacks and coloureds.”

                      Yet more evidence free bollocks.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Only a matter of time before another Ferguson or another Walter Scott (unarmed black man shot in the back by police), incident.

                    • maybe be careful that you don’t use the legitimate plight of people of colour and their interactions with law enforcement as a tool to push your own barrow cv

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      American imperialism including its own internal prison and poverty colonies

    • Yeah, not actually true, CV. But I guess you know that, eh?

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.2.1

        American judges have even been found to have put kids into jail after being bribed by companies who profit from government funding of privatised kids prisons. And of course, mostly black and coloured kids have been the victims of these scams.

        It is the new Jim Crow.

        • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.2.1.1

          Mate we all know about the “kids for cash” scandal, and we have all read about the unholy alliance between legislators and the private prison lobbyists. You are not making some kind of grand point like you think you are. You have a very anti-western attitude and i suspect that you probably watch way too much RT (can you please confirm this?).

          • Colonial Rawshark 13.2.1.1.1

            So tell me, what part of the kids for prison for cash scandal spelt out “freedom” to you?

          • Colonial Rawshark 13.2.1.1.2

            How about the US Supreme Court holding up Citizens United allowing infinite money into the US political system to drown out the voices of ordinary people; which part of that cries out “freedom” to you?

            Or the para-militarisation of civilian police all over the US and the legalisation of military detention of US citizens on US soil (as per the NDAA), overturning 200 years of protections for US citizens?

            What part of that cries out “freedom” to you?

            • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.2.1.1.2.1

              It seems that you (incorrectly) think that it is contradictory to hold the country out as an example of liberty and freedom from tyranny while acknowledging that there are serious issues which need to be addressed. Luckily the tools for change are available to the public under the constitution.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Yeah, lucky lucky. But since the US overturned Posse Commitatus and it appears that general warrants for search and seizure of the property of US citizens are now back in force like British imperial days, what still gives you so much faith in the “Constitution.”

  13. Heartbleeding Liberal 14

    Maybe the fact that it was uncovered and the people behind it were punished? Would probably be quite a different story if it went down in Russia or the Gulf states. Your attitude stinks of the kinda of propaganda put out there by outlets like RT. If you are not a regular watcher of that channel (and i highly suspect you are), i am certain that you are being subject to anti-west propaganda from some other source.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      How about the absolute fraudulent theft of hundreds of billions of dollars from workers pension funds, the fraudulent rating of toxic assets as “Triple A” by US credit ratings agencies, and other large scale frauds led by the big banks of the US financial system, including spouses and partners of top bankers using free funds from the Federal Government to fund their own private lives, how many of these top banking executives were caught and punished?

      Or were they just given White House positions?

      As for the crimes committed by the Gulf States – did you know that US backed US funded, US armed Saudi Arabia has now beheaded 100 people this year? Freedom!

      • Heartbleeding Liberal 14.1.1

        I can see what is happening here. You have probably watched a couple of documentaries and now think of yourself as an expert on American policy. I suggest you pick up a textbook sometime and try to think more deeply about the issues (i mean this sincerely as it really does seem like there are gaps in your understanding). Hopefully you will see that America, for all its problems (fixable as they are given the constitution), is still a world leader in freedom and democracy.

        • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1.1

          330M citizens to choose from and the people get the option of another Bush and another Clinton. Does this cry “freedom” to you?

          And why is the US arming and funding a country which has beheaded 100 people this year?

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.2

          @ Liberal whose heart is bleeding?
          Why read books to learn someone’s version of the USA standards of political behaviour when we can actually observe for ourselves. It is obvious that every theory and mission statement for greatness of USA has been discounted, breached, and offered as a smoke and mirrors distraction from the ugly reality. Hypocricy and madness to be unable to recognise and acknowledge the difference between the textbook statements and the outcomes.

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.3

          Heart .. Liberal
          Where did you get your information and understanding of the usa?
          To say Hopefully you will see that America, for all its problems (fixable as they are given the constitution), is still a world leader in freedom and democracy.
          is dated propaganda. Perhaps from the 1960’s or about the time of McCarthyism, the witchhunt started by a failing politicianwith a drinking problem to garner publicity for hiimself.

  14. greywarshark 15

    Everybody should come from the USA to here, a heaven and haven of peace and rights. Surely that is because NZ is dividing into peasants and overlords. The peasants are easily distracted and are unable to gather mass to advocate for themselves, and the overlords have their eyes on higher things – bigger piles of money and goods, bigger houses, more holidays, more cars, more outings, more wine, more clothes, more resources, etc.

    That’s the background to this news heading.
    NZ rated 4th most peaceful country in world
    (word “peace” in blocks and NZ flag)
    New Zealand has been rated the fourth most peaceful country in the world, but it has slipped from second place
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/277364/nz-rated-4th-most-peaceful-country-in-world

  15. joe90 16

    The mother of original sin/crime.

    Bryan Stevenson on Charleston and Our Real Problem with Race

    “I don’t believe slavery ended in 1865, I believe it just evolved.”

    […]

    The manifestations of these problems are different in Alabama than they are in California. We still have a state constitution in Alabama that prohibits black and white kids from going to school together. It is still in there today, and nobody seems stressed by that, nobody seems worried about it. They tried to take it out twice through a statewide referendum and both times the majority of the people in the state voted to keep that language in, in 2004 and 2012. And why that’s not the shame of America — certainly the shame of Alabama — I can’t explain.

    https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/24/bryan-stevenson-on-charleston-and-our-real-problem-with-race

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryan_Stevenson

    • greywarshark 16.1

      joe90
      Surely it would be unconstitutional to have segregated schooling. It is a wretched group of people who are so low that they feel they must oppress another group to hoist themselves to a higher class, in the end they get hoist with their own petard.
      What a wretched part of the States.

      I only recently read about the aftereffects of the Civil War and disgraceful attitudes and actions perpetrated on the blacks. The poor-whites must have seen them as competitors, and the Klu Klux Klan c.1866 started with repression, hostility and attacks on the people and their property. Interestingly enough there have been three phases of the KKK and the second in the 1920s rose against Catholics.

      It’s not easy to right racism. I did read about a black woman saying wistfully that prior to the civil rights opening up they had a closer connected network amongst the blacks with warmth and friendship amongst themselves. Possibly it was good to have just few whites on the fringes with their possible bad vibes.

  16. joe90 17

    Unconstitutional or not, following desegregation the burghers of the day set up their own version of charter schools.

    .

    In the 1960s and ’70s, towns across the South created inexpensive private schools to keep white students from having to mix with black. Many remain open, the communities around them as divided as ever.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/in-southern-towns-segregation-academies-are-still-going-strong/266207/

    http://www.rawstory.com/2013/04/georgias-republican-governor-wont-endorse-towns-first-racially-integrated-prom/

    .

    And then they introduced 21st century segregation and called it school choice.

    Forty-three percent of black charter school students attended these extremely segregated minority schools, a percentage which was, by far, the highest of any other racial group, and nearly three times as high as black students in traditional public schools.

    http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/choice-without-equity-2009-report/frankenberg-choices-without-equity-2010.pdf

    • greywarshark 17.1

      Perhaps my last paragraph applies here. The blacks perhaps found that they had better results and more satisfactory conditions and atmosphere than when they attended a mixed race school. I remember the story of the first black university student and the various harrassments he endured like having a bag of urine thrown at him. And no doubt there were others and constantly.

  17. DS 18

    “then Barack Obama will leave a legacy that can only be matched by the brutally curtailed promise of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

    Kennedy was a poor President, who is remembered chiefly because he got shot. If you’re talking legacies, look at his successor, who pushed through Civil Rights and the Great Society (yes, he had Vietnam too, but in domestic terms, Johnson was one of the greatest Presidents of all time. Johnson made an Obama Presidency possible).

    • You seem to have overlooked the word ‘promise’ in the quoted sentence, DS.

      • DS 18.1.1

        “Promise” simply amounts to “what would he have done if he hadn’t been shot”. Probably a good deal less than what Johnson actually achieved.

  18. Cross of Lorraine 19

    It was ‘out of place’ and gimmicky, just because you’re the President it doesn’t give you the right to do as you please, there was no respect, breaking out into song is totally disrespectful, he isn’t a opera singer, who the hell does he think he is?

    • McFlock 19.1

      Wow.
      Commenting on a NZ political forum as you have, you’d know that some cultures value spontaneous singing in cultural or religious contexts, even if the singer has not been trained in opera, right?

      I’m no expert on African Methodist Episcopal Church services, but it didn’t seem to be received as out of place.

      • Cross of Lorraine 19.1.1

        Well I thought it was! That was the impression I got! The president kinda hesitated, at the beginning, he seemed ill-prepared, I don’t believe he thought this thing out, it was crude! The only reason everyone cheered him on, was because he was the President. If some other person, ill-prepared started singing, it would have been awkward in such an emotional time, especially when one was not expected to sing! Just because blacks ‘sing’ a lot, it doesn’t mean they are not sentimental and quietly dignified! It isn’t about scoring ratings, and being on TV, making global news… you know, IT WASN’T ACTUALLY ABOUT OBAMA, BUT ON THE NEWS…..SURPRISE SURPRISE IT WAS! if Obama really cared he wouldn’t have made an arse of himself, and at the same time, disrespecting the deceased!

        • McFlock 19.1.1.1

          1: it is my (admittedly naive) understanding that many African congregations especially in the southern states do indeed mix singing and speechmaking. If you have any direct experience or references to the contrary, feel free to share.

          2: Actually, it being untrained and ill-prepared struck me as being a moment of unscripted honesty that was well-received by the congregation. And I don’t think it was well-received purely because of his office.

          Edit: I suppose we each just project what we want to project.

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  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
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  • Champions of Pacific education rewarded in Queen’s Birthday Honours
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