Wednesday, January 09, 2008

We interupt the maddness for this important message

Okay. I know I know. You don't talk politics, religion or sex if you want to keep and have good friends. I know it. Remember, my resolution this year was to shut up? But clearly, it is a genetic abnormality for me, so.

Because I just crafted a 2 hour masterpiece in response to two emails I received this morning, I figured I might as well post them here eh? It is long. It is tiring. It isn't spoken or inspirational. But here is why. Here is me. Tell me you. Tell me why.

Peace. Love. Happiness.

Let us begin.



___________Why Barack Obama is my choice__________


Let me begin by saying that this is so important to me that I not only sat here for an hour responding (only to have cyberland eat it up and me cuss a whole storm at work about it), but I'm now in my second hour trying to recreate this. Bear with me.

My apologies for my liberal friends trying to get me on board for the first really viable female candidate. And my apologies to my conservative friends trying to get me on board witha candidate who will finally look out for my family's financial interests. I'm notoriously undecided about who I will end up voting for in the general election, but I'm supporting Barack Obama right now.

I'm really excited about a candidate who can really finally unite America with a message of hope and inspiration to get back to being a great country based on global respect and admiration as opposed to fear and hate/disrespect for those who don't believe exactly as I do.

I think the only way we are really going to progress as a country is to find common ground rather than focus on that which divides us and resultingly fight for the least common denominator. I'm excited about a candidate who is inspired (and has been focused) from day one on the next generation of voters as opposed to counting them out as lazy and uninspirable. I'm excited about a candidate who does what he believes because he believes it, not because it might "look good" (or not) to do what others say will increase voter turnout.

As a black woman, everyday I'm asked if I'll support Hillary or Obama. Never mind the fact that I'm marrying a banker and might just finally vote Republican after all! I struggle everyday with what I think is a more telling statement of progress in America--is it more telling that a black man could become president in this country? Or more telling that a woman could become president? Or that a Mormon could be president? I struggle with that mightily. But what has constantly pushed me towards the Obama camp is that as obvious as a black president would be in him or a woman president would be in her or a Mormon president would be in Romney, Obama doesn't have to remind people that they would be making just as much history by voting for the first black president as they would be by voting for the first woman president or a Mormon president or a former baptist minister as president.

Again, it is just a difference in philosophy--one that I perceive isn't about the messenger but about the message. In a country still deeply and sorely divided along gender, class, race and polical lines, I have never in my life seen a candidate who can cross all those divdes and inspire hope. I get chills just thinking about that. I get chills thinking about what we can accomplish when "We can all disagree without being disagreeable". THAT is the kind of change that I look forward to. Because from there, we can begin the discussion with everyone at the table. When half the parties involved don't show up to the table because they just can't stand the messenger--for whatever logical or illogical reason, I don't see that as change. Change that benefits me personally perhaps in having a democrat or republican who does as I want, but not change at the root level that leaves us with a legacy for our children and policy decisions that are not the number one order of business once a "change" in the guard comes back in to reverse those decisions. A legacy. One of those once in a generation legacies. Deeply rooted meaningful change to our core. Not just to tweak a policy or two in favor of whomever got me to where I'm going by raising the most cash.

I'm passionate about this. And it feels GOOD to finally be passionate about politics again. I first voted in the '96 election and (for better or worse) got to put Bill Clinton back in the white house. Though I hated what he had done to his wife and made her endure as governor of Arkansas and I continued to grow disgusted with his not so personal "personal life" and Hillary's (to me) endorsement of that behavior by continually standing by a man who clearly didn't respect her to the degree she deserved to be respected, I appreciated what he was doing for our country. I even, maybe in some jealous, envious way, appreciated her resolve to do as she did and respect that marriage was for no matter what.

Then I became disenfranchised in 2000 when though a series of debacles as a college student, working the night shift, my vote almost didn't count because of the arcane voting set up in Ithaca, NY. Then I completely lost faith in American government at the federal level in 2004 when everyone had a say and at the urging of two highly vested parties, another branch of government decided that America's voice didn't matter...we just needed to end it already. There was a glimmer of hope for me in 2006 with the US Senate elections, but when I look back, that hope was all about "I want my party to win to show "them" something" and I cared less about the deeper issue at hand--the deeper issue of the divisiveness that was eating us whole. This time, I'm excited. I'm inspired. I'm donating and I'm canvassing. All because someone gave me the audacity to hope. All because someone said that change is possible. All because someone said that at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you're a woman or a man, black or white, rich or poor, republican or democrat...we can all make a difference and not just "wait our turn."

Just my two cents. You can be inspired by the man himself at his website here http://www.barackobama.com/index.php and you can become a part of the movement towards a new kind of country (and make history as part of the largest political grassroots fundraising movement ever) here at my personal site where I am looking to raise $1,000. Even with a $5 donation, you'd be a part of this and (smile), you'd be my first donor (smile). That link is here http://my.barackobama.com/page/outreach/view/main/Bernadette


And for those of you not yet tired of reading...my fave email is making the circuit again and really...really. So for the love of all things great...some easy peasy snopes.com research for all that care. (original in white, snopes in red, my personal commentary in orange).

Who is Barack Obama?
We checked this out on 'snopes.com'. It is factual. Check foryourself.

Please. Do go to http://www.snopes.com/ as this email IS listed there as FALSE.

Probable U. S. Presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama
was born in Honolulu , Hawaii , to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.,
a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel , Kenya and Ann Dunham, a
white ATHIEST from Wichita , Kansas . Obama's parents met at
the U niversity of Hawaii. When Obama was two years old, his
parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. His mother
then mar ried Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia .?
When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocate to Indonesia.
Obama attended a MUSLIM school in J akarta. He also spent two
years in a Catholic school.


From Snopes: Barack Obama [Jr.] has an unusual and interesting background which the quoted piece draws on to paint him as a dangerous, camouflaged radical Muslim. NO EVIDENCE SUPPORTS A CLAIM THAT OBAMA IS CURRENTLY, OR EVER HAS BEEN, A MUSLIM(RADICAL OR OTHERWISE).

Personal commentary:On Obama Sr. snopes and Obama’s family history show that he was an atheist or agnostic in regards to his Muslim faith when he married his mother. Meaning, he was no longer a practicing Muslim.

On his mother, she was an anthropologist with a healthy respect for religion as a manifestation of culture and cultural beliefs—a ways for human to find meaning and purpose for that which couldn’t tangibly be explained.

If any of ya’ll have ever seen the movie Contact with Jody Foster and Matthew Mcconaughey and the greatest movie line ever when Jody, the atheist space traveling scientest is telling Matthew the man of faith that she doesn’t believe in God because “he can’t be proven” and then Matthew throws it back at her and asks her if she loved her dad (who died when she was really young) and she says yes and then he says to her “prove it” and she can’t…that is the difference between faith, belief and religion.

Obama’s mother wasn’t “religious” in the way most of us use that term, but she wholeheartedly believed in the power of religion to do lots of good, and unfortunately (think radical Islamic thoughts as the most extreme example) to do bad as well. She understood that dynamic and made sure that Obama growing up understood it. She had faith and she believed and she made sure that Obama had a solid foundation in understanding that it isn’t only about knowing what you personally believe…it is also about understanding the foundation of what others believe. More than ever, this country is in need of a President who gets that you can’t fight a religious war against half the world by either killing them all off or converting them to what you believe. It just isn’t possible. What IS possible is to bring everyone to the table when they believe they will be heard and understood. To this, Obama’s religious upbringing I think is the MOST qualified to deal with the global situation currently at hand.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a
Muslim. He is quick to point out that, 'He was once a Muslim,
but that he also attended Catholic school.'

Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear
that that he is not a radical.

Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and this
influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama
returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had
any direct influence over his son's education.

Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann
Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in
a Wahabi school in Jakarta.


From Snopes: When the younger Obama was six years old, his mother married again, this time…an Indonesian oil manager. Barack and his mother moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama spent 4-5 years attending both Muslim and Catholic. THE SCHOOL BARACK ATTENDED IN INDONESIA WAS “MUSLIM” PRIMARILY IN THE SENSE THAT THE PREPONDERANCE OF IT’S STUDENT BODY WAS MUSLIM (BECAUSE INDONESIA IS A PREDOMINANTLY MUSLIM COUNTRY), NOT IN THE SENSE THAT ITS MAIN PURPOSE WAS TO INCULCATE STUDENTS WITH MUSLIM RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS.

Personal commentary:Wahhabism can be researched more on Wikipedia (gotta love that site) and I think of particular interest (although Wahhabi supporters wouldn’t agree with this statement) is that to be a Wahabi muslim is to be a specific TYPE of Muslim. Just as to be a Southern Baptist (what I was raised) is to be a TYPE of Christian.

Just as I wouldn’t ever say all Christians hate blacks because three Christian men from Jasper, TX killed one black man by dragging him behind a truck, I would also never say all 8 year olds at Obama’s Wahabi school in Jakarta were radical Muslims plotting to kill all Americans just because certain people who claimed a belief in the same truths they did happened to do some atrocious things in the name of their religion.

Additionally, (according to Snopes) the notion that the school Barack attended in the mid 60’s was a Wahhabi school is false in that Wahhabi didn’t even reach Indonesia until the 1970’s. Both CNN and the Associated Press visited the school and interviewed prior classmates and noted that if anything, the school is actually very mixed and rather western leaning given the context in which it operates. So much so that teachers were western clothes, and kids where uniforms. That would absolutely not be permissible in a “radical Muslim” environment.

Furthermore, “public” education in that part of the world is very different from here. There, students compete to get into schools and money talks. His mother, married to an oil manager who worked for a U.S. Company with (likely) connections, was able to get Obama into the best “public” school in Jakarta as her only concern was that he get the best education possible. That is why he started at a Catholic school, transferred to the public school and then, finally, was sent back to the United States to attend school.

Barack has also NEVER claimed to have been a Muslim. I think this is where confusion between Barack Sr. And Barack Jr. comes in. Barack Sr. was once a Muslim (well before Barack was ever thought of, let alone born), Barack Jr. was not.

Wahabism is the RADICAL teaching that is followed by the
Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western
world. Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN
when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack
Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an
attempt to downplay his Muslim background. ALSO, keep in mind
that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy
Bible, but instead the Koran.


From Snopes.com:…his association with the United Church of Christ began over 20 years ago, long before he contemplated a political career (Obama was first elected to the Illinois state senate in 1996, but had been involved with the United Church of Christ since the mid-1980s).

Snopes goes on to note from Obama that his deepening of faith from an academic understanding into a more spiritual one began when he was working in the 80’s as a community organizer in Chicago. There, he was working within the church (black churches in particular as he was working mostly on the south side of Chicago which is predominantly black) on their phenomenal capacity to provide for the community when the government (city, state, federal) could or would not.

As he was working with the ministers of these churches on providing job training and after school programs and seeing how people’s faith in something better was what kept them going, his own faith deepened into a more spiritual than academic manifestation.

As to the Koran/Bible for his swearing into office—completely FALSE.

Personal Commentary: You know me, never one to miss the “I know we all look alike” joke, but it was (African American and muslim) Keith Ellison of Minnesota who said he would do this. Never mind the fact that in the House of Reps (which Ellison was sworn into) they don’t use ANY religious text or book of any sort for swearing in—it’s all for show and photos after the fact, but they just raise their right hand (some, by personal choice, may carry a bible or other sacred text with them). In Ellison’s case, he could carry a Qur’ran and he did pose with photos of Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the text after he was sworn in). And no...Ellison actually doesn't look anything like Obama (smile).

Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegience
nor will he show any reverence for our flag. While oth ers
place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to
the flag and slouches. Let us all remain alert concerning
Obama's expected presidential candidacy.


From Snopes:Senator Obama drew some criticism over a photograph that showed him standing without his hand over his heart during the playing of the U.S. national anthem (TRUE), but the claim that he “will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance” is false.

Personal Commentary:All said. We’re all very smart people who understand the importance of context, honesty and fairness. The internet is a huge place with lots of information—some of it believable, some of it not, and some of it just false. I go back to once more why I’m so passionately behind Obama—it isn’t the messenger, it is the message. We are better and we are smarter than this. Every last one of us.

1 comment:

Tara said...

Wow girl that was full of info. :)
I like Obama although Bert leans towards Edwards. We looked up Obama on Wikipedia after all those crazy emails were going around.
The Republicans really scare me with their heath care plan. From what I've noticed (I do need to do more research) they all want to take away company insurance and make it individualized. I happen to really like my company insurance and that I don't have to pay for it.