Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Out of the gutter

Everyone is talking about change. I want to believe President-elect Obama will be different in many ways from his predecessors and I'll give him and his administration the benefit of the doubt until the gang in Washington gets up to their usual tricks.

The "Change" that is expected means a lot of different things to a lot of people. There is fear of change and of course wildly overblown expectations of a new age of peace and prosperity. While not prepared to speak for my generation the "Change" I think we expect is something less concrete and may be more ephemeral. My generation was raised on the idea that equality is a given and was long overdue, and any lack of progress towards that goal was due to either our laziness or by the hate of the ignorant. For many my age, that an African-American is elected President in America is more of "Okay, no reason there shouldn't be." The "Change" I expect promised by the Obama administration is one of leadership.

But for my Mom the "Change" is more real and much more personal. It is historic.

As a child, my Mom lived for a time in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was expected then, with the very real result of brutal reprisal for not complying, that African-Americans would step off the sidewalk if a Caucasian person was also using the path. The right of way was for white people only. African-Americans would have to tread into mud, water, dirt or worse until the other person passed by.

That a member of the human race could go from being forced to stand in a gutter to being President of the United States of America within her lifetime is the change that my Mom voted for. The slogan on those posters was not only a promise from Obama to America, but from my Mom as well.

4 comments:

  1. I think the fact that his posters are designed to look like Soviet revolutionary art might give us a good idea of the kind of "change" he plans to inflict on us. And if not a direct reflection of him, they certainly project the influences and aspirations of his allies. I hope they are disappointed, but I suspect they will get what they paid for. It's too bad he had to win using a fraud-friendly website scam that allowed uncountable millions to pour in from foreign sources and straw-man donors.

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  2. Wow. Random, anonymous troll-cowards really should pick their battles. Is a post with a clear anti-racism and anti-bogotry message really the best time to argue against the poster?

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  3. Yeah, I don't feed the trolls, mostly.

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