Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world a better place – Martin Luther King

  For me, it is not about the war in Iraq.  The decision was made to go, we went, and we’re still there now.  Arguing about whether or not we should have and who voted how is even worse than pandering, it is a waste of time.

  That region – Istanbul to Calcutta – is the locus of the most grave threats (those of a political nature anyway) facing this planet today. All sorts of scenarios can be constructed wherein throw-weight is an important consideration and zealotry and sacred values make for scary hair triggers.  An escalation by either side for whatever reason could lead to a level of turmoil heretofore unseen. 

  Amazingly, contemplation of the situation took my mind back to my youth.  In the early sixties my mother drove my brothers and me through the deep south on our way to visit our grandfather in Florida.  Didn’t really have to get that far from home to find the restrooms at gas stations labeled Men, Women, and Colored. 

  First time I saw three rooms so labeled we battered Mom with questions.  Why separate?  If they have to be separate, why aren’t there ‘Colored Men’ and ‘Colored Women’? Why is the ‘Colored’ sign hand scratched and the other two, well, regular? Consciousness raised, we looked around and asked other questions such as: “why are all the men in the chain gangs ‘negroes’?” 

  When Dad joined us at Grandpa’s house, there were adult conversations discussing race related protests, Rosa Parks, segregation, lynchings, and murders.  The phrase: “there’s gonna be a bloodbath” really scared me.  When we got back home I began to notice the similar if more subtle disparities.  Took longer to realize that I wasn’t ‘lily white’ myself.

  Didn’t think about it in 1968 but there was momentous paradox, incredible irony during those years in which we should all find hope. For while it was white European men who forcibly, violently enslaved black Africans several hundreds of years ago – thereby sealing a cruel fate for them and as well as for the continent left behind – the figure most associated with the mostly peaceful passing of the era was a black man.

  There is hope again today.  What must the leaders of non western nations, as well as the dispossessed, think when they see that a black man, with the middle name Hussein, has an excellent shot at being the president of the United States of America?  I am about as far from being a statesman as my dog (no offense Sauger), but I think it matters big time.

  Perception and words make all of the difference.  We do have an embarrassment of riches in the back stories of both major candidates.  But who, walking through the doors of difficult foreign capitals would be the most, well, disarming?   How could it not be the articulate son of a white mother and black immigrant from Kenya?

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One Response to “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world a better place – Martin Luther King”

  1. andrew gierke Says:

    I really enjoy reading what you write. Its like a whole new perspective on my Dad. Turns out you getting a blog was an awesome thing not only for you, but me too.

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