Some might think me just a naïve, sentimental old fart. I still remember living in the projects of Baltimore and seeing my dad walking to work. Every eye was on the handsome young black man in his blue dress uniform with polished brass buttons, starched white shirt, and spit-shined black shoes. Dad was one of the first blacks to break the color barrier into the Baltimore City Fire Department. I was nine years old and so proud of my dad.
While race-baiters and haters love to bash our great country, saying there should have never been a "color barrier" into the Baltimore City Fire Department, the truth of the matter is that black and white Americans together saw this evil and corrected it. Jesus said that he who is without sin may cast the first stone. It is time that we move on. For crying out loud, we now have a black president of the United States.
Dad went on to be Baltimore City Fire Department's first black Firefighter of the Year, a paramedic, and a chaplain.
My wife Mary said that when she first met dad at a family cookout, she was surprised. She expected a huge man. What she saw was a pleasant little man wearing a funny hat and attending the grill, cooking hot dogs and burgers. Dad is around five-eleven, medium-built. But in my mind, he has always been a very big man.
Dad once commented to me how it saddened him to see the deterioration of standards in the fire department -- firefighters being slapped on the wrist for not showing up for their shift and for serious lapses of character.
Dad, now 84, is very much like Ronald Reagan. Both men came up the hard way and worked for everything they got. Both epitomized the American Dream. Reagan was an eternal optimist; so is my dad. Reagan loved laughter and jokes. Dad, who lives in Maryland, calls me in Florida to tell me his latest joke. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to still laugh at dad's corny jokes.
Dad is a good guy. Am I naïve or old-fashioned, expecting the good guy to win? Has America changed so dramatically that being good -- a person of character -- is considered naïve?
Public schools are teaching our children that patriotism is ignorant and prejudiced -- rude to the rest of the world. These schools force Gay Pride Day down our kids' throats. But wearing a t-shirt to school with the U.S. flag on it is banned, considered offensive. They teach our kids songs praising Obama while banning "God Bless the USA."
So where are the prominent voices who are standing up and celebrating the goodness and greatness of America? Reagan always touted the goodness of America and how God is with us. Michael Reagan said his dad was America's last great cheerleader. Sadly, I must agree. Although there is one strong contender for the next great cheerleader.
Sarah Palin has stood up touting the greatness of America, and look what the Obama administration and the mainstream media have attempted to do to her.
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