Foundation, NJ U. S. A
the Message Continues ...
for December 2008
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Article 3 -
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Article 5 -
Article 6 -
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Article 11 -
Pride In America
I believe in the American people.
I’m writing this on November 5, 2008. Yesterday I
wouldn’t have made this statement.
As the election cycle progressed this year, I supported
Barack Obama. I put up my yard signs and I made my
small, on-line contributions to the campaign, but in my
heart I couldn’t bring myself to truly believe “yes we
As a 38-year-old, I missed the overt and institutional
racism which would have outlawed my interracial
marriage. And while we have come a long way, I’d never
have dared to dream I would live to see a black man
elected president. I could be part of a changing tide,
but I was resigned to the reality that changes like this
take a long time. As Martin Luther King said, “I might
not get there with you.”
I have been guilty of perpetuating the American myth
that children can be anything they want if they just try
hard enough, but the presidential pictures in social
studies books clearly show the reality.
My brown-skinned children surely don’t match the
presidential pictures. And names like Maya, Malik and
Marcus don’t sound presidential. In family discussions
of black history, my children discovered that being any
shade of brown in America has always meant being
excluded from things as profound as freedom or as simple
as drinking water from a public fountain. When reading
picture books about the civil rights movement my
children have asked, “Even me, daddy?”
“Even you, baby.”
And then it happened: Barack Hussein Obama was elected
as President of the United States. My wife and I wept.
The first lady will look like my wife. Brown children
like mine will play on the White House lawn. We woke up
our sleeping children to share the moment and to toast
to a new day. I was able to say to them, confidently
now, that this is America where they can be
anything that they put their minds to. It’s not just
rhetoric any more; the proof was on the TV screen right
in front of them.
Michelle Obama was heavily criticized for her comments
about being really proud to be an American for the first
time. Perhaps these words from a person in her position
weren’t prudent. But I understand where she’s coming
from. A day after the election, I am more proud to be an
American than at any other point in my life.
I believe in my fellow Americans who went into
confidential voter booths and made the decision to vote
on the content of a man’s character over the color of
I underestimated the American people.
I was wrong.
Michael Gabby lives with his family in San Diego,
Calif. He teaches in elementary school, is active in the
state teachers’ association and serves as a union
official for his school district. Gabby is involved in
social justice issues and woodworking.
courtesy: This I Believe!
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