home arrow OPINIONS arrow Second term win means it is morning in America once again

AP Political Videos

Login Form

Lost Password?
No account yet? Register
Second term win means it is morning in America once again PDF Print E-mail
Written by DONALD JONES   
Saturday, 17 November 2012

donald_jones_web.jpgWhere do we go from here? — Martin Luther King Jr. The last  election was  the moral equivalent of a second civil war.

In the first, the lines were drawn between the North and the South. In the second, it was drawn between two different visions of whose America this is.

One vision was defined  by a unity that transcended race, sex  or where you were born.

It did not matter that Barack Obama is black; it mattered that he could lead. This America has a  heart; it is an America  in which no one should be without health care, where  the needs of the elderly  (read Social Security)  are sacred,  where there are loans for students  to go to college,  where women still have the right to choose what to do with their bodies.

On the other side was a party not merely of no but “Absolutely no!” to the idea of black man as president.  Detroit rocker Ted Nugent  captured the hatefulness of  this group. “Obama could suck on his machine gun,” he stated. This was dog-whistle racism.


The whistle was loud because the demographics of America are changing. People of color are becoming the majority. The tea party invoked an Us vs. Them argument which holds that when blacks — and other non-whites — make progress it is at the expense of whites.

In the Civil War, the goal of Gen. Robert E. Lee was to overthrow the federal government. The goal in the second one was eerily similar.   Grover Norquist, who has led the no-taxation movement, stated, “We want to shrink the federal government to the point where we can drown it in a bathtub.” 

True to that vision, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney proposed to eliminate not only the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — but also the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  “Give it back to the states,” he said. Had this group taken the reins of America, we would have had to turn our clocks back on Saturday not an hour but to 1929.

Obama’s victory was surprising because the Republicans had the majority of “white America,” backing by billionaires and  Fox News.  They had a supposedly invincible machine but they were defeated by an army they could not see. 

Attorney Karen Andre, a key Obama strategist in Florida, called it a “blue Ninja army.” Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women, younger whites — ordinary people — all banded together. They came to vote with the same fervor that brought a previous generation to civil rights demonstrations. They did not merely express their right to vote; it was a fight to vote.

If this had been merely a political campaign, the Republican Party would have treated blacks and Hispanics as potential supporters. We were treated as the enemy by the Republicans. We were targeted variously by voter suppression and disinformation campaigns that compare well with those waged in third world countries. But when the smoke cleared, Obama had not only won; he had a mandate.

If the campaign was a second civil war, our era now must be an era of reconstruction.

The focus of the first Reconstruction was changing the law to give former slaves the right to vote. Obama should begin our new reconstruction by issuing a national ID card that would forestall future subterfuge of voter ID laws. True reconstruction must include rebuilding America’s cities.  Inner city schools have become warehouses; roads and bridges in some cities have potholes large enough for a car to fit into.

Reconstruction can happen only if Obama chooses peace instead of war in the Middle East. We must also rebuild the criminal justice system. The one we have is broken in urban areas.


In the aftermath of the Civil War, while the North defeated the army of the South, the philosophy that had put the Confederates in the field, the philosophy of Dred Scott, of racial inequality, was still alive. This is the kind of problem that confronts Obama. For the president, the war is not over. Some in Texas and Louisiana have already petitioned to “peacefully secede” from the United States.

Obama needs to divide the Republican Party like Gen. William Sherman divided the South in his march to the sea. He should talk only to the moderates. They may listen now. The ship of extremism has run aground.  It is morning in America again.

*Donald Jones is a professor of law at the University of  Miami School  of Law in Coral Gables.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 November 2012 )
< Prev   Next >
Microsoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone featureMicrosoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone feature
NEW YORK — Microsoft unveiled a new virtual assistant for Windows Phone devices last Wednesday as it seeks to gain tra...
Samsung hooks unsuspecting ObamaSamsung hooks unsuspecting Obama
NEW YORK — The latest pitchman in Samsung’s marketing machine: an unwitting President Barack Obama. ...
Nigeria’s Nollywood: most prolific movie machine Nigeria’s Nollywood: most prolific movie machine
LAGOS, Nigeria — A 15-second drum roll and the title of the film, Deceptive Heart, comes crashing onto the screen in a...
Israel Houghton and  New Breed close this season’s Gospel SundaysIsrael Houghton and New Breed close this season’s Gospel Sundays
If you have been putting off attending one of the free Gospel Sunday events at the Adrienne Arsht Center, here’s your las...

News Article Comments

NRA-backed ‘warning-shot’ law on Scott’s desk
The proposed law changes deal with threatening to use deadly force, warning shots are the use of deadly force. The changes will actually water down the SYG law a bit like suggested by Taryvon Martin ...
Miami Gardens chief from North Miami
Congratulations and welcome to the City of Miami Gardens!
Doctors say prepare kids for summer camp
As a camp Director of Swift Nature Camp , I understand and see all the benefits of camp each and every summer. However, it is important to pick the right camp, especially in Fla. At this time they a...
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
The kettle once called the pan black, the ignorance and arrogance of this group is mind blowing
National Civil Rights Museum reopens at site of King shooting
So happy to see this important museum reopen. Let's hope the politics stay out of the way of success.
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
Can these groups not see the foolishness of their stance? Ignorance is not always bliss when you're so concerned with what other humans lives. Don't like gay marriage? Don't get gay married. DuH!
Workers to mark MLK assassination anniversary with rally
We cannot forget this important anniversary. Dr. King was murdered partly because of this strike.
Washington Park in need of improvement: OIC offering assistance
thanks for sharing this buon gi bay gio | may tinh de ban | tri ho |
Broward mayor’s success a tribute to late father
What a Great story! I stopped reading the article to say, "This is news that is Current, Local, about Living Legends and their descendants contributing to the African Diaspora. Keep Telling The Stor...
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
Oh the shear hypocrisy of Blacks and Hispanics not supporting equal rights for all. We should be ashamed for using the same techniques used on us to deny rights to others which are guaranteed by the c...
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congratulations are in Order! You BOTH Work Hard and Smart, and know how to have Fun while doing it. Your Intelligence and Hearts of Gold Will Pay off....GOD'S ABUNDANT BLESSINGS
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Your enthusiasm, drive and insight is truly inspiring. I wish you bot! many years of great achievements! Keep up the great work!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
What an awesome job ladies! This is the type is professionalism and success that motivates me and my business venture. I'm truly proud of you both. Keep up the fantastic work!
Broward mayor’s success a tribute to late father
Good story, anyone should be applauded for turning around their situation. But sometimes people don't act like they know where they came from and have not done anything for their community except to a...
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congrats Ladies! Job well done!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congratulations Ann Marie!!! I'm so proud of you!!! Way to go! Keep your passion, and God will do the rest! Love you!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
I am so proud of both of you ladies! What a great example and a great job! I am most proud of Ann for defying the stereotypes and proving awesome things do come from the muck! Much continued success!
Miami Gardens: Don’t cut us out
If I were Ross I would move the team and dump the stadium. It is obvious Miami Gardens no longer appreciates what the Dolphins bring to the area but rather collect that guaranteed check. Great example...
Clinton says she's still considering future plans
Mushtaq Dean In this interview session, a woman showed her desire that Hillary should try to win the highest position and represent female population. She was single in her physical appearance but was...
The young are trapped by obsession with wealth
This is a well-conceived and well-written article and does, indeed, express my observations as well as my sentiments. In July, I will be on a panel at The Futurist Conference in Orlando discussing the...

The most influential African American weekly newspaper in South Florida

Beatty Media LLC