I was watching election night coverage on CNN the other night and will.i.am came on from Grant Park in Chicago – not by a remote camera location. No, that’s soooo 20th century. For the first time on television (that I know of) an interview was broadcast using a hologram. Watch the video below:
Archive for November, 2008
With the election of the first African American president, Barack Obama, America won in last night’s election. Not only will he be the first black president, he will also be the first Democrat to win a majority of the popular vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976. With not all of the vote yet counted, Obama stands at 52% to 46% for John McCain. After eight years of enduring the worst presidency in United States history, thank God hope and change beat hate and fear.
We have a lot to celebrate from yesterday’s results, and a lot to be disappointed about as well. The election of Barack Obama as president confirms that we, as a nation, have come a long way since the civil rights movement that gave African Americans voting protections, ended segregation in the South and punished those that commit hate crimes.
While the Civil War was won nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, the electoral map of 2008 vividly displays the divide between North and South. Yet for the first time since 1964, the state of Indiana joined its Midwestern neighbors in backing a Democrat for president. This is astounding in itself, as Obama managed to win heavily white rural counties, including those in Southern Indiana, which were once a hotbed of KKK activity. But it was the counties that include South Bend, Lafayette, Bloomington, Gary and Indianapolis that delivered 15%+ victories to help Obama win a state that George W. Bush carried by 21% in 2004.
He also won in the Southern states of Virginia, which like Indiana has not voted for a Democrat since 1964, North Carolina and Florida. The growth of these states in recent years has brought young professionals from all over the country to seek jobs and a new way of life in cities like Richmond, Charlotte, Orlando and Tampa Bay. Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi were the closest that they have been since 1996. The “Solid South” in the next few years will begin to be seeing a little more blue.
At the same time as Americans celebrated the election of the first black president, a new class of citizens came under assault. Gay Americans suffered major setbacks as discrimination was written into the constitutions of Arizona, California and Florida. Proposition 8 in California, which passed 52% to 48%, will reverse the California Supreme Court decision earlier this year that legalized gay marriage in the state. With the help of a massive effort from the Mormon Church, who literally flooded the state with volunteers to pass Proposition 8, Californians singled out a class of their fellow citizens as second class by revoking their right to legally marry.
For those that voted for Proposition 8 and others like it, how does a gay person’s marriage affect you? Proponents of banning gay marriage claimed that society would go into chaos, yet that hasn’t exactly happened in Massachusetts, California, Canada or European countries where gay marriage is legalized. The argument against gay marriage is based in religious doctrine and has no place in determining our laws.
For those of you that find yourself on the fence or are confused about the issue, let me explain something that is vitally important for you to know: legalizing gay marriage DOES NOT mean that your church will have to perform gay weddings. It would be unconstitutional for the state to tell a church what they have to do. The question here is whether a gay couple has the legal right, under state law, to civil marriage. If you picture in your head a ceremony and then picture going to the courthouse for a wedding license, the only thing that is affected is the piece of paper that you receive from the state. Gay marriage guarantees equal rights under the law for gay couples. It does not mean that churches will have to perform the wedding ceremony.
The fact that a simple majority can alter the constitution of a state to embed hateful and discriminatory policies towards one group of Americans should be alarming to everyone. I am a strong advocate for your right to practice religion as you want. But that does not give anyone the right to tell me that I can not marry the person that I love. For America, November 4, 2008 will be a day that one group of Americans took a step forward and another group took a step back. The hopes and dreams of a nation now ride on the actions of a newly elected president and Congress that are more sympathetic to the needs of its people than the Republicans and George Bush.