A Change is NOT Going to Come

After hearing Rev. Wright speak to the NAACP last night via CNN, I was feeling hopeful, that maybe just maybe a change is going to come. Even here on the Kos everyone was duly impressed by the man’s words. I am different, but I am not deficient. Simply thinking a different way makes no one man or woman any better than the other. We are all equal in God’s eyes, and as such we are all entitled to the same respects and courtesies.

I thought maybe, just maybe the media would have learned their lesson. Even showing his entire speech uncut two or three times allowed me to think that maybe the media would stop with the character assassination of Rev. Wright and of Barack Obama by proxy. I thought I would wake up this morning feeling that sense of hope that I’m losing the longer this primary season goes on. America is ready for change… or so we thought.

America is not ready for change, at least if you let the corporate media tell it. Yesterday on FOX news, Barack Obama, instead of taking the “opportunity” to “stick it” to FOX chose to live out the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a rule that was probably taught to most of us in some way, shape, form, or fashion as soon as we were old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong. I believe Barack went on FOX not to delegitimize them, but to take his message to a different audience. Some say “well, the people watching FOX voted 88% for George W. Bush in 2004, and they wouldn’t vote for a Barack Obama no matter what he did/said.” That may be so, but why deny them the opportunity to get to know the Barack that his supporters have rallied behind?

Instead of discussing the very relevant policy arguments that he put out, we are busy discussing whether he should have gone on FOX in the first place, and why, since he did decide to go, didn’t be “put them in their place.” It’s a sad sad day in America when a politician can’t even be civil to a news channel or program who hasn’t been all that civil to him. It’s a sad sad day in America when a politician cannot simply turn the other cheek and be as respectful as possible to those who are doing everything within their power to destroy who they themselves consider to be “a good man.” It’s a sad sad day in America when we are so focused on the NEGATIVE that we fail to see the positive. It’s a sad sad day in American when a pastor and an entire church who does so much good for their community can be demonized in the media to the point where the church is getting bomb threats and the pastor is getting death threats.

As if the FOX news interview wasn’t “bad enough” Rev. Wright finally decided it was time to defend himself and his church against the smears that have taken root against them. Instead of listening to the man’s message and the man himself objectively, we are instead subjected to numerous “analysis” about the political implications for Barack Obama. Granted, the man is running for President of the United States, but nothing in the man’s message has come even remotely close to anything like the distorted cherry picked comments of his former pastor. But none of that matters because Barack Obama went to the church for 20 years. As I listened to Rev. Wright speak last night, I could see how Barack would find that particular church attractive. As a person that spent much of his life before joining Trinity United Church in Christ trying to figure out his place in the world, why wouldn’t someone who preaches the idea that we are all DIFFERENT but not DEFICIENT attractive? While we crucify Obama for attending a church with a controversial pastor, we aren’t even looking at the fact that neither of the other candidates appear to go to church at all. The media consistently ignores John McCain’s own personal pastor problems (but I guess his don’t matter since he didn’t actually ATTEND the church). The media completely ignores Hillary Clinton’s “spiritual connections” and merely take her at her word that she even attends church.

Today, Rev. Wright spoke out again at a press event. I didn’t think what he said was that bad. I didn’t think his demeanor was “cocky” or “arrogant.” I saw a man that is tired f the bullshit. He’s tired of his work being boiled down into two out of context soundbites. He is tired of the Black church, and specifically the one he was Pastor of, get treated like dirt in the media. The questions that were being asked to him in this press conference were more than a bit ridiculous. They were asking him questions about politics as if HE were the one running for President. No matter how many times he stated that he was simply the man’s Pastor, he continued to get questions about his view on the world, and his controversial statements. If everyone and their mama (other than the corporate media) acknowledges that Barack Obama does not share the views of Jeremiah Wright, why does it matter what he thinks?

Barack Obama is being unfairly mischaracterized as some sort of Messiah. He is not, and will not be, all things to all people. He is just a man. He is a politician. He is HUMAN. He will make his OWN mistakes, there’s no need to push the mistakes of his friends, family, and acquaintances upon him. This entire primary the media has been doing everything in its power to define Obama as an inexperienced elitist Black man who knows nothing and will do nothing to change this country. They blissfully ignore all of the positive change he has ALREADY brought to this country by getting people of my generation, and even those much older than me, who have not previously been involved in politics and their own futures involved. He has ALREADY caused America to take a good look at its race relations (and I must say, I’m not liking what I’m seeing). He has already caused America to look beyond all of the hype and the spin to see what is really going on (although he’s been less effective at this lately). He has already given some cynical people a reason to hope that this country will not continue in this downward spiral.

I am tired of the media and the people who are more cynical than me trying to steal my joy over this election. I am tired of being told that my vote is not as important as that of some white person living in rural America who probably isn’t even REALLY paying attention to this primary season anyway but will go out and vote regardless. I am tired of fellow Obama supporters freaking out every time something happens like the Rev. Wright controversy. I am tired of the lies. I am tired of the deceit. I am tired of being told I can’t respect someone whose opinion may differ from mine. I am tired of being told to “stay in my place.” I am tired of being told it’s Hillary’s “turn.” I am tired of being told Superdelegates know what’s best for me better than I do. I am tired of being told that Black people who are supporting Barack Obama are only doing it because he is Black, I am tired of being told White people who support Barack Obama are only doing it because they feel it will somehow ease whatever pseudo-guilt they may have over slavery. I am tired of being told that I don’t matter in this country. I am tired of being told “no, you can’t” when I say “yes, we can.” I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of not being hopeful. I am tired of the bullshit and the spin and the pseudo-straight-talk.

I am tired of this damn primary season.

I am tired of the unnecessary drama.

I am tired of the hypocrisy.

So no, looking at what’s going on right now, a change is not going to come. When sociologists can perform the “doll test” more than 50 years after it was initially conducted, and get the SAME result, a change is not going to come. When a man can be shot the night before his wedding 50 times by NYPD officers, and his murders are acquitted, a change is not going to come. When a man cannot even go to CHURCH without being drug through the mud for being there because his Pastor has some controversial-and arguably radical- views, a change is not going to come. When someone tells you the TRUTH and you get mad at them for telling it, a change is not going to come. When minority and impoverished children STILL can’t get a fair shake in the education system and later in society, a change is not going to come. When the color of a man’s skin STILL matters more than the content of his character, a change is not going to come.

A change is NOT going to come in America until WE are ready to claim it and fight for it. We cannot expect a Barack Obama or a Hillary Clinton or even a John McCain to change America, WE have to change America. WE are the ones that we have been waiting for. Why should we WAIT for someone to tell us it’s okay to be outraged? Why should we WAIT for someone to tell us “you can do it”? Why should we WAIT until some bigot in a rural community is ready for a Black or Female President? Why should we WAIT to get approval by the rich corporate media?

Barack said it best: Not this time. This time we will focus on the issues. This time we will fight for change, real change, in America. This time we will not GIVE UP because we got knocked down. In a Diary posted by KiKu, she mentioned some advice that Barack once wrote to a 7 year old boy:

I leave you with three bits of advice that will make your life more fufilling: Look out for other people, even when it does not directly benefit you; strive to make a difference everywhere you go; and get back up every time you are knocked down."

Until America can truly learn to do those 3 things, and even more, a change is NOT going to come. Until Americans can get over ourselves and try to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, someone who isn't like us, nothing at all will change.


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