Jan 20 2009

Inauguration

I didn’t get to watch. In fact, I didn’t even get to listen. I would have loved to, really, but I didn’t.

Almost worse, though, is that my son DID get to watch and listen, but he did so without me. Instead he watched and listened to that amazing, historical event in the presence of two of the worst bigots I know, and that makes me sick.

I hate that I have to send my child to a daycare where the teacher openly stated to me on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day that “We need to have more WHITE PEOPLE’S holidays.” This is the same woman who, after a black man delivered her new refrigerator, claimed that he stole money from her, money which she later realized that she had hidden from him, and herself, too well.

It’s these things, and others, that make me wish I could possibly stay at home with him, and wonder why he goes there at all. I then I remember why he goes there- because everywhere else is worse. Really. This is my best option. At least he’s undeniably white and therefore worthy of her care. Fuck.

I have not been a victim of racial hatred, but I have lived around plenty of it, and know from that experience that it is ugly. So I am extra thankful today that there is an African American as president before my son knows what it means to not have that be a fact. Even though that’s not at all why I voted for him, and not how I hope he is remembered. But for the chance to have it be so normal and so commonplace that it doesn’t matter to anyone anymore. For the chance that my son won’t have to defend his choice of president to people who can’t see past skin color or gender.

So I will take the hatred that she is trying to teach and show it to him for what it is. I will be thankful that we have her bad example to show him how to be better. And I will have hope for future generations, because people like her will die soon and beautiful people like my son will still be here to make the world better.

She is the old generation, he is the new. I am the transition and will be the teacher. It’s up to me to do my job.