Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Standing in-between

This morning I read an article by Marc Theissen (from the American Enterprise Institute) about Attorney General Eric Holder. Theissen is calling Holder an "albatross" for President Obama (yeah, concern trolling at its finest) because, among other things, he wants to close Guantanamo, reopened criminal investigations into CIA torture, and wanted to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a New York criminal court.

Is your head spinning like mine was? These are the mirror complaints of what we hear from the left about AG Holder. The guy can't catch a break anywhere, can he?

But my thought was also that this is a perfect example of what the Obama administration is up against. There are two sides in this country that are at war with each other over ideology. And neither one is paying an ounce of attention to how they are impacting the other side. The left screams about what Holder didn't do while the right stands in his way of getting it done. And both of them want his head for it!

I realized later that this is why my sub-conscious kept going back to the story I wrote about this morning. This is where the lives of President Obama, David Swerdlick and Adam Serwer have been lived. Not with me yet? Take a look again at what Serwer said:

Growing up mixed you sometimes face a kind of confusion. Those around you press you to make a choice about how much of yourself you're willing to give up, how much you're are willing to pretend in order to claim membership in one club or another...

Obama is lambasted as a Kenyan anti-colonialist by the likes of Newt Gingrich, and as a wide-eyed surrogate of "upper middle class white and Jewish men" by the likes of West. To have one group of morons question your citizenship while others question your blackness. To have one's very being interrogated by those who, because of their own pathologies, see your difference as a kind of terrible mistake, an anomaly to be soothed with toxic balm of archaic social binaries, this is what it means to be black, and also a mutt.

In order to form any kind of answer to the question "Who am I?" what Serwer is describing is the need to reject the call from both camps who demand fealty as a price for membership. Obama, Swedlick and Serwer all had to traverse that and come up with an identity all their own...to stand, as Nezua says, in no (every) place.

We are not a being, but a becoming, as Friedrich once said. And sometimes ideas are hammered out and we draw lines and walls and are told we fall on one side or the other and so do our thoughts and so does all that follows from them…and so it goes. We buy into these illusory borders, too...

I am far more comfortable navigating the in-between than I am in any Place. I like no thing as much as the coming and going from one to another. It is on the purpling beaches of dusk and the roseing gauze of dawn that my true eye shines lidless and I see so much more than in broad daylight.

So much of what we call wisdom is developed from standing in-between and seeing it all. But it's a thankless place to be in this polarized world of ours.

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