Thursday, August 28, 2008

Feeling proud

I am a Democrat and I've never been prouder.

This week, I watched as Hillary Clinton was officially entered into the books as the woman who has come closest to the American presidency, the first serious woman candidate of a major political party. If you think we haven't come that far where sexism is concerned, you might remember the tone of the dialogue years ago, when Geraldine Ferraro was selected as the VP pick for Mondale. (Comments like "I don't want someone with PMS to be second in line to the nuclear button" -- and worse -- were commonplace.) But Senator Clinton was taken seriously as a candidate because she had the credentials.* And I am proud of that and I am proud that my party was able to smash that glass ceiling. Or at least bash a very large crack in it.

I also watched last night as Barack Obama was officially named the Democratic nominee for president. I've made no secret of my admiration for Obama, but even if he's not your first choice, please celebrate with me that our country, or at least one major political party, has nominated a person of color for president. Less than two centuries ago, people of color were officially considered less than human (3/5 of a human, to be precise), pieces of property, disposable things rather than human beings with rights and dignity. (By the way, women were also considered chattel, without equal rights to men and they had to wait fifty more years to get the vote and an extra ten years for their civil rights movement. But I digress.) Last night, we saw a barrier break open and I will tell you that it brought tears to my eyes.

There's still a lot of nastyness out there -- racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on -- but today I'm basking in the glow of a dream at least partially realized:


I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.



P.S. Last chance to donate to the Knitters for Obama raffle (win BBF yarn! a copy of Susanna Lewis' out-of-print lace book! a complete set of Gardiner Yarn Works or French Girl patterns! and more...). Details here.


*I know that there was sexism going around during the primary season, so please do not fill up the comments with a discussion thereof, or a rehashing of old grievances about the primary. Today I'm all about looking forward.

15 comments:

upstateknitter said...

well said, couldn't agree more. I burst into tears when he was declared the official nominee and tried not to drive off the road :)

anne marie in philly said...

I never thought this would happen in my lifetime...

I am also proud of obama, have contributed money toward his election, and will cast my vote for him in november. HISTORY BEING MADE, PEOPLE!

isn't it unfortunate, though, that there are so many hate-spewing individuals out there? can't we get past gender/skin color/sexual orientation once and for all? last time I looked, we were in the 21st century, not the 17th...(sigh)

Kathy said...

I cried from the beginning of the roll call to the point where Joe and Barrack left the stage after Joe's speech! It was a great day for America and I can't wait for tonight!

And I have been a lifelong Republican, btw!

puffthemagicrabbit said...

I'm teary-eyed w/ happiness, pride, whatever right now as I read this- and when I really stop to think about the whole thing I feel a butterfly-in-my-stomach excitement for our future.

By the way, I'm glad you've been so vocal about it- keep it up.

knittinmom said...

Very well said! I think I'm just going to link to your post, if you don't mind, instead of trying to come up with my own (which means I would actually have to write something on my blog) ;)

I am so proud to be a part of something so incredibly historic!

SparkCrafted said...

i got teary-eyed, too, watching the DNC last night. there's such a more positive energy this time around, and i really feel like the party is more organized.

even though i'm registered as Independent, i've been an Obama supporter from the beginning.

Emma in France said...

I pray to the FSM that things just go the right way in November and Barack Obama will be President of the US.

I don't have a say in this so please, can everyone just go out and vote (preferably for Obama but any vote is better than apathy). It's not just about your country it's about the rest of the world too.

Bridget said...

Wow. Does anyone remember when someone asked Barbara Bush what she thought about Geraldine Ferraro, and her response was, "It rhymes with 'witch.'" And everyone thought that was just SO funny, since Barbara Bush was so wonderful and witty.

Though I am not as much of an Obama fan as you are, Carol, it is really cool to think that either way, this Democratic candidate would make history. I just wish that last night, he would have stayed put, and not eclipsed Joe Biden's 10 minutes of glory all to himself ...

Anonymous said...

I am a woman of a certain age that could not be more thrilled about the nomination of Sen. Obama. Because of my age, I have been typecast as a Sen. Clinton supporter but I am not. I see such a bright man, with an ability to lead in a manner that is not formulaic. I cried during Michelle's speech, applauded Hillary's wonderful words and will no doubt have tears this evening. Thanks for expressing the joy so beautifully.

from MT,
Suzanne

Rhoda B. said...

I, too, am of that "certain age," and I was a Hillary supporter but I have been pleased from the start that the Democrats came up with two contenders, either of whom I would be proud to support, and either of whom would break barriers. My bumper sticker (thanks to Zazzle) says Cat-loving Knitters for Obama!

laura (knittinkitties) said...

hooooooooooooray! what a historical day!

Anonymous said...

My family and I were lucky enough to be witnesses to history. We were at Mile High Stadium tonight to see Obama acceptance the nomination. My teenage daughter had tears running down her face as Jennifer Hudson sang the national anthem. I am so proud of the Democratic party! The only downside--knitting needles were not allowed in the stadium!

rosesmama said...

I've loved Obama from the start. As we were saying at a neighborhood party this week, this is the only time in my life that my first choice from primary season has been nominated. As I drove home from work yesterday, through East Baltimore, through acres and acres of dilapidated housing, school kids walking home, old timers on the stoop, drug dealers on their cell phones, moms walking home from the dollar store with groceries, I wondered, though, how we would be able to make a difference, faced with poverty, depression, drugs, gangs, soaring murder rates. It looked like business as usual to me. I like the Zero to Five initiative and have advocated for something of that sort since I was a daycare teacher, but it will be a long time bearing fruit . . .

I'm rambling. I guess I have to say that I'm thrilled but cautious, which is much the emotions of the Black community I'm immersed in every day. Hope is great but if you hope for too much you get disappointed. So, I'm behind him, I'm registering voters, I'm hoping . . .

cici said...

I'm filled with happiness, pride and excitement. I can feel the collective imaginatiion of the people for hope and change for our future.:D

Rana said...

Add me to those feeling proud and grateful and impressed. :)

(However - dons pedant's hat - this - "people of color were officially considered less than human (3/5 of a human, to be precise)" is actually a misreading that paints a more positive picture than the reality. Slaves were not considered legal persons (which says nothing about their status as human beings, but about their rights under the law, btw) AT ALL. The 3/5ths compromise was that they would be counted as if three slave men were equal to five white men for the purposes of allocating representatives which was done by population. That was the extent of it - in all other ways slaves remained the legal non-persons they had always been. Also, the compromise referred only to slaves; it said nothing about the human status of free blacks, who were indeed second-class citizens at best, but who were never legally considered un-human. /pedant)

Back to cheering on the historic moment!