Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where Eyes Cannot See, Hearts Cannot Feel

Four days after the earthquake, a Haitian woman woke up on the operating table to find her leg had been amputated. she looked up at the doctor and said, "I have no way to pay for this."

We have underestimated these people. Now, at least, I hope we can see.

Haiti is African-American - it is a true slice of Africa in the heart of the Americas. Call it "Africa-West," if you will, for that is what it is - not just in the way the women carry the bundles on their heads, a charming picture right out of Ghana or Mozambique - but that it mirrors the true dysfunctionality of the African nations, and in a lot of ways, their quaint and curious self-assurance.

Haiti was born a slave colony in 1691. After 100 years of French rule, the slaves revolted, and defeated Napoleon's army. In 1804, the victors established the independent state of Haiti. the only nation on Earth founded by slaves, it would take another 58 years before the US formally recognized Haiti in 1862.

Today we look at Haiti's devastated capital, Port-au-Prince, and are filled with incredible doubt: "Rebuild that?"

We can. We rebuilt Atlanta and Richmond after the Civil War. It was the US, with its Marshall Plan, that helped to rebuild the great cities of Europe after World War II - London and Berlin, Warsaw and Cologne. We rebuilt Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Haiti's Leogene and Port-au-Prince can be rebuilt; they must be rebuilt. We should have done it long ago, except we could not see.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Missing "Dad"

When I saw Tiger Woods standing there, apologizing to the world, I saw a man in need of his father. That's right. Tiger does not need apologies, he does not need rehab, and he does not Oprah. Tiger needs Big Earl.

Tiger Woods is all bollixed-up now. If his father was alive, this spectacle that has played out over the past three months - culminating in last week's pathetic apology - would never have happened. Tiger may have committed the same indiscretions, but when it all "hit the fan," Big Earl would have told Tiger: "Apologize to your wife, your children, and your mother. Then, get back on tour and kick some butt." That is what Tiger needed to hear, and that is exactly what Tiger would have done had his father been alive. But his father is dead, and instead of a strong male voice when he needed it most, Tiger has heard a lot of female whisperings.

More and more, we downplay the value of fathers in this society. (We do it at the country's peril.) And men become more confused. In their confusion, they feminize themselves. That is certainly a shame. When this "feminization" confuses our sons, it becomes a tragedy.

There is nothing wrong with men being sensitive. It signals that they are more alert. But let the women be female. (They are better at it.) Besides, there are enough real women in America. What this country needs is more real men.

Now Tiger has lost his balance, and his father is no longer there to get him "centered." It is nature's way that we are all fatherless soon. The question becomes: Have you been fathered - have you been guarded by a man that has always had your back? And when that father is gone, do you remember to "man up" like he "manned up" for you, literally from day one? Or is his voice drowned in the confusion?

Time to man up, Tiger. And you, President Obama - you appear to be missing your father, too

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Palm Writer

I must be a closet Palin fan. I have always liked her conservative values - that good old time religion - but when she went to the crib notes written across her hand, that took it over the top.

There is a charm there - a play right out of my grade school past. Nothing fancy, nothing phony; just pure Palin trying to make ends meet.

It was a special moment in 21st century American politics. At a time when we are bombarded with, and overwhelmed by technology, she goes to the old standby - notes written across the palm of her hand. Brilliant! I'm coming out.