Family Guy is on here at 8pm. I don’t usually watch, but my son’s friends said it was new, and I thought I’d check it out last night. Right before there was a quick spot — I keep thinking I must have been seeing things — but it showed a picture of Obama and then a couple people (at least one white female) in a gun store and the voiceover said something like, “Fox reports that gun sales are up after Democratic sweep of nation.” I’m not sure the piece was even 30 seconds, it was so quick. And I was stunned. I can’t believe what I saw. Has anyone else seen this spot? I’ll be checking today to see if I can find it anywhere online. I keep thinking what I saw could not be real, so just forget it. But, no. Obama’s election has lanced the infection of racism and we’re going to see more backlash until things settle down. No one can afford to keep quiet about the good, the bad, and the ugly as we move forward.
I woke up this morning thinking that on some levels, the state of our nation is due to rampant anti-intellectualism. So let me just say this: It is not OK to have a president who says, “This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating” (23 April 2002) and “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” (11 Jan. 2000). It is not OK to have a vice presidential candidate who thinks Africa is a country and not a continent or who believes the First Amendment guarantees the press will not criticize her. Our educational system continues to slip further and further into a pedagogy that fails to inspire and challenge our students. Reform tends to focus on K-12, but I think our colleges and universities need to be rethought — fundamentally. The teachers who work in the K-12 system graduate from these colleges and universities. Why should K-12 change when the places that educate the teachers and administrators keep up the status quo of mediocrity?
So, we have a starting point. This night. We have possibility. We have a field wide open for creative solutions. We have challenges. Tonight is for celebration. Tomorrow we roll up our sleeves. How far back can we push the divisiveness, small-mindedness, ignorance, poverty, hopelessness, and hatred? Just how much transformation are we willing to build?
What a strange evening. My teeth hurt from a very long overdue cleaning — I’ve felt strange all day long and a bit out of it. Now I’m getting antsy. I couldn’t even sit through the SNL Presidential Bash 08 special — nothing’s funny right now. I want to get to the polls at 7 in the morning. I don’t expect lines at my polling place, but to be on the safe side… I teach three one-hour-and-twenty-minute freshman comp. classes back-to-back tomorrow, and I don’t know how I’m going to concentrate.
Our nation hangs in the balance. Maybe there isn’t that much difference between Republicans and Democrats these days, but I know I want the party that does not rely on racism, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, jingoism, and lies. I think there is one huge chasm separating these two campaigns and these two tickets.
I want to wake up Wednesday morning with the outcome that will steer us towards our better selves.