Friday, August 29, 2008

naive optimism.

I'm feeling kind of despondent -- well, REALLY despondent -- and obviously have nothing else to do than stalk the blogs and respond accordingly. Supposedly Obama's DNC speech was really great, but I won't be able to watch it until it's posted on the internets.

So I watched his DNC speech from 2004 instead, and it made me sad. It was so inspiring, so hopeful, so idealistic. The part about him being an unlikely speaker made me misty-eyed to be sure, but what really got me was the line about him having an African name that would remain free from judgment in America. Not especially gut-wrenching, but the sentiment behind it is so innocent and shockingly far from what has actually transpired.

Obviously there are millions of amazing people, in this country and worldwide, both black and white (as well as any other race), who truly believe that race or gender should have no bearing on a person's competency as president. But there are also millions who don't.

My liberal mother works in DC, the hub of all political activity in this country, and STILL thinks Obama is a Muslim, and that that is reason enough not to vote for him. Because religious bigotry is okay in this country, unless it's towards Christians.

Plenty of people think Michelle Obama is "militant" about being black because she majored in African American Studies and wrote her thesis on her experiences as a black woman at Princeton. When someone I know brought up this point, I countered with the fact that I wished I had double-majored in Women's Studies, and whether that makes me "militant" about my femininity. She had no response.

And these are the more educated reactions. Read the comments on any YouTube video featuring the Obamas (actually, don't) and you'll see tons of racist rhetoric and epithets. It's so depressing.

The saddest part is, there are tons of people who think that the Democratic party's policies would be better for people in general, but not for THEM personally. For they are the rich, and if you want to keep all the money you make, you vote Republican. Because being able to afford Ethan Allen furniture, a 21-foot-boat AND a new wet bar for your basement you'll never use all in one season are much more important than making sure everyone has enough money to pay their bills and still afford food.

Weltschmertz all over again. What can we do?

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