Reason #14: Race and the American Dream

Yesterday I was talking with my friend Karen about our children and the election. She was spot-on about something: our children are growing up in a world where a black man is a presidential candidate, and hopefully will be President of the United States of America.

For our children, the normal state of affairs is that a black man can be President.

Let me say that again.

For our children, it will be entirely normal for a black man to be President. I cannot adequately put into words what this means, especially given the history of racism in this country (never mind nasty racist incidents in this current electoral moment), but I do know one thing:

As a national community, we are one step closer to deracializing the American Dream, the belief that any American can accomplish his or her goals through hard work. That is, we are one important step closer to making the job of President of the United States of America a legitimate possibility for all US citizens regardless of their skin color.

This is a phenomenal moment for children everywhere in this country in terms of continuing to break down racial prejudices and divides.

Here’s to a future run by this new generation, whose first political memories are of a brilliant, strong, competent, and accomplished black presidential candidate: Barack Obama.

And once we elect him to office, then the work begins to join the rest of the world in normalizing the idea of a female president–a US citizen of any heritage: black, white, Asian, Latina, American Indian, or Arab.

In my lifetime? I hope so.¬† In our children’s lifetimes? Absolutely.

–Carole, mother of two who is humbled at the thought of the world our children will know, Gunbarrel, Colorado


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