Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On being a cynic...

"BEING CYNICAL IS TOO HARSH ON THE HEART!! It makes life unbearable and robs you of hope and joy. So expect and hope for the best. What do you have to loose by doing so?" - Attorneymom

Those are the words of Attorney Mom on her blog Character Corner. Those words have been with me all afternoon.

And her words are with me as I think about the race for the Presidency tonight.

I am a cynical person. And I have been viewing the candidates through my cynical eyes as they make their way through the Primary season.

I have let my cynicism about America make me believe that a Black man cannot win the most Powerful office on the planet.

My cynicism leads me to think that America is far too racist to consider the content of Barack Obama's character rather than his skin color.

I have as I'm sure you have, if you are a person of color, experienced racism throughout my life. There have been no huge incidents but what I term micro-racism. Those are small incidents that we confront as we go through our daily lives. I am aware that more heinous examples of racism occur all the time.

I have to ask myself though; have I let the media in all of it's exploitative glory color my vision of America? Have I miss judged the American people?

I'm not quite ready to answer either of those questions in the affirmative. But I do think that America might be further along than I thought.

I'm not sure that Barack Obama can win the Presidency. Partly because I'm not sure if his message will resonate with the majority of Americans. But I wonder that about all of the candidates.

What I don't wonder about the rest of the candidates is can they overcome their race. I still wonder that about Mr Obama.

It's a long road to the Democratic Nomination, an even longer road to the White House and that road, I suspect,will be longer for Barack Obama than for any of the other candidates.

But Attorney Mom has convinced me, with her words, to put my cynicism aside. I will make an effort not to judge America through cynical eyes. I will assume that those who vote for Senator Obama are voting for him because they believe he has the best vision for America.

I will also assume that those who choose not to vote for the Senator choose not to because they feel he is not the most qualified for the job.

And I will try to not assume that all of the candidates are a bunch of crazy megalomaniacs. (That's going to be a hard one)

Super Tuesday is next week and that will be a great opportunity for me to put my new attitude in to practice.

What is the opposite of cynicism; would it be Naïveté? I'm not sure but I will watch and participate in the political process with an open mind.

I may relapse, but I'm going to try!

(Now if only Bill Clinton will just keep his mouth shut.)




Are you a cynic too?



Read Attorney Mom's entire post here: Expect The Best


16 comments:

kayoz said...

if i was a cynic too? heck, yeah. it even says that about me in my blog description...

i read that quotation very carefully, and the answer to the question of what i had to lose is: EVERYTHING!
...hope is the last thing we have left...and i find it easier to expect nothing and get positively surprised than putting too much hope on something which doesn't come true...because this weighs much heavier on my heart...

with cynicism i keep it this way: it is only another way of telling the truth. fortunately most people mistake it for a black sense of humor...laughs

jjbrock said...

MDC I am not a cynic because I believe in HOPE. It is a long road to the White House but I believe he can make it.

Symphony said...

Racism and its negative effects exist, there is no doubt. But I continue to ask: Are we going to sit on the sidelines and wait for the game to be fair? You'll die first.

A lot of people sabotage their own glory. Then, they blame others.

I won't go around blaming the white man (or Republicans) for the problems of anyone who isn't at least doing their part.

My cousin has two kids. She's 22. She wants to enter the medical field. I drove her to the community college that has an excellent nursing program, took her to the admissions office, bought the study guides for the entrance placement exams. She could have stared in weeks.

That was two years ago, she hasn't started yet.

She wanted to enter the military. I took her to the recruiting station, asked questions, told her about military life. That was last year. She's still here.

Can't blame society for knocking you dont when a person hasn't even took the first step.

tasha212 said...

I wouldn't say that I am a cynic . sometimes I am positive. But racism is a reality that exists and to think otherwise is deluding yourself. But at the same token, we can take certain steps to have a successful life anyway. I don't know id Obama will win. The question to me is what does it mean if he does? What does this say about American people?

Baby Please said...

Yes; sometimes I am cynical.
Sometimes I am gullible.
Usually, I'm an optimist.

Danielle said...

I say let's keep pusing forward. I give all politicians the side eye. They've earned it. LOL. However, I am keeping my eyes and ears open and practicing discernment. It's about subtext and reading btwn the lines.

May Obama will get the nomination and maybe he won't, but you know what? He's doing the doggone thing and good on him.

Let the games begin and I believe this election has exposed the underbelly of America in terms of class, gender and race.

I like so many others will keep the side eye open, but w/hope in my heart.

poitou said...

First I have to say that I am not American, I am French. I went in US 3 times, and 2 times by my own and I’ve worked 2 summers in Florida. So the way I look the US is of course a bit naïve.
But still I did not like your cynicism and other African Americans saying that Obama can’t be President. I wanted to say to you that if he can’t be President because he is black, so you can’t be doctor because you are black, you can’t be astronaut because you are black, you can’t be a scientist because you are black. And if you have kids you have to say to them,” Hey kids, you know that because of the colour of your skin you can’t do that much in your life…”

About his safety I also read or listened that some Blacks said they were not going to vote for him because they did not want him to get killed. My god! I was like if you say something like that you would have said to doctor King Jr or Medgar Evers, “Come on don’t do that, don’t fight for us, segregation is better for us and at least you are not going to get killed”. You can imagine what the answers of those two heroes would have been.

Again I am not an African American, I don’t have in my bones the history of 400 years of slavery, racism and segregation. I want to live in US after my studies and I know that like all immigrants in-waiting, my vision of US is naïve.
Just don’t say that Barack can’t be President because he is Black, it like saying to me that I can’t be a journalist because I am Black.
If he does not become President or if he gets shot, so be it, but we can’t let fear rules our lives, nor cynicism!

Don said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with being cynic, if it's always met with hope. That may not sound right, but it's how I feel. lol.

You're not along, Mes. I don't believe that Barack Obama can win the entire election until I see it with my own eyes. But I still try and remain hopeful that enough people will open their eyes to the fact that an entirely different era of politics is much needed in the USA.

Not too many bloggers like attorneymom.

Good post.

Attorneymom said...

Wow, Mes Deux. Great post.

I also agree with Symphony. At times, we can be our own worst enemy.

I also agree with Poitou. In a nutshell, cynicism cannot rule our lives. I believe cynicism is in some way tied into fear.

Mango Mama said...

MDC, Another great post! I think I, too, may be a cynic, but for the sake of my children and their unlimited potential, I must embrace hopefulness and exercise the ability to dream with abandonment.

I also think our cynicism is grounded in the institutional racism we face daily and if we wallow in our cynicism, then we're simply following their lead, like sheep to slaughter.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

sounds like u a pragmatist to me, far rom a cynic

Mes Deux Cents said...

Kayoz,

I feel the way you do but I'm going to experiment and see what it's like to be less cynical.

I hope I can last for more than a day or two. :)

_____________________________________

JJ B,

I guess hope could be opposite of cynicism?

___________________________________

Symphony,

You're right we have to play the game no matter what.

___________________________________

Tasha,

That's my question too. If he does win I'm going to have to really re-evaluate my thoughts about this country.
___________________________________

Baby Please,

I guess it's just about being the right thing at the right time.
___________________________________

Danielle,

That's a really good attitude. That's the sort of outlook I'm aiming for.
___________________________________

Poitou,

Once again you have missed my point. I said I have trouble believing that a Black man can be President in a racist country like the U.S.

That has nothing to do with him being Black and not being able to do something; it's about others not wanting him to do it.

Please read my posts more carefully, you are always accusing me of saying things I have not said. :)

___________________________________

Don,

Can you imagine waking up the day after the election in November to find out that Barack won? Lol
___________________________________

Attorney Mom,

Thanks; you inspired it!

I think it is completely tied to fear, mainly fear of disappointment.

___________________________________

Mango Mama,

Yeah that's one aspect of cynicism that I hate, that I've been cynical because of others.

I don't want to be a sheep.

___________________________________
____________________________________

MrsGrapevine said...

Yes, I am big time cynic, I hope for the best, but always prepare for the worst. This election scares me, and I'm too cynical to put all my hope in Obama because I fear he may not win.

George Bush was qualified for the position and he messed the country up, why because he wasn't a leader. Leaders are born, and all that experience will help you do is manage the position, but when it comes to ideas and visionaries you either have, or you don't. I believe in the vision of Obama and with the right people by his side, he came make them come into fruition.

MrsGrapevine said...

I hope my comment was saved, because I can't retype all of it, I forgot to wait for a confirmation before I closed the screen.

Anali said...

Depending upon the situation, I can be either very cnynical or all pie in the sky. But I do love pie! :D

Mes Deux Cents said...

Mrs G,

I know what you mean about Obama. And it gets even harder not to be cynical as the race goes on. But I'm trying!

_____________________________________

Anali,

I think most people are a bit of both.

If I baked as well you I'd be pie in the sky too! :)
___________________________________
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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron