Monday, December 29, 2008

Pondering bridge building...

A bitch is recovering from my holiday feastitude and hopes y’all are too!

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

I caught the weekend political chats and something David Axelrod said on one of them made a bitch’s Afro hurt.

He was defending the choice of Rick Warren speaking at the Inauguration and said that the incoming administration looked forward to working with him and his on those things they do agree on even as they acknowledged the many things they don’t agree on.

The things they do agree on include fighting poverty in general and disease in Africa in particular.


Now, a bitch has little patience with the way folks present the challenges facing the world as if poverty falls under one column and reproductive justice falls under another and never the two shall meet…or as if the battle over comprehensive sex education is on one side of the policy world and the fight against HIV/AIDS is on the other and those two don’t belong in the same conversation.

Lawd, have mercy.

But it occurs to me that this may be a teachable moment…for the incoming administration and for those who support bridge building with Rick Warren for the sake of bridge building with Rick Warren.

Pause...sip exceptional cup of coffee (yum!)…continue.

Here’s the thing…the Rick Warrens of the world aren’t using the same raw materials as we are.

I can just imagine this project.

We’re hammering and connecting shit.

They’re hammering and connecting shit.

But we’re using solid and proven materials like comprehensive sex education, condoms and family planning.

They’re using the structurally unstable and known to fall apart materials of abstinence-only education held together with a mixture made up of one half ‘condoms are bad’ and one half ‘family planning isn’t sanctified’.

Oh, we can build away on our bridge and eventually we’ll meet in the middle…but then what?

How far do we take this shit?

Do we walk across from our side even though we know we’re doomed to tumble once we put some weight on their structurally unstable side of things?

I’m curious as a motherfucker about what the plan is here, because you know and I know that you know and I know that bridge building dialogue for the sake of bridge building dialogue is the very definition of bullshit.

So, are we supposed to build this bridge to prove some point…to educate someone and walk them toward the bright light of reality?

Or is this project the intellectually lazy dialogue version of the bridge to nowhere?

‘Cause if it is, this bitch would just as soon take a pass and jump right to fighting poverty and disease with tools that fucking work.



Blue said...

Well put. I gotta say, my biggest fear of an Obama administration was (is) that he would Bob Barker us into oblivion - the only thing we had to fear was, not fear itself, but that rhetoric and stagecraft were all he had.

Aside from a few decent scientific-based appointments I've not seen anything encouraging and after 8 long years I am damned sick of stagecraft (how many fucking flags can a man put on the stage with him and his little president-elect podium).

It's clear with Israel's latest actions in Gaza that they're fairly certain there will be no repercussions from either Bush or Obama (with his staunch pro-Israel at any cost primary turnaround).

There may be less change in our pockets these days but not so little as there will be in DC next month.

midwesterntransport said...

well put.

dinthebeast said...

Bridge building is a good thing as long as what we're building is really a bridge. Lots of us could use the construction work right about now. I'm afraid though, that if I show up on the job site and it turns out to be a demolition job on the seperation between church and state, I'll have to "just say no" and go back home and eat some more ramen...
-Doug in Oakland

AOB said...

You have so hit a nerve today with this post. As the mother of two girls and the grandmother of three girls and 4 boys, I watch and listen as my daughters preach and teach sex education at home from the "your ass does not need to be getting in someone elses pants" to birth control and condoms, and how to use them properly. These kids probably could teach a sex education class from both perspectives. In the end what we need are informed children that have all the tools to make the right choices. Parents have got to take the lead in this shit.

What worries me is the number of supposed abstaining christian females that are ending up pregnant. What are these parents thinking (or not) by not being up front and brutally honest with their children.

I guess my point is, this is not a game. Parents and educators are playing with childrens lives when they refuse for religious reasons to properly educate.

Antonio said...

Great post. Warren doesn't belong at the table, he belongs on a street corner somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the talk of bridge building has something to do with the fact that Obama has about two years to accomplish some major turnaround on the economy before the next election cycle starts up, and he's "reaching across the aisle" in anticipation of some very difficult votes to get his initiatives passed. The evangelical vote won't just go away, and trying to get their support on some contentious issues (I'm thinking health care) may be seen as a necessary compromise. Also, by dealing directly with evangelicals he is trying to bypass the Republican Party's historic lock on this group based on "Culture War" issues, most notably abortion and now gay marriage.

This may prove to be a smart political strategy, but unfortunately doesn't bode well for swift action on those "Culture War" issues.

Unknown said...

Flamingbanjo said it best for me on this issue.

Rev. Bob said...

I can't find the reference now, but in Uganda -- Uganda is not a fucked country -- Bush's no-condom policy cost 35,000 needless deaths from AIDS.

There's a word for abstinence-only AIDS prevention: genocide.

Maybe a little slower than no treatment, but genocide nonethless.

I think it's possible Obama is playing a deep game, and Warren is tactics and the feminist and LGBT blogosphere and Warren himself are providing enough rope for Warren to hang himself.

I blieve it's possible, but I don't trust it.

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