Like millions of people worldwide, I watched the Inauguration yesterday.
Not in its entirety, though I recorded it on my cable box, but on a computer screen, with work colleagues.
It's hard for me to comprehend the positive change I've witnessed in this country. Perhaps that's because I spend much of my time in the past, writing fiction set in an America where segregation was enforced and Billie Holiday could write a song--Strange Fruit--about the sight of Black men and women lynched and hanging.
Maybe it's because I spent a couple of early years in northern Florida, where even as late as 1972, the racism and hate--and the concommitant poverty and misery--was palpable and strong ... even to a child of seven.
Maybe it's because I had become hopeless and cynical about our political system and the ignorance and fear that runs deep in our country, a hopelessness made nearly unplummable by the last eight years of a grotesquely anti-intellectual presidency.
Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, I never thought I'd see yesterday. But I did. And now the hard work starts ... because those of us who have been disenchanted and disconnected must accept the challenge of the new president. Challenges deep and wide, formidable ... but not insurmountable. Challenges best met by the pledge of unity, not the prejudice of division .... by the appreciation of commonality, not the expectations of disagreement.
Thank you, President Obama.
Yes, we can.
Causes Kelli Stanley Supports
In Defense of Animals
The Jane Goodall Institute
The Ocean Conservancy
World Wildlife Fund
The Humane Society of the United States