But I digress. The one thing about the inauguration that stuck in my craw was Rev. Lowery's "prayer" at the end. In an effort to find some commentary on it that wasn't Rush Limbaugh's (I happen to like his commentary – I thought he made many important points yesterday – but I know that most of my readership probably think he's blowing smoke), I found this lovingly-rendered puff piece on Rev. Lowery's "impassioned" benediction. (Aside: I think it's kind of hilarious how she mentions that Rev. Rick Warren's prayer at the beginning – an actual prayer – included "mentions of God, Jesus". Well, duh. It's a prayer by a protestant reverend. What were people expecting? That one all-inclusive priest from Futurama?)
I don't know that I would have called it "impassioned". He really did sound as if he was half-asleep (I don't have television, and I haven't looked up any videos, so I can only go by what I heard on the radio). However, that's beside the point. I will say right now that I think it's an important day for those who lived through segregation, the civil rights movement, and the growing pains thereafter. There is an African-American in the Oval Office (even though neither he nor his family had anything at all to do with the civil rights movement – and his wife's family actually owned slaves – but I guess that's not really the point). It really is a great time for those who believed we could never possibly have a black man in the presidency! Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is so much closer to becoming a reality!
Now, if only we'd concentrate on the content of the character rather than the color of the skin.
I have little problem with the first parts of Rev. Lowery's speech. However, he had to go and end it with something that just chapped my hide:
"... help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."
(For the record, I'm pretty sure the line is "... black will not be asked to get back ..." I heard it several times, and I'm pretty sure "get" was the word I heard. The puff piece I've linked to has "give back".)
I'm going to analyze it for you:
"... help us work for the day when black will not be asked to get back ..."
Oh man, don't I know it! We totally should outlaw Apartheid! It's completely unfair! You know, just the other day, I let a black person drink from my same water fountain. I even saw one sitting in the front of a bus! Imagine that! Those scamps!
Seriously, though: I wasn't born in the 60s. I don't remember a time where black people were "asked to get back". This bugs me! We're post-racial, remember? Black man in office? The guy whose inauguration you're praying for? Hello?
I don't care for Obama because I don't think he's qualified, he's arrogant, and I don't agree with his agenda for this country – among other things. That doesn't make me a racist. It makes me a voter with a differing opinion.
"... when brown can stick around ..."
It's called legal immigration. Yes, the INS sucks igneous rocks – but you come here on our terms, you can stick around. You come here and break our laws, get out. Simple, right? I'm pretty sure we've made it fairly clear that that's how it's supposed to work.
"... when yellow will be mellow ..."
He only said this to rhyme. I don't even think he thinks Asians are uptight. And I don't know many people who even refer to Asians as "yellow" anymore, so it's another race card he's throwing out. Gotta cover all the colors, you know!
"... when the red man can get ahead, man ..."
Seriously? We still refer to Native Americans as "red men"? Come on. Are we playing Uno? I know for a fact that the tribes around here are not hurting for the good ol' American dolla'. The Suquamish tribe just built a massive resort – probably the nicest resort on the Kitsap Peninsula. Probably the only resort on the Kitsap Peninsula. It's flashy and drawing in money like crazy. This not only benefits the people who run the casino, but many people in the surrounding areas who work for them (including and especially white people) and the tribal education centers and hatcheries. This is a cheap shot by someone who can't move past their own racial prejudices.
"... and when white will embrace what is right."
Are you freakin' kidding me? Thanks. Thanks a lot. This is the cheapest shot of them all – good way to alienate the majority of the people who just stepped aside to let your black man get ahead. Nice.
Now here's a question: Do you think I have the right to be offended by this? I certainly think I do. I was going to make the joke that I thought I was embracing what was Right, but the Left keeps telling me I'm wrong – but I thought it wouldn't be as amusing to others as it was to me.
And, just so you know, I thought these things before Rush Limbaugh could speak about them. I'm not some empty dittohead who lives and breathes on what El Rushbo preaches. Despite what some people think.
You know, I try to follow the rule of law (except when I speed – sorry, I'm a leadfoot), and I love my fellow man. In fact, being a Christian, it's important to me to do good to my fellow man, be righteous, and look past a person's behavior into their heart. "Love the person, hate the sin," and all that.
But to be pigeonholed as someone who is fundamentally flawed because of the color of my skin, especially during such a momentous event as the inauguration of our first black president – that's just . . . racist.
Oh, but wait. Rev. Lowery is at least part African-American. He lived during the civil rights movement, and participated in it. He can throw the race card with impunity, because he suffered.
Do you think we white people deserve the treatment? Because someone sharing our skin color treated someone with darker skin color badly fifty-or-so years ago? If you do, you've missed the point. You cannot possibly be post-racial, because you can't see through the outward appearance into the content of the character.
It would be nice if Obama could have shown a better example and refrained from laughing at such an obviously racist, anti-forward-thinking commentary as Rev. Lowery's. Didn't he just give us a speech about unity and all that?
I wanted to blog about the whole inauguration yesterday, but I was away from home most of the day, and today I've had a sick, clingy baby. I might add more later. For now, I'll say the inauguration was underwhelming. Funny, and a little unsettling, yet underwhelming.