Is it wrong to have hero worship towards a politician? Ever since the night of Nov. 4, I have been walking through the clouds. Elated, of course, but that feeling also comes from my disbelief that we actually did it. Or rather, he actually did it! And of course, we all know there is a long way ahead to deliver his promises, and truth be told, I don’t expect him to be able to deliver all those promises: There are just too many issues to be solved, and the biggest elephant in the room, our economy crisis, is getting bigger every day.
However, I have to say, I am a bit miffed by our President Elect, why? Because he’s brought tears to my eyes almost every day since he stepped onto that stage in Grant Park in Chicago and gave one of the most inspiring speeches that any of us have ever heard. This morning, he did it again: I am trying to keep the tears from actually falling down because that would mean crying. And that would be a ridiculous thing to do, wouldn’t it? Crying over some news conference remarks?? Obama describes himself as a Mutt, in a passing remark at his first news conference as President Elect.
And I have two here!
My 10-year-old boy just confessed not long ago that he is self-conscious when we are out together because people stare. For some reason, reading this news article this morning gave me hope that my children’s lives would not be as unnecessarily complicated as I imagine they will be.
The day after the election, we looked at the Exit Polls statistics on CNN
and marveled (but not surprised) about the “racial” divide along the party line: not as pronounced as in the past elections (12% more of the White voters voted for McCain vs. Obama, whereas Kerry was behind by 17% among Whites in the last election. So we could say that Obama did “cross over,” but the difference is still obvious in the graphs). My 10-year-old asked me, “Mom, which one will I be?” The question startled and saddened me, because his identify of himself is still being formed, and yet, on any official documents, surveys, forms, he does not exist except as “Other”. I have studied all the theories on OTHER in grad schools, but it does make me sad when all those theories all of a sudden become applicable to what I am dealing with at home.
So, thank you, President Obama! Now perhaps we can openly discuss issues around Race, not in a stodgy way, but in an everyday lived-through dealt-with way. They are messy topics and there are seldom clear cut right or wrong answers, but we do need still start talking about it more openly, and in my view, more casually. If we cannot find humors in some of the messiness, and if we cannot make fun of ourselves, then the day will be far away when we can actually be color-blind, which if taken literally by the way, in my mind, is like alchemy… (We will always notice somebody else’s appearances first, and we need to learn as a culture to not let certain signifiers become symbols).
Perhaps now it would be easier to lobby for a label for mutts around the country that is better than “Other”?