Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"How Did He Get Here?"

This question was answered by this comment from someone called "Black Diaspora" on Field Negro's blog. I copy it in its entirety here because I found it profound:

"Referring to Obama, a man in the audience at one of McCain's gatherings threw this question out as though it was a live grenade, and paused long enough to watch it explode over and [sic] appreciative crowd of Obama haters.

The question is at the heart of McCain's run for the White House where he watched his lead in certain key states see-saw, and finally trend in a direction that is favoring an electoral victory for Obama.

The man in the audience clearly understood the process whereby this black, inexperienced upstart was now challenging his party's nominee for the highest office of the land.

He understood, and so did the others in the audience.

But the man wasn't questioning the process, only the outcome of that process.

He understood that Obama, a black man, could not have reached his current pinnacle without the help (and votes) of many whites.

Sure blacks had voted for him as well, but in no way would that have allowed Obama to beat the Clinton machine and capture the biggest plum in politicaldom--the nomination of a major political party, and only a November election away from the presidency.

I believe the man felt betrayed. He felt betrayed by a those whites in society who ignored a longstanding understanding in this country that stated it's okay for a black man to try, but it's not okay for him to be taken seriously; he's not supposed to get this far.

He's not supposed to be competing this sucessfully with a white man (He should have been stopped long before now.), and doing it with the help and support of other whites.

What twist of fate brought this possibility, this calamity upon us--that a black man may win the White House, and do so by defeating a white man, a POW, and war hero at that.

It's almost as though some unspoken agreement had been violated, some tacit rule had been broken, some holy icon shattered--that the likes of an Obama would be allowed to enjoy so much political success in this country.

You could hear the plea in his question: we're the heir apparents; we're the rightful owners; we're the ones this country was made for.

And you knew, whether Obama becomes president or not, something unacceptable, and almost hidden, has besieged this country--a disquieting realization that time did not stand still, that what was true is no longer true, that America has changed, it's not the country of our forefathers, black or white, and not the nation of a privileged few, but the nation of a new generation of Americans willing to blaze new trails, and flirt with new beginnings.

Yes, "How did we get here?" "

I'd like to claim my part in the "new generation" Black Diaspora spoke of, and further, in eight years and one hundred days, I hope that President Obama is replaced by a woman.


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Seda said...

Um... Sally, I think you missed the entire point of that post. I'm guessing you didn't even read it.

Is my magic word thingy working? Are you a human, or a cyber-drone?

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our