Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Democracy Deferred?

Here is where I'm likely about to lose readers, loyal or otherwise. If you cannot ascertain the fundamental gist of what I shall say, then good riddance.

There is a poll that suggests that Democratic candidate Barak Obama will come close to winning the election... but only close. It suggests that he will likely fail. It suggests that he will likely fail because of one thing. It suggests that beyond all of the evidence that suggests itself that he is the most likely candidate to effect change in a society that needs it, he will fail because said society will not change one crucial apsect of itself.

That aspect is racism. Pure, uncut, unashamed? Passive, apologetic, prejudicial hybrid? You tell me.

I heard on a program on MSNBC a term I had never heard until now: grievance politics. Grievance politics is a new code phrase that suggests that a person or party that complains in public or a political forum that their rights are alienated are inasmuch practicing an unfair and hypocritical form of fascism; one that reverses the tyranny and hardships that this person or party that suffers on those who are only "guilty by association" of fascist, tyrannical and hateful behavior of their own. That is to say, "by gaining the upper hand, you would instead become the villain and inflict racism upon the innocent; those who are only guilty of being descended from the unenlightened, why should you blame us for our fathers' sins?" In grievance politics, Malcolm X is evil because he returned the hatred that was first inflicted on his people by Eugene "Bull" Connor. In such politics, Martin Luther King would be in lock step with Governor George Wallace for his supposed passive-aggressive views on racism. Jesse Jackson is a hatemonger for his comments about Jews in New York and Al Sharpton is despicable for race-baiting that dates back further than Tawana Brawley.

But here is a man, Columbia and Harvard-educated (magna cum laude) and representing the honor and hopes of a democratic theory without trumpeting the fact that he is descended from two races that "ostensibly" are polar opposites of one another, and this poll suggests he will fail in his mission, simply because he is defined by half of his race; a race that is considered by many in passing, declaration or in silence as inferior and dangerous. Already there is editorial rhetoric about how history will come to vindicate George W. Bush for the many ignorant and evil decisions and costly indulgences that have come to nearly destroy this country and perhaps the world; saying that "he made the country safe." But what will history say about a country that failed it's fundamental principles of equality and justice when it could not consider the possible election of a non-white candidate, not based on flawed policy or theories of his or her own, but because of prejudice towards his race?

What does this ultimately say to non-whites? That no matter how hard you try to appease, succeed or grow beyond such ignorance, there will clearly be a majority of the voting population that will never trust you, never allow you to form policy that will alter or govern their lives and decisions, never allow you to compete or strive to embody the principles they themselves hold dear. Level playing field? After a defeat based on this idea that this poll suggests, you will never be allowed on the playing field again.

All the apologies, all of the reassurances, all of the explanations and promises, all of the "wait a little longers" and "wait 'til next years" will rightfully fall on deaf ears. There will be no explanations that justify why a majority of our nation continue to ignorantly fear the brightest, strongest and most honorable of our ranks, to explain how those who played by the rules are still remanded to the sidelines. Those who by all standards possible have achieved the highest of plateaus are torn from their stanchions and flung to the cabin floors, to await the repercussions of daring to dream, daring to work and daring to achieve beyond their assigned station inside a nation that loudly proclaims it's disdain for divisions. If what this poll suggests should come to be the deciding factor on a competition of principles, then the Constitution should be dissolved and the nation torn asunder and thrown to its creditors abound. History? History will only talk of the overwhelming failure of human nature to abide by words that do not exist: humanity, civility, democracy and freedom.

Understand this: this is not a threat to those that disagree, but a threat to the principles that all men are created equal, that freedom is an inalienable right and that democracy is worth fighting for. Democracy cannot exist where there is not freedom for all. Slavery continues to bound those who cannot see and think on their own. So yes, I don't like it. But I will not leave until those who tell me to do so leave from where I would go. Shall we continue to fool each other and ourselves about what defines the United States of America? To paraphrase someone who knew quite along time ago, "remember, remember the fourth of November."

1 comment:

Mr. OK Jazz said...

right on man, good good stuff.
I've been out of the US a long time so feel out of touch...

found your blog today, good luck with the film work. when i finally (if ever) get my jazz blog back up will let you know.

Mr OK Jazz Tokyo (in Mo we Trust)