To Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Jane RobertsJanuary 20th, 2009 at 8:43
It is still more than 60 minutes until Barak Obama is sworn in as the forty-fourth President of the United States. I have turned on the TV and seen the pictures of the National Mall in Washington DC already filled with over a million people. Tears are already filling my eyes. Thoughts are flooding through my head.
First to Barak Obama, the first person of color to assume what is arguably the most powerful role in the world today as the head of government and head of state of he United States of America. (Of course he is half black and half white, but in the racial consciousness of America and the rest of the world his black half trumps his white, and he is “of color”.) The first U.S. President that is younger than I am. A person who made his mark as a “community organizer” on the streets of Chicago, and memorably maligned for that by Rudy Giuliani at the Republican Convention. My hat is off to you for having the audacity to believe it was possible and, in the process, taking our country (and the world?) another step forward in its evolution.
Second to Hillary Clinton, not the first woman to run for president, but the first with the chutzpah, pedigree and support to actually have a chance to win, though out-shined in the end by Obama in this race, and graciously conceding that fact. I voted for Clinton in the California Democratic Primary… with my feminist pedigree, including my mom and my “feminist aunts” (more on that in another post) that vote was clear. Though my mom died in 2006, she would have been such a Hillary supporter. I can imagine her watching Clinton’s coverage, shouting at the TV, “You tell ‘em Hillary”.
Finally to my mom, Jane Roberts. Not the first woman to do anything in particular that I am aware of, but a truly larger-than-life figure to me and most everyone who knew her. Like Barak Obama, a community organizer. Four years a Democratic Party Precinct Chair in my hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Successful campaign manager for both Ann Arbor City Council and Mayoral candidates. Co-coordinator of the 1975 Washtenaw County Celebration of The Year of the Woman. Like Hillary Clinton, a tireless advocate and activist for full participation of women in American society, in full and equal partnership with men.
My mom… who I am really proud of and love so much today and always.