Saturday, June 07, 2008

A week to remember

Dear Mama,
If you were alive today, you would be amazed and I'm not sure how you would react. Down deep I think you would be elated as I think had you lived this long you would have grown to be more tolerant and accepting. I would like to think so as I know you stood along with Dad for honesty and integrity. But I do remember when I was 19 years old, I wanted to join the protests against segregation over on the Drag by the University. You told me that if I did, I needn't bother to come home again. And so I didn't. To this day I don't think it was so much that you were opposed to blacks attending college as much as it was something that "nice ladies" shouldn't do. I think you was terrified that a picture of me carrying a sign would show up in the paper. "Ladies would never attract that sort of notoriety." The only picture appropriate would have been an engagement picture or a wedding picture and you made sure that happened.

This week a black American, Barack Obama, became the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. And this was in a close race with a woman, Hillary Clinton....haven't we come a long way on both fronts. I am thrilled that this wonderful compassionate Harvard educated young man of mixed race is going to lead this country that was founded by immigrants and diversity. And to think that a woman came so close. Today as she conceded to Obama and ended her campaign she gave the best speech she had ever given in the last 18 months. If only she had addressed women in this way, who knows how it would have turned out.

All this in my life time, just such a short time it seems since blacks came to the front of the bus and joined classes at UT. All this since 1974 when paying cash for some property in my name, the male realtor insisted on my husband's cosigning. Fortunately my activist nature was never squelched...you and Dad taught me about justice and rights and I am grateful for that.
So Mama, who knows...maybe you reincarnated as Hillary or Dad, maybe you coached Obama from above...but however these two were manifested, I am grateful and am sure that you remained staunch Democrats. Maybe we will take back the state of Texas this year. A year of change and possibilities. We've come a long way, babe.

1 comment:

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Indeed. And I hope we will progress similar distances to heal from and eliminate racism and sexism.