Friday, November 7, 2008

Post-November 4th

I am amazed and filled with conflicting emotions. In a country that can get over their institutionalized racism and elect a half-black man to the greatest position in the country, anti-queer legislature was passed all around.

And California, I am so disappointed in you. While you did the right thing by livestock and animals raised for food, you went and stole the rights from a group of people. I've gotten over my anger and frustration and now just feel sad for those that voted yes on 8. You must be so scared of something - your own insecurity, sexuality, the idea of something different - that you would go as far as to outlaw something that made you uncomfortable.

Additionally, Prop K failed in SF, once again proving that sex workers are seen as less than human and undeserving of protection. Prop V passed, once again allowing military recruiters into our public school systems. Prop H failed, a resounding defeat for the environment.

Sigh. But, there is much to be grateful for. Prop 4 went down, safeguarding teen mother's right to choose. Prop 1A passed, which will help unify the state and create tons of jobs as well as get some cars off the road. Prop 7 and 10 failed - poorly written energy bills that deserved to fail. And of course, the Democratic victories in both the Senate and the House. And we can't forget Obama's victory - a turning point in history. As Eve and I watched his victory speech, I couldn't help but feel inspired and hopeful for our country.

But this joyful exhuberance of Obama mania is tempered by the fact that I don't agree with all of his policies. He does compromise, and whether or not it helps him get more things done, I still mourn the sacrifices that he makes. But his leadership is something remarkable - he is a man that can inspire hope in a broken country, that can make people question the status quo and to push people to give more of themselves to help others who aren't as fortunate. Even if this is not the revolution I've dreamt of - with the government toppling and a community raising up - this is definitely a revolution.

But with that, we cannot become complacent. Racism still exists. Sexism still exists. Homophobia, lookism, ableism, hatred, and violence all still exist and are alive and well in America. Yes, this is a victory to be celebrated, but for all those that want to protect everyone regardless of their place in society, our work is not yet over. And so we can look forward to continuing on the work that we do, the struggles that we face- but this time we can do knowing that we have a leader who is willing to listen and wants the same thing that we want: change.

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