Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Who President Obama is to me
Joe My God reports on the updating of the official White House websitewith a list of commitments to LGBT rights. I think this is huge.
Even if they are not fulfilled, to have this on our nation's website is a proud step forward.
A CNN poll shows that 2/3 of African-Americans believe that Dr. King's dream of race relations has been fulfilled. I think this is incredibly optimistic and a bit naive.
Martin Luther King III said it best when he stated that an aspect of the dream has been fulfilled, but that as long as there is poverty and inequity, there is work to be done on the dream.
Many people seem to view President Obama as some type of savior or the living embodiment of Dr. King's vision. I don't see him as either.
I am exceptionally glad to have Barack Obama as my president. I supported him from the start. I absolutely think he is the right person for the job and who our country needs as a leader right now. That said, he's not a savior he's human and he'll make mistakes. He'll make decisions I and others won't agree with. I still believe that he's not just the best choice he's the right choice for our country. He's never been completely where I'd want him to be on LGBT rights. I don't think we will see much and certain not quick advances in civil rights legislation on the federal level during his term(s). I hope I'm wrong, but there are at least more pressing concerns.
I'm proud of my country and I'm proud of this moment and for what President Obama represents. THis represents a milestone in our country's history and attitudes. This election represents the hope and almost mythical promise that anyone can be president. This election represents the hope that we'll have a woman president and one day even a gay or lesbian president (and corresponding first man or lady). The symbol and significance of the choice of Obama greatly outstrips whatever the man's performance will be. This presidency represents a change in the American conciousness.
Without a doubt, he'll make choices I don't like, he'll make mistakes, he probably won't advocate for LGBT rights like I would like him to, he may prove to be more of a politician than I'd like. He already has; he's also made choices that I'm very pleased with. His inauguration celebration has included one notably regretable choice, but has also incorporated our community in a way that it never has previously and in some very significant and powerful ways. I couldn't be happier and prouder as an American at this point.