Thursday, October 16, 2008

Race Matters

I love this and I hate this. My brother forwarded this to me recently and it's fitting because I know it is on the minds of every black person who sees the significance of this but no one wants to utter it out loud too much. No one wants to make too many waves and get this brother off course.

The email that came with it said:

What must it feel like?
To carry the hopes and dreams of an entire race of people on your shoulders? As much as I hate to say it, I know beyond a doubt that the next four weeks are going to be nasty. He's leading, and there are people who simply cannot stomach the idea of his beautiful family living in the White House. There is going to be smears, slander and lies, the likes of which you¢ve probably rarely seen. So ya'll, we got to pray for this man. And please . . . make sure you VOTE!!!

And so we wait. This is a scary place for any black person who cares about their people. This man DESERVES to win. But the burden on him, whether he articulates it or not, is not just to help this country as a whole. He has the perception of our race in his hands. Whether any of us like it or not. We are excited for him and scared for him. To fail hurts us all. To succeed puts his life in jeopardy. It's not fair and we HATE to think like this. But we do without even trying, without being taught. It is ancestral memory at its best. When he wins, we will all hold our collective breath for four years praying he makes it through and does not do anything any worse than any other president has done. But here's the thing - he can't do anything wrong. He does not have that luxury. He's got to be damn near perfect. It's not fair. Still, it's the reality of being black in this country and YES, it is the reality in 2008 whether you were born a minute ago or a lifetime ago. It is what we still have to teach our African-American babies. It is what they know instinctively as well. (Remember Daughter choosing white dolls over black dolls?)

What angers me is knowing for a fact that if Obama were white, there would be fewer people on the fence. And you know why they are there but won't admit to? They like him and what he has to say. After all, it's really no better or worse than any other presidential hopeful as said. It is because he is black that they hesitate. It is because he is half-white that he gets some support. There are those giving lip service but will white entitlement win again and pull the lever when it's time to vote, despite what their common sense is saying? We'll see. It's gonna be close, I'm sure. I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being so close votes will have to be re-counted. Amazingly, some may disappear or suddenly be found. But I have to check my cynicism and pray that God is saying the time for this foolishness to end is now and no matter how hard "they" try, this deserving man will rise above it all anyway. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. I'm going to keep looking for the good.

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