Thursday, November 6, 2008

Turn Turn Turn

My feelings have been crashing between elation with the Obama election and being aghast about prop 8. I think I need to focus more energy on the elation for a while. Charge the hope batteries for tomorrow.

But I've got some poison in my system that I don't want to fester. I'm not feeling at all reasonable toward people who would vote to end their neighbor's marriage. Contempt comes closer. I think what happened was that people saw it on the ballot, thought, "This is CA, that'll get defeated, people can do stuff like that here." And didn't ever imagine it would be a fight. And by the time we realized we had to do something, the swiftboating was in full swing. Although exactly why it's horrifying for your kid to learn in school that other families aren't exactly like his I'll never know. I think I'm in the start of the generation for whom that just doesn't compute. Intellectually I know that changing existing opinions on this subject is terribly difficult. But I'm not terribly patient with injustice.

Since I've wondered over the last few days if Obama would have gotten elected if Kerry had won and thought perhaps not, then wondered if I would trade the last 4 years for Obama (don't know yet, give me another 4 years) this blog entry calms me a bit. Because at this moment in time, if I must, I will trade a setback which ultimately fires people up for civil rights, for Obama in the White House. Because I think we can do more ultimate good for civil rights at home and abroad with Obama in the White house than we could have done with McCain. But still, I would prefer not to lose battles to win wars.

I had a discussion with someone at work today who admitted to being a little appalled that black people voted for Obama 97% of the time because it would mean no small number voted for him for being black. I'm not sure if this person was more appalled that it was necessary or that it happened. But I started thinking about it. When put in the perspective of how the world outside the US would likely have voted going for Obama going for him closer somewhere between 4 or 8 to 1 (80-88%) and our "youth" vote going 2 for 1 (66%) to Obama, and international Economist's online readers going 9115/203 (98%); 97% is not so far out of line when you're voting against the figurehead of the establishment. 97% in this selection is from -1% to 31% off commensurate opinion, but most likely only 10 or 15% higher than people who haven't grown to think that white fundamentalist christianists must vote republican. And that's more affirmative action than reverse racism. Now, if this was the 3rd black president we were electing, this person might have a point. But it takes a special push to break the glass ceiling. I'm appalled that the ceiling is still there. (See previous paragraph.) But I also understand the need to weight in favor of minorities until people get so used to the differences that they stop being dividing lines. You don't become comfortable with people you never encounter.

To continue the celebration, we have efforts large

obama portrait drawn in sand on Spanish beach

and small. Really, really small. (This one's for you, dad!)
Obama image in nanotubes

And because I can't resist:
One happy family in front of crowds with actual family values

My hope is that actions will continue to speak louder than words and prop 8 will be overturned.


Anonymous said...

um earth to Erika's co-worker, black people have always overwhelmingly voted for democrats...that's why the GOP convention always looks like a klan rally. Seriously, I just saw the black vote stats for 2000, 2004 and 2008 and it was like 97%, 96%, 98% it was a 1 or 2 percent spread. The fact that they were voting for Hillary before Obama looked viable proves it wasn't a slam dunk sheesh.



azteclady said...

(can't see the first image at all, sorry)

Nano-Obama? most excellent!

CrankyOtter said...

QL, good to know.

AL, The first image showed on my home computer but not my work one. Then I refreshed the screen and the first image showed up. Huh. If you click on "really, really small" it goes to an article that links to the big picture of obama's face on a beach.

azteclady said...

Sorry, it shows now--I've been having all sorts of issues with images and video clips. I blame my techno impairment.