Obama today: King-like, or King lite?

  • Article by: Tavis Smiley
  • Updated: August 28, 2013 - 9:45 AM

Since the White House announced that President Obama will speak to the nation today from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, I have been peppered with the same questions again and again: Is it appropriate for the president to occupy that sacred space?

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jdlellis1Aug. 27, 13 8:28 PM

Tavis, No individual is ever prepared totally to be President. However, having no "executive" experience prior to winning the Presidency required a steeper learning curve than those with prior executive experience. Thus, Americans, particular Black Americans were enamored with his skin color and oratory skills as opposed to proven executive experience. Taking absolutely nothing away from Dr. King, one of the ten greatest Americans, being President requires being a leader and a politician and making tough decisions. Making decisions is entirely different than campaigning. The hurdles President Obama faces are challenging, yet no more challenging than those of Lincoln during the Civil War, Roosevelt during WWII, Eisenhower during segregation and fighting Communism. The masses put President Obama on a pedestal and now complain about his performance.

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patasticAug. 27, 13 9:27 PM

Read "A Poignant Anniversary" by Thomas Sowell for a reasoned perspective. As he points out, a larger proportion of blacks rose out of poverty in the 20 years before 1960 than the 20 years afterwards. Sowell also had another recent article titled "A Truly Great Phony", which seems to explain a lot.

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owatonnabillAug. 28, 13 5:55 AM

Does President Obama have the moral authority to "occupy the same space" as Dr. King? Resoundingly, no. Barack Obama has been given the most unique of roles: the opportunity to be a Black healer in a racially-torn nation. Never before has a person of African-American ancestry been able to speak for this nation as a whole, in his position as President of the nation, for ALL races that make up that nation. Dr. King championed a dream of an America where race didn't matter: where content of character was the most important attribute. Barack Obama was given the opportunity to further that dream, but he did not. Instead of healing, his words divide, inflame, estrange and alienate. That is not acting with moral authority, but instead with moral bankruptcy, and is, quite simply, reprehensible.

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SnippetAug. 28, 13 7:06 AM

>>> Our education system, in many ways, is still separate and unequal <<< Who is running our educational system these days?

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SnippetAug. 28, 13 7:12 AM

I would suggest spending less time looking for the next MLK, and more time figuring out how to increase the chances that the average black kid is born into a two-parent family. MLK is not coming back, and another MLK is unlikely to show up any time soon, but getting married before you bring children into the world is quite a realistic goal, and would help far more than a million inspirational speeches.

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pumiceAug. 28, 13 7:42 AM

Re: "[G]etting married before you bring children into the world is quite a realistic goal, and would help far more than a million inspirational speeches." Sounds like an inspirational speech, Snippet! So then.... what's the greatest barrier to getting married? And when are you starting your inspirational "Just don't ask" campaign?

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borisbadenovAug. 28, 13 7:53 AM

Obama is a failed mistake by liberals that believed a man with no work experience, no leadership ability and limited political experience could make a good president.

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firefight41Aug. 28, 13 8:08 AM

Does Obama have the moral authority to speak where King spoke? ********************* NO!

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elmore1Aug. 28, 13 8:44 AM

A better comparison is Obama to Jimmy Carter. Lots of visionary ideas and minimal results.

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djb813Aug. 28, 1310:05 AM

Obama is a politician who has used race and racism to bully conservatives into submission. Race relations have deteriorated under his leadership because of this. He is no MLK! MLK's vision was that everyone would be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Today, the libs are all about skin color. The way they rallied around a thug like Trayvon Martin who was killed while he was beating the snot out of an hispanic man and tried making him into Emmett Til is reprehensible. The Agitator in Chief's number 1 quality is to get one group ticked off at the other. He may transcend that today but it wont erase the damage he has inflicted over the past 5 years.

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