Seeing the packed National Mall; people from every generation, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender, together, undivided. Hopeful for what is yet to come, grateful for the history made, and eager to be led by such a man as President Barack Obama.
“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.”
There is no doubt that as a nation we have much to deal with; the current state of our economy, time of war, lack of health care, political corruption… But I am so encouraged by this man and motivated to do more for my community, state, and nation. This day marks something more amazing than perhaps I even understand. As a minority woman social worker who is obsessed with racial reconciliation and ethnic minority rights, I thought I understood the depths of this election. But alas, I have to admit, I don’t really get it. Just like many others I think it’s an incredible moment in our history, the start of a new and better era… but I don’t fully understand.
But, what I do understand is this: we have come a long way from the time of Martin Luther King Jr., we have come a long way from Jim Crow Laws, we have come a long way from “separated but equal”, internment camps, and ethnic exclusion acts. This presidency gives me hope that perhaps one day one of my children from my multi-racial family can become the leader of this great nation. Perhaps one day I won’t feel the need to worry that my parents are being taken advantage of because of the language and cultural barriers that are so innate in America. Perhaps one day I can walk into a room and not have to feel inferior, or immediately count how many people look like me, or worry that I was hired only because of my minority race status. Perhaps one day my gay friends can have the same human rights that my non-gay friends have. Perhaps one day people of a different race, culture, ethnicity, language, religion, sexual orientation can fully feel like they fit in; in any situation, any room, any work place, place of worship, school, and family. I know, I have become such a “realist”, so jaded and burnt out in my perception of Race and Culture in America. I want to so badly to hope for good things, so I am going to wait on it. I know it’s not logical to think that one man can change the course of our racial and cultural existence, so here I am. Willing to help it along, willing and eager to bring it to the cross.