Political find of the day


The website includes a fun reggaeton song for Obama. The website is by Miguel Orozco, who says on the “About Us” page: We all have a unique story. It doesn’t matter that I’m Mexican-American, born in East LA, raised in Utah, lived in DC and worked on the South-side of Chicago. What matters is what I’m doing now and how I’m helping my neighbor, my brother.

I’m not immune to political rhetoric. Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention (“The Audacity of Hope”–see it here) inspired me then:

John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it’s not enough for just some of us to prosper — for alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we’re all connected as one people. If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there is a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription drugs, and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief — It is that fundamental belief: I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.

Social responsibility, in other words. Now Obama calls out, “¡Sí se puede!” and I want to believe that someone who will claim César Chávez’s rallying cry will invoke it with all the sedimented meaning that has accrued to it: coalitional politics; respect for hard labor; a belief in education and equality; the willingness to honor our separate pasts, and our collective future.

In truth, I still believe that it matters that Miguel Orozco had the experiences that he did, that he ended up where he is, just like it matters who my parents are (both of whom, by the way, are going for Obama) and how I grew up. But I agree with Miguel too that, at some point, when it comes to national politics or consensus building or intercultural dialogues, we have to let go of our separate stories, and figure out how to tell a collective story.


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