Sunday, September 07, 2008

tragedy and triumph

This election is history making and will only continue to be so. Either a black man will become President for the first time in history or a woman will become Vice-President for the first time in history. So in either case, the American people will have triumphed together in moving our country forward in important ways.

What is even more historic is that if Obama is President, it won't be "because" he is black but rather in spite of it. And if Palin becomes VP, it won't be "because" she is a woman but rather in spite of it. They will be elected because of their qualifications to lead and not their race or gender. This above all might be the greatest triumph of all. It might signal a movement in the direction of getting away from race and gender politics. It might be a step closer to Dr. King's dream that we would be judged not by external characteristics but by the content of our character.

The tragedy in the midst of these triumphs is that there are still those who will not vote for a black man or a white woman precisely because of their race or gender respectively. Racism and sexism still exist and we see them in both parties and in all socio-economic classes. So unfortunately some will vote for McCain simply because the thought of a black man in the White House makes them cringe. Likewise, some will vote for Obama simply because they dread the idea of ovaries in the Oval Office.

Our hope is that the triumphs will outweigh the tragedy this election year. And we hope that God will change the heart of those who allow racism and sexism to cloud their vote and their lives.


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