No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

One Step Forward, One Step Back

I watched the results trickle in with enough anticipation to fill the all the oceans, many times over.
I thought I might vomit a few times, but I held it down and buckled in for the roller coaster ride.
I've known for some time now that we were on the cusp of a historic event, and that the tides were changing in the climate of our country's politics, but I didn't expect to be overwhelmed with joy, relief and excitement as I was on Tuesday night when I heard those words come across the television, "And with 270 electoral votes, we can call it now, our new President elect is Barack Obama!"
I had goosebumps on my skin from head to toe, and tears welled up in my eyes. I always thought that we'd see, in my lifetime, a black president, but I always thought for some reason that it would be later, much, much later.
Honestly, I thought that we'd see a woman as president first, but I suppose we haven't come quite that far yet.
Wifester had succumbed to the sleep fairies over an hour prior to the announcement, but I had to wake her up to tell her the good news.
"Honey!" I yelled, "Honey! Wake up!"
"What'sthematter!?" she stammered from a sound slumber.
"Obama won! You're missing history in the making!"
"Oh, really? Cool!" she ebbed out, just before covering her face with a pillow and promptly returning to her previous state of consciousness. Then she briefly awoke again to ask why Obama didn't play the Jefferson's theme song, just scare the bejeezus out of all those redneck, "a BLACK man in the WHITEhouse?!" people.
I have to concede, she makes a good point, it would have been funny. But as quickly as she made me chuckle, she was snoring again, so I gave up on celebrating with the Wifester and turned my attentions to the Sunny-dog to tell her how wonderful the news was. Her tail wagged, as though she truly understood, but I think it had more to do with the puppy crack that is formally called Happy Hips Chicken Strips which I treated her to in celebration of the monumental occasion.
I stayed up to watch McCain's concession speach, which I applaud him for. It was appropriate, sincere, and touching. And he actually seemed to get it. We want something different than what we've had. Obama stands for exactly that.
Eventually, I headed to bed feeling like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I slept the best night's sleep that I've had in eight years, if not longer.
The next morning I awoke to a bright and sunny world. The sky was clear. It was a beautiful day. I could feel the shift in the Force. I felt the lightness to my step.

And then I hunkered down to read the reports of how California's Prop.8 panned out.
Ouch.
Gay marriage, newly approved there, was stricken from the rights of thousands of people who recently wed. Florida and Arizona both passed bans on same sex marriage as well.
How about that absurd bill in Arkansas to ban gays and lesbians from adopting?
Ouch.
It appears that Arkansas would rather children stay in group homes, or foster homes, being neglected and unattended to, than to place them with a same sex couple who would love and cherish that child forever.
That is truly a lose-lose situation.

So although I am proud of the progress my country has made in race relations, I am deeply saddened by the overwhelming bigotry and hate that has shifted to a new target, my sexuality.

8 cookies cracked:

fiwa said...

I know! I can't believe that happened in California of all places. It makes me sick to my stomach too. Just when it seems like we're on the right track, we take two steps back.

Reb said...

One step at a time. I think that within your life time the gay marriage and adoption issues will be resolved. Acceptance alone has gone forward in leaps and bounds. Yes, there are still red-necks and there always will be narrow minded people, but I think the internet and it's ability to show children more than one outlook on life is having a positive influence. Allowing them to realise that maybe their parents/teachers are not as all-knowing as they pretend.

Mandy said...

I just got into a fight with my mom about the gay marriage thing ... I mean seriously WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?? (there isnt one as for as I am concerned) she blames "our generation" she wouldnt tell me exactly what she blames on us ... anyway it bugs me that she can be that close minded about this issue (you see I am not as conservative as you may think I am FC ... I also care about the environment!!)

Jay said...

The new Arkansas law is beyond absurd. It also bans straight "co-habitating" couples and single people from adopting or being foster parents. It's a right-wing whack-job's wet dream of a law.

Gay is the new black. It's not okay to publicly hate blacks, but in much of this country it is okay to hate gays.

Progress comes slowly. But, the haters are on the wrong site of history. The progress just isn't coming fast enough.

Karen said...

I don't think it is much of a secret that I was not an Obama supporter. I do think he is a good man and will be a good president, but his policies are too socialist in my view. That being said, I will stand behind him and support him because that I think an American should do. I pray that he proves me wrong and ends up being the best president we have ever had.

With regard to Prop 8, it doesn't make sense to me. Of course their are the legal issues, but fundamentally isn't that just about happiness? Why deny anyone the right to be happy? That doesn't seem like a very a "Christian" or "moral" thing to do.

Real Live Lesbian said...

I guess that kinda blows our trip to CA to get married next Fall doesn't it? Oh well, Boston will have to do!

As for the gay parents, I'm not so sure what they're scared of. Straight folks make gay children. Just ask my parents! And I bet yours were straight too.

I just don't get it.

Fortune Cookies said...

Fiwa- I'm hoping that our new administration will help to remedy these issues.
Hoping is the key word.

reb-I agree, I do believe that it will be resolved within my lifetime, and that is saying a LOT, just 10 years ago, I'd of said no way it would ever be done in my lifetime. And I am very grateful for the progress that has been made.

Mandy- you crack me up! I think our parents generation has a totally different mindset, I mean, they were raised by the generation that didn't allow black people to drink from the same fountains, so I suppose our radical ideas, like equality for all people, are just ludicrous to them.
Oh, and you should see how a fight goes with me and my born-again, fundamentalist- holy roller parents over the issue ;)

Jay- WOW! I didn't realize it banned straight unmarried couples and singles from adopting too! Surely it will get reversed, right? I mean, doesn't the welfare of all those kids override anyone's personal religious beliefs? I think you're right, gay is the new black! Why do we always have to have some group to discriminate against? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Really?

Karen - I keep hearing people who were not his supporters now saying they hope he's the best damned president we've ever had, as though anything less is unacceptable. I don't understand that thought process. We accepted the miserable failures of the first four years of the GW Bush tenure, and still gave him another four. Now look at where it's gotten us. I'm hoping that Obama will be the best president we've seen too, because unfortunately, he will have to be in order to prove his worth to so many in our country.
I applaud you for standing behind and supporting him, even though he was not your choice, though.

RLL - I know! I thought of that too. Those bastards! Well, Boston will make a wonderful place to get married.

When are we doing another workshop?? :)

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

NY state legislature is considering approving gay marriage with the governor's complete support, we'll see (we do have civil unions)