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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After

It seems so quiet outside. I think even nature realizes that the debates, endless TV ads, ubiquitous polls and pundits are finally at rest. My husband taped Obama's victory speech for me and I watched it tonight after dinner. I thrilled to the resounding, "Yes we can!" by the thousands gathered to celebrate his election. Obama brings such hope to our bereft and compromised table.
I wish all of us shared this euphoria or even a little bit of the optimism. The election was not about race to me and to many in the region where I live. We stood in line together yesterday -- an extremely diverse group with the commonality of being able to vote; sharing the excitement in choosing a new president. We counted the minutes together, and laughed and talked about a new spirit, and that we were witnesses to -- no, participants -- in the making of history.
I'm not naive enough to think this happiness is universal as I know for a fact it is not. A friend who lives in a state in the Deep South told me she has never heard the "n word" (sorry, I can't even write it...) as much as she has in the past three days. I know about the South (not that racism is indigenous only to that part of the county), and about carpetbaggers, and lynchings, marches, and hatred that comes from destitution and injustice, but I thought that this was a part of our past, that we as a nation of immigrants (let's face it: how many of our ancestors were actually born here??) could finally look past color and we could begin to judge people 'not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.' And so my happiness and hope are tinged with a bit of sadness and disbelief that bigotry still exists.

6 comments:

Ginni said...

I love this post. I also know that the good feelings are not shared by everyone but it is a time of re-newed hope and a sense of possibilities like never before. I continue to pray for our new president elect and his family. It's been great to NOT have the negativity in our faces that political TV ads tend to bring, ad nauseum!

A Slice of Life said...

I am so proud of our nation for looking past the outside of this great man and electing him leader of our nation. He's got a rough road ahead of him, but I believe he can take it on.

Rich said...

well said, Kathy.

bonnie said...

I am astounded by our ability as humans to be restored to hope and possibility when we have become so hopeless and resigned to feeling helpless. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to be an African American today. Yesterday, I can imagine. Today, no.

Liz Bissell said...

I'm happy to live in Massachusetts, where everyone I talk to is thrilled with the results. Obama is such an amalgamation of so many things, that I think he can really bring us together as a nation, and help us reintegrate to once again become a welcome member of the world community. I can't remember ever crying at election results before, but I cried this time...just couldn't help myself.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is one of the most well-balanced posts I've read about the aftermath.