Friday, November 7, 2008
Now it’s OUR Turn
I titled this blog that, because this seems to be the most troubling line on FaceBook to many of those who did not vote for President Obama. I wonder if this phrase would be as worrisome if Obama did not share an African heritage with me and only called women like Madelyn Dunham grandmother instead of having the Kenyan grandmother in addition to a white American. I mean after all I recall heari ngthat line in 2000 when W took the white house from eight years of prosperous Democratic rule. To me it speaks to the racial undercurrent we still have here in America.
A simple phrase which is often used in politics especially when one party has had power in the country for an extended amount of time, has now becomes a phrase that is worrisome to many whites who supported McCain. And I’m sorry but the black in me says it has COMPLETELY to do with race. I mean if John Edwards had won no one would question that, but the GOP has spent so much time race baiting and building fear in communities that don’t have much contact with blacks today, that they believe the Now it’s our turn phrase, is some kind of call to arms for the minorities to rise up.
Which is a funny thought I mean if you are a regular white Joe Schmo (I know I’m tired of Joes too) who lives in a fairly integrated city or has been exposed to enough different people you know that most blacks are like you in the fact the love their children and want to make the world a better place for them, they want to live love and laugh just like you. They aren’t somewhere plotting a revolution or revenge. They just want to be looked at as anybody else. Despite the hundreds years of oppression there is not plan to make the white man pay. There is no posse outside Jasper looking for a white man to drag behind a truck or no group of black men waiting in sheets at the darkest of night to light a cross in some house of whites who have just moved into an all black neighborhood. There are no black people looking to make whites feel like minorities, they will tell you that blacks just want to feel like they belong in a country they helped build and not a country that they belong too. They want to be viewed as equal and when Barack Obama stepped on that stage and gave his VICTORY speech for many blacks America changed. For many blacks the America they been trying to convince there more militant friends of finally showed up for its prime time debut. For many blacks the election of a black man to the highest office of the land in spite of racism, proves that America really is the greatest country on earth.
On November 4, 2008 blacks finally believed in the American dream that many whites take for granted. Of course there are many blacks, like myself, who believed in the dream and the greatness of America before Tuesday. However now it is a fact that can not be argued. It is a fact that can not be marginalized to professional sports, entertainment, or business. It is a fact that in American anything is possible. That in America one doesn’t have to wait his turn. That America is a meritocracy.
Now to address those who are SO TROUBLED by the phrase Now it’s our turn. Don’t be. After all if one was to dissect the phrase it makes perfect and logical sense and could have been applied to any candidate who ran the same historical campaign as President-elect Obama. After all .OUR.can be used to refer to the millions of first time voters, now it is their turn to be involved in their country’s government. It refers to the young voters who turned came in record numbers and grew their presence in the electorate by several percentage points. It refers to the immigrants who came to this country for a better future and voted as naturalized citizens for a first generation Kenyan immigrant. It refers to all the Hawaiians who now have their native son in office no longer feeling like merely the mainland’s afterthought and vacation spot. It refers to all minorities who felt not quite American. And of course it refers to black Americans who ancestors where brought here as chattel.
Now its our turn simply means, now it is our turn to show America and the world how great this country and that we are the land of dreams. It is our turn to try our ideas of running the country, after years of watching a country being run by men who didn’t share our values or respect our input we now will show them how to run an inclusive government. We will now show them what we have been talking about.
If Now it’s our turn. bothers you maybe it is because you have a view of blacks as vindictive. Maybe it’s because you think that blacks are somewhere waiting for retaliate and perhaps you have done something or said something that deserves some type of retaliation. However if you are average American who just lives I’d like to think that Now it’s our Turn. simply means Now its our turn to shine, its our turn to show you the kind of government for the people we have dreamed of its now our turn to make America proud. And by OUR I mean every person that cast a ballot for our President, Barack Hussein Obama.
I think right here is where we queue up Lee Greenwood’s proud to be an America.! I wonder what R&B/Hip Hop star is gonna remake that song.
I think Obama sums up masterfully the struggle many whites have with racism when talking about what he said about his grandmother in his Race Speech on a Philly radio station
The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity - she doesn't. But she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know...there's a reaction that's been bred into our experiences that don't go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way, and that's just the nature of race in our society
I guess that explains the discomfort with the phrase Now its our turn its just bred into our experiences and sometimes it comes out the wrong way. With that I guess I can not be as offended as I was when I first read the reaction to the phrase it is just the nature of race in our society.
Oh and before you start, his response to typical white person
Well, what I meant really was that some of the fears of street crime and some of the stereotypes that go along with that were responses that I think many people feel. She's not extraordinary in that regard. She is somebody that I love as much as anybody. I mean, she has literally helped to raise me. But those are fears that are embedded in our culture, and embedded in our society, and even within our own families, even within a family like mine that is diverse
That is real talk and that is OUR PRESIDENT!! Loves it!
A few more things
check out this GREAT BLOG by Roger Ebert
Check out this video and VOTE
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