What's Love Got to Do With It?

When I look at the current debates over same-sex marriage, I decided to take a look back in history. The times--civil right movement for African Americans--the people John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Kennedy was the new kid on the block, so to speak. Untried. Unproven. He did have military in his background, however, giving him a leg up, but he was Catholic, a mark in the minus column. Richard was the golden boy under Ike, not as polished, but not a dumb man.

Many of my friends think they have nothing to worry about with Romney. They compare these current candidates with Kennedy and Nixon. But, I'm like James Carville. It's a different time and no one can trust his or her evaluations as such with such a fickle and dysfunctional America. Plus, even as I write this, there are thousands of other blogs, more popular than mine, and they have constituencies that vote and vote hard. Polling data be damned. People wake up and pay attention.

Some of my friends are talking about the recent revelation of this President and they say, people will be moved because he talked about the undebatable--adding--let us just love one another. Well, what's love got to do with it? How can anyone think that love will carry us through, those kumbayah moments will sustain us, when we don't even like one another? We are not just on opposite sides, but on opposite sides of so many issues, that there is no poll that can capture the minds of the American people.

Debates won't do it. People talking with each other might, however. In listening to Melissa Harris-Perry, Ed, Sharpton, and Rachel Maddow, I know that they, like Fox news. are talking to select group of people and ask myself, what differences can and will they make? People turn them off much like I turn off Fox News. Fox News folks will not convince me and I know people who are friends, but will never, ever---EVER--listen to my guys either.

But, they will and do listen to me because on some areas, we have agreed and where we have disagreed, we're still talking it out. Not so much debating, but being our authentic selves and understanding what is at stake is our ability to all live in America. In a recent conversation with a friend (who happens to be white and male) via Facebook, it sounded like we were polar opposites. Then we found a common link while on the issue of gun control that surprised us. I heard him say, "I get what you're saying" and articulated for me that he did hear me. There were no "buts" either. I'm impressed. We are still on opposite ends, yet I do know that he heard my concerns regarding disproportionate values against people of color and that the law has serious drawbacks when you weigh in the points I had made. At one point, he said that he hoped what I said didn't end our friendship and I was surprised because he made some good points, too. I was only concerned that at first, he didn't take anything else into consideration when we first started talking. Over time, however, he did. And since we did talk, the conversation has taken on new meaning. I think he would join me in ending the law as it stands now, while still supporting his right to carry a gun and secure his home.

So, when I look at it, my relationship with this friend is a loving one and one of respect. Maybe when I think about it in these terms of what's love got to do with it (these debates and discussions), the truth is that love has everything to do with it. How else are we gonna listen to one another?



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