African American athletes now openly speak their minds and express themselves somewhat freely on collegiate and professional athletic fields. We all know that this was not always the case. It took a special person who could smile graciously as white people spit at, threatened and abused him for participating in what they considered to be their sport being played in their country to open up athletics to people of color. That person was Jackie Robinson. There were many great black baseball players in Jackie Robinson’s day, and many great black athletes, but Jackie was special. He was neither hateful nor vindictive. He did not give his ‘haters’ anything to feed on. Jackie was a uniter.
My diaries and essays at dkos and Docudharma are generally about spirituality, homesteading and the in’s and out’s of abuse. I do not believe there is a political solution to the enormous challenges that humanity faces. My small hope from politics is that we get someone to stop the bleeding. I do not view the current candidates as saviors and, to some extent, I believe that most of them have to be corporate puppets to some extent or they wouldn’t even get a second look.
Cross posted at dkos
Having said that I believe that the outrage people are expressing over Barack Obama running as a uniter and a moderate is ridiculous. Yeah, it would be great if we had someone who would get in the White House and start putting people in jail. I personally would love to see a full out investigation of the 9/11 murders and murderers. A good many people just want to see justice for the high crimes committed across the board over the past eight years by politicians and corporations alike. But that is not going to happen. The progressive community itself cannot even agree on the simplest of issues so how would there be a unified effort strong enough to hold people with enormous power accountable? No. What we need, what the country needs and what the world needs is uniters. We need people who don’t fan the flames of hatred and prejudice but rather seek to bring out the best in each of us.
Dividers are easy to come by. Anyone can make themselves a fan base by demonizing someone or some other group. You can get yourself elected; you can make some money. It’s so easy to rile people up. Whether people love you or hate you, it does not matter so long as you create a buzz and get yourself some attention. On the other hand, being a uniter is much more difficult. It is difficult to bring people together during this hostile time. It is difficult to convince people to put aside their hatred for another group for the sake of peace and harmony. It is difficult to convince people they need to give something up, make an offering to their adversaries, just so there can be peace. Dividers are a dime a dozen but uniters are a rare find.
Most of the candidates in this political race are somewhat common. You could find people like them in any political race. Mr. Obama is unique in the sense that he is the rare uniter who can live up to the higher standard a first African American president will inevitably be held to. If Mr. Obama were “Joe Progressive” he would be called uppity and be unelectable. Other (white) democratic candidates have more leeway in choosing their platforms. Mr. Obama has one choice and that is to be a moderate and a uniter. He has to court the Independents and anyone who might vote for a black candidate. He even has to win over any and all Republicans willing to cross the aisle for the sake of their children. It’s just what he has to do so condemning him for being a uniter and moderate is just silly.
It would be great to see justice happen swiftly and mercilessly but what we need even more is stop this nationwide divide that is growing exponentially. It’s not even about what the divide is currently. it’s about what it this divide will become. You see, these people with hostile personalities, anti-social personalities, do really well for themselves when there is conflict and people are divided. Many of the news organizations and businesses, web sites that revolve around hostility are doing really well. People with cooperative personalities, on the other hand, thrive when there is harmony.
That’s why we need uniters. We need them to bring us back to a world where the majority of us can thrive.