Stodgy, Old, White People

I am extremely worried. I’m extremely worried about what some of my countrymen are even contemplating as to what route this country should take come November 2016.

I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a teen aged friend of mine not too long ago.

“Have you noticed that all of our presidents are stodgy, old, white men?”

I agreed. I envisioned school posters with pictures of America’s past presidents. All were stodgy, old,white men.

She went on. “Then there’s Obama. A blip of color. If I were old enough to vote I would have voted for him.”

My young, but wise friend also expressed disappointment in the choice of candidates and lack of diversity. She expressed her disappointment before Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio entered the race. She said, “Now we’re going back to stodgy, old, white people.”

Eight years ago I was in China. I was sitting on the edge of my seat watching the election results on my computer and listening to NPR’s election coverage. I wanted to be a part of history.

The next day I saw newspapers with headlines that read Aobama, di yi ge meiguo hei zongtong. Obama, the first black, American president.

In China that is huge because having dark skin means that you are of lower class. I had students who made fun of their darker classmates. They would say, “so-and-so is so black.”

After the election I eagerly anticipated watching Obama’s inauguration on television. I made it a point to be a witness of history in the making; a minority from Hawaii is about to become president of the United States. I thought wow! We have finally broken the color barrier. We have come a long way as a country. I thought that if a Chinese were to ask me who could be president in my country I could honestly answer anybody could be president of the United States.

So now I’m worried. I’m worried that we may be going backwards if Donald Trump is elected president. A man who says Mexicans are rapists and who wants to ban Muslim refugees from entering the U.S. does not deserve to be president of the United States. We are so much better than that. We have come so far. Yes, we still have race problems. But do we really need someone who makes such inflammatory statements and proposals?

I don’t think so.

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