Today, November 2, 2010, is one that will live in memories forever. Why? Because for the first time the tipping point of the subtle degrees of support a president needs for effective leadership is being twisted by racism.
In all the American narrative (and European behind that) a black man is never the savior, the ultimate wise ancestor in business, government, or philosophy. Oh maybe a villain, maybe a soldier but not a Churchill, not a J. Edgar Hoover, not a Bush.
On Monday, November 1, The Washington Post ran the obituary (By Martin Weil and Emma Brown) for Ted Sorenson in the Post Mortem section. Ted Sorenson passed at 82 years and was an advisor – no, the, speechwriter and mentor to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It is said Sorenson was largely responsible for Kennedy’s most famous speech, his Inaugural Address, considered one of if not the, greatest of these for all time. With the trademark discretion of the paramount elite “trusted advisor,” he denied this and credited Kennedy with the famous words:
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
that were carefully crafted for the President-Elect with Sorenson’s formula of access and intimate friendship with Kennedy, a visionary use of words and the unspoken integrity of his place in letters and the upper classes of the land.
That’s the kicker. In the obituary, Weil and Brown fill that out by informing us that Sorenson was:
Amply endowed with the qualities required for an intimate adviser at the highest levels, Mr. Sorensen was regarded as a man of ideas and ideals, keen intellect and a passion for public service.
We all know that absolutely never would have included a man of color. And given this item ran in arguably the most influential newspaper in the land, it still does not. We all know what the Post is saying. Euro-American society, at its highest levels is still an elite white one in its mores. Its ideals are white ones. Yes there is a Powell, a Rice, a King – each tragic in their own way. But no great inspiring OZ, no Black dynasty like the Bush family, no Teddy Roosevelt and no JFK.
Is this world capable of that change? Blaming the President for change many citizens refuse to activate for their part is an escape, a denial. This is a change at the root level that must be made at some point by every American. It can be made today.
Russell Imrie is a sometimes content producer, webmaster and American Indian self-styled social critic now living in the Washington DC area.