I am very… sad… and perhaps a bit angry as well.
This has been one of those really emotional days, a day where I found myself questioning whether or not to even continue this blog.
I’m not looking for sympathy, but I most certainly am looking to get this out.
I started this blog in hopes of creating some dialogue, speaking my mind, and I don’t know, perhaps opening a mind or two in the midst of it all.
When I blog, love it or hate it, I stick to facts… I deal in reality. Sure, I have opinions… and this is my place to share them… but I respect no one who lies or spreads rumors as a means to further their own personal agenda. I have always encouraged comments… and post everything, even when folks disagree with me… thinking if I can dish it out, I better be able to take it.
I love a good debate, a heated conversation about the issues- provided they are real- and have tried to encourage even those who disagree with every single word I type to say what they have to say… again, as long as it’s real, and true.
Instead of the desired effect, my posts have caused major arguments between myself, certain family members and some of my closest friends… my own aunt and uncle even disowned me because I dared, as a bi-racial woman, to claim racism still exists in this country…
Apparently that’s a sin punishable by death when one was actually raised by a white family- like I was- regardless of one’s actual heritage.
That’s how it seemed, anyway, to hear these two tell it.
Unfortunately, the entire sordid drama played out on this very site, it became part of my blog, for all of cyberspace to see.
Now we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the presidential campaign- and I’ve managed to somehow put my own friends on blast.
First, let me explain why I so passionately support Barack Obama.
Yes, to state the obvious, I am a staunch supporter of many of the issues he stands for.
I am pro-choice, I am for women’s rights, I believe Global Warming was man-made, I believe in gay rights and I think George Bush has done a horrific job navigating our nation through this so-called War on Terror.
More than that, however, I am a supporter of Barack Obama because he is the first candidate I have ever seen that I can relate to on a personal level.
I, like Obama, am bi-racial. Like him, my biological mother is white, my biological father is black. I, too, was raised by a white family- though mine was not related to me by blood; they adopted me, they took me in, they loved me… and they are mine. Obama, in contrast, was raised by his (white) grandparents.
Like Obama, I have two young daughters… my ex-husband, like Obama’s wife, is black.
I belong to the United Church of Christ, just as he does… and my own father, the minister of a UCC church, is my spiritual advisor.
Throughout this year, I have seen my heritage bashed, I have witnessed my church, along with my religious beliefs defamed, and have witnessed, as well as been the target of, complete ignorance- perpetuated by the telling of lie after lie after lie about a man who has so much in common with someone like me.
I have done my best to stand up for the truth. For my sake, for my daughters’ sake, for Barack Obama’s sake… for our country’s sake.
Why couldn’t anyone understand, especially those who claim to love and respect me, that by continuing to spread vicious lies about this man… this person who is so similar to me… that they were slapping me right in my face?
As a bi-racial woman, I am ashamed- and insulted- at what Obama’s campaign has become… by necessity, due to the ugliness of others, he has been forced to respond to lie after lie about himself, about his family, about everything he stands for and holds dear. I am equally ashamed of McCain’s blatant disregard for women in this country, and the fact that we do have brains… it does take more than a pretty face from Alaska- who was never even vetted- to win this election.
We are women. We are not idiots.
When the lies stopped being about Obama, they started to be about Sarah Palin… and as hard as I’ve been on Mrs. Palin… I stood up for her. Through my blogs (as well as in personal conversation with any and everyone who would listen) I pleaded for people to stop the lies. These candidates- yes, both of them- have enough legitimate issues that can be intelligently debated without any of us resorting to anything other than the truth.
What is so controversial about the truth?
Today I had a friend- an old friend- or someone I thought was my friend- tell me that she believes every last thing she’s ever heard about Barack Obama.
She said she hated his wealth (in spite of the fact that while Obama owns one single super-nice 1.4 million dollar home in Chicago, McCain owns 7 homes, totalling over 13 million dollars in total worth). She said she believed Obama had only made it to Harvard by way of an affirmative action scholarship (really? I wasn’t aware Harvard actually awarded black face scholarships). She believes he is un-American and un-Patriotic. She thinks it’s a disgrace that he is proud of his African heritage… she believes he’s a Muslim, and she thinks “that church” he was a member of for over 20 years, under Rev. Wright, deals in hating whites and jews (I still cannot figure out how this man can possibly manage to be both a Muslim extremist and Christian simultaneously).
I attempted to set the record straight, as I always do, on each and every one of her issues, and I further explained that if she doesn’t want Obama to be our next president, fine, don’t vote for him… just please, base that decision on the truth.
Not on ignorance. Not on lies. Especially those angry statements that spit on my father, the UCC minister, who is also my hero- and myself, the UCC member and bi-racial woman… the mother of two beautiful black-women-in-training who had to struggle for years, because of others’ prejudices, to learn to be proud of who I am, my heritage, and where I come from.
My “friend” went on to screech at me about how she knows every single thing she’s heard about Obama is true, because she heard it on the radio, after all. In addition, she was fired up because a black woman had called that very radio program, claiming she was going to vote for Obama simply because he is black.
She wanted to know if the black lady had been me.
I actually cried over this one.
I wanted to ask, what about the thousands of people, white people, who will vote for McCain simply because he is not black? Is that more acceptable than the black lady who will vote for Obama because he is?
Unfortunately, this scenario, like what occured today between my friend and me, has become a daily occurance.
People who I have known- or thought I had known- for years are suddenly letting that ugly- damn ugly- face of racism, prejudice and ignorance rear it’s nasty head.
Do you not realize you are doing it at my expense? At my father’s expense? At my perfect little girls’ expense?
How can these “friends” claim to love me, like I love them, and yet hurt me so deeply?
I wonder if they realize that I have championed for them in the past… that as my black friends talk about how racist and ignorant white people are, I was the one who said, “No way… not my white friends… not most white people…”
When the tables turned, and I needed you to stand up for me, where were you? Not only were you not around to stand up for me, but you are helping others push me down.
I wonder, have I reached my limit?
Have I really failed that miserably in opening people’s minds?
Or do people hear me… and silently learn from me… choosing to remain quiet…?
I am unsure as to whether or not it’s worth it anymore. What’s the price I have to pay for speaking my mind and for trying to open up others’ minds as well?
I never realized it would come at the cost of losing friends and family in the process of trying… yes, trying speak truth to power.