The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Samuel L. Jackson on Barack Obama.

Samuel L. Jackson, the Hollywood actor, voted for Barack Obama, he revealed in a recent expletive laden interview in Ebony magazine. Now, what struck me as very revealing was why he did so. Can you guess? Well, Samuel L. Jackson voted for Barack Obama for one reason and one reason alone – because Obama is black. That’s it. Samuel L. Jackson declared that Barack Obama’s policies meant nothing to him, really – all that mattered was that he was black. He voted for him because “he looked like me...and that is why people vote for people”. He said, in similar words.

In the same interview he accused the Tea Party of racism since their sole purpose was to get Barack Obama – a black man – out of office.

Now, these words of Samuel L. Jackson are very curious and telling. Mr. Jackson appears to be unaware that his choice of Barack Obama simply because he was black, rather any reason of substance, is, in fact, a racist choice. Samuel L. Jackson is showing an unconscious racism by this decision, whether he realizes it or not. Anyone who selects anyone, above others, for anything, for the reason of race, alone, is being racist. Race should not be reason for selecting for or against someone. Only matters of substance can form reasonable motivations for choosing one person over another. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t choose for any such reason – he chose Obama because they had the same coloured skin. This is the very same kind of reasoning which Jackson views as racist when he judges the Tea Party. They, too, are, it seems, wishing to choose a President, or determine a President, based on race...the white race. Samuel L. Jackson has declared the same motivation as the one he pins on the Tea Party – it is just the mirror image of it.

I hope for a day when race plays no part in political or other choices. People should be measured for their qualities, their abilities, their views, their aspirations and aims, their plans and their experiences – they should not be assessed on whether or not they belong to a particular race. The best candidate, in terms of a summation of all their qualities, is the one who should win – along with the best party as a summation of all they have to offer a country. The race of those politicians (or whatever other class of people is being considered under the circumstance) should not be a part of any rational, fair, humane decision making process. It should always be the best person wins. It should NEVER be – the person most like me, racially, wins. That is a racist decision, no matter who makes it, or whatever race they be.

I don’t think Samuel L. Jackson is aware that his decision was a racist one. I don’t think he has reflected too deeply on it. If he had, he would not have accused the Tea Party of similar thinking, implicitly, for he would have recognized that their views were simply mirrored echoes of his own. No. Samuel L. Jackson most probably does not intend to hold a racist view...but, in fact, he does. Sometimes people are not aware of the true meaning or implications of their own thinking. They don’t examine their own thought processes enough to become aware of them – they just act, almost reflexively. I think Samuel L. Jackson’s decision comes into this category of reflexive thought. He instinctively chose Obama because of the physical race based similarities he has with him. That is all. He never paused to reflect on whether or not such a decision was fair, reasonable or free of racist undertones. He just reacted. So many people do that. So many people “decide” without thinking. We need a different world. A world of more thinking, in which decisions are actually thought through and are not reflexive. We need a world in which people actually consider the context, implications and consequences of their thoughts before making a decision. The only basis on which Barack Obama should have been judged is on the substance of his life and his merits as a human being. No-one should have been judging based on his race. He should have been compared, in a race blind way, with all other possible humans who could have had his job – and being judged accordingly, positively or negatively. I think, had this been done, perhaps he would not have been elected. He seems, to an overseas, impartial, uninvolved eye, to have certain weaknesses as a candidate, which seemed to have been overlooked by the electorate, perhaps because they saw his race first, his suitability last.

Let future elections in America, and elsewhere be race blind. Let the decisions on who is to lead a nation be based purely on who would make the best leader, from the point of view of who would benefit the nation most. If such a person be black, then by all means elect them. However, such a person should never be elected purely BECAUSE they are black, or Hispanic, or Asian or white, etc. As always the winner should be the most optimal candidate, not the most “ethnically correct”.

The future of America is likely to see other Presidents who are minorities. I would be unsurprised to see an Hispanic President, given how quickly the Hispanic population is growing. Again, however, such a President should only ever be selected if they are genuinely the best of all candidates.

I am hopeful that some people might have learned a lesson from President Barack Obama’s election. Many people, I am sure, are a little disappointed at his performance. Yet, they should not be surprised, since many were like Samuel L. Jackson. They didn’t choose him for his capabilities...they chose him for his colour. Colour, alone, is no guide to a good leader. I hope America, and the world, choose future leaders without reference to race – for such concerns only ever corrupt and contaminate the electoral process and give rise to irrational decisions for which the country must pay the price. The world cannot afford to pay such a price – it needs to eliminate racism and choose the genuinely best candidates, in a colour blind fashion.

Posted by Valentine Cawley

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 4:37 PM 


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