Friday, August 29, 2008


When Tim Russert passed earlier this year, many of his colleagues characterized him as a journalist who was tough, but fair. I have never have I had a problem being tough, but journalistic fairness is still a work in progress for me. On the other hand, I’m more of an activist than journalist. My writings are more about persuading than reporting -- more about calls to action than mere dissemination of information. But for now, I’ll try this “fairness thing”.

The titles of my blog and internet radio program -- A More Perfect Union --reflect the goal of America, not its reality. From time to time, I have reminded “my fellow Americans” that the “original intent” of our Founding Fathers’ call for “a more perfect union” was the promotion of the American Dream for white male landowners only. I have reminded them that there was no intent to include white male non-landowners, white women, blacks and other ethnic groups, laborers, gays and trans-gendered, unions, nor poor people of any ethnicity. Thus, throughout the history of this great nation all other demographic groups outside of the preferred group -- white male landowners -- have had to protest and struggle for inclusion, mostly by regurgitating the eloquent words of our Founding Fathers. Usually, this has been done with full knowledge of their original intent -- our exclusion. Thus, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged America to “live out the full meaning of its creed. That we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. And more than three centuries later, his daughter -- Rev. Bernice King -- admonished in her trial sermon that American politicians “say what [they] mean and mean what [they] say”.

While switching from C-Span’s full coverage of the Democratic National Convention to CNN’s and MSNBC’s selective coverage, initially I was inwardly tough on the latter two. How dare these political pundits on CNN and MSNBC decide whose speech was and whose wasn’t important enough for the American people to hear, I thought. On C-Span I heard numerous everyday citizens -- as well as lesser known politicians -- speak of the difficulty of survival in today’s economy and the need for a new governmental focus that includes all Americans, and not the mere upper echelon. One could feel the ambiance in the convention hall. Delegates and others danced and swayed to an eclectic array of music, clearly exhibiting the convention theme of that “common thread” uniting Americans -- belief in the possibility of the American Dream. Michelle Obama poignantly addressed that common thread and all those before and after her echoed the same.