In all my time working with youth I've never experienced young people truly believing that their leader(s) believe in them. Tuesday that changed. Here's what I said to my students:
"Today is a big day! A new day! Today, this day, is different than any other day in our lives; different than any other day in our nation's history.
"We elected Barack Obama last night! (Hoots, hollers, jubilation)
"Yeah! WE did it! Our parents, our aunts and uncles did it! We, the People, did it! We said that we believe in this man, and we will allow him to lead us. Make no mistake, he didn't get to where he is without us--we put him there. That's right. We elected a leader we believe in (affirmations!). And for the first time in our lives, we have a leader who believes in us. Yes, yes, today is a new day!
"But just look around us. There's trash on our play field. Again. That dog crapped in front of our school entrance this morning. Again. Last night people were arrested and taken from their families. People will still be sleeping on the streets this night. Today is a new day, for sure. But our world hasn't changed over night.
"And it won't. You have to change it! And it's going to take hard work. Your job now is to come to school every day and work your butts off. Every day. You are where the change begins. We, the people elected Barack Obama last night because we believe that, with his leadership you can be all that you hope to be. You can change your world, starting right now.
"And you have to. In four years they're going to ask if people did better. If people got better. If the answer is no; if you didn't work your butts off and become great; if you don't succeed, then they will elect someone else. And there may never be another black president here. There may never be another leader who believes in you again. It's that serious! Your every day work here, in this school means just that much. So, let's get to it!
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
I do believe in what I said to my students. I do see the honest to goodness hope in their eyes. I do believe that the opportunity now to actually move forward (to the Left) is real. Now, Obama is the symbol of this opportunity, but make no mistake, we're going to have to fight him and his administration tooth and nail all the way. But at least we're ready to fight again!
On the upside, Obama is going to reverse some of Bush's anti-human executive orders, including the Global Gag Rule. This is huge, and as far as I'm concerned, fair reason to vote for a Democrat, no matter how terrible they will inevitably be.
As for those terrible things, here's some of what we'll have to contend with:
Rahm Emmanuel. This guy is a NAFTA supporter and generally a worker's nightmare. According to John Laesch:
As a senior member of the United States Congress, Rahm continued to support unfair trade agreements like NAFTA, cap-stoning his time in Congress by pushing hard to pass the largest piece of corporate welfare in American history, the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.
His involvement in the bailout makes sense, as he was also a Freddie Mac big-wig during a tidy little scandal where Freddie Mac
misreported profits by billions of dollars in order to deceive investors between the years 2000 and 2002.
That's the kind of change we could spare, if you know what I mean.
Oh yeah, did I mention that he introduced Obama to AIPAC.
SHOCK DOCTRINE NEWS
Royal Dutch Shell has been given a monopoly of Iraq's oil!
A secret document obtained by United Press International reveals a planned joint venture company between Royal Dutch Shell and the Iraqi Oil Ministry would give the company a 25-year monopoly on the gas industry of southern Iraq.
The ACLU has reported that the Bush administration is (again) blocking the release of photos that document the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo.
Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos was prevented from paying tribute to Barack Obama after scoring a touchdown. Apparently he was about to pull a black and white glove from his uniform and put it on, as a symbol of progress with regards to racism. He says he got the idea from John Carlos and Tommy Smith.
Lebron James shared some boilerplate remarks about Obama. You'll have to excuse my cynicism when it comes to the "Witness" who refused to sign on to an open letter, written by Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Ira Newble, condemning China’s government for contributing to the genocide of people in the Darfur region of Sudan. Later for him.
Steve Young, on a brighter note, came out (ha!) against Prop 8 in California. He and his wife donated 50,000 to the campaign against the marriage equality ban.