Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pride in which we can believe...

Those familiar with the SouthCoast -- or much of New England, for that matter, as well as parts of the South -- will know this part of the world as the bastion of a collective psyche that is either crippled by or instructed by a Calvinist-Puritan-Catholic complex that sees Pride as a Sin. One of the Seven Deadlies.
So, you can understand that it is counterintuitive for me to say, "I am proud."
Remember at the beginning of the campaign when the now-defunct and irrelevant right-wing oldfart pacifier media completely mistook our new First Lady's quote about finally being proud of America? I understood what she meant, because I understand the nature of Pride as very personal and very valuable. While some denied her meaning and motivation, I knew exactly what Michelle Obama was saying.
Because that particular Pride is a special one; it is a Pride that doesn't just look admiringly at its own image in mirrors. It is not the Pride that won't listen to those of different beliefs or creeds or colors or needs. It is not the Pride that makes others small.
I attended the brunch sponsored by The Peoples Office to Elect Barack Obama and held at New Bedford's Wamsutta Club. I know the history of the "Warmsuppa" -- an institution that had only opened its membership to minorities forty years ago and to women thirty years ago -- and I looked around at my brunch companions, there together to share history. Although we were not on The Mall in D.C., each one of us was beaming with Pride.
There were mothers who were proud to have been able to bring their children.
There were children who were glad to have brought their parents.
There were people who had marched with King or worked for Kennedy.
There were people who sighed and sniffed and smiled at the elegant speech eloquently delivered.
I was especially aware of the Pride in the campaign workers. They are my friends, and I am Proud of them, their courage, their determination, and their success.
Yes. I said that I am PROUD.

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