Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The challenge...

I have written here before about how wrenching this historic Democratic primary has been for me. As a black woman, I have been forced to confront a lot of issues and revise a lot of opinions and that hasn’t been easy. But it has been necessary because social justice work requires inner work and, in the end, I’ll be a better person for having experienced this amazing moment in time.

Today Senator Obama spoke on the issue of race and in a big way he defined one of the challenges before the nation.

Flock of bitchitude (wink)!

The challenge before us is to move beyond tolerance, learn how empowering diversity is and have the courage to embrace, nurture and respect it. That doesn’t mean that we forget the injustices of the past and present but rather that we learn from them and grow as people through that knowledge so future generations will not have to confront the same shit.

The challenge is to understand why an injustice to one is an injustice to us all and progress will come when we take that knowledge out for a ride and get about the bitness of building a just society.

It will not be easy but, as my grandmother often said, they call this shit a struggle for a reason.

I am so very proud that this blog has readers from all over who are outspoken and wiling to move out of a place of tolerance and keep it real. It is a blessing to have all y’all, representing all manner of diversity, lend your voices to the fine art of bitchitude.

We have work to do on ourselves and within our communities.

I, for one, appreciate the reminder and accept the hell out of that challenge.

15 comments:

Tom said...

I think a lot of people don't even yet understand inclusion, much less racism and all the other stuff that goes with it.

That is my experience, as a disabled person, who has even observed myself having reactions toward other disabled people, which I don't like but don't totally know what to do with, because these particular experiences are random and unexpected.

And yes, I think I am a racist, because our society teaches us to be racist, for example, "teaching" us to be nervous about black people whom we don't know etc.

I remember my first experience boarding a bus in Trenton, NJ, and being the only white person aboard. Later, living in another large city, I became accustomed to being in the minority on a bus with black and Asian people etc. etc.

And regardless of liking and agreeing with your blog, I still don't think I am any sort of improved person for having had my experiences and awarenesses, because I still live in a racist society.

Please continue blogging, don't get burned out.

:) tom

Shark-fu said...

Worry not, Tom...a bitch has plenty of blogging left in me.

Thank you for your thoughts and I agree that this is a racist society, but I do feel that an open discussion benefits us all and affords us an opportunity to do the inner work required to fuel our activism.

Blessed be.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Obama made an incredible speech today. Everything that he said causes one to pause and think. I hated the whole "tolerance" concept when it came out. It seemed to be comiming from the wrong place. It isn't real. What he said is real. Let's comtinue to have discussions and know that there has been and continues to be pain because the poor treatment continues. The beautiful thing will be when people truly realize we are all of the same race, the human race. We may differ culturally but at the end of the day we are ALL human.

Yankee, Transferred said...

Thank god for you and your grandma. I'm going to use that quote.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I got taken to school today by the O Man.

leomange said...

Obama's speech ... wow.

You know, Clinton said that she hadn't heard his speech, but she was glad he addressed the Wright comments. I'm pretty sure that when she hears or reads it, it'll be a classic "oh shit" moment. He nailed the challenges facing us, and that have faced us, and that will face us for years to come. Yes, we need to move beyond the past, but it will always be a part of us.

L. Jackson said...

I was 6/7 when I first noticed things were not right...when my Mom stopped me from drinking from a water fountain w/ a sign saying 'colored only'. I went on to march/cry out for freedom. No, I am not black, nor do I have the black experiences/pains/hurts but that doesn't mean that I can't do all in my power to come together nor to continue to hope the TIME IS FINALLY HERE!

more cowbell said...

I went in to work late today - this speech was history, regardless of how the nomination goes. I heard things addressed on mainstream media today that are not normally laid out to a broad national audience - and I felt hopeful that maybe some people out there are ready to really hear. I know one speech - or even one presidential term - can not magically change the huge weight of this country's racist history and reality, but today a real conversation started, and I'm just feeling really proud of Senator Obama today.

Thank you for continually bringing these challenges to the forefront here.

Sarah J said...

One of my best friends works for the Obama campaign. Right now she's stationed in Scranton, PA, and she says that the racism she's experiencing there is the worst she's seen so far--and she's been in South Carolina, Alabama, and Texas.

But she also said that it's her favorite place so far. Because she got to go into a high school classroom and tell the kids about what happened to her and her volunteers, and watch the lights come on in their faces as they realize that "holy shit, WE'RE racists!" and recognize that shit ain't cool.

I still believe Obama will be president and am busting my butt to make that happen, but I am sure that whatever happens, this country is far better off for having had him run.

And for having you blog!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

glad im a libertarin, so i dont have to worry bout them crooks

Flying Lily said...

I love Obama and he has my vote. That said, I wonder about this statement from yesterday's speech: "I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible." Specifically, is the U.S.A. the most liberal nation on earth for interracial families? I haven't traveled enough or studied enough to know, but I have certainly seen some happy looking interracial families in Europe and Canada. And a whole lot of the neck-snapping second look reaction here in the U.S.A.

ABB: Keep on!. This is the best blog ever.

midwesterntransport said...

that speech was seriously amazing.

Lora said...

I thought the man sounded very presidential. Something we haven't heard in a long time.

silverfoot said...

and as someone hyper-conscious of my own public speaking, and looking for some examples to learn from, may i point out the number of times he said "um" or "uh" (ZERO) and how, in 37 minutes, he looked at his notes twice? *agog*

i'm a tree-hugging, raised-by-ex-hippies canadian, who has always been a bit of a snob when it came to my southern neighbour ("y'all" don't even have health care, sniff), but damn... the man makes me wish i was an American, just so i could vote for him.

shit. looks like someone slipped me the "kool aid" while i wasn't looking... (wink) sofuckingbeit.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, dear heart! I am a brother and I have followed your slightly scatological sensually elegant sagacity and cogent intellect for quite a while now. I love reading your observations. I can't thank you enough...arthur