You know the old saying. You might think you're big, but you ain't all that big until some poll of dubious credulity that nobody really cares about lists you alongside a mythical Middle Eastern savior figure and a great man who most people actually know next to nothing about. (It's probably mostly a South Jersey saying.)
When The Harris Poll asked a cross-section of adult Americans to say whom they admire enough to call their heroes, President Barack Obama was mentioned most often, followed by Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King.
Wow, that's pretty impressive! He's up there with JC and MLK. President Obama should consider that a real honor.
I mean, it's not like he's also up there with people like the worst president in modern American history, an airplane pilot who's most famous for crashing a plane into a major city's river and an egomaniacal holy woman who built her reputation on the backs of the poor people she was supposedly helping?
Others in the top ten, in descending order, were Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger and Mother Teresa.
Well, it's still pretty cool to be named, I'm sure.
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Christianity, George W. Bush, John Kennedy, John McCain, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan
The BBC has a recently unearthed 1964 interview with the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wherein the civil rights leader predicted The United States might have its first African American President in less than 40 years. (Click the image for the video)
Well, it took 45 years, so we can probably go ahead and discount everything King said. At the very least, if he picked The Steelers, I'm betting on The Cardinals.
Also, "negro"? That guy was such a racist.
Tags: Barack Obama, Martin Luther King
I joked earlier about the people who sweat and actual blood went were given up so that we Americans could one day do what we're preparing to do tomorrow: watch as a black man is sworn in as the president of the United States of America.
My previous asshole comments aside, this really is a pretty momentous day for the country. One that most of us — even the young and (relatively) young (like me) — assumed would never happen in our lifetimes. (Especially after the crippling depression wrought upon 49 percent of us in the 2004 election.)
And a great deal of that credit deservedly goes to Martin Luther King, a person so inspiring that unrelenting in his battle for racial and social equality that you'd be hard-pressed to find even the staunchest of social conservatives harboring a bad feeling for him.
Forty-five years ago, MLK told the world about his dream that "that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"
With the obvious exception of the gays — who, let's face it, don't deserve equal treatment; am I right? — how close have we come to living up to King's dream? A CNN poll attempted to find out…
The poll found 69 percent of blacks said King's vision has been fulfilled in the more than 45 years since his 1963 "I have a dream" speech — roughly double the 34 percent who agreed with that assessment in a similar poll taken last March.
That's kind of nice to know, isn't it? And if nearly 70 percent of all black people feel that King's dream of a just and equal America has been fulfilled, just imagine how many white people think that…
"Whites don't feel the same way — a majority of them say that the country has not yet fulfilled King's vision," CNN polling director Keating Holland said. However, the number of whites saying the dream has been fulfilled has also gone up since March, from 35 percent to 46 percent.
Wait a minute. What's going on here?
What do white people* know that black people don't? Are they getting free frozen yogurt at TCBY on the sly or something?
* While I am, technically, a white person, must people usually assume that I'm actually some swarthy class of hobbit or drow elf. So, I'm not really privy to what "white people" apparently know. Personally, I won't be giving up the fight until all forms of humanoid — fantastic or otherwise — can live the dream.
Tags: Civil Rights, Constitution, Martin Luther King
But, today is a special day for a whole other reason.
Today is a day that we should be coming together to remember and pay homage to a man who did so much to grease the wheels for Barack Obama's presidency. A man who served our country honorably and valiantly and who ultimately gave his life for the greater good. A man for whom to simply call him a black leader would be an injustice. A man who — like so many other like him — was really so much more.
I'm speaking, obviously, of President David Palmer from 24…
Barack Obama's victory in November demonstrated, to the surprise of many Americans and much of the world, that we were ready to see a black man as president. Of course, we had seen several black presidents already, not in the real White House but in the virtual America of movies and television. The presidencies of James Earl Jones in “The Man,” Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact,” Chris Rock in “Head of State” and Dennis Haysbert in “24” helped us imagine Mr. Obama’s transformative breakthrough before it occurred. In a modest way, they also hastened its arrival…
[I]n the past 50 years — or, to be precise, in the 47 years since Mr. Obama was born — black men in the movies have traveled from the ghetto to the boardroom, from supporting roles in kitchens, liveries and social-problem movies to the rarefied summit of the Hollywood A-list…
The movies of the past half-century hardly prophesy the present moment, but they offer intriguing premonitions, quick-sketch pictures and sometimes richly realized portraits of black men grappling with issues of identity and the possibilities of power. They have helped write the prehistory of the Obama presidency.
Oh, and I think it's also Martin Luther King Day today.
Yeah, I guess that guy might have had something to do with this, too.
Tags: Barack Obama, Martin Luther King