My grandfather lost his battle with cancer this morning, after many years and many disgruntled, overpriced trips to the doctor. A man who never visited a dentist in his life and never met a doctor he would trust, he declined all modern treatments and avoided taking his medications as often as possible. His son no longer has to complain about how his father won't eat, won't take his meds, and won't get off his ass.
He goes to join his wife in eternity, who thankfully never lived to see a black man in the White House. He leaves behind a son and daughter-in-law, a grandson and a granddaughter, and three great-grandchildren.
James will no longer grumble from his armchair about the Mexicans crossing the border he lived near, and will no longer make hate-filled statements about rainbows and turbans. He will never again flip the bird at President Obama while he watches Fox News, or yell 'cunt' loudly when he sees Hillary Clinton on the screen. He will no longer bemoan the gay agenda and the persecution he endures as a white male in a liberal society. His son and grandson will take up these duties for him, and discharge them faithfully. His legacy of hatred and bigotry will live another generation. His closeted grandson will take his homosexual shame to his grave and leave no heir to the family name.
But his bloodline will survive, through the granddaughter he raised. The granddaughter who was the first female member of the family to obtain a college degree, the only degree in the family after James' own. The granddaughter who proudly identifies as queer. His great-grandsons will be raised without fear of another race, or another religion, and without parental judgement over who they are and who they love. Their mixed race heritage on their father's side will help to counteract any vestige of racial superiority they may hear from their mother's father, and they will be raised to treat all persons, regardless of orientation, race, or religion, the same way James treated cis-white males. With the dignity and respect that he denied to so many in his lifetime.