(Imagine Lee Greenwood’s song in the background as you read this)
I am an American citizen by birth. The fact that I exist has some basis in the slave trade in this country’s youth–a practice that brought scores of my ancestors here to toil, torn apart from home and family. Their sweat and tears contributed to the wealth or sustenance of their owners and the owners’ families, while some of them became the objects of lust, thereby producing what used to be referred to as “mulatto” offspring. They did not choose to be here and likely would have given anything to return to their native homes across the waves.
I am an American citizen by birth. My travels have taken me to several countries and afforded me the opportunity to live in both England and Germany (then-West Germany). I have seen the Developing world, and the Industrialized world and must admit that I am glad to be an American. For with all of our imperfections and foibles, we are perhaps the most free people on earth.
I am an American citizen by birth. I have lived long enough to see the triumphs of a nation such as the 1969 moon landing, the tears of a nation such as those shed years earlier for assassinated and slain leaders, and the shame of a nation such as what we experienced once no “weapons of mass destruction” were found in Iraq. But for all that this nation has done, I find no reason to feel pride in what has been accomplished. Much of it is too little, too late.
My sentiment on the current presidential campaigns isn’t to say “look at how far we’ve come”, which would stem from pride, but rather “it’s about time”, a sentiment that stems from frustration and disgust in the barriers that still exist in this country.
India, Israel, England, Germany, Pakistan: Just a few of the nations on this tiny globe that have had female leaders. Some are developing, others are industrialized. And yet here we sit in America and pat ourselves on the back for having a front-running African American and a woman running for office! Should we be proud of this?
No. No. No.
We should be angry that for all of our blessings and promise, that it has taken 232 years to arrive at this point!!!
I am an American citizen by birth. I am glad that I am an American, “where at least I know I’m free.” But I am truly troubled at the giddiness and fickleness of the public for their responses to Senators Obama and Clinton as they vie for the nation’s highest elected office. And while neither one is guaranteed to win, the fact that they are main party front runners prompts me to say “it’s about time.”