Dear Mr and Mrs Obama

Thank you.

For encouraging Change

For reminding us that Yes We Can

For encouraging us to reclaim Hope

For showing us that if you go higher when they go lower, it’s a win-win, though really the win is mostly ours and not so much theirs

For allowing our children to grow up knowing that if a black man runs the ‘free world’, it’s no biggie – when they grow up, if they want to do the same, or anything else for that matter, they can

For showing the rest of the world that not only does functional love exist between a black man and a black woman, it is actually the reality for the majority of us

For validating the black family…and how central grandma is to that family

For shutting down the angry black woman thing

For putting the ‘respeck’ back in the black man’s name

For showing the world that it’s quite normal to be articulate, educated, high achievers who are dynamic and inclusive, grow vegetables, love hip-hop and basketball, have beach holidays in Hawaii with ripped abs when they’re nearly 50, hug the Queen, give us shoulder goals, and keep their child away from the presidential farewell celebrations because said child has an exam the following day…and be black at the same time

For your impeccable style and grace

For giving us back our confidence

For inspiring an entire planet

For showing white people that they can indeed pronounce an African name if they just r-e-a-d out the l-e-t-t-e-r-s as they are wr-i-tt-e-n

For showcasing your culture and bringing others together

For not getting embroiled in some scandal – of course you are not perfect, we just haven’t seen your imperfections – but we thank you for giving us a breather on the shenanigans because chances are we will now get plenty of that

For, merely as a result of your presence in the White House, exposing the racial hypocrisy in your nation

For making us all proud.

 

Because it’s not always about giving people what is expected

Some wanted you to create predictable radical social-political change in your country: ‘fix all of black people’s problems’

But the roots, and there are plenty, of those problems were never going to be upturned with a two-term dig of the shovel by one hu-man

Your soil doesn’t allow that

Sometimes leadership is about sowing a seed

It’s about leading by example, re-igniting the self-worth of those that bestowed upon you the privilege of being a leader

So that ‘they’ remember that the soil belongs to them too

That kind of awakening psyches ‘them’ out, makes ‘them’ do weird things like choosing an Orange President

But the combination of being ‘woke’ on one side and going ‘weird’ on the other has potential

Potential to open the door for what you proclaimed way back in 2008, A Change We (All) Need.

 

Do keep in touch Barack and Michelle. And by the way do a little something later for Sasha please; it really wasn’t her fault she had an exam…

 

Yours,

 

One Really Proud Black Woman

 

The reality is…a reality TV star is the 45th POTUS

When all is said and done, that is the reality right?

I feel the need to add my 2-pence in with a lengthy blog on Donald Trump becoming the 45th POTUS, but in reverence to my renewed drive for increased efficiency, ‘work smart not hard/kill 2 birds with one stone’ mentality, I will insert the link to my rant after Brexit here – https://lalulaworld.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/an-unexpected-br-exit/ -, because essentially these 2-pence can easily be put towards the current situation. A few modifications here and there to make it US-centric, but the principles underlying this seismic fall-out remain the same – disillusionment, delusion, disenfranchisement, modern-day feudalism coming to roost, hatred and dirty nasty ‘politricks’.

Nevertheless, I will add a PS to the original rant, because you know, this occasion cannot pass without that.

PS.

When we look back over the last century to now, has there ever been a POTUS that wasn’t in some way a creation of America’s imagination, a caricature or a character of some sort. Some had valid qualifications for the job yes, but one thing they all have had in common is that at some point, when the cameras stopped rolling, the illusion became apparent – a contradiction of terms yes but that is the ‘reality’ that is America – an apparent illusion.

optical-illusion

Image from:

http://tabithaannthelostsock.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/optical-illusion-american-flag.html

 

 

Let’s start with whom most of us are familiar with. Wasn’t John F Kennedy though genial, a carefully crafted vehicle for his father’s obsession with power and glory? Then throw in his love for the fast life that was Hollywood, hanging with the mob and side-chicks. Perfect concoction for good TV.

Lyndon B Johnson had an honourable track record for his attempts to restore civil rights, but known to be someone who could change his personality to suit the occasion.

Richard M Nixon, Watergate says it all. The ultimate baddie.

Gerald Ford to be fair didn’t really choose to be President, but his intellectual capability for the job was questionable especially being an ex-football player. Only in America does a football player rise to the Presidency. And he pardoned Nixon.

Jimmy Carter was probably more successful as an ex-POTUS than a POTUS, so one has to ask ‘what did he do’ in the White House.

Ronald Reagan, though Governor of California before he became the 40th POTUS, let’s face it, was a Hollywood actor. He could therefore play any role asked of him. He is the reason why Arnold Schwarzenegger thought he could do the same but he forgot that Trump’s America does not like foreigners, especially those that actually sound like a foreigner; and Ronald Reagan is also why Will Smith went through a phase of joking about how he too could transition from actor to POTUS (or maybe that was the media creating something).  Today though, we know where those bad jokes can lead a nation.

Ah, then we enter the Bush era that gave way to the 41st and 43rd Presidents. An oil-rich dynasty that got into the White House to make themselves and their Texan buddies more millions than they already had through war-mongering. All under the guise of serving their country, waging a war on terrorism, using God as justification for bad behaviour.

Bill Clinton is one of the most liked and most charming and most popular POTUS’, who despite being impeached and displaying misogynistic tendencies of tremendous magnitude, and in the process contributing to his wife’s defeat in today’s election, is still liked and charming and popular. Typical reality TV star – incorrigible character, but you still love him.

Barack Obama. As a black woman, I will never deny the importance of his position as the 44th POTUS and how much it means that our children can grow up knowing that a Black man can hold that position and that it’s not a big deal for a Black man to hold that position. But I am under no illusion that his public image is probably a well-crafted one, and that one day, it may all come out in the wash. Most of us still admire him and Michelle though – that is reality TV – we take what makes us feel good even if it’s not real.

PPS. Be a part of the reality show

So we must not lament yesterdays’s episode because it’s part of the storyline. As more seriously put in this piece I came across as I searched for a meaning behind the madness, this is how the world works – https://medium.com/@theonlytoby/history-tells-us-what-will-happen-next-with-brexit-trump-a3fefd154714#.1z8d5jkpm. History repeats itself, the same characters are thrown up in different guises and the plot follows a time-tested formula.

All we now need to do is decide what character we will play and play that character well. Become a part of history, a history our children can look back on and draw inspiration from when their turn comes up in the next round of calamity.

Because right now, just being a spectator is not going to cut it.

The Syrian Saga – An Unexpected Twist to Tale.

I don’t know about you but I have been transfixed by the goings-on played out in the media since a chemical attack killing over 1, 400 Syrians was first reported 2 weeks ago. The images of young adults and children contorted in pain, some breathing their last breath, were indescribable in the sheer horror they conveyed. In many ways, what we saw appeared much more gruesome than the more commonly displayed sight of blood stained sheets covering distorted bodies after a suicide bomb or mass shooting. And of course, this does not compare to witnessing or experiencing the terror itself. After over 100,000 deaths in the country since the start of the hopeful Arab spring just over 2 years ago, this was the event that got the ‘key’ political players and we the sofa-based revolutionaries fully engaged with the latest debacle of the Middle East.

I took a little bit of time to pay more attention to what Syria, Assad, and the Syrian opposition was about. The saga is truly sorry – failed democracy, US interference, sectarianism, nepotism, dictatorship, military coup after military coup, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, economic crises, drought, oil. In the mix of this pressure cooker is a young population with a median age of just 22 years – 91% less than 54 years old with 55% being less than 24 years. This is what makes the story so tragic – a nation killing its own potential, with no thought to the long-reaching ill effects for its own evolution and revolution.

Over the subsequent week, every news channel – terrestrial or virtual, and publication – trashy or classy, bombarded us with what felt like minute-by-minute updates on just what the leading politicians were going to do to fix this mess once and for all. With the USA posturing about ‘red lines’ and the like, the Russians posturing right back, a supposed United Nations WMD inspection report (apparently due to be released tomorrow), it seemed inevitable that we were headed for another Iraq and surely World War III. Along the way, it all became a war of words and egos, about who is the biggest and the ‘bestest’, who’s on my team and who is not.

This past week though, the collective thought for a different outcome seems to have been acknowledged. Personally, I thank the British for paving the way for this acknowledgement.  Whatever issues we have on this rock, and God knows we have many, we are the voice of reason. And without Tony Blair, that voice of reason was heard loud and clear. Our parliament said, ‘No. In our view, it is clearly not appropriate to so openly contribute to killing more Syrians than we have already done, ignite further chaos, and truly cripple our economy’. To his credit David Cameron listened, and worse, endured a very public dressing down from Vladimir Putin.  With the US losing their ally in war, Barack Obama ‘back-tracked’ and declared that he will check with his senate first before releasing some extra special drones  – the ones that can spare the lives of the ‘goodies’, but still not quite get the ‘baddies’.

With this unforeseen shuffle of leading roles, we are told that there is now an unlikely political hero in the form of Mr. Putin. He has now successfully convinced the Syrians to at least start to think about getting rid of their cache of nasty WMD. Along the way, he gets to tell the Americans, using their own media platform, that essentially, I Vladimir am now running the show (‘Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders’)*, you are nothing special (‘it is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional’)*, and you must learn to communicate (‘we must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement’)*.  A victory for Putin (not Russia) and an unforeseen twist to the tale. Meanwhile, though, hundreds of Syrians continue to evade victory daily as neither will this diplomatic and egotistical coup fix the mix in the Syrian pressure cooker, nor stop our Alliance of Syrian Suppliers (ASS) from handing out arms to both Assad and the Mixed Bunch of Bandits of the Opposition.

Whatever souls were sold and deadly deals fixed in the G20 summit board-room, we mere mortals, sigh a shallow breath of relief that history is not to be repeated just yet.  We should be hesitant for 2 reasons. Not only do we now have 1 incendiary device – the Middle East  – ready to blow; we now have a 2nd here in the Western political landscape.  The US and Russia are like 2 very large tectonic plates whose positioning has dictated major world events in the last century. This is not to disregard emerging players taking the place of a disjointed Europe and dormant Japan. In this latest shift, the plates have converged, the American one sliding under the Russian, creating a new pressure. At some point either plate must crack or break. Though we not when that will happen, we know just what will happen.

*taken from Vladimir Putin’s editorial, The New York Times, September 11, 2013