A More Imperfect Union
At Bible study last night a friend said that he feels that we are splitting more as a country instead of becoming more unified; a more imperfect union. When pressed for more information, he said he thinks the Obama administration isn’t using government to unify Americans, but latching onto certain buzzwords and tragedies to turn us against one another instead of unifying us. We challenged him that that’s what politicians do in general, and he agreed, but said that President Obama is more insidious with it.
I wholeheartedly disagree. If he’s doing it, so be it. Countless Presidents have used the government to further their own agendas and reward their cronies. From what I see, President Obama isn’t doing that (or at least to the level of the others). If he’s standing for a racial and gender justice agenda, why is that so wrong to use the government to accomplish what it can in that arena? We have never been post-racial and we didn’t achieve that status by some miracle of not handling our race issues when Barack Hussein Obama II got elected. I’m sorry if you believed that okey-doke as an American. Get smarter already.
If we’re talking about making people scared about what it means to be an American and want the best for the country (meaning not jumping to war first but trying diplomacy and see how that goes), that doesn’t mean you’re un-American, an anarchist, and lack American values, as per the GW Bush Administration and Dread Lord Dick Cheney. If we’re talking about how lack of adequate healthcare leads to people going to the ER after months of pain because it got so bad they couldn’t function, only to find out they had something that could have been handled or cured if caught early enough but couldn’t because they didn’t have affordable and fair insurance, then that fear-mongering, if it can so be called (I call it facts), goes to the Obama administration.
If we’re talking about having an honest approach to race that looks like this:
1. If you’re white, you’re not “special,” “chosen,” “unique,” or “better than” anyone else, nor do you deserve special recognition for not believing that about yourself. Why would we reward you for having common sense and basic human decency? It’s great that you marched with MLK. The alternative was to be a giant jackass. Thanks? No. You did what you should have done.
2. If you’re white, yes it’s “fair” treatment to not give you preferential treatment in everything and having everyone be considered for things evenly at the same time doesn’t mean that it’s discrimination toward you or that you’re “losing rights” or have to find out what it’s like to ride on the back of the bus.
3. If you’re a minority, it’s nice having a President (and Attorney General – I LOVE YOU, ERIC HOLDER!) who is naturally a part of your race and/or culture and can easily identify with any common struggles you try to articulate to a country that would rather ignore its hurtful past and just join together as one on their terms. It doesn’t come off as divisive, but it comes off as uniting us finally with one verified voice that someone will actually listen to that can finally open the door for us to be heard telling our own stories. It’s nice to tell your own stories about race versus a President who doesn’t understand it and can’t identify with anything you say and chooses to tell the rest of America your story in their own words which results in nothing changing or improving. The only thing that was “better” under Bush for race and racism was that all the ugliness that’s coming out now was buried and laid dormant, never handled, and everyone was fake nice about it. Now it’s being handled and destruction of white supremacy and racism is ugly business and it’s a long, arduous fight. The bigger problem here is that it’s grown while buried so it’s harder to dig up. It won’t come up easily, but it will come up. It’s exposed now and about ¼ out of the ground. It can’t go back in. I’m glad. Fake niceness and ignoring problems never did anyone any good.
that’s not dividing the country. It’s trying to help the country unite by facing, fixing, and overcoming its issues and problems. Are we divided? Yes. More than before? No. The difference now is that it’s more visible and one side is suddenly, finally, and thankfully as uncomfortable as everyone else has been…and the other side really doesn’t care how much their feelings hurt behind it. The hands are extended to join the fight in fixing America. Stop complaining about how uncomfortable and how much it hurts and get to work with us on fixing it. Shut up and chip in. It’s not about you and it’s bigger than you or your hurt feelings, which we are tired of handling with kid gloves.
Suit up, suckas. It’s time to fight.