Yesterday’s Inauguration of President Obama was stirring on many levels. First to see the transfer of power calmly and the oath of office administered by the Supreme Court Justices is an inspiring moment. Around the world people hunger for this kind of civil and democratic process. As the Arab Spring continues to struggle with Democracy and as Syria is a place of bloodshed and civil war as Mali and the Congo are ruled by militia, and other countries around the world can only dream of this kind of peace and this kind of government by the people, we ought to be heartened as Americans. Even with our flaws and bitter elections and even our gridlock that seems to haunt the halls of Congress the symbols of our Republic that were on full view yesterday continue to inspire hope that we can overcome our differences.
Also inspiring was the inclusion on display at yesterday’s Inauguration. For the first time in my life I felt my whole self present. President Obama’s acknowledgement of the struggles of the LGBT civil rights movement affirmed what I have long worked for. The struggle for LGBT people to be fully included into society and offered the same rights and responsibilities as all its citizens including the right to form our families and protect them is no less important that Women’s Suffrage or the dignity and freedom of the African- American civil rights struggle.
Inclusion also means acknowledging those who are poor not just the wealthy who financed the campaigns. And President Obama did so. He acknowledged those whose children are differently-abled and included all! And those who long to yet become part of America-those whose have come to this country and have yet to be a part of it!
But President Obama didn’t stop there. He acknowledge that America is diverse in ethnic heritage and it was on display in the Inauguration Parade as a Chinese – American Ethnic dancers, Mexican-American Mariachis, Native American marchers participated midst the military troops and marching bands.
This is an America that I am a part of. This is the kind of America I want to be a part of. I hope we won’t get bogged down again but can indeed find a way to help lift up all those who are a part of the fabric of America.