Apr 27 2011

tired of america

by rufus wainwright.

i really can’t with you today, america. i just cannot.

i’m disgusted with the media for constantly airing stories about obama’s birth certificate and citizenship status. listen american media – there will always be crazies, it’s ridiculous to time and time again elevate their ranting and pretend these ranting are news. unacceptable, totally unacceptable.

i’m disappointed in obama for engaging and doing what lots of bloggers and commentators are calling “showing his free papers.” dred scott, who tried to appeal to the supreme court for his freedom, told (among other things):

“A free negro of the African race, whose ancestors were brought to this country and sold as slaves, is not a “citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States.”

that was in 1857. it being 2011 it might be reasonable to think that things had changed in america. still, the president, the mf-ing PRESIDENT can still be asked for his papers and his citizenship is still called into question (and such questioning is legitimized by the media) since he’s of african descent.

how and i supposed to explain that to my students? how am i supposed to tell them they can do whatever they want, when there will always be somebody asking them to prove their legitimacy, their citizenship, no matter how hard they work and how much growth they achieve while under my tutelage? how am i supposed to be strong in front of their precious little faces when all i want to do is run and fight or run and hide? i just feel like i can’t, and i’m starting to believe that maybe that the truth.

One Response

  1. Leah

    “how and i supposed to explain that to my students? how am i supposed to tell them they can do whatever they want, when there will always be somebody asking them to prove their legitimacy, their citizenship, no matter how hard they work and how much growth they achieve while under my tutelage?”

    I would frame it as a means of opportunity. Let’s face it, most of the people making a stink about this are old (like Baby-Boomers) and are white. The next generation–their generation–will create a huge demographic shift within the country, and with that comes a greater force for good and diversity. Eventually, the remains of this older class of individuals that are dominating (and creating) these debates are going to be replaced with a new generation who will have their own set of issues.

    So the question becomes, how will the new demographic makeup of this country perceive old issues? What issues will they champion and fight for? And how will they perceive the irrelevant characteristics that divide us, such as race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation?

    So the way I see it, you can tell your students they have a choice: repeat what they see and encourage this type of narrow (and racist) thinking that only legitimizes certain people, or learn from it and resist the urge to fit within people’s expectations.

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