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On this first day of the Democratic National Convention, I want to share an essay I wrote back in July of this year. I am thinking of submitting this to NPR’s “This I Believe” series, So I would love to get your feedback below.

Mufasa, Simba & Barack
Thoughts on Identity, Fear and getting past your past.
Yorkali Walters ©2008

“What was that for? It doesn’t matter, it was in the past.
Simba and Rafika

I was watching the Lion King with my daughters and I saw something new in the last great pre-Pixar Disney movie. If we remember Simba‘s plight of identity and denial. How being consumed by the mistakes of his past kept him from returning home to remove Scar from his treacherous reign over the Pride Lands. I see a similar theme with the Senator from Illinois. Now stay with me…Barack as most know, also has had to come to terms with his dual identity of being African and American and the symptomatic issues that followed. This in my mind reflects a wider situation.

These United States are yet to come to terms with it’s multi-identity of being African, American, Irish, Catholic, Italian, Polish and all the other strands of DNA that permeate the Stars and Stripes. I believe that confronting it’s past as a nation is part of solving it’s future. As it stands, the politics of fear is the new tool. Fear of terrorists, fear of China, fear of immigrants, fear of the future…fear of it’s very own self. The contrast that Barack strikes between fear and hope is distinct not because of it’s lofty rhetorical appeal but simply because it’s true. When a people’s fear is greater than their faith in themselves disaster is not far off. Despots rise to power and those in power become a darker shadow of their former selves. History is littered with a multitude of examples.

America is facing a firestorm in the search of it’s identity and true purpose as a country / world-power. It will not end after the Obama era passes or after two or twenty non-caucasion presidents. If we learn anything from history, we should know that national identity is constantly evolving. And for those who say “This country is not ready for a black/female/hispanic/asian/_________president.” they have no idea how fast the United States is changing and the incredible effect globalization is having on immigration patterns across world. The splintering and “remixing” of American identity and DNA will redefine our concept of American. A city on a hill cannot be hid. All the peoples of the world will never stop coming here. No legislation will EVER change that….ever. Diversity is no more than a catch-phrase, it is what these United States are.

The most diverse super-power since the Roman empire.

To govern a nation this splintered and diverse, one must know who they truly are at their core. If not self-doubt, self defeat and ultimately destruction are not far off. The barbarians will be at the gate faster than you can say Nero. Americans are coming to grips with who they truly are. So, like Simba when your true self becomes clear and known, and you accept it, there is very little that can derail you from your goal. When Mufasa reminds Simba that he is the son of a King, not some feather of a cub going where the wind takes him, he realizes that there is so much more than fear. There is so much more than self-doubt. He gathers strength from his true identity and takes hold of his future. Nothing stops him, not even a Scar on his past.

I saw this quote in The Happening, did a lil web spelunking and found this very very interesting article. Please, check it out.

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”

Famous Einstein Bee Quote Is Bogus – thedailygreen.com

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However you feel about Barack Obama this is now historic factRegion capture 2.png Region capture 4.pngRegion capture 5.pngRegion capture 7.pngRegion capture 8.pngRegion capture 9.pngTags: , , , , , , ,

Julio Diaz

 

 Morning Edition, March 28, 2008 · Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.

He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.

“He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, ‘Here you go,'” Diaz says.

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”

The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, “like what’s going on here?” Diaz says. “He asked me, ‘Why are you doing this?'”

Diaz replied: “If you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me … hey, you’re more than welcome.

“You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help,” Diaz says.

Diaz says he and the teen went into the diner and sat in a booth.

“The manager comes by, the dishwashers come by, the waiters come by to say hi,” Diaz says. “The kid was like, ‘You know everybody here. Do you own this place?'”

“No, I just eat here a lot,” Diaz says he told the teen. “He says, ‘But you’re even nice to the dishwasher.'”

Diaz replied, “Well, haven’t you been taught you should be nice to everybody?”

“Yea, but I didn’t think people actually behaved that way,” the teen said.

Diaz asked him what he wanted out of life. “He just had almost a sad face,” Diaz says.

The teen couldn’t answer Diaz — or he didn’t want to.

When the bill arrived, Diaz told the teen, “Look, I guess you’re going to have to pay for this bill ’cause you have my money and I can’t pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I’ll gladly treat you.”

The teen “didn’t even think about it” and returned the wallet, Diaz says. “I gave him $20 … I figure maybe it’ll help him. I don’t know.”

Diaz says he asked for something in return — the teen’s knife — “and he gave it to me.”

Afterward, when Diaz told his mother what happened, she said, “You’re the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch.”

“I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It’s as simple as it gets in this complicated world.”

Produced for Morning Edition by Michael Garofalo.

 
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After the firestorm over his Pastor and all the apologies from Geraldine Ferraro, Barack will be making a major speech on race tomorrow. This is a speech that I believed the Senator from Illinois would have to make sooner or later. This will be the most important speech that he will make. Even more important that his New Hampshire “Yes we can” speech. It will probably be remembered even more than his speech at the DNC convention in 2004.

It is that crucial, it is that pivotal.

Although no one will ever top Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech. I think Barack will have to deliver our generation’s definitive speech on race in America. Tomorrow will be a dramatic turning point. This is a beast Barack knew he would have to face and March 18th will define Obama’s campaign like no other date before it.

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An excerpt:

The tides of history are rising higher and faster these days. Read them right and ride them, or be crushed. And then along comes Barack Obama, with the kinds of gifts that appear in politics but once every few generations. There is a sense of dignity, even majesty, about him, and underneath that ease lies a resolute discipline. It’s not just that he is eloquent – with that ability to speak both to you and to speak for you – it’s that he has a quality of thinking and intellectual and emotional honesty that is extraordinary.

read the rest:

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Sam Graham-Felsen’s Blog: Rolling Stone: ‘A New Hope’

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The Yes We Can Song
by will.i.am

I was sitting in my recording studio watching the debates…
Torn between the candidates

I was never really big on politics…
and actually I’m still not big on politics…
but 4 years ago, me and the black eyed peas supported Kerry…
And we supported Kerry with all our might…
We performed and performed and performed for the DNC…
doing all we could do to get the youth involved…

The outcome of the last 2 elections has saddened me…
on how unfair, backwards, upside down, unbalanced, untruthful,
corrupt, and just simply, how wrong the world and “politics” are…

So this year i wanted to get involved and do all i could early…

And i found myself torn…
because this time it’s not that simple…
our choices aren’t as clear as the last elections …
last time it was so obvious…
Bush and war
vs
no Bush and no war…

But this time it’s not that simple…
and there are a lot of people that are torn just like i am…

So for awhile I put it off and i was going to wait until it was decided for me…

And then came New Hampshire…

And i was captivated…

Inspired…

I reflected on my life…
and the blessings I have…
and the people who fought for me to have these rights and blessings…

and I’m not talking about a “black thing”
I’m talking about a “human thing” me as a “person”
an American…

That speech made me think of Martin Luther King…
Kennedy…
and Lincoln…
and all the others that have fought for what we have today…

what America is “supposed” to be…

freedom…
equality…
and truth…

and thats not what we have today…
we think we are free…
but in reality terror and fear controls our decisions…

this is not the America that our pioneers and leaders fought and
died for…

and then there was New Hampshire

it was that speech…
like many great speeches…
that one moved me…
because words and ideas are powerful…

It made me think…
and realize that today we have “very few” leaders…
maybe none…

but that speech…

it inspired me…
it inspired me to look inside myself and outwards towards the world…
it inspired me to want to change myself to better the world…
and take a “leap” towards change…
and hope that others become inspired to do the same…
change themselves..
change their greed…
change their fears…
and if we “change that”
“then hey”..
we got something right…???…

1 week later after the speech settled in me…
I began making this song…
I came up with the idea to turn his speech into a song…
because that speech effected and touched my inner core like nothing in a very long time…

it spoke to me…

because words and ideas are powerful…

I just wanted to add a melody to those words…
I wanted the inspiration that was bubbling inside me to take over…

so i let it..

I wasn’t afraid to stand for something…
to stand for “change”…
I wasn’t afraid of “fear”…
it was pure inspiration…

so I called my friends…
and they called their friends…
in a matter of 2 days…
We made the song and video…

Usually this process would take months…
a bunch of record company people figuring out strategies and release dates…
interviews…
all that stuff…
but this time i took it in my own hands…
so i called my friends sarah pantera, mike jurkovac, fred goldring, and jesse dylan to help make it happen…
and they called their friends..
and we did it together in 48 hours…
and instead of putting it in the hands of profit we put it in the hands of inspiration…

then we put it on the net for the world to feel…

When you are truly inspired..
magic happens…
incredible things happen…
love happens..
(and with that combination)

“love, and inspiration”

change happens…

“change for the better”
Inspiration breeds change…

“Positive change”…

no one on this planet is truly experienced to handle the obstacles we face today…
Terror, fear, lies, agendas, politics, money, all the above…
It’s all scary…

Martin Luther King didn’t have experience to lead…
Kennedy didn’t have experience to lead…
Susan B. Anthony…
Nelson Mandella…
Rosa Parks…
Gandhi…
Anne Frank…
and everyone else who has had a hand in molding the freedoms we have and take for granted today…

no one truly has experience to deal with the world today…

they just need “desire, strength, courage ability, and passion” to change…
and to stand for something even when people say it’s not possible…

America would not be here “today” if we didn’t stand and fight for
change “yesterday”…
Everything we have as a “people” is because of the “people” who fought for
change…
and whoever is the President has to realize we have a lot of changing to do

I’m not trying to convince people to see things how i do…
I produced this song to share my new found inspiration and how I’ve been moved…
I hope this song will make you feel…
love…
and think…
and be inspired just like the speech inspired me…

that’s all…

Let’s all come together like America is supposed to…
Like Japan did after Hiroshima…

that was less than 65 years ago…
and look at Japan now…

they did it together…
they did it…

“We can’t?…

Are you serious..?..

WE CAN!!!

Yes we can…
A United “America”
Democrats, Republicans and Independents together…
Building a new America

We can do it…
“TOGETHER”

Please visit http://www.yeswecansong.com

Thank you for reading and listening…
will.i.am


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