President-elect Obama came to the national stage with a quip like, "There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There's the United States of America."
It is too bad his supporters in the media did not believe him. Obama has not even been sworn in yet, and the mainstream media is already finding divisive ways to fan the flames of racial politics.
Michael Kranish uses some unusual comparisons pertaining to American slavery and the inauguration of Obama in a December 28th Boston Globe piece located in the news section.
Kranish begins by pointing out Obama will be sworn in on grounds that slave labor built. He reminds readers Obama will stand before a crowd where blacks were previously sold as human property(my emphasis throughout):
When Barack Obama takes the oath of office at the US Capitol, the first African-American to become president will be standing amid stonework laid by slaves more than two centuries ago. He will appear before a crowd massed on the Mall, where slaves were once held in pens, ready for auction. He will end his inauguration route at the White House, where the foundations were laid by slaves, and where eight presidents held blacks as their human property.
Kranish continues using a thin veil of a pedagogue to further lash out at the United States:
At nearly every turn of Obama's march to history, the thread that deeply intertwines the founding of the nation with its great stain, slavery, will be evident. Yet for all the attention on Obama's racial breakthrough, the full story of slavery in the nation's capital remains beneath the surface. While the Lincoln Memorial on the far end of the Mall draws attention to the fight to end slavery, there is no memorial at the spot near the Capitol where slaves were once kept and sold in a three-story building called the Yellow House.
"Many people come down to the National Mall and never realize that they are walking on the site of the slave markets," said Jesse J. Holland, author of the recent book, "Black Men Built the Capitol." Now, with Obama's inauguration, historians are hoping that the role of slaves in the history of building Washington will become more widely recognized.
The article continues to give what is believed to be Michelle Obama’s family connection to America’s slave past:
Obama is the son of a black African father and a white Kansan mother, while his wife, Michelle, has a direct connection to America's history of enslavement, as Obama noted during the presidential campaign, saying the next first lady "carries within her the blood of slaves and slave owners."
Her great-great grandfather, on her father's side, was born into slavery and is believed to have lived in a small cabin at a coastal South Carolina rice plantation.
Later, Kranish names individual U.S. presidents who were slave holders:
The first president to move into the mansion, John Adams of Massachusetts, was antislavery. But his successor, Thomas Jefferson, at various times brought a number of slaves to live with him in the White House. The other presidents who owned slaves while living in the White House were James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, William Henry Harrison, James Polk, and Zachary Taylor, according to the historian Seale.
The Madisons are the last one to get it from Kranish. In fact, despite pointing out that the Madison’s former slave, Paul Jennings, apparently held no ill will towards Mrs. Madison and helped her out later on in life, he writes the following comparison:
After Madison died, Jennings was able to buy his freedom from Dolley Madison, who later became relatively destitute for a time. Jennings, hearing of the plight of Mrs. Madison, wrote that he "occasionally gave her small sums from own pocket, though I had years before bought my freedom of her." Now, exactly two centuries after Madison became president and brought slaves with him to the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama will move into the home.
Kranish’s would make some believe the United States never gave much thought to the issue of slavery; however, Kranish omits the Lincoln- Douglas debates, which were nothing but about the slavery issue. Moreover, he never mentions the hundreds of thousands of lives lost during the Civil War reminds the nation about American slavery all the time.
It is indeed historical that an African American is taking the oath of office on January 20th next year, but how does this guarantee anything but something of a historical nature? Once again, the liberal notion of symbol over substance rules the day in Kranish’s logic.
Kranish wrote this piece as if America owed the people an African-American president simply because of America's history with slavery. How is such a message beneficial, and why is it in the news section of a major national newspaper?
Perhaps the news section of The Boston Globe has yet to realize the legal practice of American slavery is now history itself, and other more important battles need to be fought over other than the ones that were fought over and settled over one hundred and forty years ago.