Richard A. Mosby & That Very Cool Barack ObamaSaturday, June 06, 2015
Sometime in the early 60s, I was by then long gone from St. Ed's, the very fashionable Driskill Hotel on 6th Street (not yet fashionable) had a problem with the boys of St. Ed’s having their prom there. They knew that there were a few black boys. The principal of St. Ed’s Brother Peter Celestine called the Austin Bishop and the problem was quickly resolved. That St. Ed’s prom at the Driskill was the first integrated prom in the area.
In my one year at St. Edward’s University one of my friends was Gabriel Burning Spear. He was from what then was called Kenya in Africa. For our amusement we would go with Gabriel to restaurants and we were always blocked from entering. Gabriel would have been wearing his ceremonial garb. We explained to the manager that Gabriel was the son of a United Nations adviser. Invariably we were allowed in.
Around 1964 I was introduced to a girl whom my friend Robert said was perfect for me. At the time we were attending Mexico City College. The curriculum was in English so many of the students were men on G.I Bill. There were many other Americans including Benjamin (call me Benji) who was from Chicago. She was very black and when I was introduced she told me, “I recently converted to Judaism.”
You can imagine what it was like to walk hand in hand with a black woman in the Mexico City of the time. My mother who was teaching at the American AlCOA school in Veracruz told me that I could not bring Benji as the powers-that-be would not approve.
One day Benji at a beatnik café called La Rana Sabia (the Wise Frog) told me that she never dated a man that in her opinion would not make good marriage possibilities. I was saved from that likely fate by being drafted into the Argentine Navy. For a couple of years I received a subscription to Downbeat in Buenos Aires. I knew who paid for it. I never heard from Benji again.
Having watched American presidents for many years (I am 72) and considering that I was shooting pool in the Junior/Senior rec room at St. Ed's on September 20, 1960 while watching Nixon and Kennedy debate on the TV I believe I know a bit about the matter. Earlier in the late 50 my class went to Washington DC and we went to Senator Lyndon Johnson’s office. He gave us all a card (signed my him) certifying we had attended a session of the senate. I looked at the card (to my detriment as I look back) and promptly threw it away.
Since Obama became president my wife and I have been watching MSNBC and we are fans of the man. For us there is nothing that he can do wrong. I would even go as far that the criticism that he is standoffish is what makes him (and here it is!) the first cool American President.
By simply recommending the novels of Ian Fleming President John Kennedy was close to being cool. The fact that President Bill Clinton played the saxophone did not make him cool. It is hard to be cool and be from the state of Arkansas.
Obama is cool in every possible way that Governor Chris Christy can never be. Nor can Jeb Bush, think that he shocked the US Nation by declaring his candidacy in shirt sleeves (no jacket and yes in spite of it all it was a button-down shirt and that did not help).
Obama looks good in his clothes and has a sophisticated sense of humour.
Why has nobody noticed how he oozes coolness? William Gibson would say, “He is hip.”