8 years ago
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
One day I can imagine hearing children and teenagers asking me, "Where were you the day Barack Obama became the 44th president of our country?" My answer will be, at work, doing what I always did, hoping that this man who claims we need change, can indeed bring some change to our nation, and praying for a future where the world is safe again.
Today truly is a historical day of sorts. Our country has come a long way. A few years ago when Donny was in school, he wrote a paper on a civil rights march from the 1960's that started in Selma, AL and ended in Montgomery. We drive over the Edmund Pettus bridge where the march began everytime we go to his parents home. I always think about the people who were there that day, what they were feeling, what they were experiencing. It must have been something quite extraordinary to bring a large group of people together and march so many miles for a cause they believed in. They were seeking change, change that WAS desperately needed. Equality. Civil Rights. Freedom.
I've heard many black people say they never thought they would live to see this day, a day when a black man became the leader of the USA. I wonder why they thought that. I believe that I will someday see a woman become the president. Or yes, even a Mormon. I wonder if Mitt Romney had been successful with his campaign for president, and won, would I be doing anything differently today? Would I have called into work just to stay home and watch the Inauguration? Would I be wearing a shirt with both Joseph Smith's picture and Mitt Romney's picture on it, saying "It all started with a vision"? Being a member of a religion that has suffered much persecution from people in this country, I do feel a kinship to black people. I know what it feels like to be different. I know what it feels like to know the fight that people before you had to go through to get me here today. I often think about how the early Saints of the Church were persecuted, and I do see a similarity between our plight for religious freedom and black people's fight for equality and civil rights. So I can understand why this day is such a historical one for the black people of this country. They see this as a day of fruition, a day to always remember.
Having grown up in the South my whole life, I have always been surrounded by black people. I have also been surrounded by white trash and good-for-nothing rednecks. Do I distinguish these people differently because of the color of their skin? I try to see people for who they are. What they offer this world. How they are raising their children. What they are contributing to society. I try to believe that all men are innately good people, they have to be, because they are all children of God. Nothing evil comes from God. But all men have their free will, including white men. When I think back over history, it saddens me to think of all the times innocent people have been harmed because of hatred for who they were, the color of their skin, the religion they choose the follow, their sexual orientation.
Do I really expect to see Obama "change" this country? I have yet to understand what kind of change he thinks he can bring. I do believe that one man cannot change much of anything by himself. I think it takes everyone to make a great change. I think people have to open their hearts and minds to the truth before any great change can really happen. If Obama can truly bring about the "change" this country needs, then I say, more power to him. May God be with him as he embarks on his new presidency today. After all, isn't a stronger faith in God and obedience to His commandments a change we all need to make? So I say to my future, when you ask me about today, I hope I will be able to say it was the beginning of a better safer world that my posterity deserves to live in. Only time will tell.