[Obama's candidacy] has been, for me, a continuing lesson on what are and what are not mutually exclusive concepts. Being unthrilled about certain policy positions and tactics, sometimes unthrilled even to the point of feeling like we're taking a step backwards, and regarding his candidacy as yet a step forward in other ways, aren't mutually exclusive.That's not a "lesser of two evils" argument; it's not a comment about compromise, or balance, or taking what we can get, either. It's about coexistence and complexity, and opening myself up to both in a way I haven't before—in no small part because I've never had the need nor the chance, offered as I've been prior to this election only straight, white, wealthy men who were symbols of nothing but social stagnation at the upper levels of our government.
Reconciling that with my tendency to view candidates as either singularly Progressive or Not Progressive has been an important learning experience for me.
For a long time, I wasn't quite sure how to work out what to make of this opportunity given to me, to see forward and backward and running in place so vividly all in the same candidate. (I certainly would have had the same problem if Clinton had ended up our nominee.) But moving into a space where I can simultaneously feel desperately excited about the forward, while feeling the usual disappointment and occasional fury about the same old and back, has been good. And liberating.
It feels like the first time you really understand how to keep loving someone even after you've seen their flaws.
It's almost like I'm a real grown-up or something.
Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of saying that Kevin's got an interesting and thought-provoking short video documentary over at his place about redefining black masculinity, made by filmmaker Byron Hurt, that you should check out (and I second Kev's caveats in his intro). Some of the ideas presented therein are closely associated with that learning experience I described above…