(crossposted from orange)
Just finished watching President Obama’s speech in Cincinnati.
I really liked it. And it put to rest something that has truly disturbed me when it comes to the notion that President Obama should not … and even CANnot, show anger.
I thought he showed a whole lot of anger. I thought he showed it very well.
When he spoke about those who are lying about his health care reform, those who say we’re trying to “kill granny,” and he said he had “one question” for them — “what is YOUR solution?”
I saw the anger. I saw it blaze in his eyes.
I have to wonder why folks think that for Obama to show anger he has to go hysterical and lose his temper. And I have to wonder why those of us who have counseled that he should show his anger have been admonished to see this is a racial issue.
I understand the historical context. I understand that for generations if a Black man showed his anger, trouble followed both him and his family.
I understand that.
What I don’t understand is the misunderstanding, the assumption towards what most folks like me mean when we say we want to see Obama’s anger.
It’s a sterotype in itself, that assumption.
He showed anger and passion in that speech. It was a real barn burner, imo, after a kind of slow start. And I think it was good for him, as well, to be in the midst of the kinds of folks who worked so hard to put him in office, for him to get that jolt of support and be reminded of the great energy of his campaign.
He didn’t waffle, he didn’t get wonkish. He spoke about health care using a big narrative, connecting it to families and workers and the strength of our economy. He showed his anger with what we are ALL angry with — greed, selfishness, an old way of doing business that benefited the few at the expense of the many.
He showed anger in his own way and I felt that and applauded it.
I hope he shows that passion and anger this week when he speaks before Congress. I hope he can show the American people that he is angry FOR us, that he understands what too many folks are suffering.
And I hope that finally, the notion that Obama cannot show anger will end, that we won’t fear for him any more when it comes to that reality.