yesterday afternoon I watched this video upon the recommendation of my husband. and then posted it to my facebook page because I was so galvanized by what Goldie Taylor had to say... the video is embedded in some text so scroll down until you get there---
last night I woke around 3 AM and couldn't get back to sleep thinking about the whole Obama thing. this post may sound disjointed but bear with me. some people (my husband's children for instance) would call me conservative and some (the vast majority of my doctor friends) liberal. I bought my last three cars with cash I saved for their purchase. but I still remember that May 4th is a day with meaning (1970 - four students killed by OUR government in Kent Ohio)
I would call myself liberal and here is why - I have been dissing President Obama for not doing enough... I cast my vote for him because I remember the lyrics to "Chicago"
"won't you please come to Chicago for the help that you can bring?"
"we can change the world, rearrange the world" - "if you believe in justice...if you believe in freedom"
those words were written about the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago and became a hit song from Crosby Stills Nash & Young. when President Obama was elected, I still believed we could elect someone who could make a difference - create more equality and end years of injustice for not just black people but for women and for immigrants and for the unemployed seeking work and for the working poor and for the aged... yeah - all those bleeding heart liberal causes.
on Saturday I finished reading a memoir by Paule Marshall called Triangular Road. she grew up in and participated in the civil rights movement in the 60s. the book described her personal thoughts related to the history of "chattel cargo" on the triangular route from Africa to the West Indies to the American South. (the slave trade)
so last night I awoke thinking about the Goldie Taylor video I have linked to above and feeling like maybe I have been too hard on Obama (maybe not) - I tried to put what he has accomplished into the context of still living in a country where he had to "show his papers"
I wanted him to enlarge Medicare for those 55 and older and then in five years for those 45 and older and then in five more years for those 35 and older and eventually we would have a single payer system. I wanted him to be tougher on the thieves who created a bizarre scheme of selling securtized mortgages such that the banks who lent the money had no skin in the game. and I wanted him to let the Bush tax cuts expire (thereby ending up paying more tax personally) I wanted us out of other people's business in the middle east - Iran and Afghanistan and I was angry when two weeks before I was to leave for Tunisia he started bombing Libya. could the man not do anything right? why didn't he stand up to those wing nuts on the right in the tea party?
but last night I had decided after watching the video that I was going to support him despite his "vast failings" because in my opinion, we need to get past the point where it is acceptable to ask the president of the US for "his papers."
so I came downstairs because I wasn't sleeping and because we had Asian food for dinner and I was hungry. I was making toast when Phil came up from the lower level and asked me if I saw his note. he said did I know the news? Osama bin Laden was dead - killed by special forces- while "hiding" (more like hidden by the Pakistanis) in the Pakistan capital suburbs in a large compound. then he started to tear up when he told me that there had been crowds gathering at the World Trade Center.
For nearly ten years I haven't really been able to address the topic- I won't listen to songs about it that Phil is always trying convince me to hear. I am still overwhelmed by emotions when I think of the firefighters going up the stairs in the Twin Towers as everyone else was exiting...
so what, you may be asking, is the point of this diatribe so unlike the remainder of semifreelife? I guess it is that I am going to try my best to give the guy a bit of slack given the environment that he finds himself in.
so with that I will end with more of the lyrics to Chicago (where - as you may know- I live)
Somehow people must be free
I hope the day comes soon
Won't you please come to Chicago
Show your face
From the bottom of the ocean
To the mountains on the moon
Won't you please come to Chicago
No one else can take your place
I hope and pray there is still time in our lifetime to create a better world.