Monday, January 19, 2009

An appropriate beginning...

Today seems like an appropriate day to post our first blog. New year, new president. How fitting is it that MLK Jr. Day and the Inauguration of our nation's first black president are so perfectly aligned? People are drawing similarities between the two figures and some people refuse to associate them together.
You have to admit, though, there is significance in seeing these events so close together. By electing Obama, a part of Dr. King's dream has been realized....undeniably Obama was elected on the basis of his character and not solely on the color of his skin.

You don't have to be black in America to be impacted by Dr. King and other civil rights activists. Whether we are black-, white-, yellow-, brown-, red- (sometimes orange-) Americans, we all stand on the shoulders of our brothers and sisters in the past who sacrificed their time and their lives in hopes that their children will recieve equal treatment and opportunities irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, color of skin, economic class, etc.

As an Indian-American, I can see many of my fellow brothers and sisters being boastful of their "model-minority" status. But ask yourself, where would you be right now if abolitionists did not fight for suffrage and citizenship rights for both whites and blacks (and future minorities)? What if people like Sourjourner Truth did not stand up for both female suffrage and rights of colored people? When would I, a female minority, been able to vote?--and vote for a colored president at that.

When we are in positions of privilege it is easy to forget what it cost to get us to this point. So today serves as a reminder to pay respect to the likes of MLK Jr. who represents how hunger for freedom and democracy and humanity can lead to such great progress. A kind of progress where fifty years from now our children are judged on merit and not externalities...where prejudice is an affliction of the past....where they are inspired to build better lives for themselves and have all the tools and support in the world to do so.

Tomorrow is proof of that progress. Whatever qualms or doubts you have about our next president, just take a moment and let it sink in: It took 233 years after our nation was created, 144 years after our civil war, 55 years after blacks and whites could go to the same school and 45 years after the Civil Rights Act to come to this moment in history. It's time.


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