Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration thoughts (I promise to be brief)

Having come from a homeschooling family where everything is a "teaching moment", especially moments like the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, or Clinton's inauguration, or the Olympics, I couldn't in good conscience ignore the news yesterday. So I called Moses - the oldest, age four - and began to explain to him in a haphazard way why what we were watching was important. To begin with the positive, I said that this was the first black man ever elected as president (you know, the important man who tells everyone what to do). This is a big deal, I said, because all of the other presidents have been white.
Suddenly I realized that my "positive" was introducing my son to a very negative concept - that skin color matters. If we have any chance at being a "post-racial" country then I think that we need to protect our children from this "historical moment" - just let them think that it's perfectly normal and expected that a black man can rise to the highest office in the country.
Not to mention that then I had to, much to my own sadness, explain why we can not be perfectly happy with this particular man - black, white or blue. I certainly did not give the 4-year-old details but it broke my heart a little bit to have to begin to introduce to him the concepts of hate and selfishness that run so deep in the human heart - through both racism and abortion.
Now it's off the the March for Life. And so begins Moses' introduction to "the morally defining issue of his generation," as my father puts it. Race defined the moral-battle for the country two generations ago and yesterday we witnessed a major victory in that battle - now the battle ground lies in the protection of the unborn. God bless America.

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