Flashback to November – Part I…It seems I was right


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ORIGINALLY POSTED after President Obama was Elected – it seems I was fairly spot on…

11/6/08

Dear Fellow Americans –

Fifty-two percent of the citizens of the United States woke up on Wednesday or stayed up late on Tuesday and embraced elation, pride and a feeling that “it’s finally time for us”. I am proud that Americans were able to step above color lines and elect a well-spoken ambitious young man of mixed race. Forty-eight percent woke up to grief. I am not talking about anger. I am talking about unabashed grief. We are not upset that a man of color was elected. That was a great day for America. We are grieving because the man of color who was elected stands so diametrically opposed to so much that we value. Those values built the America that so many, who are overjoyed with the election results, are expecting to take care of them. We are grieving because the media sold the people a president rather than presenting all the facts and encouraging all citizens to make informed decisions.

We are not grieving for our pocketbooks, our mortgages or our elitest rights. I represent many of the average Americans who make up that 48%. I am a public school teacher in a Title I Renaissance school. My school is 92% economically disadvantaged, 84% African American or mixed race, 12% Hispanic and approximately 4% Caucasian. 15% of our students deal with some form of disability. I am a Caucasian of American Indian, Romanian, Scottish and English descent. I serve this community because I believe I was put on this planet to serve, not to be served, to make a difference, not lodge complaints, and to be appreciative of this remarkable country through good times and bad. I will not always agree with her actions, but I will always believe in the principles she was founded on.

We who are grieving believe it is each community’s job to take care of the truly needy, not the federal government’s. We volunteer in our schools and houses of worship. We contribute regularly and quietly out of the little or much that we have to community food banks and clothing drives. We serve in shelters, provide aid to unwed mothers, and answer with our time, finances and labor in times of national and international disaster. These actions come not out of creed or patriotism but out of values that have been passed from generation to generation and out of the belief that it is the right thing to do. “There but for the grace of God go I”.

We believe that opportunity is there for every American to succeed but that it takes hard work, education, a teachable spirit and the desire to make the world better, whether through a product, a service or an idea. We do not begrudge anyone’s success or think it somehow takes away from us. We know that Presidents have very little control over the economy and that it runs in cycles. We know that we suffered a traumatic financial attack on September 11, 2001 which took many years to recover from.

We believe in living within our means. When we make a poor or inopportune choice economically, like buying into inflated property values, it is our job to find a way out, not the Federal government’s. I have a school loan that was taken in the faith that it would prepare me for a career that would provide for me more adequately in my single middle-age and allow me to retire someday. It did not. I am now trying to decide how to handle a loan that is well beyond my means to pay. But I am not asking the government to solve this problem. It is mine and I will work at it till it is solved. I will be working till I am 90 in order to do so, but that is MY problem, not the government’s.

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