An Open Letter to Barack Obama


Dear Puppet Obama,

I am going to try and keep this letter to you, as disrespectful as I possibly can. First of all I would not like to take this opportunity to inform you that I foolishly voted for you not once, but twice. I voted for you the first time around because I protested the war in Iraq and the second time because the only alternative(other than not voting at all) was Mitt Romney. I knew that the Iraq war was based on lies long before the truth that it was indeed based on lies, ever came out.  So here you come along all fresh and new and young and spouting off about how you are against dumb wars. I sigh a huge sigh of relief because I’m thinking that finally, here is a person that is truly just as war weary as I am and so I went to the polls and voted for you. Many thought that I voted for you because….and wait for it…you’re Black! No, that wasn’t it. I’ll even let you in on a little secret. Since I was in Minnesota at the time and Minnesota is just overflowing with white folks and I am just bumping into them all the time, I was privvy to many conversations by those whose skin pigmentation is much lighter than my tan one. Many of them were voting for you and not because of your complexion but because they were thinking the same thing that I was, that you would be so war weary and would understand that we are too, that you would not get us embroiled in another conflict, another war that is. Others stated that they voted for you because John McCain was just too damn old!  How innocent and trusting we were. How completely naive we were to believe that you would be different, that you hadn’t lied and sold your soul to the puppetmasters. Oh, yes, you tricked us and you tricked us out.

But I digress. We watched while you decided to ensure that there would be health care for all and then we watched when you caved-in on the public option to the republicans. We watched and took note when you failed to do anything about the Bush bailouts that bailed out the biggest fraudsters in history, the Wall Street bankers, a bailout paid for by us and again, we watched those same crooks push bad loans on to people who were trying to realize the ‘American dream’ by seeking to become homeowners. We watched as report after report came out stating that those who were actual prime borrowers were steered into taking out subprime loans and we watched as churches were foreclosed on. We watched dreams shrivel and die. We watched the creation of homeless tent cities resulting from the criminal behavior by those beloved ‘too big to fail’ fraudsters on Wall Street who after we bailed them out, turned around and rewarded themselves with multi-million dollar bonuses.

So, I ask when will the statistics of the poor and the homeless, the uninsured and the hungry, the seniors who must choose between medication and food, when will their numbers, their statistics demand that they are too big to be left to fail? When will you concentrate on the little children in this country since you have so much compassion for the little children in Syria that you had decided to strike the hell out of them to prove it? You see, there was a child by the name of Deamonte Driver, twelve years old who was here in America, writhing on some floor in Prince Georges County, Maryland who died because an infection from a tooth spread to his brain and killed him. Yes, yes, I know, it was before your time in the White House, but we both know that there are thousands of Deamonte Drivers who are at this very moment dying or ‘writhing’ in pain because their parents cannot afford needed medical care even with the passage of the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act(PPACA) because many remain unemployed and if they have medicaid, there is often a wait of several months to be seen. I know this because in a little town in Virginia where I was born, I spoke with parents of children who had serious dental issues and they were waiting months to be seen. Adults who had worked until retirement and saved for it are waiting for medical services from ‘free clinics’ because they cannot afford health insurance. Many times, it took a herculean effort from me to even look these people in the face because of how bad their teeth were. What about those people? Do they even matter? Every single one of them voted for you, stood in long lines to do so. What are you doing for them now?

As you know, the Black community overwhelmingly voted for you and even now, the majority of them will not hear one harsh word uttered against you. You are undeserving of such loyalty as you have done nothing to earn it. You have ignored their plight. You have spit in their face. How little did they know that you had nothing in common with them. Your skin color does not make you Black, only the white man’s ‘one drop’ rule made you check the box, “African-American” on your census form. You have nothing in common with the descendants of African slaves, that is not your heritage, but it is mine and it is theirs, the ones who voted for you, myself included. What did we expect from you? Certainly not what we got, total and shameless contempt for us. With every speech you have given about the Black community, you have deliberately pointed the finger at us and blamed us for not hiring ourselves. You have blamed us for the double digit Black unemployment figures.  You have blamed us for the disintegration of our families and our neighborhoods due to unmitigated poverty, drugs and crime and gang violence. You have blamed us for the discrimination that we face on a daily basis. You have blamed us for the mass incarceration of our young Black men when they cannot get a good education and instead turn to criminal activity. You have blamed us for a poor public education system that is found in inner cities all across America. You have blamed us for not following in your lofty footsteps. You have accused of us of not working hard enough. You have chastized us, disrespected us, blamed us, degraded us and denounced us and to make matters worse, you went so far as to do this when speaking at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.  The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was so above you in stature, in integrity, in honor, humility and compassion that there is no comparison and you defile him when you even so much as utter his name. He would be ashamed of you! He would chastize you! He would have nothing to do with you! And as to why? We both know the answer to that!

Finally, you have your place in history, of that you are assured. But history will not look favorably upon you and neither do I. History will show that you were undeserving in being called the first Black president of the United States of America because that, you are not. Your history is not our history. You are the first  Kenyan/Caucasian American president of the United States because the so-called ‘African-Americans’ born in this country are the descendants of slaves and that, you are not. When you stated that you would be a “president for ALL Americans”, you did not include ‘African-Americans in that statement because your subsequent actions demoted that statement to a lie. And just as you lied about your reasoning behind military strikes on Syria, we have found that we cannot trust you as you are a proven liar. You even lied when you ran as an anti-war candidate and now you want to engage us in a war based on fabrications, lies and chemical weapons. You know the history of this country and you know that this country has used chemical weapons on numerous occasions and had no problem doing so. You are dropping drones on people as I type this. You are eradicating more of our rights. You are shredding the constitution. You? Anti-war? In the words of South Carolina’s republican representative Joe Wilson, “You lie!”

Wishing that we could impeach your sorry, worthless ass(but who of any worth could take your place?).


Shelby I. Courtland

When Will We Stop Demonizing The Poor?

So, what is the poor to do? Find a box and locate a spot underneath a bridge?
So, what is the poor to do? Find a box and locate a spot underneath a bridge?

Why do we constantly point fingers and whine because people have to use food stamps? Why do we denigrate those who work jobs that pay no living wage and are without benefits? Why are we insensitive to the plight of those who are less fortunate than we are? For those of you who have no problem putting food in abundance on the table or paying the price at the pump without blinking, don’t get me wrong. I do not hold a grudge against people who are well-heeled. What I have a problem with is the fact that those who don’t have it so good but are trying as best they can, still get shamed by those who are the haves. We should not be shaming people because of their circumstances. We should be wondering why we’re the richest country on the planet and yet we have people who cannot keep a roof over their head despite working two jobs. We should be wondering why we have no problem with corporate welfare, but have a problem with our tax dollars going to feed hungry children. Walmart, for example, rakes in billions in profits each year and yet the majority of their rank and file workers have to rely on government funded medical programs(Medicaid). Why is the Federal Government ok with this? Oh, that’s right! It’s ONLY our money!

A 2004 study by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce estimated that just one Walmart store with 200 “associates” costs taxpayers over $420,000 per year in government assistance to the poor.

Walmart and other low-wage employers are poster children for free market hypocrisy, claiming that the “market” dictates they pay poverty wages while shifting some of their labor costs onto the taxpayer.

Paying a fair wage would only result in a price hike of around 1 percent for Walmart shoppers. The researchers note that the increase would be “well below Walmart’s estimated savings to consumers,” – in other words, the big-box retailer could continue to offer “low prices” without impoverishing their workers.

Other examples of low wage employers following Walmart’s lead are Kmart, Target, Kohls, McDonalds, Burger King and the list goes on and on. And we have the nerve to wonder why there are so many working poor while corporations are perceived as the good guys. America, we have a serious problem. And to solve it, look in the mirror!

Let’s take a look at the poverty rates.
According to The poverty rate for American Indians is 39%.
According to 46.2 million people were living in poverty in 2011.
16.1 million children were living in poverty in 2011.
20.4 million people lived in deep poverty.

The poverty rate for African-American children was 37.4% in 2011.
The poverty rate for Hispanic children was 34.1% in 2011.
The poverty rate for non-Hispanic white children was 12.5% in 2011.

What that says about us as humans is that we’ve lost the definition of the word, ‘human’. I’ll look it up for you.

Definition of human:hu·man



A human being, esp. a person as distinguished from an animal or (in science fiction) an alien.Of, relating to, or characteristic of people or human beings.


Did you read that? Being ‘human’ is what separates us from the lower forms of ‘animal’ life since some see us as just an intelligent ‘animal’. Sometimes, I have to wonder about our ‘intelligence’. It does not take an awful lot of intelligence to note that if a large population of a country is living in abject poverty, it does not bode well for an economy that is based on consumer spending if millions of potential consumers have not the means to consume. What do you think will happen? It’s not obvious? We can bury our head in the sand and pretend all day and all night that the rich are keeping this ship afloat. Newsflash, that isn’t true because the rich are the leeches(corporate tax breaks, too big to fail and propped up by our money while their CEOs gave themselves hefty bonuses for running the companies into the ground). Not to mention deregulation and monopolies are also what is sinking this ship. It is not food stamp recipients, regardless of the propaganda that’s been shoved down our throat. And since many live by the mantra, ‘the poor cannot hire’, again, newsflash, the rich are not hiring either. They’re demanding that their remaining employees work until they drop and the Federal Government is hell bent on making things worse by attempting to pass laws that would put the retirement age at 70 in order to be able to collect full SSA benefits. And yes, I’ve heard that ‘we’re living longer’. Well..tell that to the Indians and Black people because it doesn’t seem apt to apply it to them.

So, in essence, the corporations are working their existing employees into the ground while the Federal Government is making it harder to collect benefits that these same workers have paid into the system their entire working life. Take a look at the unemployment figures for January. Up 7.9% from 7.8%. So, who is hiring?