Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Pretty Good Day, But Not For All

Without a doubt, the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency is an historic moment for the United States of America. It's a day that many of us have long envisioned and one that hopefully will help to heal the deep racial wounds that slavery, segregation and hard fought civil rights battles have inflicted on our national psyche. It is a day when I am particularly proud to be an American, because on this day, we inched a little closer to reaching that noble ideal that "all men are created equal."

But as historical as this day is, we should not and cannot believe that the work is done.

For on the day that we elected the first African American President in U.S. history, we also witnessed the rights of other non-majority populations being suppressed. 3 states, California, Florida and Arizona had ballot initiatives to ban gay marriage. All three passed, with the closest margin being 4%. Arkansas, by a 14% margin, passed a measure that prohibits gay couples from adopting children. On the national level, at no time in the history of the United States, has the constitution been amended to take away or suppress civil rights. The initiatives now passed in these four states do just that. And we as a people are lesser for it.

So celebrate this remarkable time in our history. Let your spirits be lifted by the hope and the promise of true change. But remember, that the work is not done. Remember that there are those among us with reason not to celebrate today. For they have been told that they are somehow less worthy of the full blessings of citizenship.

And that diminishes all of us.


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