Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Yesterday, we witnessed history being made as Senator Barack Obama of Illinois was elected to become the President of these United States of America on January 20, 2009. What made this event so historic -the fact that Senator now President-Elect Obama is the first black man ever elected to serve in this office.
I had hoped that with the election over, a done-deal now, that some of the flack that has been coming forth during the campaign would not come to an end. The ads -from both contenders that cut to the bone -for openers. Well, thankfully, since there is no need to run them anymore, that did happen.
But the e-mails, even some blog posts containing hatred, vile comments -unfortunately, those still exist.
It saddens me to read things people write that keep the fires of racism, of bias, prejudice, and the like burning with comments calling President-elect Obama all sorts of names, insulting any who voted for him as being "White trailer trash" for openers. Referring to him not by his first name but as Hussein and casting out aspersions and accusations that he is a terrorist, a socialist, a communist, a Marxist -you name it, the list goes on and on, ad nauseum.
Shameful words, shameful actions and what a shame it is that there are still so many who chose to exist in a world that is so closed and unaccepting of others based primarily on a difference of the color of one's skin.
Is this any way to live in harmony, in peace with one's fellow man?
The beauty of this country is that yes, people have freedoms here -many, many freedoms as a matter of fact -one of which is freedom of speech, which allows people to say these hurtful things. The freedom of the press give them the right, the ability then to not just think and say these despicable words, but also to publish them as well -share the wealth, so to speak, of hatred and prejudice, teach it to yet another generation. Let it continue to fester and grow but then, if someone who has been maligned, injured in some way by these statements, these words, name-calling and acts out on them, then come forward of course with an "I told you so" type statement that the perpetrator believes to justify the nastiness in the first place.
What goes 'round, comes 'round -as my grandmother liked to say -and hatred begets nothing more than more of the same.
As long as any one harbors feelings of this ilk inside, how can a peaceful co-existence here or around the globe ever become a possibility?
While I realize the words spoken last night by President-elect Obama, while to most were seen as extremely inspirational, to some, they are meant to be used as a means still of ridicule, I would HOPE and pray too that they were received as they were intended by more people who will take them and with them, try to spread that message again and again, in order that Peace might someday prevail.
What I really do not understand at all though is how so many who continue to view others by race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, economic status, as being of a lower caliber can also stand up and declare that they are also "Christian" in their belief. To me, to do that is to ignore Christ's own teachings - you know, that man whose teachings you profess to believe but yet, you fail to practice those teachings -"Do unto others." You fail to recognize God asks us -no HE tells us -that we are "Our brother's keeper." And by brother, HE doesn't mean some one with the same DNA but our fellow man and by man, HE doesn't mean just the male of the species, but male and female, alike.
As a young child, one of the first hyms I learned in Sunday School -and it was sung almost every Sunday too -included the words, "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus love the children of the world." And I, as a small child heard that and rather foolishly I think though, believed that since I thought those words were truth, so did everyone else around me -in the church I attended, the school, the villages and towns far and near, cities all across this great, wide and wonderful land of ours and around the world as well.
I grew up and realized too many near and far didn't really believe the words of that song, certainly didn't practice doing that either.
And many decades later, I wonder if everyone were to think of the words in that simple hymn, say them over and over again and then, try to practice doing just that by recognizing the equality that should be present between all races, all cultures, male, female, if by remembering and doing that, we might -just possibly -bring about an end to all the conflict that exists.
What would it harm if we just tried to do that -to love ALL the people of the world, red, yellow, black and white?
A smile at a stranger, a friendly hello, even -who knows, how far little gestures like that might go!
Worth a try isn't it if it might, just might, resolve, bit by bit, a small conflict here, a little larger one there and on and on it could go but onl if we each resolve to give it a try.
I'm willing. Are you?