Et Tu?

President Obama and Laura Bush watch first lady Michelle Obama embracing president George W. Bush at the dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Who are the Americans in this picture?

“I, too, am America,” said the president. The President of the United States of America, that is.

He didn’t just say it once. He said it twice, but it seemed like I heard it at least four times. How ridiculous that the democratically elected leader of the free world would say it even once.

But that’s because since he became president, some have been trying to delegitimize him. To say he wasn’t American. That he is other.

I can’t tell you why. I don’t doubt that there are multiple reasons, and I’m sure that different people have different justifications and different combinations of pretext.

But thinking about it, when folks see people as other what does that mean? If they are other, are they not people? Are they animal? vegetable? mineral? monster? Does that make it easier to dismiss that other? To strip from them their humanity, their fears and struggles, their dreams and loves?

It’s pretty easy to be an American, though. In fact, we’ve welcomed people who are tired or poor. We’ve embraced huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We’ve provided refuge to the wretched from another country’s teeming shore. We’ve provided a future to the homeless and those tossed by tempest.

America has work to do in order to live her ideals when it comes to people of color, people of non-Christian faiths, people who have different abilities, people who are poor, people who don’t fit heteronormative beliefs, people of different backgrounds.

But who is that “America?” Is it other? Is it not her people?

I, too, am America.

Ouch.

At My Fingertips 

There just may be something seriously wrong with me. It’s like I don’t need to wait for a physical internet implant. I think that maybe I’m becoming The Internet of Things. I’m reduced to an acronym: IoT.

How did this get to be?

So today I was hungry and thinking about lunch. That’s what you do when it’s 12:08 p.m., and you’re working on an epic procrastination. You exit your 11:30 a.m. meeting that was blissfully over by 11:48 a.m., even though you were seven minutes late. On that happy note, let’s think about lunch.

There’s tons of choices within a few blocks. I have the curse of choice. (Don’t hate. I used to work at a secure location with the only choices being the type of bread for your Subway sandwich. After 2 weeks, I recognized that all the meat choices tasted exactly the same, so I’d get the veggie and save a buck. Sometimes I’d order the the wheat bread and sometimes the salty spicy bread that I don’t remember what it was called. I’m trying to forget. I can’t even walk by a Subway today without gagging.)

Back to my surfeit of choice.

I didn’t know what I wanted. There was nobody to ask. I looked around, and they were all gone. Siri is more than (or is that less than?) useless. I looked at my screen and asked,

“What do I want to eat?”

Nothing. Fingers to keyboard,  I googled,

“What do I want to eat?”

I half-imagined, with great hope, that the results would be topped by one of those Google cards that you gives you the answer when you type, “How far to Dublin?”

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or what is the “French word for bread?”

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“What do I want to eat?”

 

 

 

 

 

Nope. Nothing. Nada.

Always hopeful, I looked down a bit. Sometimes there isn’t a card. Like when you say, who won The Bachelor last night? (Really, is winning what they do? Another post, another time.)

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The all knowing Google has a variety of ways to answer.

I looked down the search results. There was no answer. There was, however, a Buzzfeed Quiz.  A few clicks later (Do you eat meat? Are you hungry or hangry? Which image of the sky do you prefer? Unicorn or Winged Horse?), I had an answer.

A sandwich.

Fine. A sandwich it would be. At least I had an answer.

I pulled on my long black trench and made like Snape and his billowing robes around the corner and down the fire escape to the street. Before I reached ground, I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and powered up Yelp–location on–to find sandwiches, current location.

Standing outside on the sidewalk, I started poking the little pins on the screen. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Wait. Is that the one I was thinking of?

I click through to the restaurant deets. I don’t think it was the one, but maybe this is that other one I walked by before? I can’t tell for sure from the address. I pinch my fingers out on the map. Not the one I was thinking of but the one I walked by. Might as well try it. I’m now headed east at a clip.

It was a great sandwich. Bigger than The Dog’s big head. I sat there and looked out the window at the scurrying lunch goers as I munched away. Good choice, Yelp!

I pretty much finished my sandwich, tossed the paper remains in the trash, used the hand sanitizer to clean away the mayo that had leaked, ambled up the stairs back to the lunch-bustle and took the sidewalk headed back West.

My hand rested on the phone in my pocket and my mind went to another app. What am I going to enter for this calorie buster into my Fitness Program?

I decided to make a new entry. Big ass sandwich, 750 calories. But wait, nobody knows what I ate. I paid in cash. It’s a secret from my Internet life. Not even The Google knows, and I don’t have to ask. I can do whatever I want.

Ha! I got back my humanity.