The day here is cold, wet, and gray. It matches my mood after the shock of waking up this morning to the posts on Facebook, and the news on the radio (pretty old-fashioned, aren’t I, to still be listening to radio 🙂 )
We weren’t ready. I’ve thought that for a while, but this proves it. We weren’t ready.
No, it had nothing to do with HRC. We really weren’t ready to elect an African-American with a name that sounded like it came from the homeland of foreign religious extremists.
I think this election is the backlash (or the whitelash, as someone referred to it) to the racism that has been festering for eight years. From the very beginning of President Obama’s term in office, there were so very many people and politicians who were unable or unwilling to accept the election of a black man to president. The efforts lasted all 8 years. The long discredited birther theory. The long discredited rumors that he was Muslim. The inability to work with him on any level (ironically, coming from those who now say we should unite and support the new president-elect). The subtle, unintentional (snort) efforts to portray him as simian, as stupid, as communist, as socialist. The same opposition and hatred would not have been displayed to a Senator Kennedy for the same policies.
I remember when I was in 4th grade, at school in the deep South, participating in a Thanksgiving play. The sole black boy in my grade (not just class, grade) was given the role of janitor in the play. I was an adult before when recalling that event, it occurred to me what had happened, and I realized the racism which existed that was invisible to me as a child.
The pendulum swung very far with the election of President Obama. I certainly didn’t expect to see it in my life; I still remember the times of institutional discrimination, overt racism, and the discrimination that existed growing up. It hasn’t gone away just because of time. It hasn’t gone away at all. It has now expanded to include Hispanics, Africans, Muslims, alternative sexuality….almost anyone who isn’t like the old order in this country.
We weren’t ready to elect a woman president, because we hadn’t recovered from the pendulum swing of electing a black president. Or because we didn’t realize that we needed to recover from it. Maybe this will be the pendulum swinging the other way, and we can hang on until we reach a more moderate middle ground.
God help us until then.