One of my mentors has a leadership philosophy framed around leading from the middle. The concept, while very simple, is ultra complex. If you take a position that is on one end of a spectrum, you alienate those who are on the other end. How do you reach those who you disagree with if you are already miles apart? Leading from the middle means that you don’t get to take sides. It means that you are not going to be seen in a positive light by a lot of folks.
The recent legislative happenings in Arizona are a great example of the strains of what it takes to lead from the middle. Am I upset about everything that is going on in Arizona right now? You bet I am. I am saddened and angry. A lot of people seem to be forgetting what it means to be human. Humanity and dignity are being swiftly stripped away from marginalized populations in Arizona. Is it about racism? I think so. It’s about xenophobia, discrimination and power. Overall, those who are in charge of making laws in Arizona are doing horrible things right now.
How does this relate to leading from the middle? The protests that have been taking place in and outside of Arizona make a lot of people feel good. It makes me feel good to know that movements of people are joining together to fight for justice. However, I doubt that the lawmakers in Arizona are listening. I doubt that those who agree with the new laws are listening. Listening, in the sense that you are really processing, takes an awareness and openness that is lacking right now. Activism is important. Movements need to happen, but I wonder how we move forward when we seem to move backwards so much. How do we lead and live in the middle when things are so polarized right now….
The state of California has done a horrible job of managing its budget. Perhaps it’s due to having Conan the Barbarian as its governor. Perhaps it’s due to a lack of responsible budget governance. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that whenever the economic status of California is undergoing a gloomy situation, the state likes to target its marginalized populations as the reason for why things are the way they are….
The majority of undocumented immigrants in California are Latino. According to the quote from NPR (via an unattributed proposal) the suggestion was made to eliminate welfare payments to U.S. citizens because their parents are undocumented immigrants. That seems to be just a tad bit illegal and racist.
You are a citizen of the U.S., however, because your parents are brown and undocumented, well, we just want to lump you all together and penalize you. What??!!
If you are born in the United States, then you are legally entitled to all of the privileges that accompany being a citizen of the U.S. Apparently, Californian’s have just decided to stop veiling their racism and come out with an overtly discriminatory proposal that targets immigrants of color. Also, the parents of these U.S. citizens contribute ridiculous amounts of money to the Californian economy. California is targeting marginalized populations and using lies to attempt to pass and/or create overtly racist public policies.
I’m seriously late in getting this posted…I apologize for those of you who are allergic to blog dust. I encourage you to watch this video. 42 Japanese-Americans were expelled from Oregon State University during World War II. This is the video from the OSU commencement ceremony in June when these individuals were given honorary degrees. These degrees cannot undue what was done in the past, but they can encourage those of us today to prevent injustices like this so that they never ever happen again.
A couple months ago Brownfemipower posted about the Inhofe Amendment. The amendment was contained within the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, S. 1348. (Note: S. 1639 has a similar English language amendment) This amendment would have amended title 4 of the United States Code to “declare English as the national language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.”
I was upset to read that Ron Wyden (D) from Oregon had supported the Inhofe Amendment. I quickly wrote Senator Wyden and I received a response this week: