The personal blog of a Deferred Genius.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"The People's Inauguration"?

I don't want to be one of those people that are overly critical, but already, before Barack Obama has even taken office, I have issues with the way things are going.

First, for all those that may take issue with my pending diatribe, let me say I VOTED FOR BARACK OBAMA! For me, he was the lessor of two evils, and I acted accordingly. I've always liked Barack Obama, and actually got the chance to meet him long ago before he began his historic run for president of our country. I think he's a cool guy and all, but I've ALWAYS questioned how he really plans to CHANGE THINGS in a system fraught with corruption and people unwilling to relinquish their reign of power in order to help others?

That said, I think it's interesting that thus far, Barack Obama seems to be falling in line with "the status quo" when it comes to being inaugurated. I've yet to hear about any plans that the Barack Obama team has to "bring the people" to Washington, D.C. to help celebrate his election and impending tenure as our 44th President. True, this issue is a two-edged sword. If the Barack Obama team were focusing their attention on Inaugural preparations, people would be UP IN ARMS (and rightfully so) that his time needs to be spent re-shaping our economy to insure that PEOPLE CAN WORK AND CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR SOCIETY! Even if plans are being made by the Obama team to provide some sort of celebration for "regular people", it probably wouldn't be announced until a time closer to the event, thus making it look as if much time wasn't expended on the planning (which is something I suspect might happen, though I have no reason to believe it will).

The closest thing I've heard (thus far) about someone holding inauguration festivities "for the people" is a businessman in Virginia who's taken the JW Marriott in Washington DC's $1,000,000 "build your own inaugural ball" package and decided to dedicate SOME (namely about 90-100) of the 300 rooms included with the package to "the disadvantaged and marginalized" of our society. When I first heard about this "People's Inaugural Project", I was EXCITED! I immediately contacted the Stafford Foundation and requested involvement as a volunteer. Most notable to me was first, the organization (and its founder) don't have much of a web presence, so all I had to go on was the company's website (which has "the" in the title since presumably someone else learned of their company and went and bought the domain name of the organization and are probably holding it for "internet ransom". LOL). The site itself is rather paltry, and simply includes two paragraphs speaking of the Foundation's desire to help people who are less fortunate. I don't want to be a jerk and point out that the sentence structure of the final paragraph barely makes sense or perhaps is missing some words, because it could be in reference to a Bible verse or something that I don't know, so I don't want to make a fool out of myself. ROFL.

The more I read about this Foundation's plans, the more my "spidey-senses" started to tingle. First, I read that the company was seeking sponsorship from others to assist with additional costs for events like an MLK day breakfast and luncheon. That didn't bother me too much, as it seemed like a smart move, especially since the Stafford Foundation's founder (presumably) Mr. Earl W. Stafford, Sr., has already put down the $1,000,000 to cover the price tag of the Marriott package. Next, I read: "At least third of the tickets to the event will go toward people who are needy or underprivileged, and the rest of those participating could be people from sponsoring foundations, companies or volunteers". WHAT? You're doing all this for 100 people? REALLY? How is it that you're holding an event for "the people who are disadvantaged and marginalized", but you're marginalizing them by having them be in THE MINORITY of those attending the event? Am I the only one that has a problem with this? Now, I know the numbers probably aren't going to work out as squarely as I've said, but to say that ONE THIRD of the tickets for the event will go towards the needy hardly makes that gesture ABOUT THOSE PEOPLE! It's you, using the poor and the disadvantaged (like MANY people do) to get good press and continue to build business relationships with the people who are truly powerful! I hate when people use the poor for their own agendas! That being said, I don't truly know the true intentions of the Stafford Foundation or Earl W. Stafford's intentions behind holding this event. In the absence of more evidence, I'll choose to take him at his word, but with some skepticism. While I think the idea of opening up events to "the people" (especially those making less than $250,000/year, since that seemed to be such a powerful number during the election) is admirable, I still wonder if "the people" will REALLY BE ABLE TO ATTEND. 90-100 people out of the MILLIONS living in poverty and on the fringes of our society just isn't enough in my opinion! When I first read about the Marriott's offer, I WISHED that I could have afforded it! I'd have pulled it off AND INVITED "THE PEOPLE". Those that TRULY can't afford such luxuries but desire to participate in this historic event. On top of that, I'd already have provisions SET ASIDE for volunteers who would be assisting with the event, and their presence, wouldn't TAKE AWAY from the number of people we truly wanted to help.

All that being said, I'd still go and volunteer with the Foundation if they offered me the opportunity. Even organizing the event for 90-100 people will take some skilled workers and event planners to make sure that things get pulled off without a hitch. My experience in event planning and organizing could be QUITE useful to the organizers at the Stafford Foundation, but I'm somewhat skeptical that will happen since I don't know anyone in DC/Virginia and no one knows me, but I guess we'll see.

Also, I should note this site: The People's Inauguration which appears to be a site seeking to mobilize individuals to take action to bring about an inaugural celebration that celebrates THE PEOPLE, meaning EVERYDAY REGULAR PEOPLE, and not just those who can afford to plop down $1300/night for a room in Washingon, DC or surrounding Virginia/Maryland area. I think the idea is noble, but I can't seem to figure out who's behind it. It kind of looks like it might be something "Obama-related" since his signature emblem as over the "I" in "inauguration", but I'm not sure. I only recently found the site in doing a web search for a news story on Earl Stafford. I'm going to continue to look into it, and maybe give more feedback as things develop.

By the way: WHERE IS OPRAH? She can give away Pontiacs to poor people, but can't seem to wield her power to help some "regular folks" get to the inauguration? She has the money to have purchased ALL the rooms in DC/Virginia/Maryland and give them to "the people", if she wanted to. I just wanted to arbitrarily point that out! LOL.

1 comment:

Genius said...

what is interesting to me is that it took us about two weeks to change prime minister and it takes the USA 2 and a half months. That doesn't sound very efficient.

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Write as little or as much as I'd like, up to 1200 characters. Again, I feel limited. In a nutshell, I'm an exceedingly genuine person experiencing an exceedingly tedious series of events. I'm in my early 30s. I'm a college graduate (several times over), and recently lost a job that didn't in any way allow me to live up to my life's potential! "Deferred Genius" refers to the current state I'm in where I could take the world by storm, if only given the opportunity. I'm trying to now capitalize on the POTENTIAL that I have and raise $100,000 for a business opportunity primed to be a multimillion-dollar enterprise. I COULD USE AN ANGEL INVESTOR!