Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hope and a kick in the butt

This is a pretty great editorial from Indian Country Today, much for the fact that it lays out some of what needs to happen in the Native community. The author (Charles Trimble) puts into words the excitement and hope that so many Native people are feeling about the promise of an Obama presidency. Interestingly enough, much of it is through comparison with Bill Cosby, and his so-called "pound cake speech."

This is exactly the kind of thing I've talked about with some friends and family. The expectation for Native people to address the Native issues (and we are!) The article cites what Obama said in an address to mayors:

''Change,'' he said, ''comes from the bottom up, not from the top down.''

This attitude was actually very prevalent when I heard what the plans for the Obama Rural Alaska outreach were. It was impressive to hear plans for a campaign that didn't just involve getting this guy elected - it is set up to build a system in which communities are more involved, more organized for an Obama administration. A full-time gig, not just an effort for three electoral votes and we're done. Point being - Obama is not the one who is ultimately going to make the changes in our community. We are.

I don't exactly subscribe to all the words Cosby used, but it is striking that a man so known for finding the humor in situations says, "When you walk around the neighborhood and you see this stuff, that stuff’s not funny. These people are not funny anymore." And so much of it isn't.

Clearly, we need a little inspiration, a little kick in the butt, a little hope. It is still amazing to me that Obama is still attacked for talking about hope. Hope! My word, if we can agree on anything, can't we agree we need a little hope? There's no way to really know what these candidates will do once in office, but my money's on the one with a good plan and a little inspiration.

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