I am completely stymied by something in this election.

Quoted here:

It was a great victory,” said the Rev. James Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego County and a leader of the campaign to pass the California measure, Proposition 8. “We saw the people just rise up.”

I’m not even going to get into the presumed “Christianity” of it all – as a Christian, and a believer in the gospel, the fact that this statement was uttered by a pastor makes me puke a little in my mouth, and I believe that it offends God, as well. If you would really like to see my views on the subject, you can go here, where I was not exactly shy about sharing my opinions. (I will write more about that later.)

So, on to my point.

What the hell is it that we, as people – I’m not even going to go into a party affiliation here – *must* always have a little guy to push down? A second class and a first class? What is it about supremacy that we crave?

Like, how is it that a state that votes for Obama 61% to 37% – a fairly decisive margin by any imagination – rejects gay marriage so decisively? That was the most striking state, but it happened in Florida, too.

Or a state that gave rise to Bill Clinton pass a law that prevents gay couples from adopting children?

If you look across the ballot measures across the country, there is a universal theme that jumps out: hatred. Bigotry, and I’m not just talking about the implicit association test. Discrimination.

It’s almost as if, in the new world order where a man of color is in the White House, we must find a new group of citizens to hate. To whom we can deny civil liberties.

In fact, looking down the results, it would appear that it’s not just “as if” – it is a reality.

I don’t get it, and here is where I am going to get a little bit more personal. For me – and for a lot of other people out there, I’m sure – I did not vote for Barack Obama BECAUSE of the color of his skin, although it certainly wasn’t something that took away from the experience, either. I voted for him because, in my mind, he was the best person for the job. There are lots of people out in cyberspace that will wax poetic about all of the ways Barack Obama will be a better president than John McCain might have been, or certainly, how he will be a better president than George W. Bush EVER was; the point I’m trying to make is that it wasn’t about race for me. It wasn’t about race for a lot of people. For me, it was about getting the Republican Party as far away from any decision-making roles so that we could get back to the business of being a normal, respectable, ethical, honorable, country again.

But I teared up watching his acceptance speech – and I certainly wasn’t the only one. I saw a man that had managed to conquer seemingly improbable odds. I was SO PROUD of my country. I was SO PROUD of the millions of Americans that voted for Obama, that CONSIDERED voting for Obama, and I was SO PROUD of the fact that in a country that looked the other way when Brown v. Board was essentially overturned last year, a Black man could become President.

And it started to become a little bit about race.

I have shared on this blog – over and over and over – that we are hoping to adopt a child (or more than one child) to grow our family. That it’s always been our primary plan, and if we are so blessed to have both biological and adopted children, we will be thrilled – but our vision for our family includes both biological and adopted children. And although we may put adoption on hold for ethical and financial reasons, we will make it happen eventually.

If you are very new to our story, you may or may not notice that we started this process last fall with Viet Nam. And you may or may not know the story of Vietnam adoptions, but for the purposes of this discussion, just know that we do not believe that it will be an option for our family in the near or distant future without some dramatic policy changes.

Consider that to be a huge cultural loss for us; I had worked in Viet Nam, learned some of the language, and we went there on vacation to grow our understanding of the country and the culture prior to taking the huge leap to adopt a child. So although we realized that Viet Nam was not going to be an option fairly early on – probably by January or February 2008 – we dragged our feet looking for additional country options.

Here were our options (or, at least the ones we considered seriously): Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Colombia. Marshall Islands. Liberia, Ghana, Haiti.

And those last three – those last three were ones that really caused us pause for thought.

Not because we’re racist.

Because we’re HONEST.

Because this country is not a country of tolerance, love, or acceptance. Because we’re not in the minority population, and we wanted to think very, very, very, very hard about how we’d feel knowing that we moved our child of color away from one country and into another where such intolerance exists.

Because DB works for the FBI, which could force us to move…anywhere. And how does it feel to be a child of color in the Deep South? We don’t know firsthand, but we can imagine that it isn’t awesome. Or maybe it is, and please feel free to enlighten me in the comments.

Because we want to move overseas, and other countries are just as intolerant as we are – perhaps, in some countries, they are moreso.

And although I know that it is a Good Thing for us to be recognizing this now, at the same time, we wanted to be Very Sure that we did as MUCH as we could to ensure that we, as parents, were prepared for parenting a child of color. I spend a lot of time reading things like this site. I listen and watch and read and we try, very hard, to understand what it is like to be a minority in majority culture. How can we affirm and celebrate diversity – in its myriad of manifestations – without becoming obsessed with race?

So sure, watching Barack Obama last night? I thought about race. I thought about what it meant for my country to have a president who had dealt with racism; a president whose children will deal with racism; a president who is showing the world that at least 52% of Americans see past his color to see his skills, qualifications, and gifts. And it made me so, so, so proud.

But what is this, this hate-based legislation? It sickens me.

And it makes me really wonder what on Earth is going on in our country. Can’t we just stop to celebrate ALL human life, without digging around for the next new group to trounce?

Is the feeling of sick superiority really worth it?

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