They Call It The White House
Wasn't Tuesday night something else? I'm still pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. Congradulations to President-Elect Obama, his campaign, and the Democratic Party. This moment in time, I feel a very warm happiness for the black community, who has dreamed so long of this joyous day. And also for the nation, and the entire world. At last, in a matter of a couple of months, our nation can begin on a course of progress to correct the many problems our new president will face. The work can begin.
I wish everything that happened Tuesday made me feel so hopeful, but unfortunately there are still issues confronting this nation that remain to be ironed out. Ironically enough, at the very time when we can be so proud that common sense won out over one long-held cultural barrier, another reared its ugly head. I'm speaking, of course, of the regressive measures passed in several states targeting gay people and non-traditional families. In my own state of Arkansas, a ban was pushed through forbidding "co-habitating adults" from fostering or adopting children, even be they blood kin. The aim, of course, is to prevent gayfolk from having non-biological kids; the backers of this odious mess would prefer that gay people had no children at all. The reach of Act One, after the first attempt at this goal failed in the courts, now actually includes straight unmarried couples as well as single people who may have a platonic roommate. The narrow-minded fundamental busybodies actually believe even a grandmother shouldn't be allowed to adopt her own orphaned grandkids, if she has a boyfriend or god forbid, a girlfriend. Or apparently any friend! The Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services changed its own policy a few weeks ago to read that any otherwise eligible person or persons would not be denied the right to adopt or foster, and appropriate prospective homes for children would be determined on a case-by-case basis, regardless of marital status. You would think that any reasonable person would agree that the best course of action would be to judge each situation on its own merits, not further limiting an already woefully small pool of loving, qualified homes, but no. And of course the real losers in this particular fiasco are the thousands of Arkansas children in the foster care system still waiting for good homes. Way to go, Jerry Cox. On a day when we celebrate a huge step in moving away from one prejudice, you and your narrow-minded cronies cynically manipulate another. How many more good people and children must be hurt in your holy war before your backwards ideas are history?
Then again, maybe history is the point. Just as many people thought there would never be a black president, basic human rights for all Americans is not an if, only a when. And that itself gives me a tremendous amount of hope.