Monday, June 09, 2008

Preconceived Notions Versus Inner Honesty

Awhile back I participated on a panel about blogging; I wore a pant suit and a lapel pin on my jacket. What does it tell you about me? Absolutely nothing.

It is a lapel pin, never-the-less. Does it mean that I am less than patriotic because it is not a flag? Or that I wish I was Swiss because it's a Saint Bernard? No.

Does it matter that my maiden name is German? Does that make me, or my father, a Nazi sympathizer? Does it mean I'm not one of "us"? Of course not.

Does the fact that I am in my mid sixties, white and female make me an automatic supporter of Hillary? No again.

So why do I find an AP story headlined Racial attitudes pose a challenge for Obama so troublesome? Because not so latent racism is still out there lurking too close to the surface for comfort. It is an issue to be addressed, but more so by ourselves than by Obama.

When voters say things like "A black man is never going to win Pennsylvania" or "His middle name bothers me a lot" and "He doesn't wear a flag pin", it seems disingenuous. Why isn't a black man ever going to win Pennsylvania? Give me a reason. A real reason. Prejudice.

Once upon a time we were the nation of immigrants; the great melting pot. Now others do it far better. We still hang onto our "me" mentality. Hillary had to have time to get used to the idea she wouldn't be the nominee. That's how the media framed it. It was all about her. In truth, it was not her mindset. She was still fighting for the nomination and probably is still trying to figure out how to pull it off.

We need to get outside of ourselves, our preconceived fears and our lame rationales. We need to judge our potential leaders on their actual strength of character and ideas rather than our imaginings of stereotypes. We do those who would serve, no matter their gender, religion or race, a disservice; we do ourselves a greater one. Great potential is being wasted.

If we can't get beyond what has bubbled to the surface during this primary season, the world will no longer watch with anticipation for the return of our greatness; they'll turn away, get on with their own business and leave us wondering why.

1 comment:

ThomG said...

Great Post!