The journey has just begun

It was a historic day yesterday. I was teary watching the electoral votes add up, the former red states now turning blue, and being with close friends and my kids as we watched Obama become the 44th President. My daughter will get to vote in the next Presidential election – perhaps she will choose to vote Obama for a second term.

But there are some signs that all is not right. As talking heads on the television stations talked about the end of racial barriers, several states were limiting rights for GLBT’s. Arkansas passed a law that would not allow single persons to adopt (code for preventing GLBT persons from adopting). California’s proposition 8 looks like it will win. Other states passed anti-gay measures.
In addition, there was this piece in the New York Times today:

Among the more unusual measures on this year’s ballots was one in Florida that would repeal an old clause in the state constitution that allows legislators to bar Asian immigrants from owning land. The repeal would be symbolic, as equal protection laws would prevent lawmakers from applying the ban. With 78 percent of precincts reporting just before 11 p.m., the vote was close, with 52 percent voting to preserve the clause.

I hope that the United States doesn’t fool itself into thinking that we are now an "all for one, one for all" country. We still have a long way to go. I can guarantee that I will continue to be racially discriminated against even with a Black president. My children will continue to be racially discriminated against even with a Black President. My GLBT friends will not have the privileges and rights that I enjoy.

We are not a post-racial country now. Racism hasn’t been eliminated. We’re just starting to take these issues seriously.
We are headed in a better direction, but have by no means reached the promised land. Not until every citizen is allowed the same rights and privileges of citizenship.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.