tears of joy, and my own “Obama Effect”

and NOT just tears of joy that Palin is going away . . . lol. although I will miss this.

No, I’m overwhelmed to think that this dream could really come to be a reality . . . so I wait with baited breath, along with the rest of the country, daring to hope against hope that at last, we all will be “invited to the party”.

However, one thing that really struck me last night, as I researched the local races, was that my renewed excitement over the political process (which has everything to do with the way that Obama made politics real to me again) was obviously having an effect on my attitude towards my own local elections . . .

Although I’m loathe to admit this, I’m a bit of a sloppy voter. (okay, aren’t we all?!) But seriously . . . my attitude towards local races has typically been to vote along my party lines, and in the case of allegedly “non-partisan” races (for judges and the like), to more often choose a female candidate over a male candidate. (My theory being that no matter what her political leanings, a woman will more often be likely to act in ways that are beneficial to women and children. Yeah, I said it’s a theory, and I said I’m sloppy about it!)

But this time, I really stopped and looked at the candidates, and compared their views, and (oh, please don’t shoot me, folks!) I actually voted for a few republicans in local races. (I also voted for one Green Party candidate . . . “oooooohh, she’s a Socialist! We knew it! Somebody put her on some list somewhere!”)

But my point is . . . I was probably more deliberate and intentional, more INFORMED, in my voting than I ever have been in my life. Why? Because Obama, by the way he conducted this campaign, caused me to believe that my vote really DOES matter, that there is some room for hope in this world.

And for the first time in my life, I am really, really proud of my country.

Sunday blogging against racism–election edition/guest post

Wise words from a wise friend. This man needs to have a blog . . . or so I keep telling him . . . but he’s not so into technology, so I’m thinking that won’t happen. But he said I could share this here, and so I am.

Here’s the way the election looks to me.
We all see that our country and the world are changing:

  • We’re becoming more multi-cultural and multi-racial.  The sheer demographics tell us this but we also see more opportunity for People of Color to enter into more “mainstream” America.  We are no longer even able to pretend that we are a WASP nation and more and more of us embrace this diversity.
  • We’re becoming less male dominated with females given more opportunities and a more egalitarian place in the family and society in general.
  • More and more of us are seeing that sexual orientation should not affect one’s ability to function as a citizen or participate in other benefits of living in community.
  • We’re becoming more aware that “the world is flat” in terms of economics and political/military power.  We may be the only super-power but that means less and less.  We are part of an inter-related, connected, networked world and we like it like that.
  • We are less rural and more urban, not just in the geogrpahic sense but in the lifestyle/ identity sense.  We’re city people now, even many who live in the country are city people now.  Our culture is increasingly urban in spirit.
  • We are more and more multi-religious/ spiritual.  Not only are we not mostly Protestant we’re not even necessarily Christian, or if we are, that is less and less part of our identity as citizens because we think that non-Christians should not in any way be disadvantaged as citizens.  We see little meaning or value in the “Christian nation” myth.  It serves little useful purpose and it causes a lot of mischief.
  • We are passing the baton to the next generation.  Those who’s world-views were formed in the context of WW II-The Cold War –Vietnam– the Civil Rights Movement–Watergate are being superseded by those for whom the Computer / internet Age is much more significant.
The upcoming election presents us with two broad-stroke reactions to these factors:  hope and fear.

The Democrats’ slogan, THE CHANGE WE NEED, means to me the change in attitude and spirit, the change in leadership and policies which will help us as a nation engage these kinds of factors in ways that are helpful and healthy for all of us,  for the whole universe.  They enter the new realities with hope.  Many of the changes they embrace because they find in them new opportunities for making this the nation “of the people, by the people, for the people” more and more of a reality.  The Democrats look at the changes around us with hope;  they see the potential of a better society emerging.

The Republicans’ slogan, COUNTRY FIRST, means to me holding on to the attitudes, leadership and policies which will continue to keep the current (at least as its imagined) power structure in place.  The “country” in mind here is not the country of black people or brown people.  It is not the country of the poor;  its the country that Sarah Palin recognizes as the “pro-America” part of the country;  it’s a country dominated by over 50’s white Christian men for the benefit of over 50’s white Christian men.  The Republicans are opposed to all of the above changes because they threaten their fundamental reason to be–to make sure the rich and powerful stay the rich and powerful.  The Republican response is fear and their primary strategy is to create and spread this fear as widely as they can.  Only a sufficiently terrified population can be manipulated into continuing a political system which benefits only a few wealthy at the top.  So, “the blacks are taking over”, or “the Hispanics are taking over”, or “the gays are taking over”, or “the Islamofascists are about to destroy us” , etc. become the rallying cries.

The candidates pretty well visualize the Parties’ spirits;  the old angry white guy stuck in Vietnam and the young very-international smooth and soothing black guy.

We have the choice between a Party which will try to bring us hopefully into a future which is evolving or the Party which will fearfully, and hopelessly, try to force us go back to past that never really was.

Sunday blogging against racism–this isn’t all there is to racism

It’s disgusting, yes. I was sickened looking at it. 

But if we say, “oh, that’s so horribly racist and *I* would never be like that”, then we are missing the point entirely. Racism isn’t just the ugly stuff . . . it’s embedded in our DNA as citizens of this country. 

This is among the worst manifestations of this, to be sure. But I cannot escape my own culpability simply by decrying such ugly acts of hatred, any more than the woman who passed this on can honestly say that it was “just food”, that she had no idea of the hateful negative connotations these particular food items have.

Sunday blogging against racism–I’m voting for “that one”

(hmmm. just realized I never posted this. so here goes.)

Seriously. I’m trying to move on to another topic, but it’s been one of those weeks.

First, there was this bullshit:

I like that Field asked, “Is that the same as ‘those people’?

But seriously, folks. it has NOT been a good week for those who would like us to believe that Obama’s campaign for the presidency means that racism is dead and buried in this country of ours.

Let’s see what else we’ve got . . .

Obama burned in effigy . . . at a Christian college. Nice.

Palin preying on her supporters’ already festering ignorance. People are starting to question whether this will backfire.

Meanwhile, her supporters are yelling out “kill him!” and one even said to an African-American news station employee, “Sit down, boy!”

[Nope, we’re good. no racism here!]

By the time McCain tries to backtrack, it’s almost beside the point.

I am getting really, really tired of this. And I’m too tired to say much more right now (or maybe my sleeping pill is finally kicking in?) so maybe I’ll have more later this week . . . [footnote: or two months later . . . when we already WON so who cares, right? well, stay tuned . . . ]