I got the sense today that Barack Obama was tired. Tired of the hatred and fear-mongering insanity that has gripped not just Republicans, but Democrats as well. I know I get tired when I have to endure the same types of slurs I saw used against blacks in the south now retooled to attack anyone of a Middle Eastern heritage or having a name that is not familiar to the average Anglo-Saxon Caucasoid. I get tired when I see the same type of fear and ignorance used against blacks in the south retooled to attack two men or two women who happen to fall in love and have the audacity to want to live their lives in the same way other Americans do. I get really tired when I see this country become bastardized into something that it was never intended to be.
I’m tired too. Tired of Democrats trying to slyly blow the old racist Southern Strategy dogwhistles in a way that would have made George Wallace proud. Tired of right wing attacks perpetrated on fear and loathing – and tired of some Democrats co-opting that message. I’m tired of the right-wing blogosphere manufacturing lies out of whole cloth, even while staring evidence against those claims square in the face. I’m tired of being called a “cultist” because I prefer one candidate’s message and policy positions over another’s. I’m tired of people taking a statement of clear facts (Clinton’s support from racist voters was greater than her margin of victory in Ohio) and turning it into the fabrication “all Clinton supporters are racist.”
I’m tired of responding to attacks intended to leverage racism being called “playing the race card”. I’m tired of encouraging the poor and downtrodden to stand up for themselves in the face of massive exploitation being called “fomenting a class war”. I’m tired of assholes and jerks who will say anything in order to protect their privilege, or the privilege of others.
I’m tired of people ignoring plain facts in favor of discredited and disproven dogmatic ideology.
I’m tired. Worn down. Like an old millstone.
And then Obama steps up, and gives a speech that reminds me of the stakes. That reminds me that the struggle to fight thru the fatigue is worth it. We can overcome. We shall overcome.
So while we still live in a world scarred by racism and sexism, homophobia and islamophobia, where the evisceration of worker’s rights is called a “right to work” and it’s your fault your job was outsourced to another country and you are on public assistance, we can, and will build a better, stronger America. I’ll get on that rope and pull; but I can’t do it alone. It will take people of all faiths – and no faith. It will take people of all colors, sexes, genders, and orientations. It will take people of differing beliefs but common purpose; perhaps even with different concepts of how to achieve the goals of equality. It will take Obama supporters, Clinton supporters, and heck – even McCain supporters.
So what say you? Do you embrace hate and divisiveness? Or do you embrace hope for equality? As we’ve seen, nearly 50 years after the civil rights movement, and nearly 150 after the Civil War, we still have a long ways to go towards a world where race really doesn’t matter, and you are judged purely by the content of your character. But we can take an important step right now; not by electing Barack Obama, but by refusing to leverage his race against him (or Clinton’s gender against her), and refusing to stand silently by when others do the same. For while I strongly feel that Obama is the best candidate for the Presidency, I will not begrudge him losing a fair election decided on the merits of the positions of the candidates involved. That is democracy. What is going on now is not democracy – it’s crass fear mongering. We like to claim we are the world leader in freedom and democracy. Now it’s time to back up that talk with some action.