Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hope Hope Hope

I accidentally slept in this morning, waking up less than an hour before our new president would be sworn in. Luckily for me most everyone else I work with was home watching it, so I didn't seem like too much of a slacker. One of my favorite parts of the coverage we watched was when the camera would switch to a room full of people in Philadelphia, also watching the festivities on television. The room seemed to be in some sort of historical building, with the look of a courtroom or church. And the front two rows of seats were filled mostly with young black children, probably a class of some sort. They couldn't have been much older than 1st grade. Andrew and I had to chuckle, because a good number of them were sleepy eyed, nodding off, or totally asleep, slumped against a neighbor or leaning on the pew-like bench in front of them. My first thought was "must be naptime." Who knows how long those poor kids had been sitting there waiting for something exciting to happen and...this was it? Just a lot of shots of a guy in a suit talking? How is that exciting?

Yet I was moved. These kids fell asleep during the inauguration of Barack Obama. To them it was just another time to sit still. Today was hopeful and historic for many, many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that by the time these children graduate high school a black man being president will be old hat, yesterday's news. They will be used to seeing pictures of someone whose skin looks more like theirs than it does like mine going about the business of our nation's highest office. My child will never know a United States where the only presidents have been both white and male. Whatever your politics, that's a reason to hope right there.

5 comments:

  1. I couldn't have said it better myself! This is such an exciting time for our country, and I've thought the same thing about my daughter. It's so awesome to know that she will be born into a country where there's a better chance today that she could grow up and be president then when I was born.

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  2. I tried to explain to my sons today that a long time ago, black people and women didn't have the right to do some things in life. Now they do and since Obama has been elected, they can try to be anything they want to be...
    Hard to explain the racism because I just don't get it.

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  3. I would highly highly recommend adding the anti-racist parent blog to your reader, if you haven't already. It offers many quality reflections on how to talk to kids about racism, I love it. I've already bookmarked TONS of thier posts to refer back to later. There's a link in my "related links" section!

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  4. I agree that it's pretty darn cool to have someone other than a white male in office (even if I don't agree WITH him :) ) It's amazing how far our country has come in such a (historically speaking) short time. I'm so proud of that.)

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  5. The right to disagree with our leaders is another thing that makes this country different from many. :)

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