Friday, July 29, 2016

Another Milestone

As a child in Texas in the 1940' through the mid 1960's it was common to see 'colored' and 'whites only' signs.  These signs were on everything from restrooms to water fountains to entrances to buildings and the local Ritz theater.  The 'n' word was used without thought by most white people.  Even my own step-grandmother said blacks had no soul.  One nearby town proudly strung banners at the entrance to the town.  The banners read, "Blackest Land, Whitest People".

The signs are gone.  Blacks and other minorities are part of the political process.  While it was the Republican party that freed the slaves, the Democratic party seems to have a larger percentage of minorities on the convention floor in 2016.  Do not doubt that the ability to be on the convention floor did not take a lot of work, protests, compromise and down right under handed haggling.  Change in politics takes getting a little dirty.  Always has.  Just seating black delegates at a Democratic convention required LBJ and MLK to strike a deal in 1964.  Women had been seated as delegates by Republicans in 1982.  It was 8 years later before the Democrats seated a woman as delegate.  Women did not even have the right to vote but they were still part of the process.

In the 1972 there was an amendment for equal rights for women submitted to the states for ratification.  The ERA.  I still have my button that says, 'People of Faith for the ERA'.  A couple of my friends in UMW and I attended a Legislative Workshop in Jefferson City, Missouri.  This workshop was arranged by the conference United Methodist Women.  My friends and I were in our late 20's and early 30's.  We scheduled a time with our district's Senator.  During the meeting we noted our support for the ERA.  The middle aged white man literally patted my shoulder and said, "You girls don't worry about this.  I know what is best for you."  We left that office swearing to work to get that man out of office.

Tonight the Democratic party listened as Hillary Clinton accepted the nomination for president of the United States.  Ms. Clinton's candidacy is mired in controversy.  Mud slinging has begun.  Well, actually, the mud slinging toward Ms. Clinton has gone on for decades.  A lot of this is because she chose not to kick Bill to the curb because of his womanizing.  That is rather interesting as in the 1970's the stigma a divorce would bring a woman was just beginning to crack a little.  Today it is so accepted that the Republican candidate is 3 times divorced.  The much revered President Reagan was the first divorced president.  BTW Ronnie married a two months pregnant Nancy.  Guess she learned the hard way about just saying no.

My own life is so full of bad choices, missteps, and bad judgement therefore I will not dis any of the candidates.  Do I trust Ms. Clinton?  As much as any politician and more than most.  I voted for Nixon and look how that turned out....

The ERA has never passed as an amendment but a woman is running for president of the US for the first time in history.  We have come a long way.  But there is still a very long way to go for everyone.  Change takes time so do not lose courage and continue to feel the Bern!
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