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.