18 March 2008

crybaby day on the music box steps

i woke up this morning, feeling the woes of the world atop my shoulders, the woes of my own world seemingly overwhelming, and an urgent need to burrow away in my little hole of refuge. i didn't sleep at home last night, so it was a race to beat my tears to my front door, and i only just made it, before sinking down into my couch and letting it all out (whatever "it" is). when i came up for a breather, i opened my computer, and had twenty emails about barack obama's speech on race from pennsylvania this morning.

when the whole ferrara bit began, people around me kept saying obama would do best by ignoring it and moving on. what? it's best to deal with real problems we each face every day of our lives, by sweeping them under the rug, by pretending they don't exist, by furthering the divide that creates the problems. i thought (and said), "hell no he won't" (as in do or say nothing). obama isn't the guy who runs away from a problem because it's scary. he's the guy that says (and i paraphrase using symbolism that means something to me), "yeah, i'm scared of heights. that's exactly why i'm going to the grand canyon to stand on the edge of a bazillion mile drop, and i'm going to look down." i'm going to be overwhelmed by every single nauseating, terrifying moment of that feeling i am falling, plummeting to a death so far below that i cannot even see it. you bet your ass that i'm going to make sure someone is there holding me so i don't actually fall, but i'm going to look fear in its face and i'm going to say, "fuck you!" (and i'll probably cry and freak out a bit cuz i am me and have flipper tendencies). but i'm going to do it. you know why? because i'm brave.

it's the same reason barack obama did what he did this morning. because he's brave. because for all america talks about how far it's come, "hey look, world, we have a woman and a black guy running for president. we're good." and yeah, we are good. that's amazing. we have a woman and a black man running for president. but it doesn't meant that all the reasons that kept a woman and a black man for running from president before this year, aren't still problems. it just happens that we have two very brave people, who happen to be a woman and a black man, telling racists, bigots, fear-mongerers, idiots, republicans, and the rest of us, "fuck you!" and of these two people, i hope that both but i know one of them is gonna deal the hand we all have to play to clean up the messes of our forefathers and father time.

and we can. and we will. why? because we are americans! we spilled our blood to build a country the rest of the world would want to follow. we spilled our blood again to extend the "idea" of freedom to everyone who lived here. and i know there are idiots out there who believe that we are spilling our blood now in furtherance of "freedom" (i'm just wise enough to know that george bush and his other greedy friends don't give a shit about freedom (see patriot act) and that iraq is about texas tea). the bottom line is that we'd all agree that we spill our blood for what's right (or at least mean to). and putting an end to the racial divide is right. and it needs to start happening RIGHT NOW!

the world has become so politically correct, we've muzzled ourselves so as not to offend. but what's that done? i'll tell you what it's done. it's ended conversations, it's nipped positive banter in the bud, it's allowed our desegregation to flourish under the guise of protection.
look, we're all messed up, we all need something to blame, someone to blame. so we segregate ourselves into little groups, focus on what makes us different, and we blame each other for those differences. and until we stop focusing on the negative differences, we won't stop giving each other reasons to blame each other. we won't realize that it's all about our personal choice, and that which divides us will continue and grow in width and depth.

i, personally, am not a blamer. my problems are all my own doing and will have to be undone by me. i don't need to blame my friends or my enemies, my family, rich white people, or all the minorities in the ghetto for my problems. cuz they're mine. i made my choices, sometimes they turned out to have not been great choices and i have to do a whole lot of cleaning, but sometimes they turn out better than anything i could ever have imagined. i'm lucky to know this. i'm lucky to know i can and do own my own destiny. and it breaks my heart to know that so many people in america and the world do not know they possess the power of choice. that they blame others for their lot in life because there's never been a chance for it to be any other way. they don't know they have a choice. and they will never know they possess such power unless those of us in possession show them the way.

problem is, we've been scared off those who call themselves "realists", scared off by those who mockingly call us dreamers, who tell us the world can't change, no one wants it to change, no one wants to walk the walk when talking the talk gets you as far as you need to be. and even though there are those of us who don't want to believe that's what's really real (and we cling to hope like its the last thing we've got), we're too unsure to convince others to believe as we do. and the fire of hope flickers on a low flame until someone great comes along and ignites us. someone great who believes in themselves enough to spread that message of power. someone great who believes in all of us and empowers us to do what we can. someone who isn't too afraid to step up to strongholds on long-held fears, and say, "fuck you!" by saying something like, "YES WE CAN!"

well, you know what? he did it again today. barack obama went on television, told the world he loved a man and stood by him, in spite of his faults. he chose to keep his friend when the rest of the political world and media thought it more appropriate to throw rev. wright under the bus, just because the man says it when he is pissed off at the realities of racism, ignorance, poverty, and glass ceilings. barack obama stood up and told all of us, "YES YOU CAN". let's acknowlede it. let's talk about. this racial divide we cling to, out of the very fear many of us decry, hurts the hell out of this country. it encourages us to sweep our problems, our fears, our anger and disappointments under the rug, to smile at the world while dying on the inside. that's dumb, and it's time to talk and it's time to walk and it's time to unite ourselves toward a greater america we can all love and be proud of. he's right, it ain't gonna happen overnight. but he's also right that, yes, we can do this.

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