Barack Obama’s grandmother is gravely ill. My temptation yesterday was to say nothing. And then, this morning, I came across this picture at Andrew’s place. I’ve reflected a lot–personally–on Obama’s campaign and the values of parenting. I often think about how his Dad left him, and never knew that his son would be within days of the presidency of the greatest power in history. Think about this–what else could a father want? My own Dad often says that too many black men see child-rearing as “responsibility” and not “personal investment.” They forget about the joy that children bring, and instead focus on the bills, or on stupid, petty beefs with women. As my own son creeps past eight, I’ve been reminded of that.
Obama’s mother, a relatively young woman when he was born, will not be here to see him inaugurated, should he win. Whenever, I think of that I just get sad–mostly because she did know the rewards of parenting and threw herself at her kids. There’s something unjust in the fact that she won’t get to see the results of all her work.
But now, more than anyone, I am thinking of Barack Obama’s grandparents. One of the big mistakes we make when we look at the history of race in this country is to focus on big people and big events. What should be remembered is that, though our racial history is mired in utter disgrace, though the deep cowardice of post-reconstruction haunts us into the 21st century, at any point on the timeline, you can find ordinary white people doing the right thing. Frederick Douglass, himself a biracial black man, is a hero of mine. But arguably more heroic, is Helen Pitts, his second wife–a white woman, who traced her history back to the Mayflower, whose ancestors founded Richmond Township, NY, and who was cast out for marrying Douglass. Here is a white woman who spent the best years of her life fighting for suffrage and racial justice. After Douglass died, she dedicated the rest of her life to seeing him honored, when everyone else was on the verge of forgetting. Please read up on her. She was the truth.
Likewise, I was looking at this picture of Obama’s grandparents and thinking how much he looks like his grandfather. And suddenly, for whatever reason, I was struck by the fact that they had made the decision to love their daughter, no matter what, and love their grandson, no matter what. I’d bet money that they never even thought of themselves as courageous, that they didn’t give much thought to the broader struggles in the the world at the time. They were just doing what right, honorable people do. But the fact is that, in the 60s, you could be disowned for falling in love with a black woman or black man. There is a reason why we have a long history of publicly biracial black people, but not so much of publicly biracial white people.
We often give a pass to racists by noting that they were “of their times.” Fair enough, and I know Hawaii was a different beast, but still, today, let us speak of people who were ahead of their times, who were outside of their times. Let us remember that Barack Obama learned the great lessons of life from courageous white people. Let us speak of those who do what normal, right people should always do when faced with a child–commit an act love. Here’s to doing the right thing.
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Attachment Parenting by ERGObaby.
ERGObaby is a family owned and operated company located on Maui, Hawaii. Since 2003, they have been providing parents with the most thoughtful, highest quality, and most innovative babywearing products and accessories found on the market. It is their mission to educate parents about attachment parenting, babywearing, and related topics, to improve the way our next generations of babies are introduced into the world. They are committed to excellent customer service, including immediate order response and friendly support of product use. They market the ERGObaby LifeStyle globally and have created an efficient team that is dedicated to reliability and serving our customers with integrity and a positive spirit.
The ERGO Baby Carrier was initially developed out of a personal need when Karin Frost, the owner and designer, had her son in 2001 and created a carrier for him. With help and feedback from other parents, the ERGObaby design was born. Word of mouth has expanded this single carrier design into a globally recognized family of baby carriers and accessories.
The significance of the ERGObaby logo has several layers. The Nautilus symbolizes both the continuum of life and the Continuum Concept that so directly influenced Karin and the development of the ERGObaby Carrier. The Nautilus also symbolizes the new wave of awareness guiding parents across the world: changing the old paradigm to the new parenting paradigm of holding our babies close to our hearts, and being willing to recognize and respond to their needs on demand.
More and more parents want to be physically active and productive during the early stages of their child’s growth. Wearing their baby supports this need. Research on babywearing has also observed great benefits to the child. The ERGObaby carrier holds the baby safely and closely to the parent’s body, and provides the parent with the desired mobility. It also builds parent’s awareness of their childs needs.
Karin’s focus now is Research and Development and she is constantly expanding the product line. She welcomes customer comments and input. They receive many testimonials about the life changing stories parents have experienced with the ERGObaby Carrier. They value our customers, and respond to every inquiry we receive. THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
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