Celebrating change

January 20, 2009

Local restaurants made the 44th president’s inaugural speech, although not for any commendable reason:

“This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”    

 – Barack Obama, in his inaugural speech, January 20, 2009, referring to his election as the first African-American president of the United States

Desserts at our Inauguration Party

Desserts at our Inauguration Party

 

 Sixty years may seem like a long time to those of us who didn’t experience the racism Barack Obama recalled in his speech today, but I’m sure it feels like yesterday to those who suffered – and suffer – through it. As a recent college graduate working in Washington D.C. in 1989, I have a vivid memory of boarding a crowded bus one morning and realizing that I was the sole white person on the bus. For the first time, I understood how it felt to be the minority.   It made me think about how it must feel to be black.

Coming from California, I was never exposed to large African-American communities. In Washington D.C., I learned that America’s strength comes from her diversity. I learned that people of different races can co-exist, peacefully.  My mom tells a wonderful story about the first day my sister, Paula, went to kindergarten. She came home crying because another little girl was named “Paula” and she was afraid the teacher would not be able to tell them apart – she couldn’t believe someone else had her name.  When my mother took her to school the next morning, she saw that the other Paula was black.

 

My sister’s innocence and color-blindness is a lesson for all of us.  I hope that Barack Obama’s presidency brings about the change we are all craving. I have hope that we will come together and accomplish the hard work ahead of us.  Most importantly,  may the food at the local restaurant be delicious and served to all!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: