The past two days I've awoken not with a sense of dread and foreboding, but the sensation that something good is actually afoot. After the few moments of post-alarm head clearing, I remember that two days ago we booted the rethuglicans from their self-constructed, self-righteous pedestals. I really was preparing myself for the worst possible scenario, and trying to come to terms with what I thought was inevitable, in advance, to ease the oncoming shock.
The levels of hate and vitriol that have been spewing from the mouths of so many accomplished, in the end, not one thing. Dare I say that I'm proud to be an American? The zip code in which I reside — the most ethnically diverse in the nation — is the perfect snapshot of the "new" America that author, journalist, and writer/producer David Simon so eloquently speaks of:
America will soon belong to the men and women — white and black and Latino and Asian, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, gay and straight — who can comfortably walk into a room and accept with real comfort the sensation that they are in a world of certain difference, that there are no real majorities, only pluralities and coalitions. The America in which it was otherwise is dying, thank god, and those who relied on entitlement and division to command power will either be obliged to accept the changes, or retreat to the gated communities from which they wish to wax nostalgic and brood on political irrelevance.
Read the full article here.
For me, and for my sons, this is the only world we know.
My sons grew up with straight/poet/agnostic/atheist parents, played with the rabbi's son, acknowledged that the autistic neighbor-child who roamed from house to house was to be watched over, played chess with a lesbian couple, were the minority children in their elementary school, celebrated holidays with their caucasian/African-American cousins, and had friends whose skin tone was never considered.
(Once, while vacationing on the Oregon coast, there were lots of comments about how strange it was that everyone was white.)
It was bad luck — an apartment fire — that plunked us down here, but that "bad luck" transformed itself into the gift of a rich childhood for my boys; rich, that is, in experience. Rich in community, rich in the greater love that comes from a community of diverse individuals who recognize that we're all in this together.
For better or worse, but mostly for the better.
A few days ago I would never have predicted that I'd be writing these words. And perhaps I'm exhibiting a bit of hubris when I say that tonight I feel that everything I've taught my sons has paid off. This country, the planet — is still teetering on the deadly cliffs of self-destruction. But for these few moments, the moments that it takes to compose this blog post — I'm feeling mighty fine.