The other day I noticed a new banner hanging outside a local printer store. It read "Real Americans For America Vote Romney."
This is not a new statement; in fact it's been going on for years. But for some reason this one I took personally. I think the whole "birth certificate" issue with Obama is downright disgraceful, and is nothing more than thinly disguised racism. And maybe I take it more personally than some, as I was not born inside the borders of the country. While both of my parents were born here, I am "An American Born Abroad." Seriously, that is the official title on my birth certificate. And because of that, I was told at a very young age that while I can purchase property in Barbados (Holla! A benefit 37 years unused) I could never be President of the United States. So does this make me less of an American? Or would no even think twice about it due to my blonde hair and blue eyes?
One of Lucas' classmates is a distant(ish) cousin to Romney, so politics and rhetoric copied from parents is running wild in 3rd grade. We've been open and honest with Lucas that we vote for candidates that fight for rights that we believe in - but he doesn't really get it. In his 8.5 year old mind, he doesn't understand why a woman and a woman and a man and a man can't get married. He doesn't understand the significance of an African American president, since Obama has been POTUS since he was 4. This is his "normal". And how do you explain "women's rights" to a child whose mother has worked his whole life? And let's not even get into trying to explain to him why for years he was denied health insurance…He can tell you the technical reasons, reciting words he's heard Jason and I use for years, but until he graduates college and has to pay his first deductible on his own, he won't be able to grasp the importance of it all.
The thing that is killing me about this election is the fact that if Romney wins, all of this is at risk. The beliefs that many of us - the need for true equality, the power of diversity, and the idea that Americans are all in this together - have ingrained in our kids are at risk. Forget taxes, forget the economy - those things WILL figure themselves out. But basic things like birth control choices and racism… how CAN we go back?
Last week a friend of mine posted a note his daughter wrote to Obama on his Facebook profile. This letter broke my heart. It broke my heart because how does a parent explain these things to their kids? We can say the words, read all the books, but HOW can you look your child in the eyes and really get them to try and grasp something that is so foreign to them? And better yet - why should we have to?
We need to keep moving forward - not backwards. Not for us. For this amazing generation of kids that has been placed in our care.
I love this. Obama responded.
Also, The Huffington Post covered the story... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-mcgonnigal/obama-responds-to-10-year-olds-heartfelt-letter-about-her-dads_b_2074213.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices
Such an amazing story.