I’m proud of you, Mr. President

Posted on: May 9, 2012

Quite frankly, I don’t think Barack gives a crap that I’m proud of him, or that I’ve met Michelle (ok, fine, I just shook her hand when she made a visit to Botswana, but still, I technically met her even if she didn’t ask my name) or that I saw his father’s farm in Kenya (along with the “Yes We Can Tea Room” and the “Obama Secondary School” – will post those pics later).

But I am. I am so happy we finally have a President who says he supports gay marriage.

It’s an old joke in this fight, but if the gays choose to get married and be miserable like the straights, isn’t that their right? They die for our freedom, they pay the same the taxes, the go to the same schools and deal with the same issues  – why wouldn’t they have the same rights and equality? Because the person they love makes other people uncomfortable?

My friend and I were just chatting today about the anti-gay marriage law that was passed in North Carolina, and I told her I thought that the change in attitudes towards equality for our gay brothers and sisters, friends and family, wouldn’t come with our generation, it would come with the one that follows us. It will be our  children who don’t know why it’s “strange” to have two mommies or daddies. It will be that generation that doesn’t understand why this ever would have been an issue, just like it’s my generation that doesn’t understand why inter-racial marriages were once outlawed. And what did the President say in his interview? That his view evolved due to his daughters, and the fact that they have friends whose parents are gay couples. And that for his daughters, they don’t expect their friends’ parents to be treated differently than anyone else.

I don’t ever write about politics on here, because I don’t really feel qualified to – and tomorrow it’ll be back to complaining about boys and posting pictures of shoes and wondering why I can’t get laid. But for now, I’m really just proud. (After the cartoon, I put in something I wrote when Obama was elected, but I never really shared – I figured now is as good a time as any)

Why I cried when Obama Won:

At 11pm on Nov 4th, the USA made history. At 11pm on Nov 4th, I got goose-bumps. And when President-elect Obama spoke, I cried.

I cried knowing that it was 48 short, but long, years ago that African-Americans won the right to vote. But also, for the first time, there is a president who represents me –  as a daughter of immigrants, a person of color, and a first-generation American.

My parents chose to leave India so that the generations to come after them would have more and better opportunities. Had they not come to America, would I be the same person I am? Not very likely. Had they stayed in India, I would never have had many of the chances I have had here. Had they moved to South Africa, I would have lived with institutionalized racism under apartheid for at least part of my life. Had they stayed in England, where they started their journey, I would have been free and educated, but marginalized.

As has been said many times, this is truly the only country where our 44th president’s journey would be possible. This country was built by those who wanted freedom from oppression, freedom of religion and the hope of a better tomorrow. In no other nation would a multi-racial boy, the son of a Muslim African, the product of a single-mother, a child who grew up all over the world, have the educational and civic opportunities to become its leader. His journey is the true “American Dream.”

My parents had the opportunity to leave India because their parents fought the British for freedom. Because of the generations before me that spilled their blood, in lands all over, I am lucky enough to have never been treated as less than equal to anyone, and because of the country I grew up in and the ideals that it has, I have been lucky enough to always expect that.

I may not always agree with President Obama, and I won’t always like his policies, but I will always see him as the hope we all have for those that come after us.


8 Responses to "I’m proud of you, Mr. President"

Thank you for this post. Sincerely.

You are more than welcome. I just read your bio and I’m honored you liked what I wrote… Congrats on finding love in the form that fits you best 🙂

While it is great for you guys to have a President who can make positive statements like this, it looks like there’s a long way to go. Religious and conservatives have reacted strongly to it and according to the BBC, “Eight US states have legalised same-sex marriage, but 30 have banned it, including North Carolina this week. A number of states recognise civil partnerships.”
Things are only slightly better in the UK where civil partnerships are legal. Full marriage is not, yet – but the Government committed in September 2011 to introduce legislation to allow same sex civil marriage by the next General Election. This of course gave rise to a broad range of opposing views, but the UK Government has no choice; it’s required to put the legislation in place under European law. I may be making this sound like the Government is being forced to do this, but I get the feeling that for all that it is a Conservative led coalition they genuinely want this to go through.
I think the UK will be a better place for it.
CurryLove, I found your comments on Obama interesting and your view on British marginalization depressing. Being a white middle class middle aged male hardly qualifies me to comment on what it’s like to be Asian in modern Britain, but one of my mates Sibi (a Brit of Indian origin) was shocked when I invited him to play cricket, ‘What?, he said, ‘Here?’ Meaning in the UK – he had never expected to be asked, it was eye-opening.
I too was very excited by the implied potential of Obama’s election; but I found myself judging him quite poorly a while ago when a BBC reporter, with a strong Irish accent, asked him a question. He flicked into ‘elect me’ mode and tried to play the I’m of Irish origin too card, and that left me thinking ‘Oh no, he’s just like any other politician.’ Then I thought a bit harder and realised that was really the point and perhaps that’s how we should view him, regardless of colour, he is a politician and it may be that my expectations were unrealistic?

You are absolutely right that his statement doesn’t really change anything – it’s just nice that he felt that he was able to say it without pandering to the conservatives who sometimes run this country with their beliefs (although, the other argument is that he’s just pandering to the liberals now).

And at the end of the day, unfortunately, he is a politician who is fighting for his job, so what needs to be said gets said. A good friend of mine is Republican and I’m (clearly) Democrat – we didn’t really talk about the elections four years ago because I just could not understand how she liked Sarah Palin. It was beyond my comprehension. But the one thing we did agree on was that no matter who was elected, our daily lives weren’t going to be better or worse, they’d stay pretty much exactly the same as they had been before. And that’s been the case, it’s just that I much more agree with what he usually says and she doesn’t 😉

Ok, I’m going to go back to pointing out quirky things Yanks think and say about us Brits in a minute; but before I do, is it a good thing that – and this applies to both our countries – after the enormous expenditure of words and promises, time and treasure it takes to to run our democratic process, our daily lives, to paraphrase you, stayed pretty much exactly the same as they had been before?

I don’t know if it’s good or bad, just that there is gradual change. The slow pace is ok by me… because when the party I don’t like is in power, I don’t want them to be able to change things without dialogue/campaigns/votes 😉 And, I’m assuming, those who disagree with my ideas are happy when my party can’t make immediate changes either!

[…] Whatever else it may mean, for the election, I am proud of him. I appreciate CurryLove’s commentary on this. More to come from me on this sometime later today when that big yellow thing is in the […]

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