Saturday, November 8, 2008

A friend of mine recently posted in a chat room...
"To the point at hand, Rev Dr. King, Jr. was all but ostracized from the
'mainstream' civil rights movement for speaking out against the Vietnam War
in 1967."

While I agree with much of what Jeffrey says, the above statement is misleading. The objections on King's global view were because of the movement's narrowcasted view of the achievements of civil rights. America has a bad habit of trying to solve its own problems first before asking other countries to follow its lead. In other words, others in the movement were not so much "ostracizing" King for speaking out against the war and being upset that he was not keeping focus on the problems at home. King, on the other hand, saw injustice and inequity as a global issue to be vanquished hopefully in his lifetime.
He was a visionary. He had to be because of what he knew would be a short time to do a lot of the Lord's work.
All these attempts to wrap Obama in the cloak of history as if his ascendancy is the cure rather than a benchmark can only result in a hope hangover for the country. He has the potential to take us farther than we deserve and make us all better citizens of the world. Obama has been gifted with King's global vision but our collective nearsightedness threatens to leave us all blind to the possibilities of being the world leader we used to be....and can become again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Freedom in more ways than one

Before I drill deeper and write about last night, I share an email I sent to a friend who remarked on last night's election and how glad he was to be wrong that it could happen...

As many of you know, I believed early he would at least make it to the nomination stage and only after his speech on race did I believe Barack could become president. Not because of what he said, but because he wasn't dismissed by the populace for addressing an issue we still choose to whisper but not to discuss.
While I'm glad the immigrant felt a sense of pride about Barack's election, I feel McCain worked just as hard and his only downfall was committing the ultimate relationship killer: he tried to become something else in order to please someone (the GOP) who didn't want him. I hope he finds his true self in time to work as vigorously for this country as he has in the past. But don't think that wedges of division will ever diminish. There are those factions that depend on it to survive and they help keep us on our toes to not be complacent.
Although I worked really hard since my arrival in Madison, I find myself an unmade careerist not by my own actions (or maybe because of it, but I digress) so the practice does not always match the theory.
Nevertheless, I am delighted this time the kids under 21 got their way, either by direct engagement or by mere peering over into the electoral process to make sure we old folks did the right thing. It's up to all of us to stay engaged and be more than casual observers to our future.
One good thing about being on the outside is that it gave me the opportunity to openly campaign for a candidate, something I haven't done since 1992. Walking around in a campaign office is indeed rarified air that should be bottled and sold to replace antidepressants.
I have also never been so happy... to be alive at a time like this, a time this former college radical never thought she'd see.
"And the times they are a-changin'".....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why you should vote

My darling daughter, who currently lives in Nay-ash-vee-uhl Ten-see, told me recently about a conversation she had with a friend who bemoaned the fact that they both dwell in the reddest of red states. They both wondered whether their two little votes would only amount to a drops in the republican bucket as Tennessee's electoral votes went into McCain's column.
I tell you now what I told her: your vote is personal. It is a personal act of love to Barack Obama and all he stands for. He may not win your state but he needs to know someone in Tennessee heard him. The vote totals, no matter how small, are an act of defiance in the face of overwhelming odds, much as his campaign has been.
He needs to know what he has gone through was appreciated, what we've all gone through, is worth the sacrifice, past and future. That vote, that one little number, can drown a sea of negativity when we all stand together.
I guess that's the same as saying every vote counts. It may not add up to victory, but it counts as one voice saying yes. To not vote is to stay silent. To stay silent increases your chance of being ignored when it counts. Silence means there's no objection to what's happened in this country for the last eight years.
I contend there is much to object to and to vote is say loud and clear that change is due.
"Now is the time," he said. "It's our time."
If you never vote again, this time it counts.....