Ricochet, What a Difference You've Made in My Life
Please bear with me, it will take a bit to get to my point... I was an enthusiastic early adopter of the internet. My head always in a book as a child, the internet was like having the world's library at home. But, for all my enthusiasm, I have also been a committed lurker. Never, ever, did I post a comment or a review.
Then along came Ricochet. It coincided with some other shyness issues in my life and so, I resolved to post at Ricochet. Not often, not gregariously. As I glance back over some of these posts, I am not, well, particularly proud of them. Dad gum, you people can write! Most of my posts qualify as 'well, hullo, Captain Obvious'-type posts or 'what were you thinking!?' posts. Still, I overcame my shyness and hesitancy to post on occasion. That's a step. I feel a part of this community and I have loved it. In fact, so much so, (don't tell my husband) it intrudes everyday upon my at-home job.
There are no specific conversations that I can point to, but Ricochet has convinced me that as a citizen, part of my responsibility is personal, one-on-one discussions with those in my periphery concerning the direction of our great nation. I've just had the opportunity to do just that by responding to a friend's facebook posting. He is a black pastor. The gist of his post was that the furor directed toward our president is because he is black. The emotion in George's post was hurt, anger, and protectiveness toward President Obama. My response:
"George, I hear the passion in your writing, I do. But (and I say this as one of the uninsured working Americans) the reaction to the health plan promoted by President Obama has nothing to do with his race. The reaction is to the federal takeover of US health care. In my opinion, command and control from the top of a system with 350+ million participants will be a disaster! It will make health care more expensive and less responsive. There are many other ways to deal with a problem that affects, what, 1/8 to 1/10 of our population?
There is nothing more a large contingent of our media and many in power in the US would like than to make the next presidential election based on race issues. IT WILL TEAR US ASUNDER. I ask you, as an old friend, a man of God, a brother in Christ, PLEASE don't go there. The libertarian and conservatives in our nation, of which I am one, have their focus on economic and constitutional issues. I can't speak for all obviously, but this is not a racial reaction, but a reaction based on economics and the structure of our government. And we can argue and disagree about those things all day long.
I am proud that we have elected our first black President. But, for me at least, the last time I thought about President Obama being black was on Inauguration Day. Isn't that the way we want it to be?
I hope this note will not change our relationship. I've thought about your post for two days and felt led to say this. I hope it is taken in the spirit in which it is offered. I thank you for posting. "
Why am I sharing this here? I imagine most of you reading this are thinking, well, yeah, I do that every day. But it is a big step for me! Maybe part of the reason is 'Hey, ma, look what I did!' But mostly, it is to ask for help with the communication, how to address my friend's emotional response.
Better stated, how do we, as Ricochetians, meet our black compatriots' emotional response to the rejection of President Obama's agenda?
(...a deep breath and post)