Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change We Can Believe In


In the early 1940's my dad was sent to Biloxi Mississippi for basic training. One day, on leave, he took the bus into town. Being exhausted he took the only available seat. People glared at him. The bus did not move. Finally, someone yelled "No whites in the back." My father, confused, then embarrassed moved to the front and stood. He was a young kid from the Bronx and had never heard of this policy.

Today, over sixty years later, my dad is proud to watch the swearing in of our first African American president. He is happy to have lived long enough to see the hatred he saw first hand in Biloxi gone.

One of the African American males in one of my classes proudly held up the first page of a newspaper and proudly hailed the first African American president. The kid said something slightly obscene afterwards and I told him what he said was an insult to the man who has become our next president. He surprisingly agreed with me and sat down quietly. I then said, Obama might be the first but he won't be the last! The kid smiled from ear to ear and got to work.

The speech was broadcast throughout the school. I usually hate anything that wastes class time, but this was good way to spend time. This was history in the making.

7 comments:

Chaz said...

I guess I'm cynical. I remember that Randi crowed how Hillary Clinton as a Senator will help NYC schools. To think Obana will help us in the classroom is being overly optimistic.

Over the decade what the feds do seems to have litle effect on the NYC schools.

Anonymous said...

This is a great day.

I don't look to Obama to be an Education president. His beliefs are on the conservative side. I do however look to him to be a leader.

I hope classrooms around the city also were able to watch this historic event. Is the ELA still going on?

Schoolgal

Pissed Off said...

I don't think he will do anything for education. Look at his choice for education secretary.

I'm with Schoolgal about everything else. I'm hoping for the best.

I don't know anything about ELA exam, sorry.

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm with you. Arne Duncan didn't do a damn thing to improve things here in Chicago. I'm really worried about what this means for the country as a whole...

Anonymous said...

While the media is slobbering over the election of the first African-American president I am much more concerned with his policies. The older I get the more pragmatic I get. Change is not a good thing...improvement is!

Pissed Off said...

I agree 100%

obbop said...

Meet the new boss... same as the old boss...

If a rock & roll band can perceive reality why do so many Americans remain blind to reality?

The president is a mere figurehead for an elite ruling class, corporate America and wealthy/powerful special-interest groups.

Idolize Obama all you want. He is still a lackey of the power elite running the USA.