A few thoughts in the aftermath of the election:
On Tuesday morning, I attended an Election Day prayer breakfast at a large African-American church. I had come into the day with a sense of excitement about the elections, knowing the tremendous responsibility and privilege I had as a citizen, and looking forward to being a part of the democratic process again (in this particular way)–2008 was the first presidential election I’d ever voted in, and I was eager to cast my ballot again.
But being there that morning, I was reminded of the solemnity and seriousness of the situation. The pastor was a man who, in his own lifetime, had known a time when he wasn’t allowed to vote; and the people around me were folks who never thought they’d see someone who looked like them in the Oval Office. It was a time when we came to God and asked that his will would be done, regardless of the outcome of the election, that equality and justice and righteousness would increase.
It gave me a new and refreshing perspective for the rest of the day. Kathy Khang says it well in “It’s Easy to Forget Privilege When It’s Always Been Yours”:
there still are people who have no voice, who have no right to vote, but they are directly impacted by the politicians, referenda, judges, and local officials as well as the “agendas and policies.” As a Christian who is new to the process, it’s a privilege and responsibility I don’t take lightly because it isn’t a given. I’m not American born. We are not post-racial America, and the fact of the matter is the church isn’t either. We are working on it, but we aren’t there.
Also, Angry Asian Man highlights a historic election night for Asian Americans.
And on a related note, I wonder what the future holds for the Republican Party, which was trounced in the polls when it came to minorities (according to exit polls, Obama won 93-6 among African Americans, 73-26 among Asian Americans, and 71-27 among Latinos) and young people (60-36 among 18-24 year olds, 60-38 among 25-29 year olds, and 55-42 among 30-39 year olds). I guess we’ll see in the coming months.
In the meantime, I continue to follow the lead of Oscar Romero, former Archbishop of San Salvador, who said:
I am not with the right or with the left. I am trying to be faithful to the word that the Lord bids me preach, to the message that cannot change, which tells both sides the good they do and the injustices they commit.
Christ and his gospel above all.