Release Date: 21 January 2009
Release ID: 3372
Most Americans feel that the new administration is our gateway to a post racist America. Will this change our attitudes towards racial prejudice and interracial marriage?
The New York Times published an article about white people who would not support Barack Obama because of his race. One was quoted saying: "The Bible is against interracial marriage. Therefore since Barack Obama is the son of a white mother and a
black father, I cannot vote for him."
Allison Gomer has been dating a black man for more than 3 years. But her grandma who raised her could never steer away from racial slurs against blacks. Last fall, her grandma gave her an envelope not to be opened until she passed on. When she did in October, Gomer opened it only to find some shocking discovery: grandma had cast an early presidential vote for Obama. Gomer didn't just take this gesture to mean her grandma had only accepted Obama … she took it to mean that she had also accepted her interracial relationship and her fiancé. This election has been intensely personal for most us … especially the likes of Gomer. It has given people hope. Mixed-race Americans feel their complicated life stories can identify with those of the president-elect. His election spoke deeply to most minorities too and someone the country felt less racist. And those in interracial marriages feel there is hope for their children too.
Ryan Barett, a copywriter in Boston born of a black mother and Italian father can now say that she and Obama are "both interracial." And when his victory was sealed, suddenly, people became a little more interested in her background. Most of us I must say are excited about the election of Barack Obama … even more about this Inauguration. Some even see Obama as the point person on racial matters. Well this should not be the case. In fact his election should not make us believe that we are now post-racist. This won't make racists or those against interracial marriage and interracial dating suddenly snap out it.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Racial segregation is dead, it is just a question of how long and how expensive some folk want to make its funeral". I think we have dragged the
funeral long enough. Well, this change Barack Obama spoke of requires some fresh energy. And out of our struggles comes progress.
As we await this Inauguration, may the acknowledgment of love, respect, justice, openness and equality, be present in all of us. May this be a "community-wide, racial-wide celebration".
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