Saturday, November 8, 2008

Viva Obama

Wow! Viva Obama! We won! so thrilled to vote for the first President that I really supported! My first vote was in 1972 Colorado for McGovern. I may have been excited but mostly by the first ability of 18 year olds to vote! So many reasons for my support of Obama. I like the latest idea out there, the "white grandmother effect". A romantic idea. Anyhow, I usually like grandmothers of any background, and loved my own! (love the gospel song, A grandmother who prayed for me!) In reality, I like Obama's style and ideas. As a fellow Columbia grad, I understand his motivation and commitments. I also did community organizing in NYC in the 1980s and understand the importance of engagement and change. So many identifications. Newark, NJ, via CCTV, voters in my building 4 Nov 08

In the days following his win, I applaud his appointment of Rahm Emanuel! Bravo to the 70%+ Jewish vote for Obama, but I also sense President elect Obama will bridge and educate about Israel and Palestine! I have Chicago family roots and admire the tenacity of Emanuel and those Chicago Democrats. My Mother (a Park Ridge, IL mom) was the first person to tell me how good Obama is! President elect Obama will need tenacious advocates like Emanuel. Of course, I worry about how our economic crisis will be handled. I so like reading George Soros, and applaud Obama appointing Warren Buffet to his team. As a former Citibank person, I am emailing a former colleague, now a senior executive to get her opinion, and hope she is helpful. President elect Obama needs all the help he can get.

In all, I just feel so happy and do not really have a critical perspective on his election and the road to the Presidency yet. After the election, wore my button, talked with my college students about the history and the advent of change. Endless talk with my neighbors and friends. My buddies in SF and Colorado spoke with me election night, Bravo Obama! I appreciate hearing the comments by so many of my African American neighbors of their pride in his achievement, and in fact, all of ours. My friends in Zurich emailed me with excitement! Relishing the zeitgeist!

The only downside is the loss of Prop8, marrige equality in CA. My sense is that this is still a new issue and it is being processed. I find in teaching issues about gays/lesbians etal, that my college students have seldom had much opportunity to openly discuss such issues. The media may have entertainment images but they are often of the rich white gay man, not the reality in fact. This semester I teach Ethics and the Family which has allowed the opportunity for the class to discuss issues about gay/lesbian families. Fascinating narratives as ever.

I am saddened by the uproar about Prop8 and African Americans. I dunno the outreach to all communities by no on 8 organizers but perhaps not enough done in all communities. I question the CNN methodology of 70% AfAm supporters. In short, African American supporters contributed but not the tipping point. On the other hand, the church has long been an institution in African American society and homosexuality not seen positively in most of the churchs. Although the Newark Episcopal diocese has been quite inclusive, interviewed a gay minister for a Bishop vacancy. At the same time, in Newark, I worked as a social worker in America's second largest HIV in-patient hospital program and witnessed the often homoignorance by staff, families, and the community, even in this first 2000 decade! There still is the stigma and shame about HIV. So, gay, lesbian, trans...... Well, Obama has always mentioned gays in his speechs!

I am not proud to see that gay identified voters were 27% for McCain, 7% less than for Kerry. Ugh. So many black/white/Latino gays supported Clinton and that may have been the revenge. I dunno why the no on 8 organizers did not involved Clinton to do some ads. Most importantly, the racial stratification in gay worlds is an issue to address. One sees it on Christopher Street everyday. All in all, much work to be done and I know President elect Obama will bridge and educate as he can.

I feel optimistic for once in my life about national politics. I admire President elect Obama's style and ideas. I have faith in his concerns about building bridges between communities for a shared better future. I really like his supporters. I am really excited by what our society may produce!
peace, hugs, compassion

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