So much has happened in just a little more than three months into 2012. Whitney Houston passed away suddenly. Rush Limbaugh put his fat foot in his mouth. And Oprah’s OWN may be her first professional failure since “Beloved.” Every day, people like me in the media business read the same newspapers, check the same web sites and listen to the same news shows to find stories to tell you that be will interesting, humorous, empowering, inspiring and sometimes tragic.
Some of these stories that really get us going are nothing more than mere distractions that are actually none of our business: are Khloe and Lamar breaking up? Is Bobbi Kristina taking a wrong turn? It it really possible that Beyonce could lose all of her baby weight so soon, so fast?
We know in our heart of hearts there are many more pressing issues for us to be concerned about, yet we’re only human, and we love to be entertained by hearing about other people’s issues.
The worrisome part about following all this stuff is that it takes our attention and energy away from the fact that we are in a real fight to get President Barack Obama elected for a second term.
We have two things working against us.
One is that some of us are letting the current field of Republican hopefuls lull us into thinking the Big Chief doesn’t have any real competition. Wrong. The hate that so many people have for this president could be far stronger than the love many of us have for him. Some detractors would vote for anyone rather than President Obama and, fueled by that anger and hatred, will show up the polls, come rain or shine.
The other thing working against us in the upcoming presidential election is that the economy really is bad, gas prices really are high, and most of us are really feeling the pinch. My question is will a Republican make it better for us or worse?
You know my feeling on this.
So, where will you get your energy, your momentum, your “can’t let nobody turn me around” commitment to go out to vote in November – no matter what?
A few weeks ago, a young kid, Trayvon Martin, was gunned down by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman who claimed he felt threatened. All around the country, men, women are children are rising up to protest against yet another example of deadly racial profiling. These organized marches, rallies and boycotts are a great thing.
People are also using social media to get their points across. Many mothers – including “Mamas Gone Wild” co-hosts Nikki Woods and Mary Boyce – have posted pictures of their sons on Facebook in honor of Trayvon’s memory. Underneath the pictures read the following: “If you see them walking or even running down the street, they are not armed or dangerous.” And they’re encouraging other moms to do the same.
The senseless killing of Trayvon could possibly be defended by the Stand Your Ground law. It allows people to defend themselves with deadly force. When asked Tuesday if that law needs to change, the Republican governor of Florida, Rick Scott, said “It’s always positive to go back and think about existing laws.”
Not sure what that means, but here’s what I am sure of: The Stand Your Ground law probably would not have passed if more African-Americans went to the polls because sadly, we know we are more likely to be victims when people take crime into their own hands.
Time after time, I’ve tried to come up with a compelling message to send to people who say they don’t have the same kind of inspiration or motivation to vote as those faced with the same kind of blatant racism that black civil rights pioneers experienced.
Well, now we do.
If you have a son, a brother, a nephew or grandson, stand up for him and his right to be safe on the streets in this country. We can’t bring Trayvon back, but we can honor his memory by registering and voting in the 2012 election. Remind every parent, uncle, aunt and grandparent that Trayvon could be the young man that they love, and it’s got to stop.
This November, I will stand up for my two sons, my nephews and my two grandsons. Who will you stand for. Let me know.