My last issue was written during what I called “a mean-spirited time" in America, when the circumstances of that time were impacting me in a not-so-fabulous way. This time around, there is some very good news to report, which I’ll do before getting to the less-good news. I’ll start with the Supreme Court’s decision on the marriage of same sex couples, and the unbridled joy that broke out in front of the Court and across the entire nation in response. On the less-good side, is the ever-expanding list of naysaying Republicans, many of whom have placed their names in the race to be the their party's nominee for President. They have swarmed the media with their ill-informed, homophobic, and only slightly disguised racist rhetoric. I have to admit that though it occurred to me that these people have family, friends, and voters who love them, I have been gleefully raking through many of their statements about everything from the Supreme Court, to homosexuality, including their words about President Obama.
Speaking of which, our President rose exquisitely to the occasion of a powerful moment in our nation’s history, when the news broke that 21-year old Dylann Roof murdered the nine-member Bible study group at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, after they had generously invited him to join them. One of the victims, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, was a cherished friend of President Obama, who presented the eulogy at his Memorial Service with soaring, thrilling, moving passion and beauty. His elegant words helped the country to heal, to rise up, and to come together in a spirit of cooperation. And though we are used to being wowed by Obama the speaker, this speech was personal. And yet, many of the insensitive Republican wannabe-Presidential-hopefuls uttered simplistic, obligatory condolences, while trying, but failing, to shoot down President Obama in a variety of ways: by interfering with his process of establishing an accord with Ayatollah Khamenei, by undermining the Affordable Care Act (which the Supreme Court sanctioned the day before they released their marriage decision), and by trying to undermine other of his successes. I’d rest my case, but I have much, much more to say on these subjects and others. Read the rest of my posts in this edition for more....
What We Can Do:
- If you missed the eulogy please give yourself a treat and read it or watch it. I know the media gave his Amazing Grace a lot of play, but that’s the media’s idea of what the public can tolerate. Though it was a delightful moment, his whole memorable, powerful speech, in which he asks us to rise to the occasion and be our best selves, provided the country with a healing moment and a call to action. If you missed it, please don’t cheat yourself: Click here to watch the VIDEO; click here to read the TRANSCRIPT.
- Think about racism in your life, community, the country, politics, how it may impact you both personally or politically, and what you can or would you be willing to do to address it.
- Think about a world where we don’t reward bigotry with votes. How would that affect your life? What would you be willing to do to help create that kind of world?
- Apply the above thinking to the combination of racism and easily available guns, and what you can or would be willing to do to address the proliferation of easily available life-threatening weapons.
- I guess the only thing that makes sense as a follow-up is, go for it to the degree you are able and willing, and last but not least, how about doing even more?
Thanks for entertaining these ideas – more to follow.
"Maybe we now realize the way a racial bias can infect us even when we don't realize it, so that we're guarding against not just racial slurs, but we're also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal." ~ Barack Obama