It's 5:23 am and I am preparing for another long day. I get to school by 6:00 to gear up to teach 7th grade social studies, stay for after school tutoring, then rush to my second job as canvass manager for the Campaign for Change.
I see these two positions as absolutely linked, especially in light of the tone and character of vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin's latest rally, where supporters were worked up into a racially charged frenzy climaxing with a reveler's call to kill Senator Obama; a suggestion that was not condemned by Gov. Palin. The fact that the McCain campaign is stooping this low, playing on the ugliest of human tendencies, shows their desperation and intentions for this country. At a time when the entire country is suffering in so many ways, they attempt distract and divide us with racist innuendo. So that fear of the other rather than hope for the future will inform our decision on November 4th.
I am choosing to believe that we have come farther than that. That the unchecked sentiment chanted at that rally represents a minority of the country. I have to. I teach 100 middle school students who had a very difficult time wrapping their head around racial segregation, perplexed by the idea that there would ever be a time that their co-existence in the classroom would not be possible. This innocence is the future. And it is for them that I am working these long, taxing days – to lose this election is to embrace the ugliness, the hatred and fear that has separated us. It would take us a thousand steps back from the distance this nation has come in dissolving the racial divisions that have plagued our history. We cannot afford that.