Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesdays: What's next?

That has been my question since President Obama was re-elected last night.  I've been asking it of others...but now it is time for me to ask it of myself.

I try to stay informed about local, national, and international politics.  I read as much as I can online and in print about what's going on in my neighborhood as well as my world. And I like to think I'm pretty educated about the democratic process because of my background as a history teacher (and a natural love for everything related to history).

But last night's election made me rethink who I am, what I believe, and what I need to teach my daughter and myself.  Looking at who was elected last night (an African American president won a second term, the first openly gay woman won the senate race in Wisconsin, the first Asian American woman senator elected in Hawaii) made me TRULY for the FIRST TIME realize that this country is more than black and white.  

I've always been pro-black everything.  I teach my child African American history every time I get a chance, I let her know that her roots are from Africa, her Nani tells her stories about the civil rights movement she experienced in Mississippi.  And I will never tell her that her ancestry isn't important or what she looks like isn't important.  But, after looking at the crowd in Chicago last night, I realized that this country, OUR country, is about everyone else that lives here.  Not just black folk and white folk.
Black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, Indian, African, gay, straight, everybody was in this man's audience...

The crowd at Pres. Obama's acceptance speech reflected what America is: a little bit of everything. And he let us know in his speech that a little bit of everything and everybody is what makes this country great.  And this is what I need to teach Mini Me to make her great. 

We no longer live in a disconnected world: Twitter, Skype, Google+, and Facebook have introduced us to worlds that I was somewhat unaware of over 30 years ago when I was Mini Me's age.  And it wouldn't be fair of me to to keep her from the world because my world wasn't in color.  I need to accept the change that has occurred and will continue to occur in this country despite what I was raised to believe.

Outside of teaching my child that what she looks like and who she is is just as important as what magazines and television tells her what she SHOULD look like; I also need to let her know that it doesn't stop with her while still instilling within her pride of who she and her family are.  I know that I still have work to do within my community because I am a true believer of "charity starts at home and spreads abroad."  And if I want Mini Me to be the woman I envision her to be, I have to let her know that her community doesn't end on the corner.

She is part of the future that Pres. Obama wants for this country.  And it's my job to make sure that getting her to that point is next in my job as a YCM.

YCMs...what are you going to do next now that Pres. Obama has maintained his position in the White House?  

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