Wednesday, November 5, 2008

quit raining on my parade

I didn't even have a full 24 hours to let go and take full, deep breaths before others confronted me on the foolhardiness of appointing Barack Obama the second coming of the messiah. Well, geez, I didn't realize that's what I, along with over 60 million other voters, had done. How silly of us to think we were participating in our democracy.

The first challenge came to me from a professor friend-of-a-friend who is of the mind that a vote for Obama means a vote for ignorance: ignorance about the true reality of race relations in America. She used the news coverage from last night as proof that Obama's supporters, even the "educated segments," as she called them, and the pundits are now convinced we've now relegated racism to the dustbin of history.

Can we not allow room for some joy and transcendence in our lives? Especially after eight years of a Cheney administration? (Let's not pretend W had that much responsibility.) Can we not bear witness to a moment, far too long in coming, in our nation's history without over-fucking-analyzing every last millisecond? We witnessed a man with Kenyan roots make his way past neverending obstacles to the highest office in the American government. I know that doesn't cause every KKK member to spontaneously combust. Seriously, I am not that naive.

I cannot speak for the thought processes of every average person on the street. I can, however, implore people to disregard what the pundits and TV talking heads have to say. Remember, these are the same people who let Sarah Palin run roughshod all over our Constitution without so much as a batted eyelash. If the voices we hear on TV tell us that we've transcended race, sadly some might believe that to be true.

But let us not forget that somehow the majority of Americans elected a biracial man raised by a white single mother, with a working-class Pennsylvanian as a running mate and the daughter of a Chicago public worker as a wife. After decades of the executive branch shitting on working Americans, we cannot forget or ignore the potential for change with this administration.

Yes, President-elect Obama will have more on his plate than he can possibly handle in four years. I, for one, did not vote for him to singlehandedly fix the economy. I voted for him because he represented, to me, the best of what my country has to offer and he sincerely seems intent on restoring a sense of civic pride.

I also didn't wake up this morning thinking I would soon be rich thanks to a new administration. I did, however, wake up more hopeful than I've been in eight years. I've grown up with politicians acting on a sense of entitlement. It's heartening and inspiring to me to finally see someone win a high office who had a snowball's chance in hell of winning according to the Washington/American history playbook.

The second challenge is thanks to Proposition fucking 8. Damn you, Californian bigots. Now I have friends angry with me for reveling in Obama's victory, as if I've shed my concern for queer rights just because we finally got a brotha into the White House. Again: please.

As loathe as I am to remind folks: change does not always come in giant waves. Sometimes we make small ripples that slowly carry to the shore. While it can be so disheartening to witness transcendence for some, please know it does not come at the expense of others. An injustice against one is an injustice against us all. If we work to to lift up the least among us that should include all of the least among us. I do believe we have a much better chance to make that happen now, more than ever. I mean, ask yourselves: ya really think you'd be better off under a McCain/Palin administration?


Anonymous said...

All the cockroaches come out to spew their bile, even AFTER the mandate. It's unfathomable for me to think that university professors buy into the socialism/communism shit. Actually, not really. I 've never really held much respect for snooty academia. They're conservative just by virtue of the innate desire to obtain tenure. And then they're complacent.

Deni said...

Ask that guy what the hell channel he's been watching. I have seen no one be stupid enough to suggest that this is the end of racism.

It can't be denied this is a big step forward, though.