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View Diary: At First I Got Upset. And Then I Started Pacing. And Then I Started Crying. (Ta-Nehisi Coates UPD) (133 comments)

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  •  Thank you (28+ / 0-)

    You moved me to tears.  

    I am not African American but I've lived on this earth a little longer than the President and I've seen the changes, lived during desegregation of my school, gave birth to a son whose best friend in Cub Scouts was a little boy from Haiti.  They are both 32 now and still friends.  My parents were appalled when I showed them pictures of their first camp out - they were tent buddies.  They were born in the 1920's and had a hard time with the changes that happened while I was growing up.  My  mom still says to me, whispering "you know that guy is black, right?"  Uh, yeah, mom, I know.  It's OK - he's a good guy.  

    My son knew about Obama before I heard about him - he went to vet school in Illinois and he called me to tell me to watch the Dem Convention in 2004 because there was a really neat guy from Illinois speaking.  He never mentioned he was black (that kind of thing doesn't occur to him, he doesn't notice really, unless you ask him outright, which most of us don't really have any reason to do) - he just said he was a great, interesting  guy.  I had no idea what I was about to experience.  

    I vividly remember standing in my living room in front of the TV cheering for this man who was speaking to ME, to my heart, to my country, despite the fact that we were about as far apart ethnically and culturally as we could be.  

    I spoke to my son the next day and he was like "Wasn't that awesome? Isn't he great?"  My son knew.  This was a man of character and courage.  Of goodness and  heart.  Obama is MLK's dream awakened.  

    "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

    by Ricochet67 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 08:28:16 PM PDT

    •  Wonderful (13+ / 0-)

      I was traveling during that time, supposed to take a deposition the day after that speech.  But I watched in my hotel room and found myself jumping up and down on the bed.

      "A righteous wind at our backs."

      •  Proud to say that my parents passed the test (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        therehastobeaway, lirtydies, SadieSue

        When my brother introduced me to his fiance more than 25 years ago, I was shocked and pleased to discover that she was the wonderful black woman with whom I spent many hours watching Star Trek and Monty Python in my college dorm.  We both did doubletakes -- "That's your brother?"  "That's your fiancee?"

        Then the introduction to my parents.  You know, you grow up with parents who try to instill the values of openness and acceptance of people who are different than you, but sometimes there is resistance when the rubber meets the road.  I am pleased to say that they opened their arms and hearts to her without a moment's hesitation.

        I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

        by ccyd on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 06:44:11 AM PDT

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    •  This really made me smile: (11+ / 0-)
      My  mom still says to me, whispering "you know that guy is black, right?"  Uh, yeah, mom, I know.  It's OK - he's a good guy.  
      :)

      It can't be easy on you, feeling like some of your values clash with those of your mom.  I'm a Black (race) Latino (ethnicity), and because bigotry is a complex and ugly thing that intersects with power, intragroup prejudice along the skin-color line remains in Latin countries, if eroded from how it was in the past.  So with each generation, it diminishes more and more, but it's still painful to see its vestiges exert so much subconscious control over people's perceptions.  So even I have to sometimes remind my dad (and grandmother) that we are not in the past any longer. But we are moving in the right direction!

      Your son's life will be made difficult by climactic events and a rapidly complexifying geopolitical world, but I think his generation will have an even better shot at unity than we here have now :)

      Follow me on Twitter. You'll have a lot of fun: @THTBAW.

      by therehastobeaway on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 09:16:41 PM PDT

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