So today we found out Barack Obama will become the first black President of the United States. Obama always talks about change, but we really have is a revolution - a social revolution. Does that mean things are magically going to get better overnight? No. Does it mean racism has been eradicated? Nope. Does that mean that every decision Obama makes will be right? Surely not. Does that mean that we're a better country today than we were yesterday? Not at all.
But we as a country are different now. We may not feel that much different. Nor may we really even act that much different going forward. And the change may not be measurable for years. That's because the people that this is going to impact the most are our children.
I am fortunate to have been raised to think that all men are created equal and I always treated black people the same as I treated white people growing up. But I have read much about the segregation, unfairness and even atrocities that happened as early as just a few years before I was born. I understand the significance of what happened yesterday.
However, our kids don't appreciate what a big deal it is that we just elected a black president. They can't fully grasp or understand the significance of it. This is good in that it shows that they don't think of people in terms of race or color. I think its awesome that their earliest memories of The President will be a black man. They will grow up differently in part because of that, I think.
I still think we have a significant job ahead of us, one we've already started, but definitely have not finished. We as parents need to continue to teach them about racism and remind them of the way it used to be. I'd like to teach our kids not only about the evils of racism, but of also of treating people different for any reason. I'd like them to grow to respect people from other religions and points of view.
The United States has been carrying around the burden of racism for a long time. Its a burden that we are characterized by in the view of the rest of the world. Its been a struggle pretty unique to our country. But today I think was the beginning of a quiet, unseen revolution that is only a small step toward shedding that burden for good.