Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day Rambling

Today I voted the second time in my not very short life. I never voted in China -- there were elections, even in my days, but if one would like to get under big brother's foot, go right ahead. I swore in as an US citizen on the day Henry turned six weeks old (passed my oral test eleven days before delivery). I voted a year later, and look at where we ended up in the last eight years. Pretty discouraging for a new citizen. Given my family background, I vowed to myself many years ago to be apolitical. I never get involved in political discussion, and have no party affiliation, even in China, where The Party decided for everyone where you are allowed to eat and sleep. I got a hard head, thick skin, and a very straight spine. There has been so much going on with this election. Sometimes I just want to take a pill, go to sleep for days and weeks, wake up on November 5th, to welcome the new president, celebrate equality, and throw a big party for Bucky's 13th birthday. I want to wake up to a peaceful world, a better place to live. But I also know that without the painful labor, we would not have the fruit to enjoy in the years coming. And I cannot ignore this:
California Proposition 8: Ban on Gay Marriage This measure would amend the state constitution to specify that only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized as valid in the state. If passed, the measure would trump a May 2008 ruling by the California Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage.
As a Chinese woman, living in America, married to a White man, with a multiracial child, I'm a bit sensitive to discrimination. Should I be living in the wrong place in this country in the wrong time, my marriage would not be legal, and I would not be allowed to own property, among other things. Today I still face racial and gender bias every day so I understand how hard others have to defend themselves for being who they are. There are simple things we can do to make other fellow humans happy, acknowledging their sheer existence is one of them. It saddens me to see many Chinese faces in the "Yes on 8" parade. We are here, living on other people's land, because we enjoy the freedom that we can't find at home. Why deny the same freedom from others? Now about that child of mine, who has been questioning his parents on a regular basis about our views on various measures and candidates, because one of his classmates talks about what he hears at home. I wish the school would take a more active role in teaching kids the current affairs. Funny they know more about George Washington than George Bush, know how Lincoln died but not where Obama came from. They gossip about "Mr. Martin is gay", and no one cares to teach them that homosexual men and women are also human. Leave it to me, Henry gets to hear all my unbiased opinion.


Daniel Oscar said...

Have you given up the "a"? (i.e. the "a" in apolitical)

Jocelyn said...

My daughter's 5th grade class is having a "mock" election today. They've been discussing issues too, Prop 2 and Prop 8 the most. It'll be interesting to see what they decided when she gets home.

Jennifer said...

Amen. You put it all beautifully, as usual.

Hubs and I (and the boys) got in line to vote for Obama at 5:45 am. I can think of nothing but the outcome of this election.

Good for you for talking to Henry about Prop 8. We have been discussing diversity issues with our kids since they were small - it is satisfying to see them so open and tolerant in an age/gender bracket in which "gay" is hurled as the ultimate insult.

Unfortunately, they came home with some horrifying stories about things other kids said during the mock elections at their schools... scary to know what goes on behind a neighbor's door.

Lynn said...

My school is holding a mock election for class president. Nobody is allowed to discuss the real presidential elections because of it being so passionate. They are trying to teach the process w/o the emotions involved.

and good for you for teaching your child your opinions. If you read my post a day or so ago, you will see how I feel abt both the teachers and parents being involved with our kids. They do much better when we work as a team.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you vote! Being able to make our voices heard and our vote count in one of the greatest blessings of being a citizen of this country...even when the election goes differently than we would have liked, still our voice has mattered...and there is always the next election down the road.

The tension in our political system is a good thing...makes for overall balance when the day is over!

Sonya said...

Being different in any way teaches acceptance and tolerance. It all starts at home, and it is a shame that some homes teach neither.

Amy said...

very well said! I can't believe people so openly discriminate against people who are different from themselves... to the point that they want to take legal action to make their lives more difficult.
NO to prop 8!

Sue said...

If only more people traveled in countries where the citizens don't have safe, open elections, perhaps they would appreciate the right, privilege and duty to vote that we have in this country.

Paula said...

Excellent! Beautiful discussion!
I am so glad you voted.