What galvanized many Kossacks about Obama, I would guess, was his rhetoric. For example, when he decided to speak about the false controversy over Reverend Wright, he took the opportunity to discuss the issue of race in America, and in a manner, to quote Jon Stewart, that actually treated us all like adults.
This diary isn't really about Obama, it's more about language, action, and solutions.
But words have meaning, and we loved his words.
Since then, for many of us the rhetoric has lost its substance. While Obama has made some real accomplishments (with others yet to be realized - for example, the sharp rise in international goodwill towards America after his election), many of us hoping for substantial, transformative, progressive change are wistfully disappointed, at best.
But listen, y'all - I really love that rhetoric. I want to hear words that move me. Yet I am only moved when it is clear that what lies behind those words is a real, honest, radical, and loving commitment to justice.
I'm getting that here at WireTap Magazine. This article, written by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, demonstrates the real thing. It is a moving piece about the power of blogs in the building of communities and sharing resources for radical women of color. In doing so, she writes a dynamic, wonderous vision of a future society, with links to incredible examples of national and international community-building and support:
If capitalism slept, it would have nightmares about us. Those of us who pilfer office supplies, trade DIY fashion tips, write love poems to Palestine, remember why Claudia Jones was deported during the McCarthy era. Those of us who have orisha-powered blogs with drums playing on imeem, who invoke lines from poems in long-since out-of-print books, who do reiki across time zones from Egypt to Detroit, releasing trauma, reactivating souls, who trade single mami advice all day on twitter.
But capitalism doesn't sleep. So neither do we. We stay up all night, or wake up early and refresh the screen. We live on each others' words and prove the lie of the hourly news story about our worthlessness. We speak for far-flung intimate audiences, and when we wind up wounded, we don't stop because slowly we learn that these words are salve. We stay up, stay connected, send love letters every way we know how. These words are salve. Halfway to salvation.
I don't want to give too much away here, but urge you to please check out the piece yourself. If you want the realization that in 200 years, we'll be referring to this as the next, better Enlightenment, start seriously exploring (with respect) the links in the article. Lay off on comments and questions, and keep reading - 'cuz what you thought you knew? Turns out, you didn't.
Straight up - some of the material in this piece and its links is gonna be beyond us. Lots of those "Holy shit, I have never considered that, and now I'll never see things the same way" moments. They are beautiful, aren't they? Let them wash over you.
I haven't felt this good in months.