Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tears and Pride

Regardless of your political views, last night was a pivotal moment in history. As my oldest daughter and I were watching the election coverage, I felt as though I was witnessing a piece of American history in the making. It was almost surreal. I have to admit, I was moved to tears.

Why? For starters, I love this country. No, I'm not always in agreement with governmental decisions and I'm often indifferent to political issues. But I'm honored to live here in the United States and privileged to live in freedom. Privileged.

I don't care who you voted for. Forgive me, but I honestly don't and I don't think you should care who I voted for. Whether my candidate won or didn't was not the reason for my tears.

I cried because my Nana wasn't alive to witness the election. You see, after the death of my maternal grandfather, my Nana remarried and her second husband was black. That's right, she married a black man. In her day that was unheard of. She was the recipient of hatred and ignorance and my mother and her sisters lived in fear for a period of time. Whether noble or otherwise, Nana lived with pride in her decisions. Her marriage wasn't a perfect one, but despite the discrimination she experienced she was a proud woman.

Funny thing was, it wasn't until I was in the seventh grade that I became aware that not every family was of mixed heritage. I literally thought this was the way every family lived.

As an Anglo woman married to a Hispanic man, I've experienced discrimination although it pales in comparison to what Nana experienced. I've never lived in fear and am proud to live in a part of the U.S. where this is considered the norm.

What saddens me more perhaps than the issue of racial discrimination is the fact that I've experienced more discrimination within the walls of the "church" than anywhere else. The fact that my opinion carries less weight than a man's opinion cuts me to the core and continues to be a source of personal, private grief in my life.

I pray my daughters will never experience what I have, just as Nana prayed her grandchildren would never experience the discrimination she endured.

I cried last night because for those living with chronic illness, a change in our country's leadership can have a dramatic effect on our care, treatment, insurance, etc. I cried tonight for those who were watching in fear.

I cried because we've come so far as a country and have made huge strides in the area of prejudice. I cried with pride because one man, who years ago would've been forced to ride in the back of the bus, is now given the same rights as any other man. I cried watching the faces of those who've endured hatred and ignorance light up with pride.

I cried because of the magnitude of this election's outcome, no matter which candidate I supported.

How could you not be moved to tears?

With hope,


Renee said...

What a beautiful post. I agree,no matter who we voted for, this is a cause to celebrate the changes in our country for the better. This is good for not only people of color, but for those who are white.
Our family is multi-racial...because we adopted 5 of our 7 children and they are each a blend of more than one ~ often 3 different cultures. Our birth son married a Korean woman so we always smile when we say, our 2 white granchildren are the minority among our 14.
The changes ahead will be difficult, but necessary to not only help those who struggle with health care, but the hope of having a united country.
This is a beautiful time for our country and I thank you for the eloquent way you voiced it!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, discrimination is in fact an ignorance infecting many Americans.
But I believe...
I believe in justice and hope in Christ. I believe no one can really know what is in the hearts of men except God. I believe America is a melting pot and except for the native Americans, who were here before any ships landed, we are foreigners in a foreign land. I believe our founding fathers were correct to add "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...".

What a country we live in where we can express our views, we can agree to disagree and there were no flags burning, no tanks in the streets, no soldiers lined up, no riot police out, only citizens relaying there joy or sorrow for their candidates.

I am a woman and face discrimination everyday in some form or fashion. I am Hispanic and have come across ugliness and wickedness aimed at my culture. I am a Christian and find my beliefs to be offensive to others.

Thanks for reminding me of my inheritance, my lineage and the hope we can have a better world for our children.

A world in which people see the quality of a person's heart, because we were endowed by our Creator in His perfection.

Lakendra said...

Beautifully written, Kristen. Bravo!

DA Wagners said...

Thanks for sharing this personal story! It is so interesting to see how God shaped each of us with the environment and family He placed us in! Very cool!!!

Lana said...

Isn't the only color that matters the color of blood?