What I Hope Americans Hear In Obama's Speech Today...Yes We Can!
His act of unconditional love for me to step in as my surrogate father when I was only 4 years old and teach me critical life lessons was a turning point in my life - because he didn't have any obligation to do this for me or my mother. This was my first early exposure and living example of true Christian compassion, unconditional love, understanding, and capacity to look past color, creed, blood relation, and religion - in order to love and care for someone who needed it. This man was also an African American.
This man embodied the same strange contradictions as Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He introduced and showed unadulaterated Christian love, stepped in as a surrogate father, spiritual guide and teacher to someone who wasn't blood related to him, and yet harbored a hated and demonized secret deep within himself (much like the words now categorically spoken and representative of Rev. Wright's deep feelings about America - which were hidden away from a wider American public tucked away in the black church until now.)
Our open denouncement of this man's anti-American sentiment of race and discrimination reminds me alot like the American sentiment on homosexuality - a taboo subject that was thrust into the public forum for discussion by way of the AIDS epidemic and the fears and prejudice that it personified for most average Americans. It made people have to confront the elephant in the room, and it served to make or break them about their feelings on homosexuality and it's dicotomy in American culture and the church.
Ultimately, it made them come together to collectively decide if they were going to be consumed by their fears or stand up and do something about defeating the disease that was ravaging a religiously condemned people. It made them realize that gay people were people like all of us - a people who deserved to be loved with the same forgiving, unconditional Christian love that we learned about in Sunday school and demanded from each other.
It was another opportunity for us to love the way we wanted to be loved. Much like this situation with Rev. Wright who represents another "imperfect" human being who was raised in a day and time when racim, segregation, and discrimination was very real and created a deep seated feeling of outrage. Outrage that was carried with him to the pulpit along with his deep seated conviction to love and help poor people like Christ - unconditionally.
We now owe that unconditional Christian love back to Barack Obama and Rev. Wright just as I did to my father when I found out he had AIDS and was secretly gay although it was against every Christian tenet for righteous living I had learned about in Sunday school. This is what makes us human and Christian all at the same time - sin and forgiveness. This is our blind duty to one another - the colorless, race-less, religion-less duty we owe back to one another now as we move forward to grasp onto the change we say we so desperately want.