Two years ago my family and I rang in the New Year toasting our glasses to the bright future of America with our first African-American president. For months it felt as though all was possible. As a minority, it seemed that perhaps my country truly was living out the ideals of equality and opportunity.
Ringing in 2011 was quite a different experience in my household. Honestly, there wasn’t any ringing, instead a dull white noise. It is as if the symbolic election of President Obama ignited a new found commitment to clinging to the familiarity of those who look the same, sound the same, think the same, and fall into the same salary bracket. Then before my eyes event after event, brick by brick the erosion of equality and opportunity began…
SB1070. The ban on ethnic studies in Tucson Unified School District. HB2732: Retaining third graders who can not read at grade level proficiency. The failure of the DREAM Act. And this week as the Republican Congress took over control, so did the movement to challenge the 14th Amendment and end birthright citizenship.
I’m not quite sure what will come next, but I hold fast to one certainty: unintended consequences always stem from actions that are rooted in hate and ignorance.
So this year, I will raise my glass to hope I can believe in, and a dream worth dreaming.
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