Picture this: a black man with a gun. What is the first image that comes to your mind? Got it? Now get this: The President of the United States, in the person of Barack Obama, a self-described black man, is now “accused” of running around the world with his weapons — actually stealth weapons — and is using them with precision and efficiency.
Let me start off by stating that I am personally opposed to public policies that result in the taking of any life through war or capital punishment. For the sake of this article, I will not mention — again — abortions, mortal consequences of self-defense or other forms of death by the hand, car, etc., of another.
I contend that neither I nor you are the ultimate judges of any actions taken by any individual or group, except we are responsible for what our government officials carry out.
Here is what we have done since 1776: We have legalized murder. And we have refined our techniques. We’ve come a long way from the hanging gallows (or have we?) and the fife and drum of the colonial army.
It’s gotten insane and the pattern is worsening. We have been killing other humans who share with us the earth’s atmosphere and natural resources, presumably also sharing our aspirations for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We have been killing them in the name of justice, protection of our politically drawn borders and sacred creeds, giving us a false sense of well-being, to name a few.
We have grown comfortable with this killing field created from our weapons, now precision perfect, because we don’t see those other human beings as being like us.
And just who are we anyway?
We, in our collective national consciousness, have bought into this notion that we are “superior,” plain and simple, that our constitution, our policies and our laws are enlightened or better than those of any other group.
This type of thinking is part of the national neuroses that I have written about before.
Now, the pundits are arguing whether Obama has bigger ones than the conservative Republicans.
Oh my God! Did Bill Maher really say all those things?
I don’t know about you but that is not the image I’d like to have of Barack Obama on the world stage: the big, black, heavy hung, gun-wielding bad boy of world policing.
I am not naïve. I understand that his is a no-win
situation and that the “it” of it is beyond the control of any one person, political party or power position.
Yet, I can’t help but think about how my own attitudes, choices and actions continue to fuel this untenable posture of the U.S.A. and, now, our president.
I recently overheard myself sounding like a hawkish defender of the warrior stance of my country. I really thought for a moment that I was a real American, forgetting, in that moment, that I am really a world (still in formation) citizen.
I was reminded of my place in this world when I heard that the two most recent Nobel Prize winners were honored for discovering that the universe (as we are just beginning to know it) is still expanding.
Oh little earth! Oh even smaller U.S.A.!
And that brings me back to Barack, the black man with the gun aimed around the world.
If only he had a wand of peace instead.
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Antonia Williams-Gary