Saturday, June 30, 2012

#Obama vs. Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens was a lifelong Republican. In the American Experience bio, PBS implies that the reason it took the election of Eisenhower, a fellow Republican, for Owens to be appointed to an official US government post is that Ike's predecessors were evil racists, ignoring the minor detail that they were both Democrats:

Narrator: By the mid 1950s, as the Cold War heated up, Jesse Owens suddenly emerged from obscurity.
Ed Sullivan, CBS (archival): Here is Jesse Owens…
Narrator: In 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower named Owens Goodwill Ambassador, charged with promoting America to the world.

I have ideological differences with FDR, but believe it's a leap to accuse him of being a KKKer (unlike his fellow Democrat, former WV Sen Byrd). However, in fairness, Democrat Truman finally racially integrated the US military.

Besides belonging to opposing political parties, other major differences between Owens and President Obama are:

  1. Owens didn't ride the bench in high school sports
  2. Owens didn't whine and blame any personal setback he experienced on the allegation that his coach "coached white" whilst he "played black" as per Maraniss biography of Obama
MARANISS: The mythologies range from early on when, for instance, in high school in his memoir he says that he wasn't a starter on his basketball team because he "played black" and the coach "coached white." Of course I discovered that, in fact, Barack Obama was about the eighth or ninth best player on that team, that he was one of the few players who couldn't dunk the ball. So it had nothing to do with race. Everything in his book is seen through the lens of race, and that sometimes distorts things. 

Indeed, even Glenn Beck proved he possessed greater athletic prowess than POTUS:

"Surrounded by kids and members of the Washington Wizards, President Obama ultimately attempted 22 free throws, sinking in two."

"In response to President Obama's 2-for-22 basketball shot performance at last week's White House Easter Egg Roll, Glenn Beck and his merry band of radio co-hosts decided to settle the debate no one outside their studios was really having: Is Beck 'better' than Obama at basketball? Obama's much-mocked shot performance was so "embarrassing" that even some children in attendance were trash-talking. 'He couldn't make one,' one 10-year-old told the press. 'I had to help him out.'"

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