Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Elections, Races, and other random thoughts

Granted, it's not until January 20th that President Obama takes office, but it still looks like he's moving in good directions. At least I hope so.

Of course, there's the usual racist BS going on. I hate that. Yeah, we elected a Black guy president. I think that's good. Not because he's Black. Because the American people took that out of their decision making process.

I know--some people say he's only half-Black. So what. He looks Black. That's cool. I like that we have a whole bunch of races in this country. It makes life more interesting. Richer. Me? I'm just a plain White guy. Mostly WASP. But then, one of my great-great grandmothers was an American Indian. Another one was Dutch. I think there were a few Germans in there somewhere.

I don't like the term "Native American" when it's used to refer to American Indians. I have to go back five generations before I can even find one ancestor who wasn't born in this country. I figure that makes me as "native" as anybody. I also don't especially like any Hyphenated-American designations. I'm not suggesting giving up our ancestors, but once we're Americans maybe we should keep our eyes on making the future better. (Call yourself whatever you want though.)

After travelling to about 30 countries, I'm always thankful for the richness that the world has to offer. Every country, every race, every sub-culture has something interesting to add to the mix. Even travelling to other parts of the U.S. we find a whole lot of differences. Driving through the "Bible Belt" a couple weeks ago, I cruised the radio stations and was able to find either religious music or country music. Rarely a rock and roll station to be found. The waitresses around there all call me "Honey" or "Sugar" even though they just met me. It's a friendly part of the country.

Coming home from a trip to all seven continents for marathons last year, I was connecting through an airport in Tokyo and for the first time in about a month I heard some Americans talking. It reminded me of how much I missed home. Good old American Black and White people, talking in accents I could understand. It was nice. Made me homesick.

I like that our government is moving in directions where people are no longer "tokens." It's getting so that people are chosen more for their abilities and merits and less because they belong to a particular race or gender.

Our country is getting better. I'm not blind to the faults we might still have, but comparing 2008 to the 1960s it's amazingly different. We're moving in good directions. Let's keep moving.


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