Sunday, March 8, 2009

Condiment blogging: Worthy of a tribute?

More blogging on the month that was February...

The 4th grade students and the Honor Choir at the girls' school did a lovely music concert a few weeks back. It was a multicultural theme and they had songs representing a host of countries and cultures. Some of the students did dances, or sang, or played instruments to round out the event. It was great and a nice representation of the variety that is present at her school and where we live. At the end, they sang Michael Jackson's "Heal the World", with some of the kids doing sign language to the chorus. It was pretty moving.

There was one section that made me uncomfortable, however. It started out fine, but ended up weird. (First off, let me say that as a Christian, I think hero worship of any kind is a very fine line to walk because we worship the one true God and should not put any person on too high of a pedastal.) A young man from the 4th grade class who was dressed very smartly in a suit and tie got up and spoke from a podium, primarily from memory, and spoke about Martin Luther King, Jr. and quoted part of his momentous "I Have a Dream Speech". I think he was supposed to speaking from the point of view of Barack Obama, but did not catch on to this until mid-way through his piece. I thought he did a very good job and was very well spoken and a piece like that was not out of place, given the make-up of the township where we live and the historic implications of our nation's first African-American President.

However, the evening then moved into a slide show tribute to Mr. Obama, on top of the piece outlined above. It was a slide show composed of photos of President Obama, and some of Mr. and Mrs. Obama, but no one else, set to David Foster's "America's Song", a big anthem with the kids singing along on the chorus.

I don't get this. Why a tribute to President Obama less than one month into office? A tribute to all the trailblazers who led the way so that he could get to where he is - I get that. But a tribute to him, at this point? Why? What has he done to earn it except being the right man in the right place at the right time?

I feel bad for thinking this, though, because maybe it means I am not as open to diversity as I want to be. Maybe I just don't get it. Don't fully understand all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into getting Mr. Obama where he is today. And maybe I can't because I have never been there. This isn't the same, but if we had our first woman president, that would be very meaningful to me, but I still don't think that person would be entitled to her own tribute just because she got herself elected. I think it would be more for all the strong women who have led the way before her to get her to that place. Then, if she does something super-awesome, maybe we can talk about a tribute just for her. But for now, I think it is just too much, too soon.


Jenibug7 said...

I totally feel ya.
It seems like we are supposedly doing all this stuff to minimize how Americans discriminate based on skin color. We are supposed to be teaching our kids not to stereotype and label people based on race. But then we are making this HUGE deal out of Obama because he has brown skin. And that's pretty much the gist of it. So, he wasn't only the man in the right place at the right time. He has the right skin color. If he didn't, I would bet that 90% of the hooplah would be negated. Or he might not have gotten elected at all. Kind of sad.

tricia said...

I think you make a good point. Thanks for sharing.