Michael Brown: Black Life is cheap in the USA!

– Arrest and charge Officer Darren Wilson what he did is and remains criminal –

I reluctantly write today the sequel of an article I penned some time ago about the cheapness of “black” life a South African reflection. Today’s instalment is however geographically placed in the USA.

C’mon Ferguson Police Department arrest and charge this cold blooded killing of a surrendering petty criminal!!

Rodney King, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown may portend unrelated individual incidents that must be assessed on their unique respective that is  what those who consider us all absent in consciousness and presence of experience want to believe.

At another level their names are emblazoned in our consciousness a stark testimony of the cruelty of racism. There will be those who would argue that Rodney King was not shot like a Trayvon or a Michael yet if you follow the trajectory of his life from the day he was beaten to the end of his life it mirrors my claim that the same system killed him as “black” man because it refused to let him put the beating behind him, not as if that was possible.

Yet King, Martin and Brown attest an ever present reality of America’s failure of its population of darker melanin. That failure is no more evidenced than for its young men. It is a curse to be “black” in a world of racism when it is anchored in celebration of a “white” identity licensed in domination.

I dare say it is a curse to be a “black” young man in the USA, regardless Los Angeles, Missouri or Florida. The destiny of a young black man appears scripted as predetermined to end up in a penitentiary on three strokes or face the toxic rage of racism legitimized and empowered by a badge of a police officer.

Yes an officer who single-handedly can make a decision to beat up, brutally assault, butcher and kill a young “black” male because a “black” life is cheap no matter how you look at it.

Rodney King’s question still remains unanswered “can’t we all just get along?” This colloquial expression articulates a profound, fundamental and intimidating truth.

Americans can’t get along because getting along will mean you have to respect a “black” life.

Getting along would mean you will have to kill the fallacy of a supremacy informed by a claim of a “white” identity pervasive in the minds of those calibrated for centuries of a superior identity. Getting along literally means respecting the founding content of the Statute of Liberties ” we hold these truth self-evident that all men are made equal …”

When the people no matter how defined in Ferguson Missouri rise up today to express their disgust at this callous killing of Michael Brown, when his hands were in surrender, it is to say we have another Rodney King, we have another Travon Martin ours today is Michael Brown and how many more do we need before America alters its cause on human rights for “black” life.

The USA pontificates a higher morality of a human rights record and premise to the likes of China yet what could be more of a bad reflection of such when we have “black” life cheap, and locked up in penitentiary in a scripted system. The USA has failed the African American and should be charged with gross violation of basic human rights for the damage it inflicted upon African American males by allowing a racist system that that is aimed at nothing but the annihilation of the black male identity. The African American male in democracy is being made extinct. It is the African American modern day holocaust a mass annihilation of identity and being.

How does any “white” officer feel legitimate in firing six strategically or grouped shots with intend not to apprehend but to kill?  Why was the body of Brown left for four hours in the street? Why did the officer not call in what happened? What is the role of an officer? What constitutes the premise for police action if not to apprehend a suspect?

Your guess is as good as mine as to what went through the mind of the “white” officer; it was finally his chance to get his stripes in having dealt with the incessant “flies” that spoil our Anglo-Sexan  horizon.

The outcry and the riots no matter what form it takes evidenced in looting how we may condemn is informed by a blatant truculence on the part of the Ferguson Police Department, to arrest and charge the officer need I say the “white” officer.

Is it coincidental that the officers who “kill” “black criminals” in the USA are always “white”?

So the names in difference of location identity and description may be Rodney, Trayvon or Michael and all the many before that never get the attention of mainstream media.

I am afraid that’s how far the difference goes, what makes them common is not their location as of the same community in locality, what makes them the same is not their west, mid-west or south accents – what makes them the same is the colour of their skin. It is them belonging to what is defined as “black”. A skin tone that automatically licenses others to show disdain and use the legitimate power of a police badge to bring to an end the life of a petty criminal, after all “black” life is no life!

The same officer would think twice before he shoots a dog, but a “black male’s life is less worthy than that of a dog! Until America let the “all men equal” count we must brace ourselves to bury more and to see the sickness continues unabated. “Black” life remains cheap, in SA or USA, “black” life remains cheap whether minority or majority, black life remains cheap whether in political power or not. “Black” life remains cheap whether the USA is led by a “black” male (Obama) or not, it does not translate to the streets of the USA cities.

Arrest and charge Officer Darren Wilson he is the criminal and racism dare not asserts itself  in arrogance and sacrifice justice at its altar.

Justice demand action, action against those who have made a place of hate for those of darker melanin.

Bishop Clyde N.S. Ramalaine


Assessing the Obama Presidency- The unquestionable evidence for a justified 2nd Term

Assessing the Obama Presidency   

The unquestionable evidence for his justified second term

(January 2009 – October 2011)


Recent commentary on the relevance and veracity of an Obama second term, has been met with a sense of mixed emotions and responses. These vary from opposition party political embrace, claimed constituencies such as the black public intellectuals, unemployed dissatisfied workers and a whole host of declared and undeclared interest holders. The truth is whilst the Obama presidency may be critiqued no different to any former or sitting president, it appears the criticisms and blackmail is primarily informed by conjecture more than fact. To this extend I had sought to argue for his second term in citing 14 fundamental issues that this presidency had to contend with, became shaped by and will be judged for in history exemplification. My views are necessarily mine and as a South African is observed from such context.

Barack Hussein Obama the first black president of the United States of America, I hold disserves this his second term for the following reasons

  1. The president showed leadership in excruciating circumstances, from day one he had to deal with a litany of crises’ that threatened in manifold design the fabric of the American nationhood. In my note, Obama a Crises Manager par excellence I share some of these crises, from oil spills, wars, economic meltdowns, bailouts, temporal nationalization, ground zero land arguments, annual wild fires in California, and a crazy pastor out of Gainesvillle Florida who on the eve of the  9th anniversary of 911 bellowed threats of setting 200 Quran’s alight.  The aspect of crises is one that often rears its head without warning, yet the ones I cited here, have constituted the greater part the essence of such crises, and the USA as we speak in October 2011, is less in crises now than when these unfolded. This must go down as a victory in crises management as Obama stepped up to the plate and delivered the goods.
  2. The president had to deal with the lifelong dream of National Health Insurance promulgation, and legislation that every democrat had dreamt about but could not attain.  He managed to let the legislation passed through a hostile senate and lobby and though such is open for contestation in the definition of State embrace, no one can argue he did not deal with issue at least from a legislation point of view. The jury remains out as to how in reality it may be applied and pan out similar to the South African NHI in praxis but the legislation is in law. The Supreme Court judges may have to rule on this in more detail as the 11th District of Atlanta has filed a case for the abolition of such. Yet on the scorecard as it stands now Obama has the edge and can safely count this as a victory for him.
  3. The Obama presidency did what the Bush Presidency would have dreamt to do, that being to be accredited for locating and smoking out the claimed USA terrorist number One, namely the late Osama Bin Laden. The morning of May 2, 2011 will go down forever as a historic occasion, be it for symbolism or truth it remains another feather Obama may legitimately claim as in his hat. The magnitude of this is often less understood, yet with the voice of Osama no longer surprised all and sunder with threats and mobilization the president can consider this a task handled and can tick his box that he brought to book the enemy number one of  the USA. We must also not forget the fact that this invasion of Pakistan condemned by many proved a thorny and very calculated yet very risky decision on the part of the President. It was a tough decision that he took and it paid off, having to deal with the gerrymandering and accusations of invasion he opted to take it on the proverbial chin.
  4. The president handled the ‘birthers’ claim the right way, when many asked of him to come clean and prove he is a legitimate USA citizen born in Hawaii, he kept them guessing in typical political deathblow moment embrace. As the chorus begin to gain momentum and even pulpits of Southern Bible Belt began to pronounce on the fallacy the president remain silent. The birthers found an ever-willing partner in self-proclaimed billionaire Donald Trump, who became the most public face of this ill-informed campaign.Needless to say the moment came when Obama determined it was his opportunity to share his birth certificate, the same he did not as forced but his prerogative. He did this to the expense of Trump and publically played the fool with a Trump candidacy quipping if Trump ever get to go to the white house he would turn it into a casino, Trump who later on withdrew his much publicized candidacy, could never get an answer for Obama, as he walked away with this one too as the winner. The birthers campaign had to contend with truth and in my books as I always say ‘Truth never straddles, it is never ambivalent for it detests ambiguity – Truth is necessarily one-sided and it is loyal to what the sun captured and the moon attests” (cnsr). I remember the subject of Obama’s  birth even being shared  by the former wife of a very prominent Pastor who had returned to SA after a stint of 10 years in the USA, she tried to convince me that Obama was not a USA citizen and I explained to her the fact that Obama is not  responding  to these much publicised claims is not to be read in as a legitimate claim. For as Obama then said, “ we have much more serious work to take care of than getting my birth certificate to prove anything”
  5. The President, had to contend with the control of the House as lost by the Democrats off course not the first time ever. This scenario as controlled by  the Republican majority added new dynamics and twists to the Obama Presidency. Such often  manifested in progress of his plans, and programmes being stifled by unnecessary scrutiny and delaying tactics. Yet the President proved prudent to pick up the phone and called on both parties in the house to put America first at all times. He had to wade through much contestation and remained focused on that which he committed to do in coming into the White House. This is not a simplistic matter, for he did not always get it his way and often had to threaten with his presidential veto to get things done.
  6. Obama, went to the wire on the credit extension subject, where it became apparent how small the likes of Boehner became when they reduced the entire country to  and nation to the threat of defaulting for the first time ever after the great depression. As the days mounted and a deal refuse to be found the likes of Boehner proved what this real issue was all about. It was always about unseating this president by any means even if it meant let the nation and country suffer. Reporters carried the news that Obama lost his cool and stormed out of meeting clearly annoyed by the intransigence of the likes of Boehner who thought they could use this looming default as a premise to get this president removed from white house.  In the end, a deal was struck and Americans became aware just how nasty such can become. He walked away with this one too, for the American people clearly saw the agendas of those who are anti-CHANGE.
  7. The president, notwithstanding being accused of doing little for African Americans or the Black constituency as vocalized by the public intellectuals namely Dr. Cornel West and Mr. Tavis Smiley and a litany of many more, have stayed clear from getting involved in a blame game which would polarized this group. He chose to ignore the views and perhaps it rendered such voices no credence the same his response would have afforded. For the record Obama never ran a campaign on a black ticket, so those who emotionally wants to blackmail him for being responsible for not uplifting blacks must necessarily prove honest and come clean and acknowledge that he never ran any campaign from a black perspective. One almost get the sense that Obama’s unstated view is, those who want me to be black at the expense of my whiteness are no different to those who want me be white at the expense of my blackness.
  8. The president, took charge early on in his presidency to hold Wall Street accountable, in personally getting involved in the  negotiations with captains of industry. These flew in their private jets seeking relief and bailout opportunities for their respective industries. The president held these captains of industry personally accountable for the recovery of the money lent to save their industries. It was not too long before the banking sector begin to show dividends and these repaid the loans the American people granted. This decision of bailout packages started under the auspices of his predecessor, George W Bush, he had to continue with and he managed to get the banking sector to recover though with much tighter control over lending procedures. It is now common knowledge that the mess of economic challenge came propelled by irresponsible lending on the part of the banking sector. Last August figures shows economic growth and a slight growth in employment, though such cannot be seen as major given the challenge, yet it must be celebrated in some way or another.
  9. Obama on the subject of the Libyan question initially proved prudent, in desisting the temptation to get involved and asking Europe to lead this their battle. I thought he proved clever and sensitive to the fact that he too has become known as a war president, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is still far from concluded though he has promised to close Guantanamo Bay, and withdraw troops from the two wars, he had to informed by advice increase the USA presence when others in Europe grew tired of the ongoing wars. The president clearly the flavour of the town in Davos and other G20 gatherings judged by even Sarkozy worshipping him no dissimilar to what a Blair did with Bush, fell for the accolades and big brother mantra when he stepped into the ring of a Libyan contestation. As we speak the anger of many if social media pages are anything to go by is singling him out as the culprit for the imbalanced Libyan attack when Syria equally and even worse is allowed warning upon warning by the state secretary Clinton.  I think the president must have some regrets that he as a Democrat is now duly considered and accused of being a war president, with literally 3 wars.  The president certainly lost the African contingent of respect, not that Obama seems to be too concerned with Africa, for he is yet to visit South Africa and could be cheesed off from being snubbed when he was visiting SA last and was not afforded the respect he perhaps felt an Mbeki Presidency should have had the foresight to read what was going to play out. Obama has perhaps another issue with South Africa for South Africa voted in favour of the UN Resolution 1973 and switched up on its implementation. Whatever the reasons for Obama not officially visiting South Africa may be, it is clear he has not considered the need for such visit yet.
  10. This president who set records with his first election in campaign fundraising continues now in the second attempt to set the bar for raising money to run his presidential campaign. If the raising of money in a depressing economy is anything to judge a candidate on, than Obama it can be said has mass appeal and confidence at least by those who support him financially for the dream of Change as his campaign mantra.
  11. Obama’s presidency confirmed again a dignity of presidential office, which must admired. Whilst many presidents have been caught out and proving short in the issues of morality this president, notwithstanding all scrutiny came out tops and squeaky clean as a moral leader, setting the tone and standard to argue for presidential office as a office moral standard. Obama standing in the ilk of William Jefferson Clinton as a popular Democratic candidate gifted in intellect, articulate, independent in mind, not immured by guilt to make tough and unpopular decisions and one with a larger than life epistemological perspective, adds another dynamic to this White House that of being a morally sound president.
  12. The Obama presidency restored the values of family and marriage to the USA Presidential office and the White House. Scandal upon scandal have visited upon the White House from the days of John F Kennedy and many subsequent to him, not forgetting the William Jefferson Clinton impeachment scandal informed by the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It has almost in a subliminal way become acceptable for presidents to have a type of cosmetic family hood. This presidency restored the sense of marriage and family both sacred values for American societies. Whether some may claim it is early days to be this conclusive on this subject, I shall venture to say Obama restored the dignity of marriage and family defined in Presidential office and White House context.
  13. Whilst the current Republican Party front runners for its party candidacy finds themselves having to deal with many questions on their insensitivities to the voter constituencies. Herman Cain for his unfortunate remarks on the Wall Street protestors in which he blame them for their own plight, followed this up with another ill conceived and ill  timed statement on border security and immigration issues. He is quoted for having said “ built a 18 feet wall, place on top of that an electric fence and post a sign close by that reads this can kill” When he was pushed to explain this he first called it a joke in the very serious presidential campaign, and later appeared to be defending his early stance leaving us all to wonder which truth is the truth. Mitch Romney on the other hand, this week goes to Nevada the State known in the USA as the highest in percentage for foreclosures and argues, “Let the mortgage thing runs its course”. Al Sharpton says, Romney does this whilst he lives in a $12million dollar home. These unfortunate remarks by both frontrunners for the Republican Party nomination share a side of insensitivity on their part towards the voters. Yet Obama keeps his message of grassroots embrace simple, and clear. His message clearly is aimed at and targets a grassroots connection in which he seeks to connect with the voters by informing them what he has done with an earlier mandate. In a season of hard economic times, double digit unemployment figures in some States, a jobless slow growth economy, threats of revisitation of recession, it makes sense to give leadership that embraces a sense of the average American matters, his vote counts, they not to blame for the mess the USA finds themselves in and needs a champion for their cause. He does this making them aware their plight is his plight. This message unfortunately has not reached the Republican Party frontrunners yet , regardless to if they black or white.
  14. Gaddafi’s death as reported on a multiplicity of media carriers, regardless to how wrong Obama could have been to eventually become the face of this Libyan regime change mandate which emanated from a European context and was endorsed by  UN Resolution 1973, he is today accredited to claim under his presidency the tyranny of a Gaddafi elongated leadership was brought to an end.  Though  Resolution 1973 was stretched to its hilt to justify the involvement of NATO in the African Country, it is fair to say that wont matter now, that Gaddafi is history. The truth is the welcomed and unwelcomed death of Muammar Gaddafi as experienced by some depending on whom you talk to, goes down as another Obama victory. Gaddafi who shared a on and off relationship with the USA, and often became the ire of the international political world. Be that as it may, Big Brother is dead.Gaddafi who was in power for over 42 years, and had lived through the reign of many USA presidents, particularly proved a bad spot for the Clinton Administration is now dead, and the original aim of freeing the Libyan people as advanced by Cameron, Sarkozy and later Obama is hallowed and celebrated in Libyan and international contexts. Obama therefore can claim this as major victory and this like all the ones I have raised here guarantees, him his second term in USA Presidential embrace.
  15. Finally, the announcement by the Presidency on the December return date for all serving USA troops in Iraq, bodes well as a Christmas gift for many American families who will see their loved ones return. Nothing could be more important in this globally depressing economy to have loved ones manifested in mothers, fathers, aunts uncles, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and neighbors back from a war situation. I hold this too will count for Obama as him having kept his promise to those who entrusted him with their vote.
In conclusion it is my view that Obama’s presidency for his first term should be understood as a Domestic President for it is here that he proved most successful and such must be used as the yardstick to have him re-elected. Yet I equally hold, this president does not do that well in  foreign relations and diplomacy and his interpretation of such is necessarily informed by a dying Europe instead of an emerging Eastern and Development world consciousness. Obama has unlike a William Jefferson Clinton, failed to win the hearts and minds of a globe on his role as a world leader by opting to focus on the historical relations of Europe – UK and his personal Irish ancestry as base, when he in my books have cared less for Africa, the Eastern world and the Latin American context. He has become a war president in the eyes of the oppressed. He equally has proved less balanced in the case of Libya vs Syrian contexts. The president have except for one trip to Africa, shown an exhibited an attitude of ill regard for the African Union, except to advance views in a SABC (Sherwin Bryce Pearse) interview the corrupt context of a Africa. The President has not endeared himself to the Arab league context, and relations with China, Russia  and India have not it seems been prioritised.  Perhaps in defense of the President it could be argued the USA had seldom been subjected to such crises and such warranted a domestic president, who selfishly guards the interest of the USA as the recent withdrawal of USA Funds to UNESCO attests. The same which took the presidency’s international endearment to an all time low.

Bishop Clyde N. Ramalaine, an independent political observer and commentator the Published Author of

1. “Preach a Storm, Live a Tornado” – The Preacher: A Theology of Preaching 

2. “Through the Prism of My Soul”  – An Anthology of Contemporary Political Analysis and Commentary

***Prepared for the LA Focus on the Word, Political Perspectives on  the USA Presidential Campaign 2012

A Presidency defined by Crises Management – Barrack H. Obama (October 2010)

Obama is a hands-on crises manager par excellence!!!

It is almost twenty one months ago since the United States of America; leading superpower of the world installed its first true African American President, Barrack Hussein Obama. There are those who will argue that he is not the first Black President since many hold William Jefferson Clinton known to all as Bill, was that first black president of the USA.

However as much as that may prove an interesting hypothesis it remains a topic for another day, since our objective is to understand what and how should this first half of the Obama presidency be defined. In the Biblical narrative as captured in Exodus, Moses is instructed by God to take His people to the promised land. Moses agonises as to his ineptness on finding the way to the promised land.

He then implores his brother in law (a man of dark skin), cush to accompany him for his take is...” cush you can be our eyes in the wilderness for you know the way… dwight mckissick out of Texas USA, once noted when the nation is in trouble, look for the “black man” he knows the way. Never did I thought McKissick would be proven that right as I seek to advance in this paper. I have mulled over what could define the Obama presidency if such must now for an uncalled reason come to an abrupt end.

They say that leadership is shown in crises situations and I shall contend that no President in modern history in American context had proven such more than this lanky former Harvard alumni, professor, attorney, community organiser, father and mean basketball player from Illinois Chicago.

One is tempted to begin to say this presidency can safely be defined as the presidency of crises management. If we retrace this presidency the notion would hold. These crises inculcates wars, economic meltdown, economic sector support interventions, extensive job losses, oil spills and leaks, fires in California and now  a somewhat crazy Pastor Jones who has gripped the attention of the world with his expression of how he was going to spend the anniversary of 9/11, burning Qurans.

 When the  aging icon of Black Education and modern history in the USA, Joseph Lowery gave his moving rendition with a typical husky voice on the significance of the moment of Obama’s installation at Barack’s installation as  the 44th  President of the USA, the country he was to lead was in major crises mode. We shall look at some of these crises and his leadership response to such.

The first identified crises which really became an ongoing crisis constitutes the two wars the USA still finds themselves in namely Afghanistan and Iraq. These wars may have been wars 8 years ago but have since then become a gross liability not just in financial terms but in every sphere possible. Obama stepped into this war situation his plan was in a sense not his for it had to be done. Such plan was to deal with the wars with decisive withdrawal dates.

The American citizenry had become fatigued by the impact of these dual wars, exemplified in the body bags that were sent home and the constant feeding of money and resource into what appears to be an abyss with no end. Obama had promised on his change agenda to end the wars as soon as possible the challenge was the full scope and extent of these dual wars as it appears were not made under the Bush administration.

Much as Obama wanted to respond earlier, he had to be advised on the dynamics and the challenges and for a while it appears he was indecisive especially when he was accused of being slow to send more troops in these war zone areas. His opponents had always warned of his lack of war experience and it appeared his promise of withdrawal sold to the voters was now challenged by the reality of the moment constituting a crises.

The second crises for this presidency  came packaged in the now infamous economic meltdown of 2008. Much as the generic definition of this crisis is afforded as a global one the truth is the essence of this meltdown was engineered in the USA and transported to the global economies. It would be unfair to say there were no tell-tale signs where the USA economy was heading months before the actual meltdown. The Economy of the USA was bleeding profusely and job-losses across sectors remained the order of the day.

The economic meltdown in the USA really became financial crises of extreme proportions. The dynamism of the crises itself was not as simple as we attempt to make it appear, key aspects of this economic meltdown that ultimately became a crises presents itself in  banking sector, motor manufacturing sector definition. Obama found himself not a purist as it relates to a president at strategic level only but he became operational in having to personally engage the leaders of Wall-street and motor industry sectors as these came cap in hand though flown in their private jets begging for assistance and intervention on his part.

Bail-outs of extensive proportions became the order of the day.  In no time the plans unveiled the aspect we thought we would never see in capitalist defined economies, namely nationalization. Adam Smith’s philosophy now needed redress, nationalization to stave of the death of an economy who was limping to its untimely grave.  Obama’s intervention was trillions of borrowed money from China amongst others to make these failing sectors work again.

One is clear he accepted that nationalization was the only out of it. Needless to sectors especially the banking sectors have in recent months shown revenue streams confirming strong recovery and government is beginning to pull out of these not that has been fixed as yet, but there is marked improvement. The financial sector has begun to show recovery in making profits again and government has been repaid by the likes of Bank of America and others. This would mean Obama’s crises management intervention worked.

The third crisis which really is an outflow of the economic crises this presidency had to contend with is the issue of major job shedding. Healthy economies are those who function in growth as exemplified in job creation. The facts speaks for themselves the American economy was bleeding incessantly and was shedding jobs at an alarming rate, some analysts have put it as high as a over 600000 on a monthly basis.

The problem of job shedding however does not  stand in a vacuum, it relates and interacts on a plethora of levels and spheres impacting other aspects of what makes  up society. The crises of job shedding proved a reality that Obama had to deal with. He had to find a way to inject money into the sectors that were bleeding to ensure unlocking of job creation. We can now report based on his intervention that the July figures for job creation indicates a growth of persistent growth identified as 178000 for the month to month designation. This may prove paltry but must go down as him having managed the crises successfully

The fourth crises this presidency had to square off constitute the issue of public health care reform. Though this would be considered not really crises in the crises definition, it does hold if we understand the dynamics of the public health care system that is failing a citizenry impacted by the economic meltdown job loss economies. The public health care reform of USA an elongated debate that almost forever has been a Democratic Party aspiration. One would recall Clinton tried very hard to push for reform but failed to get the bill through senate.

Hence when Hillary Clinton was squaring of against Obama she made this a key aspect of her campaign. Obama however despite opposition from a string of lobbying sectors in this industry managed to get the bill to serve and succeeded in getting it canvassed through all the necessary legislative processes. He endeared himself to many whilst he became the hate of many yet he managed these crises and came out on top of his game on this one. The reality is that Obama can claim he is the only president to have successfully propelled public healthcare reform in policy development and adoption format. The jury remains out as to how this in the praxis will work out, but it is fair to say the crises of public health care in policy formulation has been handled well my the specialist crises manager.

The Obama presidency faced other crises during 2010 when the area of the gulf was subjected to extensive oil leaks, at the hand of BP. This crises that had seen life loss and miles of sludge on the seashores of the gulf basin with the potential of plant life loss and a dastard impact on sea life appeared impossible to fix when BP first abdicated responsibility and later prove in sixes and sevens as to a solution with all the untested attempts it advanced and strategies it employed.

These crises perhaps cost Obama presidency much, the president was accused of not responding in time. The crises of the oil spill lasted for almost two months and the president only began to respond towards the end of the first month. Again when he did respond it was again the crises manager in action, he did not shy away from keeping BP accountable and insisted on the establishment of a fund now a $20 billion strong to deal with ensuing claims from this crises. It is fair to say the president the crises manager managed this one not as good as the other but he managed the crises nevertheless.

The issue of annual fires in the Californian hinterland constitutes other crises the Obama administration had to contend with. Every year for some reason fire erupts in certain areas of California such usually has devastating impact. The same happened last year this crises perhaps not huge in scope as it relates to the broader geographic USA, nevertheless constitutes another smaller crises Obama dealt with successfully as manifested by government intervention and support for the California state.

The last unfolding crises the president now faces comes on the eve of 9th  commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, when a singular pastor out of Gainesville Florida decided the let the world know how he was going to spend the commemoration aka the burning of Quran’s necessarily the holy book f Islam. It is unfair to see this in isolation since the preceding aspect revolve around the fact that a Muslim group had acquired a property close to ground zero, and intends a cultural centre and Mosque. This intention flared up much debate and panic amongst the USA citizenry. There are those who feel such Mosque would be an indictment on the deaths of the 9/11 victims, yet other argued that the right to build and practice religion in the USA is an inalienable one.

The crises built and the president was forced to be categorical in what constitutes the constitutional franchise of the USA, necessarily agreeing that no body can prohibit anyone else to built on land they own and to practice their faith when and where necessary. This is the context for Pastor Jones’ declared intent. His gripe is the removal of the planned Mosque for this known KKK based pastor’s mind sees such Mosque to add insult to injury on the deaths of those who died at the hand of what is called terrorist attack.  The week leading up to September 11, 2010 saw a campaign building when Jones made known his intent, anticipating the impact of such act on many good things and gains made by this administration saw the crises signals of this and responded, he even had his secretary of defense Bill gates extend a personal call to the Pastor Jones.

I guess this President dealt with crises upon crises and it seems it is far from over yet. If Obama’s presidency is defined understood and articulated it would be difficult to do so devoid of acknowledging his crises management skills for his was thus far a presidency informed by crises in which some of them he handled with reasonable ease and had great success yet others he equally proved vulnerable and proved late out of the starting blocks. One thing is clear; this president thinks on his feet and manages crises well. Hence is he the crises president of the USA of modern history?

Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine

Written October 2010

Courtesy of “Through the Prism of My Soul”  An anthology of Political Analysis and Commentary 2011