Saturday, July 22, 2006

Clinton v. Bush and a thought

Bush said that he understood the struggle of blacks in America. Yeah, but understanding from reading it out of books and having Condi telling you how it was growing up in the shadow of Bull Connor while you grew up in Connecticut and Texas at a prep school surrounded by white kids of privilege is one thing. Growing up dirt poor in the South in Arkansas with blacks is another.

Bush doesn't get it, he can't get it, Pesky can, Condi could at one point, Mike Kernell can, Steve Cohen can, John Kennedy couldn't, Bobby Kennedy could, Bill can, Hillary can't, I can, Evan Bayh can't, John Edwards can, Harold Ford Jr., much like everything, can go both ways. The struggle of blacks and Hispanics in this country is something that only a small number of us that aren't can understand and take to heart.

You either have to live in it for years, or be born with an understanding and empathy of people that transcends all. Bush insults everyone when he says he can understand it. Yes, on one level you can, but unless you have ever lived hand to mouth, not running the heater or air conditioner to save money to pay the rent, made a wish sandwich, held a women's hand while her husband died of untreated cancer at home because there was no money to treat it, gone to work every day at a job you hate for low pay and then gone to another just to pay the bills, cried yourself yourself to sleep because you are scared your children are going to end up in the situation you are in, you cannot begin to understand the struggles that poor people of any race deal with on a daily basis.

We must all work to overcome the class divisions that seperate us in this city. There are plenty of white and black people in this community that are working to build the bridges of community. There are just as many white and black people working to make their struggle their own, excluding those who they see as different, saying that they don't understand their struggle and cannot begin to undestand it.

In some ways they are right. But in many, many more, they are wrong. I may be a hite, heterosexual male, but because of my life experiences I can understand at a deep level the struggles of blacks, hispanics, gays, and women to find equality and a future in this country. You could argue that I can understand, but I cannot know the environment. That might be partially true, but until you get to know me and my background, you would be wrong.

Women attained the rigt to vote when men decided that it was unfair for them to be suppresed in such a way working with them to overcome millenia of oppresion in their struggle fr equal status. Civil rights for blacks and latinos came about when whites relaized that we are all one brotherhood and oppresion and suppression was wrong.

Gays are beginnng to receive this in more and more areas, but are fighting against the same forces that worked against the previous groups. The Bible was used to justify segregation and the suppression of women. What is the difference between forbidding a white and black person from marrying and forbidding two men from marrying? The struggle for rights for homosexuals is not the exact same as the struggle for black civil rights. However, the struggle for blacks was not the exact same as the struggle by women. They are tied together though. The end of rights for one means that the government can remove the rights for others. Ask yourself, who will be there to speak out for you?


At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is some self righteous BS

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Richmond said...

Well said. Thoughtful with well-written tone. Invites people who might disagree to read your comments. In a word, civil.


Post a Comment

<< Home