I was at a barbecue a few weeks ago and my friend was complimented on her lip gloss. She said somethings like, yeah its my new Mac lip gloss and I’m pissed coz I just found out that they support Israel. And I stated, and so does Barack Obama and we’re still voting for him. There were head nods.
This is where the complexities lie. When you understand that you will never agree with everything an individual does or believes in.
I believe in Barack Obama, in his work, in his message, in what will come. As any individual, he is not perfect, he is not a savior, he is a person with goodness and faults. So, when I read the NY Times article, Muslim Voters detect a Snub from Obama. I couldn’t help but feel slighted and upset. I couldn’t help but take it to heart and the caregiver that I am, I wanted to reach out to Barack Obama and tell him, hey, this is what you need to do.
I went to Miami in February to visit my family. The talks shifted from Fidel to Barack and Hilary. I was proud of my family for supporting him. On my way there I picked up his book, Dreams of My Father, and was delved into his world in Hawaii, Indonesia, college and Chicago. I was interested in how he spoke about Islam. I was thankful when he spoke so openly about his family and religion. I understood him not being Muslim but his openness that Islam is part of his lineage. He went to both Catholic and Islamic schools in Indonesia and had the same apprehension to both. I laughed reading these passages because it sounded like me in Catholic school. Reading his book I found it so energizing that here was a man that spent some time growing up overseas. He had a direct relationship with immigration and having family in some other place. Here was a man that could be our president that had at least a basic understanding to another religion besides Christianity. I was proud of him for keeping his name.
Then I read in the NY Times article that he hasn’t visited a mosque yet but has gone to countless churches and synagogues. I am not sure what presidential candidate has gone into a mosque to speak so this is not surprising. BUT we are also talking about Barack Obama who sends out a message of hope and change. And even though he wasn’t raised Muslim and even though he is Christian he still has a relationship to Islam because his family does and I don’t care if they are in Kenya.
All over the internet there are lies spread by the right wing about Barack Obama’s life. And I wonder what is the best way to fight. The campaign talks about being open but when you keep on saying that Barack Obama isn’t Muslim, Barack Obama isn’t Muslim, Barack Obama isn’t Muslim, has never been Muslim and is Christian, it sounds like there’s something wrong with being Muslim. I think about, who made these decisions? Who decided to come up with these tactics? If the campaign is about change then this needs to change.
It reminds me of one of my first trips to Cuba. When you couldn’t say anything wrong about Fidel. When you did people would say oh, he doesn’t know about the problems. It’s the people who work with him that are the problem not Fidel. I am not comparing Obama to Fidel but I do bring it up because I don’t want to fall into the trap of not questioning or critiquing a leader because he is so great in some areas.
I want Barack Obama to be my president because I think that he can help shift the course that this country’s leadership has been on. He can not do it alone. I know that he must battle the personal and the political everyday. That he must fight for his integrity and to always make the right decisions. I know it ain’t easy. and I am invested in Barack Obama and how I am invested in other people in my life I must say, Barack, man, listen, you know who you are. You know what campaign you want to lead, you know who you are dealing with. There are more of us then there are of them. Remember that. They may have more money and they may have awful tactics but you got heart and blessings. Hope, change, unity means everyone. I pray that you hear me.