Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Forgive me if I hesitate to celebrate

I don’t mean to be difficult, or cynical. I don’t mean to rain on your parade, Mr. President, and don’t take this as a personal opinion of your selection. We have had no choice in selections in the past, and you have easy shoes to fill from your bumbling predecessor. Don’t take this personally because, quite frankly, you haven’t done anything yet for me to judge.

You will all, however, forgive me if I hesitate to celebrate. In our tradition, one mourns the dead for 40 days, and I don’t want to be disrespectful with jubilations so soon after their passing. You will allow me a moment to digest my country’s incestual rape, to find ways to make peace with the violation. And though I may not have the right to ask you for this last bit, but I’m going to include it here anyway: you will allow me to grieve my broken faith, and the trust that has been shattered to pieces. What I had held as sacred was desecrated overnight. The pain does not stem from the fact that our neighbourhoods were attacked, but that they could be attacked, that our days and lives could be so inconsequential. The sacred that I refer to is our values as fellow members in a community, and our hope.
You must, therefore, forgive me, if I lack the enthusiasm with which you have painted over my city’s pain and scars, with which you are hiding our fear and anger.

This war flu we just experienced was gracious in only one aspect, in that it ended almost as quickly as it started. I can only be grateful for that. But though the symptoms have subsided, our recovery needs some time. Perhaps we may also need some convincing that the ‘disease’ has been eradicated when we can all see that its hosts are still … right… there.

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