Friday, June 26, 2009

A moment of silence

The House of Representatives observed a moment of silence Friday morning for the late pop star Michael Jackson.

The moment was led by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Reps. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) and Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) spoke about Jackson before asking members to rise for a moment of silence.

"Madam Speaker, if there is a God — and I believe there is — and that God distributes grace and mercy and talent to all his children, on Aug. 29, 1958, he touched Gary, Ind.," said Jackson.

Jackson said the singer's "heart couldn't get any bigger," adding: "I come to the floor today on behalf of a generation to thank God for living in his era."

Michael Jackson was an incredibly talented entertainer.

No doubt, he generated hope and energy amongst people across the globe. Especially, young and poor black youth in America.

The Jackson Family is an amazing story of talent overcoming obstacles from one of the toughest places in America. Gary, Indiana.

I don't protest or regret acknowledging him, whatever his personal flaws might be.

But, for our elected House of Representatives to have a moment of silence for him, here is my question.

How many moments of silence have you had for fallen military? Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, White?

How many moments of silence have you had for fallen police men and women? Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, White?

How many moments of silence have you had for fallen firefighters, men and women? Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, White?

How many moments of silence have you had for fallen Border Security personnel? Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, White?

How many monents of silence have you had for fallen CIA? Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, White?

How many moments of silence have you had for fallen FBI? Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, White?

To have our elected leaders bow their heads and acknowledge God for an entertainer, how do you rectify that with men and women who have sacrificed their lives in service to their country? Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, White.

I have traveled the world. And have been amazed to hear Michael Jackson's music in Eastern Europe, Brazil, China, the Caribbean, Mexico, and beyond.

He is to be saluted as an entertainer.

But, please, elected officials, the men and women that give their lives for our country, which means allowing folks like Michael Jackson the freedom to practice their craft, needs to be at least equally acknowleged.

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