Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK and O-B-A-M-A . . . and other stuff.

Update/Explanation: First, let me say that I can't fault anyone celebrating the end of BushCo. And I'm glad that there is such a diverse crowd celebrating Obama's inauguration. It looks odd cause I'm not quite used to it. It's nice. Plus, it doesn't come across as some racial coup d'etat. I guess, what I was trying to get at is the cheap grace America has tried to obtain for its racial history. As an activist for justice and equality, what African Americans are looking for isn't just black faces in a system that ultimately remains racist; what we and many others are looking for is radical change where everyone has equal opportunity and justice rules the day.

Oh my goodness! America has just been loving itself the past few days, huh? Granted, my memory doesn't extend all that far; but, I have never seen such commotion!

Sorry about my absence the past, what? three weeks give or take? CFIDS is no joke. Especially when you have several appointments and places to be.

Now. Don't get me wrong. I'm excited about Obama's inauguration as anybody else. I made phone calls for his campaign. He's signed my copy of The Audacity of Hope. I watched him announce his bid for the candidacy for president two years ago. I'm a fan.

But all this big to do? He's only flesh and blood, people. Only flesh and blood. He can't do anymore than Congress allows, and the Republicans appear to be preparing for needless and pointless battles. They're already making a big deal out of the move to go digital. What's next? Blocking the move from 8-tracks to mp3s?

And all these happy white people? What's that all about? Now. Again. Don't get me wrong. I'm as happy as anyone to see the first president of African descent. But the man had to run not just as a "don't box me in as black" candidate; he had to run the unblack-campaign. I mean, he chided African American fathers; do you remember any other group being chastised by any other candidate? Did anyone chastise white voters for their racism, even when they admitted to it? Did anyone chastise Latino voters about not learning English? Er, um, no. Just us.

So what are all these white people happy for? It's almost as though they think electing the first black president absolves from all the sins of the past. Er, um, no. It's not like the choices were equal and they decided to give the black guy a chance. No. Barack Obama was the best choice from the moment he announced. Then, they berated him as too presumptuous. He was too popular. All he had were his speeches. And let's not forget, with probably 99.9% of the black vote and a hefty proportion of Latino and Asian votes, he still only won by 6% in the popular vote. He didn't even get half of white people. So . . . Excuse me for being cynical, but all the smiles from white Americans?

But. These white folks are white folks who voted for Obama. So, sure, live it up! But lets not get ahead of ourselves.

Don't get me wrong. I do believe that we as Americans rise and fall together. But I strongly disagree with Michael Strahan's promise to see himself "as more American" and less African American. Sorry. I like being African American. I revel in it. And, no, not the "gotta get whitey!" aspect; but the rich cultural and historical aspect. Denying my African heritage would be like denying my own existence. Literally.

I have to say, though. Seeing such a diverse crowd celebrating an incoming president. Wow! I guess, I have to thank W for doing such a horrific job! As Chris Rock pointed out, W screwed up so bad, he mad it hard for a white man to run for president! That's not easy.

Now. The war in Afghanistan. Initially, I thought it was understandable. I wasn't a big fan, but I got it. Now . . . Well, let's just say having family over there really changes things. It brings it home, no pun intended. Lauren and Jamie are hurting over their girls, who, by the way, are fine. Aside from testing the limits of acceptable behavior in the absence of their usual disciplinarians, I'm not sure if they're aware that Lauren and Jamie are gone. But Lauren and Jamie are homesick for their children. And, in sum, that's just one reason to avoid war. You know? It should be our very last option in reality, not just rhetoric.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis