Droppin Science live on the Great Issues
An Open Invitation to Discuss President Obama
Greetings and Salutations Dr. Johnson
During the breaks on my radio show I am bombarded with excerpts of your passionate assessments of Barack Obama’s presidency. The affect they have on me is a jarring sensation much like that described by a musician friend with perfect pitch when he hears a singer singing off key. For instance your description of President Obama as “a right of center” Democrat has that effect; it assaults my sense of intellectual integrity much as an out of tune singer savages a melody; it is such a gross mischaracterization of the President’s position IT CANNOT BE HARMONIZED WITH THE EVIDENCE! Hence it is becoming painful to remain silent as I am forced listen to your impassioned preachment every week.
Furthermore, I believe your charge that the President has failed in a “moral” mission that you say he assumed – although it sounds to me like you assigned him the role – or your suggestion that this moral mission should take precedence over the political imperatives of his office, is dissonant nonsense. It suggests that your understanding of the paramount duties of the Presidency and the complexities of the problems President Obama is confronted with –which are made infinitely more complicated by a recalcitrant, rejectionist, obstructionist, Republican opposition whose actions border on treason – leaves much to be desired….to put it kindly.
Some of my listeners who are also avid readers of my commentaries have asked why I allow your critical comments on President Obama to go unchallenged. It is the same question I have been asked by young scholars who read the book on Dubois, in which Stanley Crouch and myself presented interpretations of the life, work and legacy of the great black scholar. They wonder how I allowed Stanley to write certain things without opposition.
In that case I had no choice. Motivated by a justified fear of public chastisement and exposure as an intellectual lightweight, Crouch craftily clutched his essay – which was about one fifth the length of mine – close to his vest and I never saw it until the book was published. Fortunately I do have an opportunity to respond to your position on Truthworks Radio.
Hence I have decided to critique your views on the President, and I would love it if you would participate. It is my conviction that intellectuals who take themselves seriously – as opposed to opportunistic charlatans and self-important poseurs – should be willing to defend the positions they take publicly. The things I wrote I meant…hence I will show up anywhere and represent!
First I’d like you to refer me to a program where you elaborate on your views of President Obama, as well as anything you have written on him. I have written several hundred essays and am selecting a group of them for a book. The problem is that the book is already 500 pages yet I still feel that there are other essays that should be included…and I keep on writing them. I sometimes feel like John Coltrane, who when asked by Miles Davis why he always played such long solos, replied “I can’t figure out how to end them.” To wit Miles replied “why don’t you just try taking the damned horn outta yo mouth?” Alas I have decided that I will just have to get up and walk away from my computer.
As you might imagine, I don’t believe that there are many people who have observed this president more closely or insightfully than I have. Thus I readily see the flaws in many of the opinions that are presented about him and how he has handled his job. It saddens me to confess my disappointment at the sloppy thinking, careless analysis, and blacker than thou silliness that have passed for serious critiques postulated by some black intellectuals. I not only think this pompous pretentious prattle is irresponsible but dangerous.
After listening to your radio comments I decided to read back over the private exchange we had about this president on Facebook a while ago. I found your arguments weak then and upon review they appear even more spurious now. Furthermore – based on the excerpts I heard – I find your present radio declarations to be intellectually indefensible.
If you believe your analysis will stand up under a rigorous critique then I am inviting you to come on the show and defend them with me and Dr. Wilson. It will be the kind of fact driven collegial discourse that we normally undertake, and you will be provided the opportunity to present your views at length. My intention in producing Commentaries on the Times Radio is to engage in extended discussion of the commentaries that I or Basil writes on the great issues of the day. Since we are compulsive pedagogues ever looking for opportunities to teach important lessons, this is our way of providing audio documents that are readily available and can be widely employed to politically educate activist who want to bring about change in America and elsewhere.
This is especially true when I write about mass transformative movements. I approach these movements as a class of phenomenon whose organization and dynamics follow similar patterns of development no matter when or where they appear in the world. You have simply to read my essays on the upheavals during the so-called “Arab Spring” and Occupy Wall Street movements to see what I mean.
Hence I find that just as my generation of radical Afro-American activists were informed by the writings of foreign theorists such as Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Emma Goldman, Mao Tse Tung, Kwame Nkrumah, Franz Fanon, George Padmore, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, CLR James, Amilcar Cabral, et al, young people from South Africa to Indonesia and Australia write and tell me how much they have learned from my writings.
And for those who seek a broader understanding regarding the role of cultural matters I include criticism of the arts, and the occasional sports essay because as the ever insightful Trinidadian polymath CLR James has taught us: popular sports mirror the character and values of a society. I am well aware that we are working in a world-wide medium of communication that no other generation has had the benefit of –which is why we should be careful what we put into cyberspace – and I intend to make the most of it. For a deeper understanding of my longtime interests in international issues see “Why I Opposed the Iraq War from the Beginning” –which is a news video on YouTube.
I anxiously await whatever material – written or spoken – you can refer us to that will clarify your views on the President. That way we can avoid taking your comments out of context and thus misrepresenting your arguments. In the absence of your participation however our critique of the assertions that you make during the breaks on our show will serve as the basis for a critique of your views…which will go on in any case. In the mean time I can recommend several essays by myself and Dr. Wilson where you can get a capsulized version of our views.
The Struggle for Enlightenment Continues
Playthell G. Benjamin
Dr. Johnson Pontificating On Truthworks Network
An Open Letter to a Self-Righteous, Confused Obama Basher
“I think that if you feel so inclined you should probably listen to more of my shows on issues related to Obama than a snippet someone else harvested for advertisement. You may find them more balanced than you suspect. But if not, please understand that time spent on a show with you is for me time spent far more productively elsewhere. God Bless you my atheistic friend. And keep struggling for enlightenment.”
Dr. Matthew Johnson’s response to Playthell’s Invitation to a debate on President Obama.
My Dear Reverend Dr. Johnson
I too am a very busy man and do not have the time or inclination to sift through your many shows and endure hours of impassioned pious preachments in order to cull the answers to a few specific questions about politics. You evidently consider your time far more valuable than mine…For I would never make such an unreasonable request of you. If you asked me for my opinions on the President – foreign or domestic policy – I could easily refer you to WELL THOUGHT OUT WRITTEN ESSAYS or SPECIFIC CONVERSATIONS – it is interesting that you cannot, or will not, do the same. And I take your attitude as a dis.
Therefore it is impossible for me to take you seriously as a critic of the president. Thus far in my exchanges with you about Barack Obama, I find your arguments to be lightweight and unworthy of a serious black intellectual when discussing the first African-American to rise to the most powerful office in the world!!!
Hence I shall proceed to write a critique of your views based on the private conversation we had in our first kerfuffle over the President, since the text is still there – and combine it with the claims you make in the excerpts aired on my show – that will be quite enough to paint a picture of your argument, which has so many flaws I could write a book. Since you seem confirmed in your folly, and thus beyond instruction, I shall leave the veil of political ignorance firmly over your eyes where I found it and simply use you as a foil, a teaching prop, to address a larger audience.
But I must say that I find your response disappointing. What exactly do you stand for as an intellectual Dr. Johnson? What do you value? Based on your attitude here it is certainly not honest critical discourse with other serious Afro-Americans trying to think through these thorny issues that could well determine the life’s chances of the working class in general, and future generations of minorities in the US. Since only a fool could fail to recognize the importance of these critical issues, or the need to seriously discuss them in a public forum, I can only conclude that you think it a waste of time because you find me and Dr. Wilson unworthy partners in such a dialogue. The refusenik posture you have assumed puzzles me.
Perhaps your attitude is the inevitable result of preaching to people all the time who believe your words represent some kind of divine wisdom and therefore never question anything you say. It is fairly easy to see how one who envisions himself as a Shepherd ordained by God to lead his flock to salvation could develop the kind of arrogant imperious attitude that causes you to think any questioning of your views is somehow an affront.
This is, I suppose, the price of the ticket; but your attitude strikes me as self-important, pompous and ultimately absurd. I strongly suspect that it is a thin veil to mask what is in essence intellectual cowardice…because you are smart enough to know that you cannot defend your silly and unfair criticism of this President against the rigorous examination Dr. Wilson and myself will subject to! As for me, I have no doubt that your argument would crash and burn rather easily.
However I was prepared to be gentle with your instruction, to treat you as a learned, earnest, albeit misguided junior colleague. But your condescending dismissive attitude has aroused the intellectual thug in me. In that regard you should know that the great novelist essayist Ishmael Reed has dubbed me “a peerless literary street fighter” and Professor Mike Thelwell, Novelist/essayist/ Professor of comparative Literature, has accused me of having “a curious affection for back alley intellectual muggings!” Alas, since I have failed to appeal to your pride in private I shall commence to peel yo hide in public!
Most surprising in our last conversation was my discovery that you have the unmitigated gall to laud your blackness over President Obama, bragging about your grandmother having been “black” and a descendent of slaves and Obama’s being white and “a racist.” A fact that to me suggest absolutely nothing about the content of your character – HERMAN CAIN AND CLARENCE THOMAS’ GRANDMOTHERS WERE BLACK TOO!!!!!! And judging by your complexion – which is about the same as Obama’s with straighter hair, with no trace of West African ancestry that I can discern – their grandmothers were a lot blacker than yours! Do you see how silly that sounds?
When you said it I was shocked that a man of your learning could advance such a simple minded argument; I regard it as characteristic of the lightweight prattle advanced by black critics of President Obama in general. It is in the same category as the silly comments of Dr. Boyce Watkins, a failed academic who now anoints himself “The People’s Scholar,” who constantly refers to the President as “Bi-Racial,” in an attempt to suggest that racial purity should be a definitive factor in our evaluation of this President. It is an attitude that reminds me of Bishop Alexander Crummel – another pompous black clergyman with a degree in philosophy – who constantly referred to Frederick Douglas as: “That mulatto showman!” These are ideas that properly belong to the 19th century….it is now 2013 Dr. Johnson!!!!!
Herman “Suga” Cane
Is he black enough for you Doc?
He’s Black Enough for Reverend Al!
And Black Enough for Michelle
And black enough for me…and I’m Soul Brother #1
It should be obvious that I find you silly Negro intellectuals’ petty pigment politics pretty much beneath contempt! If you were not equating racial purity with political reliability what do you mean by reference to your “black” grandmother in this context? Are you implying that because your grandmother was “black” she was free of color prejudice? Well, I say just like the things you’re libel to read in the bible: IT AIN’T NECISSARILY SO!!!!
If she was a light skinned Afro-American she might have been as “racist” toward dark skinned African type Afro-Americans as Barack Obama’s grandmother…if not worse! Surely you know enough about Afro-American history and literature to know that. If not just read the writings of Charles Chestnut – The House Behind the Cedars, The Marrow of Tradition, The Bride of His Youth, etc – Or Wallace Thurmond’s “The Blacker The Berry,” or Nella Larson’s “There is Confusion,” the writings of sociologist E. Franklin Frazier and Nathan Hare and many other texts I could cite.
Some mixed blood blacks were worse than whites in their hatred of black skin! You have but to look at Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Cape Verde, Louisiana, or any southern city where Mulatto offspring from slave masters and their dark concubines formed a privileged class in the Afro-American community – See Professor Richard C. Wades’ “Slavery In The Cities.”
They were very proud of their light skin and were as contemptuous of dark skinned people as the most racist whites. Dr. DuBois pegged them just right when he called them “an aristocracy based upon bastardry.” You have but to read the descriptions of what is was like at Howard in the late 19th century, written by the brilliant ebony complexioned scholar Edward Wilmont Blyden, when black and mulatto professors ate at different tables in the dining hall –see Dr. Hollis Lynch, “Edward Wilmont Blyden: Pan-Negro Patriot.”
Blyden had such a hard time with light skinned Afro-Americans that he said when he died he wanted his tombstone to read “Here Lies Edward W. Blyden: Pan-Negro Patriot and he Hated Mulattos!” I can even remember the famous “blow hair” and “brown bag” parties at Howard. So if we are to be suspect of Barack because of his grandmother, what about all of the light skinned blacks whose grandmother’s also hated dark skinned black people?
In Fact….Light Skin Only Parties Still Go On!
Wonder what their “black” grandmother’s taught them?
This kind of argument about the President’s race would be surprising to hear from a member of the untutored mob – unlettered ignoramuses – but it is utterly shocking coming from a cultivated Negro who is obviously mixed blood and holding “a terminal degree” as you were quick to remind me. Should you have difficulty remembering your silly statements, which I am certain by now you would rather forget, I will publish the Private Message transcripts. You can run but you can’t hide!
From all accounts, Barack’s African father had a far easier time of it with his white in-laws than Ward Connely’s dark skinned daddy had with his grandmother! Remember Ward? The brainwashed washed light skinned suckass nigger who led the fight that successfully ended all Affirmative Action programs in the California university system which has dramatically reduced the number of black students matriculating on campus? The man was a puzzle to me; I just couldn’t understand what would drive an Afro-American to spearhead such an effort in league with whites who were transparent racist!
Then a cousin of Ward’s came forth and provided the key to solving the puzzle. He said that their grandmother was very light skinned and hated dark skinned Afro-Americans. He told how she had destroyed the marriage between her light skinned daughter and Ward’s dark skinned father, and then she never ceased telling Ward lies about his good for nothing black daddy. He says that she cultivated a hatred and contempt for black people in general. And his fight against educational opportunities for Afro-American youths was the result of all that ingrained hate!
So should us dark skinned blacks be suspicious of what light-skinned blacks grandmother’s taught them? Surely by now you see how simple minded your comment is. Please do not misunderstand me Dr. Johnson this is not to suggest that dark skinned confers any special virtue; that one is more likely to act in the best interest of Afro-Americans the blacker they are.
Four of the biggest ass kissing black traitors – that are confused with Uncle Tom, who is a paragon of virtue compared to these soulless blaggards – are melanin rich: Clarence Thomas, Herman Cane, Dr. Allen Keyes and Tim Scott. I once wrote an essay on Armstrong Williams, another ebony complexioned charlatan, titled “Little Black Sambo of the Right,” just as I wrote an essay on Tim Scott’s appointment to the Republican Senate seat formerly held by that right-wing mad dog Jim Demint, titled “Sambo goes to the Senate.” Hence my real point in discussing this question of color is to demonstrate its irrelevance in politics!!!!!
Ward Connelly and wife
Well…we see that Ward sought the approval of his Grandmother
Uncle Justice Thomas!
He he black enouh for you Doc? Color is irrelevant to quislings
So, as far as I am concerned such commentary on Obama’s racial heritage of the sort that you misguided confused black intellectuals are engaging in, is at best superficial and at worse dangerous to the interests of black Americans. Some of our most effective leaders were mulattos just like Barack: Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington for instance.
Many Afro-Americans are more than half white, including some of our greatest heroes – Walter White, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Ralph Bunche, Dr. Rayford Logan, Dr. Charles Drew, Thurgood Marshall, et al. I am quite frankly astonished at the low intellectual level of much of the criticism aimed at this President by some Afro-Americans with advanced degrees…even terminal degrees.
All this suggest that the new black intelligentsia is as confused about their historically appointed role as those Harold Cruse wrote about in his masterpiece “The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual” almost 50 years ago! Have you ever read this canonical text in black critical thought Dr. Johnson? If so, I can detect no evidence that you learned anything from it…and since you don’t impress me as being a dullard, I shall assume you have not read it: but you need to.
Well whatever your black grandmother taught you she certainly didn’t teach you to respect your elders….which is a direct African inheritance and a very deeply held value in the black community that I grew up in. I am 71 years old and I have been in this struggle for over 50 years – probably before you learned how to pee straight. You will be fortunate indeed if you make a contribution to the advancement of Afro-Americans that will equal mine in your lifetime.
And despite the fact that you found it necessary to refer to my atheism, I am more than willing to compare my service to the black community with yours any day…serving the least of us just as Jesus Christ commanded; and it was not dependent on my being financially compensated by a congregation. Like Catholic Priest and Bhuddist Monks I was prepared to endure poverty to carry out my work. And that has not changed. You cavalierly dismiss Barack Obama’s time spent as a community organizer in the Chicago projects, but the people he worked with, teaching them how to organize and fight for their rights, spoke of him as if he were a saint!
It just like the kind of generous heartfelt praise I heard from Afro-Americans in the Mississippi Delta – the cousins of those blacks in the Chicago projects – when they spoke of the great Bob Moses from SNCC. It was their testimony that initially attracted me to Barack. Hence I never questioned his blackness, nor his concern for the black poor, because he had already been vetted by the real deal!
If you have any imagination at all Dr. Johnson, you might conjure how absolutely irrelevant and ridiculous the questions about Barack’s blackness sounds to me when it emanates from bald headed buffoons like Boyce Watkins; or tragic/comic philosophers like Cornel West, who is so confused about his proper role he reminds me of the man who couldn’t tell his rectum from a hole in the ground; or pompous preachers like yourself! You got a graduate education in Chicago Reverend Johnson, may I ask how much time you spent working in the projects after you obtained your “terminal degree?”
I would also like to know if you are aware of the testimony of these people in Chicago. I wrote about them at the time, so I remember it well. And given that you question President Obama’s commitment to poor black folks I am compelled to ask if you are aware of his legislative record in the Illinois state Legislature.
Well I am, and you certainly don’t talk like you are, but you ought to be acquainted with this record before concluding that he is not primarily concerned with addressing the problems of working people and the poor. You are a scholar and therefore if you were motivated by a serious concern about the President’s values, rather than just throwing mindless verbal spitballs – researching his record is basic stuff.
However if you consult my essay “Civilization or Savagery?” – Which is the text of a speech I presented in defense of President Obama’s presidency at a “Great Debate,” here in New York – sponsored by the Committee against Media Offensive to African People – you will find a listing of all the legislation authored or Co-Sponsored by Barack Obama during his days in the Illinois legislature and the US Senate. This body of work is distinguished by a profound concern for the least of us….and it is brilliantly reflected in the policies he has fought for as President, but he has been restrained by a racist reactionary Republican House.
It is fair to say that many of the opportunities that you now enjoy – like the right to vote and go wherever you want down there in Georgia and be served – is due to the activities of people like me, activists of my generation. Barack Obama followed it their footsteps. Yet you think that to have a discussion with me and Dr. Basil Wilson – another elder with a distinguished history of activism and intellectual service – is a waste of time?
As I noted earlier, your response strikes me as the comment of someone who is either stupid or an intellectual coward. And since you are obviously not stupid, the only plausible explanation is cowardice. You may attempt to disguise it as aloofness or disdain for my challenge, but I see you clearly for what you are: a political junior flip who knows that you will be in way over your head should you attempt to argue that pious anti-Obama piffle I hear you spouting on my show!!!!
Thus, quite to the contrary, I would argue that spending two hours in a serious discourse with me and Dr. Wilson would be far from a waste of time: It would provide you with the kind of advanced political education that would restrain you from spouting some of the nonsense that you so often mistake for wisdom. In fact it is fair to say that much of your argument against Barack Obama is pure bullshit; which the imminent moral philosopher and Princeton Professor Harry G. Franks argues is more dangerous to the truth than an outright lie in his book titled “Bullshit.”
In our first discussion of the President you were so anxious to find some reason to try and discredit him you even attempted to dismiss him as a constitutional scholar, although he had been president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review and taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago, where you received your graduate education. Your argument was so ridiculous I felt embarrassment for you…but it didn’t keep me from candidly dismissing it as foolishness.
I could hardly believe it when you said:
“I do not privilege Obama’s understanding of the constitution over mine. He is a lawyer I am a trained hermeneutician. I have a terminal degree. He has a JD and not much experience practicing law or community organizing. So that question is moot.”
When I reminded you of Barack’s credentials as a scholar of constitutional law you wrote:
“There is a difference between the history of constitutional decisions and interpretations and correct interpretations. You can’t at all be serious in thinking that an educated Black man would really trust the history of white interpretation of the constitution to somehow be synonymous with correct interpretation. Perhaps it is time we revisit Woodson’s Miseducation of the Negro, I think it may be instructive in this instance.”
After explaining that Dr. Woodson’s book was the most often cited, albiet seldom read and even less understood, book in black letters, I pointed out that it has little relevance for our time and none for the argument we are engaged in, I replied thusly:
“The point of this statement escapes me. The first thing that puzzles me is that you state the obvious as if it were a profound revelation. I am further confused by the implication that white Constitutional Law Professors are incapable of rendering fair and accurate lessons about the role of racism in shaping both the constitution itself and the interpretation of the Constitution. Surely you cannot be saying anything as silly as that: SINCE VIRTUALLY ALL OF YOUR TEACHERS IN GRAD SCHOOL WERE WHITE!!!!!!!!!!!! Yet you trust them to interpret the bible.”
It gets more confusing when we apply your arguments to President Obama. Are you suggesting that the President has only had racist white tutors? Do you believe that he is not aware of the rich body of critical writings on the role of race in the interpretation of constitutional Law? Are you arguing that studying Constitutional Law with professors like Derrick Bell, Charles Ogeltree and Lawrence Tribe is insufficient training in the history of US Constitutional Law to critique the influence of race in deciding Constitutional issues in American history? If you are arguing that you are dramatically demonstrating your ignorance of the subject, and if not: what are you saying?” I can hardly wait for your answer, because the argument you have presented here is about as DEEP AS A DRY CREEK BED! “
You also attribute feelings to President Obama for which you have absolutely no evidence. For instance you wrote: “His folk were not slaves in this country. I was raised by my grandmother too. My grandmother was Black his was white and racist and he is still trying to win their approval. And that makes him dangerous.” I believe what is dangerous is for black intellectuals to engage in this kind of divisive, self-destructive drivel and attempt to pass it off as serious analysis.
In truth, this kind of blacker than thou talk is nothing more than some “crab-in-the-barrel nigger mess” as my black grandmother would say! So what if you are a descendent of slaves? You were not a slave and therefore don’t know any more about the experience than anybody else who picks up a book and reads about it. There are beaucoup white scholars who know far more about the experience than you; really Doc, how silly can you be?
Since you have never had President Obama on the couch in a clinical setting, on what are you basing your conclusion that he is “still trying to win their approval,” and that this fact “makes him dangerous?” When I look at the choices that President Obama has made in his life, I see just the opposite. Barack Obama chose to identify with Afro-Americans, to become a part of our culture and community. His commitment to this choice is abundantly clear. One wonders what you are looking at; you remind me of the man who went around with his nose turned up claiming everybody stinks, when in reality he was smelling his top lip.
For most of American history the individual had no choice in the matter of deciding racial identity, but by the time Barack graduated Harvard Law School the racial situation was fluid enough where an eloquent brilliant bi-racial light-skinned Harvard trained lawyer could marry a white woman and loose himself in the white upper classes.
Instead Barack married a strong brilliant black woman, joined a militant Afrocentric church whose pastor is a great preacher of the social gospel, worked with poor black folks in Chicago, celebrated the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, chose personal heroes like Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela, and grooved to the funky beats of R&B and hip hop. And his spirit swings to the sounds of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. That ain’t black enough for you Dog?
Barack is a serious student of Afro-American history and culture, and his love and respect for Afro-Americans and our traditions is transparent. (See: “A Love Supreme: Chilly B. Raps to His Peeps) I’m glad he chose to be one of us; he is everything I want to see in a young black man, or any man, entrusted to exercise great power. He is brilliant, thoughtful, compassionate, humane, visionary, eloquent of speech and elegant of style and manners, strong, sensitive, funny, fearless, unpretentious and hip! He is also a great husband and father; something the black community is in dire need of. I see no downside to him at all.
As a manhood role model for black youths, Obama is a priceless gift from the ancestors: I can’t imagine a better example than the one he is setting. So you and other muddle-headed, envious black intellectuals may agonize over the President not being black enough and try to use that complaint to heap hate on him Dr. Johnson, but for me it is the classic fool’s errand. I wouldn’t trade one Barack for an army of melanin rich charlatans and quislings such as Clarence Thomas, Alan West, Alan Keyes, et al. or his any of his black intellectual bashers….bar none. So there!
But I am giving you fair warning: Just as you have done unto President Obama, I shall do unto you by critically analyzing your political positions– what goes around comes around: Judge not that ye be judged! However I shall show far greater regard for the facts than you have displayed in your attacks on the President; I won’t make the mistake of judging a politician by the standards of a saint! At one point you said President Obama has neither the “character or the courage” to qualify as a Messiah. But my question is who does? In any case, as I have told you before, I consider ALL TALK of messiahs to be just so much hocus pocus.
As is my fashion I shall approach this task in the even handed manner cited in the letter nominating me for the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary – which is in the bio section on my blog. I will symbolically render unto God that which is God’s and unto Caesar that which is Caesars’….and even give the Devil his due.
And yes I shall continue to struggle for enlightenment, just as I was doing before you started coming out of the yard by yourself – and I shall do so with or without your assistance! I will also take these exchanges as an opportunity to demonstrate why you shouldn’t get cheeky with your learned elders; you could talk yoself up on a good ass whippin boy! Now answer this missive if you dare. Alas, since I don’t believe in Gods of any sort I cannot in good conscience return your blessing…although I certainly wish you well.
Playthell G. Benjamin
The village of Haarlem