Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The Obama era: Hero-worship has a price

On Jan. 20 I watched history from the cubicles of our news office.

I’m sure many of you as well, with permission from your bosses or not, popped open a few windows on your computer and tuned in as President Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African-American president. This has been something we have heard for a long while — this word “first.” I have to say it was a moment that I will never forget. And from the stories of my parents’ past, it was a very significant day moving toward healing the wounds of a time where I may not have been able to even write these words to you today.

However,  I also know that this huge job of being president works beyond cultural background or the color of one’s skin. And I only hope that President Obama will be able to work to mend America. What his new presidency has surely done so far is bring people together. But what has to be the one thing I can’t stop thinking about among all this “history” is the constant comparisons to Martin Luther King Jr. The constant comparisons to the days of Camelot. And the constant sheer hero-worship of a man not even my father’s age running our country.

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Must have been shock…

I saw Jesse Jackson cry tonight. And so did you. But that emotion didn’t overwhelm me until I got home from a night of election watching (and for the record, I’m not a Jackson fan and let’s only HOPE that his emotion was sincere and not the fact that it wasn’t HIM on that stage giving an acceptance speech). You see, most of my friends are white. Not that they are not aware of this monumental moment in history, but they can’t or even don’t try to imagine what it feels like to be black and have the first black president in the White House. There I said it. And it was hard too. If you follow my blog you know I have a VERY hard time making race an issue for much of anything. I think it’s an enabling thing to do when we lean too much on such a frivolous notion. And don’t get me wrong. I didn’t vote for race. I just voted. And mainly my points of why I voted for Obama are lost on a few people. I was a McCain follower at first, then Obama, then McCain…you get the idea. I was torn for all of 2008. I was unsure. I was not certain that any vote I could cast would be the right one.

Yet, I still just can’t shake the sheer emotion I felt when words have been continuously spoken: “You will remember when…” And I will. Even in the noisiest of bars tonight. I felt something changed. Even in the slur of celebratory, and in my friends’ case, sorrowful shots (!) I will always remember when, and the shock has yet to wear off.

Yes, I’m finding it hard, even through all my arguments here about race not being issue, to just say, “So what? He’s just a black man…”

Vote for the fairy…

Me at Halloween

Or go ahead and vote for Obama or McCain. I don’t mind. Just vote.

“I’m going to vote for a black man…”

My father said casually over a discussion last week about voting.

“This might be the last time I will ever get to do that,” my father continued. He’s 55 and he could possibly be right. After all, it took over half a century for him to see the day. Our fathers and their fathers often see the “black and white” of things. Room for gray is intermittent.

So, as a family, we trotted over to the nearest polling station. Being that this is early voting time, I had to endure the electronic voting process. It was strange. I mean wielding that wheel of power and pushing the red button got to my head a little, even though I was hesitant at first. I’m used to the old black marker and sheets of paper to cast my vote.

I was sure I was going to goof up. On the way there, my father said that my mom has been early voting for years and still can’t figure that machine out. And he made sure to say, “If someone hands you anything, put it in your pocket. You don’t want to go in showing it off…” Luckily no one was at the polling station selling their agendas because that kind of made me nervous. Man, voting sure got complicated…


Anyway, all was well and we left chatting about all the proposals on the ballot. We didn’t all vote the same way on anything. But isn’t that the point?

The new W.

I’m sorry. I may be ignoring the issues right now, but John McCain’s “breast of fresh” flub from the last debate has got me inspired to find some links to his Freudian slip. Seems like we have already had eight years of odd comments, mixups and unintentionally funny speeches with George Bush. If John gets elected, here’s to four more!

http://airamerica.com/content/breast-fresh-air

http://www.buzzfeed.com/nicholas/sarah-palin-a-breast-of-fresh-air-5k

http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/77ef6/did_mccain_just_say_that_america_needs_a_breast/

I dunno. Just proving it wasn’t just me that thought he said that!

“A breast of fresh air…”

Geez, McCain. I think that was a really good reason to pick Palin instead of Kay Bailey Hutchison.

I’m not rich, but I’m not helpless…

And that is why I think I have had problems with who I’m voting for in this election.

Today I stumbled upon Pat Dollard’s blog, and forgive me if you have heard of him because I haven’t. That probably makes me leaps and bounds behind. Anyway, I read a few posts, left comments and found people there welcomed new opinions though they warned that they are not PC or shy in their approach in any way. In response to one of my comments, I was directed to this man’s letter and it pretty much explains why I’m not swayed on Obama. The link I have referred you to was written by a black soldier expressing his disdain for Obama’s views on black America.

I will have to admit, I don’t know the true legitimacy of the letter. I only say that because how can I really know for sure? However, I’m also not implying that the letter is not real. Dollard (again forgive me if you know this already) is a journalist with a background in reporting the world of soldiers fighting for our freedom. I guess I’m just saying draw your own conclusions. But know that I’m convinced. Does that make me gullible or a person with newly opened eyes? I’m not sure.

So November will soon be here and my vote can go either way at this point for one reason or another. But something I keep running over and over in my head is how can there be change when we are constantly reminded of race, race, race?! And I have to say Obama is guilty of doing that. Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud to be a black female, but I guess I don’t agree on using my skin tone as a talking point.  I used to think that with so many mixed-race people in the world, we would slowly stop having a chance to bring up a certain race exclusively. But that is wrong. Obama is biracial and we still consider him as only black. Confession: I do it too. The idea of having a president, for the first time, with black blood in his immediate family was, on first glance, appealing. That was a knee-jerk reaction. But once you dissect things beyond that, color fades (so to speak) and you have to pick through what you think is left.

I’ve done this with Obama. And what is left is still uncertain to me.