As I left the house this morning I wondered if my post yesterday was disparaging in any way. I laugh at myself all the time. I always have a counter argument spinning in my head. Usually the optimist wins out. But when acknowledging the “red meat” of our touchy feelie Camp Obama meeting, I don’t know if it came across as what it really was. It’s a true example that Obama’s campaign is not about him, but us. The McCain camp says it’s about country first and here we are in this camp talking about ourselves as individuals first before policy. But look at that: We’re talking about how in articulating an individual story we can connect ourselves to other individuals, community and country. It’s not about heroes. It’s about using honest communication to create bridges. And it’s not an others be damned sort of individualism. It’s more of a self-actualized sort of individual citizen. In fact one of the sections in the training manual is “Respect, Empower, Include.” What could be more American and patriotic? OK, so my working title for yesterday’s entry was “Fearing the Kool-Aid…,” and I sound like I’ve drank it, but I really believe in this stuff. I think the the failings of America has been in times of disrespect and exclusion. Unfortunately, we have a history of double-speak, where we’ve espoused these ideas of every man being created equal, and yet made second class citizens of different racial and ethnic groups consistently in our history. The groups change, but the divide remains familiar.
So this is what gets me about the McCain-Palin squad. McCain says on one day about Barack Obama “I have to tell you, he is a decent person. And a person that you do not have to be scared as president of the United States.” Then has concurrent ads running saying he’s “too risky for America.” Which is it? (Check out the talking points discussed here from Time: In Battleground Virginia, a Tale of Two Ground Games.)
Then you have an invocation at a McCain rally where the pastor says: “I would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and Election Day.”
What? One God bigger than another? A monotheist talking about more than one God?? I wrote a satire called “The Art of Jerry Boykin” after the Abu Ghraib revelations, that barely altered the quotes of several on the right essentially saying “My God is bigger than yours.” I thought it was irrelevant by now. Alas, no.
And I know I’m getting way off the subject of Mulatto Moments. But maybe not. The positive power of a mulatto moment is hearing something shocking then having the opportunity to share your experience from a position of inclusion. The hope is that whether or not you can sway the offending position, you can at least create a space where respectful dialogue can happen, where the division between an arbitrary “us” and “them” can be minimized.
The Art of Jerry Boykin
You’ve lost your morals
You’ve lost your values…and
My God is bigger than yours
My God is bigger than yours!
My God is real
Yours is an idol
We are Christians and Jews
The enemy’s a guy called Satan
They hate us because we’re a Christian nation
One nation under God
On crusade to stamp out all Evil
Let’s roll, let’s roll, let’s roll
I’ve no trouble saying I’m born again
And you’re with me or you’re against me
Not men, but God, put this man in power
We’ll win in the name of the Lord (Jesus)
(Jesus, we’ll win in your name)
We’re in the Army of God
In the house of God
In the kingdom of God
Have been raised for times like these