Monday, January 19, 2009


Let me share a story with you... (I remember this very clearly.)

When I was in Kindergarten, a new girl came to my school. Very cute, as I remember her. She had dark pigtails with the little bubble gum pony ends (I was so jealous!), big green eyes, a skinny little frame and she was very tall for Kindergartner. (Like me, I suppose.) Anyway, we were on the black top at recess and some teachers came over and told us all to get into a circle and hold hands. We were going to play Red Rover. As I was standing next to the new girl, I reached out to grab her hand. She jerked hers away quickly saying, 'you wanna hold my hand?" I said "why not? The teachers told us to, and I don't wanna get in trouble. What's the big deal?" The girl stared at me for a moment and then said plain as day, "I'm mixed." To which I replied, "what's that mean?" (Ever the curious one, I was.) She then explained to me that her dad was black and that her mother was white. Which made her "mixed." She also said that that might make me not want to hold her hand. I remember telling her that I didn't understand why someone wouldn't want to hold her hand, that she was nice and that my momma told me that you should be nice to everyone, and to hold my hand, because 1. It didn't bother me at all about her being mixed and 2. I did not want to get in trouble. When I got home and told my mom about what had happened that day at school, she was very happy with my reaction. For a long time I wasn't really sure why...

I am reminded of this story at various times in my life, but especially today...

Tomorrow, at noon, we inaugurate our first African American President. I say "we" because we as a people elected this man, Barack Obama. Weather or not your ballot was cast for him, doesn't really matter. What matters is all that stuff we talked about after 9/11 and the bombing of our beloved Twin Towers. "United we stand, divided we fall." Isn't that all that is supposed to matter? I can honestly say, without shame or remorse that I DID in fact, cast my ballot for Barack Obama. My grandfather has always spoken about keeping your vote a secret, but in this case, I truly am proud to say it loud and say it proud. I (hopefully) am going to help change the course of history, because of my vote. In fact, history is already changing, as we have elected a man who is not white! I think all of us have many African American friends who we feel so privileged to share in this day with. It is my hope that they are as excited to share it with me as I am with them. I am so proud of our country today. I cannot wait until noon to watch the ceremony.

I am going to get champagne, a newspaper and a box of Kleenex. I believe I'll want all three.

Why can't we all have that Kindergarten mentality back, put aside our differences and not get in trouble?

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