March 19, 2008
The Day of Race, Sex, Money and Violence (Bob Franken)
@ 10:18 am
What a day!!! Mark down March 18. In the same 24-hour period, we dealt with some of the country’s fundamental issues: racism, guns, sex and (oh, yeah) five years of war in Iraq.
Since glossing over color just wasn’t working, thanks to his pastor, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) decided it was time to confront our country’s racial antagonism head on. It’s fair to say it was a graceful description of an awkward problem that, despite progress, still embitters us.
For evidence of that progress, by the way, look to Albany, N.Y., where another African-American politician was dealing with a problem that had nothing to do with being black. This was an even more primal issue: adultery.
New Gov. David Paterson (D) and his wife Michelle began their lives as New York’s first couple by acknowledging that in the past they had been an unfaithful couple — that each had been involved in affairs with others during their marriage. They were hoping, they said, to put their pasts in the past. Wouldn’t that be terrific.
Meanwhile, at the Supreme Court, we seemed to be witnessing a return to America’s shoot-’em-up past. The justices, while hearing arguments about Washington, D.C.’s strict gun laws, seemed to favor the individual right to bear arms, so we can all protect ourselves. If that’s how they rule this summer, it won’t be long before we return to the days of the Wild West.
Actually, it’s pretty much that way on Wall Street these days. The problem is that the crew running our economy has demonstrated it is clearly the “Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” The problem is we’re all being bloodied by the stray bullets. Tuesday was just another day of firing wildly in hope of something hitting its target and stopping our downward spiral.
Who could have thought that the fifth anniversary of our Iraq adventure would be so overshadowed? Perhaps that’s because of the widespread belief that we’ve gotten in so deep there’s no sense even trying to find a way out.
One can only hope that we haven’t sunk too far into Iraq, that our racial divide isn’t too wide to bridge, that our economy’s spin isn’t out of control.
What bothers me most is that with all this, we’re paying any attention at all to the new governor’s sex life.