I thought I would feel like a million bucks if the day came where Obama was elected President. From the start it seemed impossible. His name, skin color and opponents were formidable foes. Yet, somehow, he overcame the odds to win the election with a wide lead in electoral votes and popular vote.
I cried when the announcement came and said to my 12 year old son, "Watch close because this is history" and pumped my fist in celebration when Obama gave his acceptance speech. My son, who deals with his own issues being of mixed race, stared and smiled and had hope for the future. I went to bed with a smile on my face that I thought would take days to erase.
But the next morning would shed light on how far we really haven't come. It started on the usual networking sites. "They are disappointed but know God will show them the way. They want to know why no one (but Fox, go figure) is reporting he is a Muslim." The list goes on and on and as the day progressed, the more disheartened I became. I saw friends rip each other apart in ways they never had during the election. My local newspaper hosts comments on their articles and several nasty comments were made about not being able to call it the "White" House anymore. And then the news started trickling out about the same-sex marriage bans failing to be overturned in at least 4 states and one state now mandating that LGBT couples not be allowed to be able to foster children in their homes.
As my spirit went lower all I could think about was the voters who answered the call for change. We worked so hard during the last several months to spread the word that change was the only way. It was time to rid our government of that good ol' boy mentality and finally get to work. Volunteers dedicated hours of their time to knocking on doors and making phone calls to undecided voters. People never involved in politics in any way dontated their hard earned dollars and struck up dialogues about why we were voting for Obama. All of that work paid off in the end. Right?
The truth is that we are right where we were a week ago. We still have a majority of the population that believes they can decide who has rights and who doesn't. Crazy me for thinking that is what the constitution is for but apparently you are not covered under it unless the people say so. Why are constitutional bans on human rights even on ballots? Shouldn't that be up to the Supreme Court? I don't know about you but I didn't study law in college and I'm pretty sure the majority of the other voters didn't either so I hardly think it is up to us whether to amend the constitution or not.
Change was in the air and I truly believed it was going to happen. I have never been more sad to have been wrong. I thought Americans were finally going to stand up not just for themselves but others who have been ignored for far too long. It is so disappointing to see how far we can go only to take a huge leap back. This is not progress. This is not change.