Sunday, November 09, 2008

Jake's Word: A Mutt Like Me

This is from an article in the NYTimes about Pres. Elect Obama's economic transition team and his possible choices for cabinet members. This paragraph was interesting:

Near the end of the brief session, he alluded to a domestic choice facing his family: what kind of dog to bring to the White House. Perhaps, he said, the Obama family should visit a shelter and pick out “a mutt like me.”

I wrote a draft of brief play last night called "The Death of Old Man White". (It was common in the small town where I grew up to refer to an old fellow whose history was generally but not clearly known as Old Man Jones, Old Man Smith or whatever.) The point is that Americans are all, as Jack said long ago, collages. We are made of different ethnic groups. To be classified as White in this country meant that your ethnic group, which would be a minority by itself, had been accepted into the collective that generally ran things at almost all levels of society. Obama's election makes that distinction, already an illusion, a very problematical condition. Isn't it time to admit that there is no nation, state, or region called White? It was an illusion established in order to allow certain groups of people rights that were not allowed to other groups of people who by virtue of recent immigration, or worse, the color of their skin, were denied those same rights. Isn't is time to do away with this designation "White" and admit that Americans are all collages, we are all mutts. And proud to be. Obama looks like America and though he and I are different mixtures of mutt, I am a mutt like him.

"The dogs on Main Street howl because they understand
if I could take one moment into my hands.
Mister, I ain't a boy, No, I'm a man.
And I believe in the the promised land."

Bruce Springsteen - (Dutch-English mutt) - from his song "The Promised Land"

Let's see what happens.

Love to you all,
Jake Berry


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