Question of the Week:
Friday, November 7, 2008
"Change has come to America,” President-Elect Obama said as he claimed victory and spoke to the nation. Victory was achieved. We did it. We have moved forward as a nation. We have now entered “Post Racial” America. Now to be fair, I know racism will not go away, but perhaps this is what some can call, and let’s hope, “The beginning of the end.” We have torn down the wall, smashed through the ceiling, and have allowed young black children everywhere to say, “Anything is possible.”
But somehow, we have not moved forward. Somehow while taking one step forward we took two giant leaps back. And by this I am speaking about California’s passage of Proposition 8.
Let it be known right here and now that this is a great injustice. Conservatives will say, “The people have spoken,” “True family values have won,” “It is a good day to be an American”
Is it? Is it truly a great day to be an American? Yes, we have just elected our first African-American President. This is great and should be celebrated, but how can we claim “change” and “progress” when with the passing of Proposition 8 we have not changed or progressed at all. In fact, we have regressed. In terms of equal rights, we have moved backwards. In this country Gay rights, Civil rights, and Equal rights should be the same. Have we not fought for years for oppressed minorities (who ironically and disgustingly voted heavily “Yes” on 8) to be treated equally? To think that we have come this far by electing Obama is commendable, but the passing of Proposition 8 shows us just how far we still have to go.
I am outraged because as an American I believe in equal rights. It is what this country was founded on. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” “And justice for all” These are the principles that people from all over the world come to America for. This is why we are a melting pot. We take the tired, the weak, and the poor. We take them all and give them a shot at the American dream. And what is the American dream?
It is the right to be.
The right to be me, the right to be you, the right to be a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. It is the right to be happy and to pursue happiness. That is in the declaration of independence is it not? Was this not one of the principles this nation was founded on? To think that the founding fathers wrote, “That all men are created equal” to simply have this principle so out right ignored makes me, on a day where I should be proud, feel ashamed.
I am ashamed because in California, homosexuals no longer have the right to be.
I feel that I should end it there. However, it gets worse, much, much worse. It is worse because California also passed Proposition 2. Proposition 2 concerned the ethical treatment of animals. It asked that farm animals not be confined to cages, and be allowed to “fully extend their limbs and wings.” This is a great thing. I am glad that California passed this proposition. Animals everywhere can claim victory! But what does this really say?
Is this what America stands for? Is this what we want to represent to the rest of the world? A country that writes hate into their laws? A nation that treats people differently based on who they love and their want to express that love by spending the rest of their lives together? If this is the direction the country is headed, I fear that I will be ashamed for a long, long time.
“Change has come to America,” President-Elect Obama said as he claimed victory and spoke to the nation. Unfortunately for some, that change is not enough.