Early on, when the Presidential race was between a person of color, a woman, and a white dude who talks about poverty, I was so excited I couldn't see straight. No matter what, I believed we could expect change, and it was gonna come in style.
Sunday morning, I had an anticlimactic email in my inbox from Obama's VP pick, Joe Biden. The subject line was "Hello." He mundanely thanked me for welcoming him to the campaign (which I don't recall doing) and he invited me to check out this very neutral video:
Biden said, "I know I'm known for speaking my mind, hopefully clearly and strongly, but I do it on behalf of the middle class, and I plan to continue that approach in the months ahead."
How did we get from "Yes We Can" and "change we can believe in" to Delaware Joe straight-talkin about the middle class?
I'm not interested in talking about the middle class right now, Joe. I don't know about you, but my hometown in East Tennessee is locked in economic segregation that too often falls along race lines. And San Francisco, where I live now, is increasingly becoming a place for the very rich and the very poor. They're the folks I wanna talk about.
At a house party for the Highlander Center this weekend, we were treated to the music of the Vukani Mawethu Choir and the Rockin Solidarity Labor Chorus, who brought down the house with a union/civil rights sing-along. One of the members of the choir also reenacted one of Dr. King's speeches:
Running time: 2 minutes, 32 seconds
"I call on you to be maladjusted to the evils of segregation, and to the madness of militarism, and to the inequalities of an economic system which takes necessities from the many to give to the few...I had labored with the idea of reforming existing institutions, but now I see things quite differently. I have come to believe that it does not make much difference to be able to enter an integrated restaurant if you do not have the price of a hamburger."
That, Dr. King, is change that I can believe in.
In this AP article, Ron Fournier claims "The candidate of change went with the status quo":
"A senior Obama adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said his boss has expressed impatience with what he calls a 'reverence' inside his campaign for his message of change and new politics. In other words, Obama is willing -- even eager -- to risk what got him this far if it gets him to the White House."
Am I still supposed to feel inspired?