We love our kids. We love the smiles of happiness and accomplishment. Most of us care not a whit of their accomplishment
as long as that smile shines as bright as the sun on a South Georgia summer day.
Beyond what they learn at school, we try to teach them our truths. My truths to my children are that we carry the blood and soul of the Chickasaw and Cherokee who escaped the Trail of Tears and the African-Americans and my Big Mama, great grandmother who passed for white and the Scots-Irish who, with or without travellin’ jones, went from country to country and land to land for potatoes and greens and beans and a little pork fat to simmer them in.
And how that blood and those souls explain much about us. And they learn. So my son asks the new friend or unmet relative if he or she is union and Democrat, and why they won’t go to Walmart.
And they love and are proud of Obama – not like us adults with our nuances and buts and what-ifs, but because they know his soul. They hear it when he speaks or touches Sasha and Malia and Michelle. They feel it when he talks about us regular folks. The grown-ups say he doesn’t have the passion, but my kids feel it.
And they expect their dad to do his part to keep Sasha and Malia and Michelle and Barack in the White House so that they can watch and listen to a President who’s on their side, and who knows what it feels like to wait for Christmas for that thing you gotta have.
So we have this little break of love beyond love, then Dad will be gone for a while talking to folks about their futures and the futures of all of us – and intangibles like justice and love and fairness and what happens to all our kids.
Stewart Acuff is America’s best-known and foremost labor organizer. He is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work, coauthored by Dr. Richard Levins.Tags: acuff, Playing BIgger Than You Are, Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, stewart acuff