Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Change is gonna come-November 4, 2008

This post and day are dedicated to a generation of men and women most of whom are not here to cast their votes, but whose life-long commitment to the American ideals of justice and equality helped make it happen:

My father, Sam, and friends and mentors, Jack Rosenberg and Seymour Lefco, who never lost their faith that this nation could do better and their commitment to making it live up to its promise. They would have reveled in casting their vote for Barack Obama today;

My Uncle Jimmy Ginsburg, with an 8th grade education but life-long appetite for knowledge, and his wife, Gert, who helped organized the American Federation of Teachers in Baltimore Maryland. They fought against Jim Crow in Baltimore, their segregated home town and in Madison, Wisconsin when it was unpopular. They would be first in the voting lines today;

Aunt Evelyn, who worked for more than 30 years at Briggs and Stratton and never forgot her southside roots. She was a union maid who never missed an election until today;

Aunt Ida who photographed Rosa Parks at the Highlander House when they were young woman training to challenge southern segregation in the early 1950s. Their dream of a world that is fair and just is a little closer today;

And my mom, who raised her children to listen to and be generous with their hearts and speak with their voice;

All would have cast their ballots for Barack Obama!

And to all the men and women of the greatest generation who lived through the Great Depression, defeated fascism, created the New Deal, Social Security, Medicare and the blue collar middle class, ended legal racial segregation and have despaired as their efforts to build a decent and inclusive society for working men and women have been undermined by the reckless policies of privatization, deregulation and financial liberalization.

Today is for all of them.


6 comments:

Emmaneezer said...

What a beautiful post. Thanks Uncle Mike. And GO OBAMA!!!!

-Emma

marwill said...

I'm sure those you honored would all be very proud, Michael! Thanks for inspiring me, our colleagues and our community to take action. YO SOY OBAMISTA!!!

-Marwill

Dale said...

Thank you for your thoughtful words about Seymour. He has been on our minds lately too and we know he would have loved to see this day come.

Dale and Terry

Karen said...

I had the great pleasure of taking Ida, at age 97 and in a wheelchair, to the polls yesterday and helped her cast her vote for Obama.

xoff said...

Beautiful. Thanks.

mal said...

I know exactly what this video is and thank you for your writing.

I grew up hearing stories from my mother (from Forest Park, Georgia) who used to hop into the "nigger" taxis to the consternation of neighbors who passed on their concerns to my indifferent grandmother who saw people as people.

"I thought I would die before I saw this," my mother said of Obama's election.

Leo Frank, so many others though a sordid century, the Southern Strategy, Nixon, Reagan; we won this one big.