Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Endless Ironies of the First Black President

An administration of "firsts" can be counted on for being a wellspring of ironies, it seems.

Consider this one: America's first black president, a direct heir of the all-out war for the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and full equality as citizens that was tirelessly, selflessly waged by Abraham Lincoln on behalf of black American slaves, one for which a life of sacrifice was the preparation and one for which his life might have finally been sacrificed, appoints as his Secretary of State a woman who says that the human rights of Chinese peasants are, in effect, not as important as the economy, or global warming, or security and are someone else's problem.

Granted, China runs its own show and Hillary Clinton is not an executive in its government (although she might be a consultant). Yet it is undeniably disengenuous to represent a black man who represents America and declaim a wholesale disregard for the rights of the oppressed anywhere. Even more so (if it is possible to be more so) that a measurable portion of American prosperity, and that of the ruling class in China, has come from the blood, sweat, and tears of that particular mass of oppressed peoples.

Adding insult to irony, this black president can't even muster the moral courage to rebuke her. How many future presidents will live and die as slave labor in China?


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