Eight years ago, when we elected our first African American president, my jubilation was tempered a bit with sadness because my mother didn’t live to see it happen. She would have been in awe of the historic event and immensely proud of her country.
From as early as I can remember, my mother was politically involved. She was passionate about women’s rights, racial equality, and the environment. Before I was old enough to enter kindergarten, she took me along with her to League of Women Voters meetings. Later, we marched together in anti-war demonstrations. Our family often discussed current events and world affairs at the dinner table.
But, as much as she loved the politics of courage and optimism, she loathed the politics of fear and division. She was a proud member of the Democratic Party, but she had plenty of Republican friends and always enjoyed a healthy, respectful debate.
Respectful, being the key word.
She wouldn’t put up with vulgarity, hateful rhetoric, or hurtful comments. Someone who disparaged others for their religion, sexual orientation, or their ethnicity would never have been tolerated. Negative remarks about a person’s looks or abilities would have been rebuffed. She definitely wouldn’t have put up with anyone making fun of someone’s disability.
And, she would never have invited a bully or a bigot into her home.
Although I miss my mother terribly, in many ways I am grateful that she didn’t live to see who we’ve invited to stay in our nation’s house.
Just like my friend Kate ended her post today about the election…
“Comments are closed. It’s time to heal” (and I think I may have a long way to go).