I saw that sentence etched onto the R train as I traveled hungover to work Friday morning.
A fave writer of mine, Mr. James Hannaham, wrote "Our Biracial President" the day after the election and I'd saved it until this morning to read. I was truly basking in the glow of victory--still am--that I was determined to not have it ruined. His words have ruined nothing, just clicked "refresh" on reality.
"Perhaps if Obama were as inept as the man whose broken pretzels and hanging chads he will need to sweep up from the Oval Office carpet, yet still a contender for commander in chief, we could finally lay racial prejudice into its chilly crypt and be done with it. Because among other things, white supremacy has meant that unqualified but well-connected and rich white people's dreams have fallen into their laps, while overqualified people of color have striven their whole lives to get nowhere. Obama has cleared a path for fairness."
Insert Affirmative Action convo.
"But both radical leftists and radical right-wingers need to understand the same thing: Obama is not Malcolm X. He's not even Kanye West. His motorcade will not consist of souped-up cars with wheels that spin and bump up and down outside the White House; he will not sport a diamond grill that reads "PREZ." He's a moderate. The right has changed the definition of the liberalism over the last 40 years by hectoring Democratic candidates, saying that they will over-tax and -spend, even as the current administration chucks billions of dollars into the furnaces of Iraq and Afghanistan. It's hard to now imagine a president getting elected without claiming to be a fiscal conservative, certainly not as we climb out of the current financial disaster. As someone elected largely because of our failing economy, Obama will have to toe the line of fiscal policy pretty carefully and make a lot of practical and shrewd decisions fast."
"...one of Obama's great strengths can also melt into his most frustrating quality -- he tries to hear all voices without prejudice....There is a point at which a leader should be able to make a judgment about whether he's listening to a real viewpoint or just plain crazy-talk..."
An aspect that I can relate to and am working on creatively/professionally. I have vested interest in the truth that everyone's contribution is valid. However, tact, necessity, and urgency certainly need to be considered.
"By voting for him, whites have shown their acceptance on a major level, but if everyone continues to interpret his presidency primarily in terms of race, we're simply perpetuating the same old values."
I have a secret belief that this issue will take a backseat once the ball gets rolling in January. Specifically depending on his dude Plouffe's involvement in the presidency.
"The Obama presidency gives us the opportunity to see more clearly into a future when the pain and injustice of the past, though it will not be forgotten, can be transformed into a shared purpose, and we can help the grand family squabble of American race relations to settle down. Like most American families, we'll have our differences, but we will be able to sit down at the same table and show each other some respect."