Barrack Obama is President! I have to say I was in shock! I was a swing voter until a few days before election day but I did vote for him at the last minute because I couldn’t live with myself had he lost. I didn’t talk much about it with the kids, sure they saw him on t.v. and heard him speak but I never endorsed him fully to the kids.
I’ve had a couple of conversations over the years with boy2001 about race. He gets shy when we talk about it, especially since he’s started school. I suspect kids at school have said things to him… nothing particularly mean spirited or foul but he’s understood he’s different somehow. Daddy is black and I’m Frazilian (French – Brazilian native).
I’ve taught him not to react, many times people say things off the cuff without thinking OR they are looking to upset you. Either way, let it roll off your back, there’s little to gain in an argument.
Speaking of school… he was there on inauguration day, January 20, 2009. He and his classmates were led to lunch early and watched the inauguration on television as they ate. From what boy2001 described I don’t think he saw the oath and there was little discussion. We’ve been reading the posts at Share My Inauguration and watched the actual oath on Youtube.
I asked him, “does he look like anyone you know?”
He smiled, “me!?”
I said, “that’s exactly who I was thinking of! Someone who looks like you is President!” At this point I go into a loooongish monologue about how much Obama has accomplished. Coming from a regular family to the height of the executive branch. His journey is a great testimonial on how education can change your life. We talked a bit about what we’re doing to help him and his sisters get to college. We talked about all the different colleges, campus life, careers, degrees.
Along the way, I feel dread. How can my child really understand all that Obama’s win means. I say that thankfully! he hasn’t felt the sting much. He picks it up on t.v. shows and maybe at school but in the grand scheme he doesn’t really understand racism and oppression. It doesn’t really make sense to hate / love someone for their skin color or culture so how do you explain it to a kid?
The important thing is that he’s witnessed something that I as a child considered impossible… a black man is President of the United States. I hope in time he’ll truly understand all that means to his future and the future of this country.
Check out the Share My Inauguration for pics and views, they also have videos on Youtube and the pics.
Follow the once-in-a-lifetime journey of 24 Chicago inner-city 5th and 6th graders as they witness the inauguration of Barack Obama!
Thanks to Mom Central for the tip on this site!