When the votes are counted and we finally know!
I was surprised to learn today that one of my brothers will vote for McCain. Actually, all of my brothers will probably vote for McCain. The two oldest ones because they're racist. Simple fact, folks -- they are. My little bro, though...I always thought him a thinking man. I viewed him as the type to find information on his own and sort it out for himself. But, he's going the way of the military man. I hope it's just a military thing and none of the lies he's heard from McCain's campaign.
None of them of course have talked to me during the campaign or about the campaign. Perhaps it's that my politics are too well known.
Politics aren't a reason to divide a family, though, and they don't.
I do, however, get incensed when people (my mother) say things like "I tell you one thing. I won't vote for that damned Muslim!" WHAT? How loud must we shout it from the rooftops? When you're dealing with that kind of small mindedness, there is no evidence or argument you can present to educate a person.
Most, if not all, of my sisters will vote for Obama. Isn't that interesting? Men against him, women for. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have 4 sisters and only 3 brothers. (YAY!) Our five votes beat your four. Neener neener neener.
Oh, and mom, if it's really that you just can't vote for "that damned Muslim" and don't feel so good about the other guy either, go ahead and vote for Nader. :D
My eldest sister and I were talking the other day about what an Obama presidency would mean. We were discussing how it always takes a Democrat to fix the budget shortcomings and damages that the Republicans do when in office. It happened after Reagan, when Clinton went in and paid off our spiraling out of control national debt and deficits. It's going to happen again now with Obama. And we discussed just what it means to be African American in America and have an African American president. Do you think things will be so different from how they are now? Sadly, I don't. I do think that it will be the first step of many in ending the thoroughly entrenched anti-colour racism in America, but it will not eradicate it in the next four years. It won't end the 'good ole boys clubs' that are the CEOs of nearly every company in the US and the trickle down advantages that power lends to people of a paler persuasion.
Go ahead and say it. That's right. I'm so white I glow in the dark. It's true. I have two biracial children and was married to an African American man. I saw it when he was laid off from his job for lack of work when he took out 40 -- that's right -- FORTY resumes to companies that were hiring for jobs that he was perfectly qualified for to be turned away. He'd say he didn't want to apply for work in such and such town that they were too racist. I wouldn't let that stop me. No. I couldn't believe my country was still so backward. This was the 1990's. It's not true, I said. You go. You apply. You watch what happens. And we did. After two months with no income, he had no choice but to apply for and accept the one position where he was given an offer. What was it for? A cleaner. Sure. It's perfectly acceptable to hire a person of colour for a service position. (The other positions were labor jobs all things for which he had experience, nothing that would change the world.) Then I'd hear it, too. Because of my own race, ignorant people assume I am as ignorant as they are. They would tell me things like, "oh, you don't want to live in that neighborhood ..... " and they'd look around to see who was within earshot and tell me, in a conspiratorial whisper: "there are a lot of blacks there." Wow. I always enjoyed the looks on their faces when I would whisper back in the same conspiratorial tone: "Really? That's awful! I'm married to one of them, too!"
People like that make me ashamed of my own heritage.
I think in ten years, women, blacks, and all other people of colour in the states will still have to work 10 times as hard, achieve 10 times as much, go through 10 times the rigorous proving trials to be judged half as good as their white counterparts. Why is that? You've got the Southern diehards who still cling to the racial hierarchy of slavery times. You've got the wealthy white elitists who still view anyone not of their class as lesser people. You've got the media. I think it is the biggest culprit. You can watch any newscast anywhere in the United States at any time and simply see how much video time is dedicated to showing black criminals and how little video time is dedicated to the white ones. The white criminals reported in the news are clearly "alleged," minimal images are flashed for their stories, and very little airtime is given to those stories. Instead, the focus goes on black crimes/criminals. The message is clear: fear the blacks.
Those of you who only visit the states occasionally, pay attention to the newscasts and you'll see how the media supports the racism in America. I find Canadian news refreshing. Everyone gets equal billing if they're committing crimes and actually crime reporting isn't given the devoted attention it here that it is in the states. There is more positive news reporting here, more current events, more of a world view given to even the local news than anything you could ever watch in the states. Also, all the news reporters don't come from the same package. I love that! Though it's still old white men who have the top anchor spots, you see women of every shape and colour in top spots as well. I love that there are technically overweight newswomen. I don't think that's even possible in the states, though I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
I know I've gone down the garden path tonight. The brain is engaged and just rambling along till we get those numbers in about 23 hours. I'll go ahead and try to sleep now.
If you're American, GET OUT AND VOTE tomorrow! Just do it.
When the votes are counted and we finally know!