- Racial Equity
- Talk About Race
Suppose Barack Obama is “A Magic Negro,” as some of his detractors saw and quickly ridiculed so that “thinking” people would not look into the possibility. Suppose we all have the possibility of being magical, depending on how much of our whole selves we can get to download from outer space or inner space or cyberspace into our physical self.
Our television shows, movies and books –our entire popular culture is saturated with images of what is “out there” beyond the realm where humans now live. Maybe there are no fierce Jurassic-looking monsters that will come to earth to wreck our cities and eat our women and children. Maybe instead, what is out there, what is extra terrestrial, is the parts of us that have not come into manifestation yet –“our better selves,” Obama keeps on saying.
Our metaphysical and now much of our speculation in mathematical physics has been that what is “out there” is an unbroken field of one-ness that gets downloaded in an infinite number of pieces as an infinite number of individual people and things in the material world.
In a democratic country like ours, the widest variety of downloads are supposed to be brought into governmental decision- making. When elected the root problem Obama faced, and still faces, is that much of this wide variety has been pulled into two warring armies – Democrats and Republicans, Progressives and Conservatives, each fired up by sanctimonious fervor for the purity and righteousness of its own positions.
One camp battles with unbending resolve to conserve what it feels are time-honored truths about human nature and the human condition. The other fights with equal sanctimony to keep the nation’s spirit opened to new, progressive ways of being in the world. Perhaps we now have the first President with one foot firmly planted in each camp.
Despite a Harvard law school education heavily slanted towards empirical analysis of visible evidence, the President brings time-honored spiritual principles to decisions: “because it is the right thing to do,” he often says when he explains why he did something. His voice seems attuned not to anyone in particular but to the unity, a Union, the oneness that is essentially extra terrestrial.
It seems to me that never has the consistent use of spiritual intelligence –the combination of intelligent regard for the seen and knowable and respect for the unseeable and unknowable (spirit) reached such a high office in the power structure of the world.
“Because it is right” comes from truly conservative moral principles handed down to children through generations. From reading about Obama’s life, it seems he got huge doses of moral training as a child.
From his Mid-western, small-town mother and her parents he received a strong tendency to reason based on right and wrong, morally. And even now this kind of reasoning is reinforced by the more fluid, but equally strong moral traditions of his wife and her family from Low Country South Carolina by way of Chicago.
During the campaign commentators used to say that Michelle was angry. She seemed to me more sternly righteous than angry. They scolded her for preaching. That is what people from her tradition do; and we can be sure that even now she preaches righteousness into the ear of her husband.
Balanced against that is the great, aggressively liberal/moral traditions of Western Civilization enshrined in the President’s, and First Lady’s, quadruple Ivy-League educations. At their best these educations instill openness to new, progressive thinking. The combination of relativism and righteousness is perfect for our times.
This combination of relativism and righteousness has produced an amazing list of accomplishments during the two years that Obama has been in office. When the list is viewed holistically it seems bent towards helping the nation strengthen its basic humanity and reduce its Faustian impulses toward domination at any cost.
Barack Obama has had a very effective Presidency so far. Think of the highlights:
The Health Care Reform Bill –For more than 100 years one president after another has tried to get a healthcare reform bill passed. In its present form it is a bad, unpopular bill; but so also was the Social Security Act of 1935. The Social Security Act required several decades before it became a good bill. The Health Care Reform Bill is likely to become a good, popular bill in less than four years.
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act –For decades presidents have tried to get such a bill passed. It happened under Obama. There might be problems enforcing it, but getting a law on the book was a necessary first step.
Gay Rights –Many gay groups were especially angered at the President for not championing their causes. But at 4:04 on December 18, 2010, I, along with millions of other Americans, got an email from Obama: George –“Moments ago, the Senate voted to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” When that bill reaches my desk, I will sign it, and this discriminatory law will be repealed.“
High unemployment, Immigration Reform, abuses of the environment –There are truisms that help the spiritually intelligent stay effective while waiting. One truism is: Often you can achieve better, more long lasting results by letting things happen rather than fighting for them to happen. Another truism is that the arm of the universe is indeed long, but it bends towards justice.
With the passage of huge bipartisan and semi-bipartisan agreements on taxes, nuclear non-proliferation, a broad food security bill; and more consensus on ending the war in Afghanistan, the long arm seems magically to be bending.
Then there was the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords –the shooting was a tragedy but the survival and beginning of recovery seemed magical. Is it possible that she went “out there” and downloaded some needed parts of spirit to become “A Magic Jew” to make her recovery fulfill a purpose that the nation and world need right now?
Was a desire for all of us to reach our magical level the purpose and subtext of the President’s remarks at the memorial for those slain in the Giffords shooting incident and the celebration of Giffords medical progress. Obama said: “. . .let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”
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