El Gringoqueño

All a man needs out of life is a place to sit ‘n’ spit in the fire.

From Puerto Rico: I Cast My One and Only Vote for Barack Obama

I don’t think it will make much difference, as Hillary Clinton was heavily favored on the island today.  But I considered it an honor to have contributed something to a candidate that I think will transform the US Federal Government into an instrument of the people once again.

Why can’t I vote for him in the general election this fall?  It’s stupid, but it’s a Congressional thing. Protectorates are legal gray area… kinda like DC, but not.  We are US Citizens, technically live in the US, …but NOT. It makes no sense.  I could vote if I lived in Europe, but not in Puerto Rico.  Yet, if I am born in Puerto Rico, I am a US citizen.  I’ll leave you to ponder that.

But first, a short chat with Laura from last night.

"Hey did you see that Barack Obama is resigning his church?"  I remarked.

"He did? Wow, I bet black voters aren’t going to be happy about that." 

"I don’t know," I said,  "I think that they understand he’s doing what he has to do. He’s quiet, he’s not angry, he’s dealing with all this with maturity and grace.  It’s probably necessary in order for this whole issue to go away.  It’s the mature thing to do.  It’s like he has to kowtow to whitey, put his head down and endure indignities in order to achieve the prize of lasting change.  Up to now things aren’t so different than they were in the days of slavery.  Am I making any sense?"

"Yes," she said becoming animated. "It’s like Jackie Robinson integrating baseball.  He had to put up with all kinds of nasty behavior, but he let it roll off.  He didn’t fight back, he just quietly went about playing baseball as best he could.  He made his "blackness" a non-issue."

"Wow, that’s a great point, so here we are in the 21st century looking at beginnings of a painful integration of US politics.  How Barack handles it will set the tone for the future for good or bad."  I cracked a grin at the irony of it all.  Here’s a man trying to elevate the debate; there’s no blackness or whiteness but justice, honor, and integrity. And all anybody wants to do is to portray him and his "posse" as a bunch of radical angry black militants, and barring that, that he’s a closet Muslim.  They’re so desperate to character assassinate him, they even dig up a crackpot white Catholic priest and trot him out on youtube.

I sighed.  For now, mainstream America is still scared of the angry black man.  They see an animated, angry preacher who happens to be black and it scares them.  It’s an old and upsetting dynamic; the politics of fear, same ol’ same ol’.  It disgusts both Laura and me.  I hope it disgusts you too.

We voted for change today.  Please, America, let’s elevate the dialog.

1 Comment

  1. Oh-Bama! (ohbama)
    Oh-Bama! (ohbama)
    Oh-Bamaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (ohbama)
    Oh-Bamaaaaaaaaaaa! (ohbama)

    (Lyre of Orpheus)

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