Thursday, November 6, 2008

Never Doubt that a Small Group of Dedicated Individuals can Change the World....Indeed, it is the Only Thing that Ever Has

So Tuesday was election day. It was a big election day. UK even gave me the entire day off work (and Lord knows it takes an act of God for UK to call off work).

I will say that I went out and voted. I believe that no matter who you are going to vote for, or what you believe, it is your duty to vote. It is our right as American Citizens to vote. And if you don't vote, you have no right to complain. So I voted.

And as I was standing in line to vote (the only time, mind you, that I have ever had to wait in line to vote at my precinct) I was struck by how much this election meant to so many people. It wasn't all that long ago that African Americans gained the right to vote (1870 i believe, which sounds like a long time ago, but is really only a few generations removed. My Great-Grandparents would have seen this Amendment pass). For women, that right came even later (1920, less than 100 years ago). And yet, on the Presidential ballot, we had both our first African American Presidential candidate and the first women Vice Presidential candidate on a truly viable ticket. Oh, how far we have come.

I was also struck with how important it was that this country was willing to elect an African American man as our President. No matter what you think of his politics, you have to admit that it was a huge step for a country that, only 150 years ago relied on slaves for much of its industry. For a country who only 60 years ago was still trying to figure out how to grow past its past of slavery and oppression. Where for so long, any person of color was treated as inferior. Where it took armed soldiers to integrate schools. Where people died because they wanted equal rights for everyone.

Now, I'm not saying that this election erases that history. I'm not saying that it makes up for all the bad blood there. But it does show just how far we have come. And I can't help but think that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr would be pleased at the progress we have made. After all, he had a dream.....

A Dream Deferred

by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

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