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I know that I am a little late for a post such as this, but better late than never.  I wrote a post about the inauguration of Barack Obama, but then I already had an ideal post in my inbox.  Thus, I bring you an email that my Mommy sent to her children on that historic day:

Hello people, 

I just came back from watching the Obama speech, and for the first time since I came into this country,.I feel like it is all worth it. 

Life here for immigrants is not easy. Anywhere we go, on the job, to the store, even in schools, we’re treated differently. They talk about equal opportunity, but for the first generation immigrants it is not true. Over the years your dad and I has agonized about the what ifs….the what could have been. 

And today, watching that face up there, my belief was reaffirmed….the conviction that for the four of you, things will be different. There is no limit to what you can be….and where you could be. America is open to the likes of us….You may have to work twice as hard as your white counterparts but your dreams are still attainable. 

I just want to take this time to remind you that you guys are a part of this nation so make good use of the prospects out there. Have a vision and work hard towards it.   

We’ve always talked about being all you can be. It is not true for your dad and me. But for you guys, there is no limit to what can be achieved. With life and good health, there should be no excuses!!  Make an impact in this world. To make a difference that counts, you’ll have to work hard to achieve your life’s goals. Remember, time waits for no one…so make good use of the time you have now….when you are older, things gets more complicated. Don’t wait till your old age and live with regrets. 

Remember to thank God everyday for a brand new day and use it wisely: and pray for wisdom to make the right decisions….the right choices. 

If there is one thing that takes you nowhere, it is mediocrity. Decide on what to do, and do it to the best of your God-given ability. Strive for excellence. 

We love you guys so much and want you to have the best of both worlds. 

Obama has given us HOPE…..but HOPE without WORKS is nothing! 

You can do it….it is not just a slogan. You can make it happen. You are very smart and intelligent individuals. Make exceptional use of God’s gifts to you. 

God Bless 

Love, 

Mom

I did not think that he could win.  Not as first.  I thought that there existed just one too many closet racists for it to happen.  I thought that the Old [White] Boys’ Club/Network was simply too powerful.  After the re-election of George Bush, I thought that Americans did not really want the change which they loudly demanded from every available hilltop.

After throwing our economy into the depths of Mordor, with our greed, our consumer lust for homes and products which we could not afford (but bought anyway… on credit), our reluctance to talk about our individual financial situations (until they all so unsurprisingly converged into a nationwide crisis), and our all too eager attempts to point the finger and assign blame, while taking no responsibility for our own actions… Frankly, after all of that, I was not sure that our country deserved much.  Reap what you sow.

And then we elected Barack Obama.  And, of course, I was thrilled.  People cried thousands of joyful tears.  Worldwide, nations rejoiced.  Sarah Palin returned to whence she came.  It truly seemed as if truth and hope had won.  Justice dispensed.  “We’ve come so far!” they said.  We’ve come “so far.”

Last Friday, my Dad had to go to the ER for the second time this autumn.  He is not one to cry, or even admit to physical pain.  But something so strong came over him as he waited for the train to go to work, that he got back in his car and drove to the ER.  By the time he got there he was in such pain and so disoriented that he could not even get out of the car.  A Caucasian woman was walking through the parking lot and he called out to her.  My Father.  The man who would do anything for anyone.  Has done so much for so many.  Wearing a suit and doubled over in his seat, called to the woman.  “Excuse me?  Please!  If you could help me out of the car, or get some help from inside, Miss?”  And the woman glanced at my father, a glance so brief that the only feature she could possibly register was his brown skin.  And said, “I’m running late for a meeting.”  And quickly walked away.

I can only imagine the look on my Dad’s face.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  As he relayed the story to me later that evening, I was so nauseated.  So infuriated.  I could not speak.  When I had finally digested what had happened, my first thought was that this woman never ever ever ever crosses my path while I am with my Father.  If he identified her… God help me.  God help her.  Because I do not know what I would do.  But I am pretty sure I would end up in jail.  And it would totally be worth it.

So when these people, who are usually not part of a racial minority (aka- PIs), tell me about how far we have come.  I give a polite half-nod and half-smile.  It is very difficult to explain racism, even the more blatant types, to people who have been fortunate enough to not ever have it in their face.  Who have never witnessed racism when it was a matter of life and death.  Who have never experienced the patronizing grins.  The disregarding looks.  The all too regarding looks.

I am unstewped enough to realize that President Obama will not be a panacea to our nation’s ills.  Political, economical, racial, or otherwise.  And I realize that we have come far.  But how far is “so far?”  Evidently, not quite as far as we would like to keep on believing.  Ignorance is bliss.  I don’t think that I will keep believing the hype.  The pleasantries.  The lies.  But I’ll keep hoping.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: (5,000/50,000)