Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did

I’ve said it before -- I’m not a political animal. I’m not even a political vertebrate. (That sounded a whole lot funnier in my head.) But, like I suspect many people have, I’ve followed this campaign with a passion and a desperation the likes of which I can’t recall feeling in a long time -- maybe ever.

I grew up in the 50s, and I lived in the Deep South during the early 60s. I’ve seen racism as a casual, cruel afterthought of society; seen public rest rooms, waiting rooms, drinking fountains and the like divided into “Colored” and “White”, and attended a public school in Tennessee in which there was one, count ‘em, one African-American student in a student body of about 400.

He wasn’t referred to as “African-American”. Or “Black”. Or even “Colored”. I never knew his name. I wish I could say I championed his cause, but as a stranger in a strange land myself, I was in no position to stick my neck out.

I never thought I would see a black man elected President.

I have to say, I’m proud of my country. Not so much because we elected, at long last, a black man President, but because we elected the right man President.

Yes we can. And yes, we did. There just may be hope for us yet.


Jonathan said...
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Jonathan said...

Well put. You more or less echoed my thoughts from my blog ( where I wrote:

If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have said it would be decades before we saw an African American as our President. Think about this. If you have a grandparent that was born in 1925, when they were a teenager, they could have known former slaves and former slavemasters. Let that sink in. Your grandparents may have been neighbors with a former slave. Your grandparents may have gone to church with people that owned slaves. We are not so far displaced from a time when the enslavement of African Americans was considered both acceptable and essential to the American economy. It was not that many years ago, that schools were still segregated, that there were separate water fountains for whites and blacks, that many restaurants did not serve African Americans, and that a black bus passenger had to move to the back if there were no seats up front for a white passenger.

Feel free to check the rest out and leave any comments you may have (wink), but the fact of the matter is, I too am glad that we are at a point where we can elect an African American president. I am also glad that this man wasn't elected simply for that reason, but because he is a man capable of the job.

As I'm sure you know, no need to feel guilt for not championing his cause. It doesn't make you any less of a person and hopefully the man that he became was sitting in his living room with his family watching the historic speech that was given the other night.

pmrussell said...

I must, yet again, leave my thoughts on your post. What you say is very true. In my own world, I've discovered, much to my own dismay, that closet racists are surfacing at an alarming rate. I find it very sad, yet curious. There are those, educated, intelligent individuals who actually did their homework and voted with their minds and hearts. Then there are those who believe in headlines only from dubious sources. They fear the unknown. I've been told that "I just don't understand". When I ask them to enlighten me, they proceed to list gossipy headlines without facts. Like McCain said in his concession speech, "The American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly." Yes we have!

Yoga Gal said...

It is a proud day for America! I am a political junkie and one thing that Obama succeeded to do was to get minorities who never voted before actually get off their arse and voted, due to the fact for the first time in their life time, they saw a face of a man who had their skin color! A man of color! What a concept! Most of the South did vote for McCain though and racism is far from dead in this country, look Pro. 8 (banning Gay Marriage) passed. But what a great step forward for this country! Great blog! By the way - I hate Neil Gaiman too- that man is far too talented, charming and kind-hearted to be a mere mortal! He makes we mere human beings feel inferior. Great blog !

Maria Alexander said...

Michael! It's Maria. I'm back in L.A. and writing for Disney again. We've got to have lunch again iffin you're able and up to it. A repeat of the Cheesecake Factory is in order.

And indeed -- Yes We Did!

Many hugs,