Obama Gives Us a Foot in the Door

(Originally posted at Daily Kos.)

The historic election of Barack Obama is groundbreaking for a host of reasons, not least of which is the illustration it provides of the status of race in the United States in 2008. The election of an African American is stunning considering the tragic history of race in this country. After all, despite the enactment of the 15th Amendment in 1870 which prohibited racial discrimination in voting, it was still necessary to pass the Voting Rights Act in 1965 in order to address the wholesale disenfranchisement of black voters which occurred despite the specific protections promised by the Constitution nearly a century before. So recent was this broad denial of voting opportunity that a significant number of people casting their votes in support of Obama were earlier precluded from voting entirely on the basis of their race.

Nor is voting the only area in which we have witnessed enormous changes. As commentators have pointed out, Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws had not yet been struck down at the time Barack Obama was born. Given that history, it is truly extraordinary that Obama carried a state in which his parents, had they elected to live there, would have been considered criminals solely by virtue of their being married and of different races

Obama's election therefore represents a milestone in this country's battle against discrimination. It is a victory not only for persons of color but for all Americans. Indeed, one of the most striking things about the election was seeing a crowd of Obama supporters which included people of every race and ethnicity, every age and every economic level. This inclusiveness bodes well for the nation's future.

In the days ahead, much of Obama's success will depend upon his ability to carry that inclusiveness forward in order to assure that all citizens enjoy equal opportunities — both for their own benefit and the benefit of the country as a whole.

Much of the work of the ACLU, and its Racial Justice Program in particular, has concentrated on trying to assure that the promise of equality and opportunity exemplified by Obama's election is extended to all Americans. Examples of this are many. In the area of voting, one of Obama's greatest achievements was to inspire and encourage the broadest possible participation in the electoral process. Likewise, the ACLU's efforts to restore the opportunity to vote to persons convicted of crimes who have discharged their debt to society by completing their sentences is an attempt to make it possible for those people to become productive participants in democratic society.

Obama's path to the presidency is the result in large part of his taking full advantage of educational opportunities provided to him. Much of the ACLU's work seeks to make opportunities available to all children regardless of race or ethnicity or economic status through the removal of barriers which unfairly impede the progress of many students. Through its work attempting to increase graduation rates, reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation, address inequity in educational resources and attempting to assure safety in schools while keeping children in classrooms and out of the criminal justice system, we hope to provide all students with the opportunity to realize their potential and become contributors to society as a whole.

Through its work combating racial and ethnic profiling and its efforts to assure fairness in the criminal justice system, the ACLU seeks to restore public confidence in the law enforcement and criminal justice system in much the same way that the recent election re-affirmed the democratic process and helped restore the perception of the integrity of the process to people in this country and abroad.

A number of observers, including Sen. John McCain in his concession speech, described Obama's success as a sign that we as a nation have overcome our unfortunate racial history. Despite the remarkable advance which Obama's success represents, far too many people remain hampered by unequal opportunities for us to declare final victory over inequality. But progress is undeniable and the path we must pursue to assure that all Americans enjoy the opportunity to realize their potential as individuals and citizens is clear. Having seen Barack Obama pass through the door of opportunity, it would be tragic to permit it to close for so many others.

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As a senior enlisted member of the United States Navy and a life long republican I am one of your more unlikely Obama supporters, however, to put it mildly, I have crossed party lines, nay, jumped party lines with arms wide open to embrace this man who can lead our country and the world into the future. Hail to the Chief!


MR. ROMERO. I received your letter asking me to join and fill out a survey. But after reading it , I don't agree that you do enough to defend our CONSTITUTION. I'm sure you are aware of the LAWSUIT in PA where PHILLIP BERG is claiming that OBAMA is not elegible to be PRESIDENT because he is not a natural citizen. There are MILLIONS of AMERICANS that support this. BERG has asked OBAMA to produce a BIRTH CERTIFICATE, which he nor his staff will do. He did present a COLB which forensic experts say is a forgery. This we consider will be the biggest HOAX that our country has ever seen. It was dismissed from the CIRCUT court and BERG is now taking it to the SUPREME COURT, but we all know it will go nowhere ,because of the power of corruption. If you go to OBAMACRIMES.com you will see all the documents that BERG has and filed. We must uphold THE CONSTITUTION or give up our FREEDOM.


While Obama, and everyone else, get to celebrate and enjoy the glow of the moment, my son, who is a black man, was called the "n" word at work today, because the white rednecks that make up the company, were angry to have a black president. The man who called my son this name and humiliated him, yelled it in front of other workers, and was upper mananagement in the company. I suspect my son will get fired, because he is the only black man in the company, and it is predictable that this upper management person will see to it. I recommended that my son submit a letter to human resources, describing the incident. I'm sure they will do nothing.
What are my son's rights? What can my son do to legally arm himself if they fire him? He can't afford a lawyer. He's barely surviving now. If they fire him, he will be devasted financially. He only makes $13/hr, and works at the Westport Shipyard, where they make luxury yachts. He has been an employee there for 3 years.
My son is a hard worker, a nice person, a fantastic, responsible single father, and is just trying to collect a paycheck like everyone else. He is upset and hurt. Now he is scared that he will lose his job, because of angry racists that resent Obama.
Please advise.


Melissa, you should look into your state's human relations and non-discrimination laws. In the state where I live, we have a law on the books that would prevent your son from being fired.

Heart of God

I am thrilled to have a black president elect!!! However, I am so sad that this same man is for abortion. Will someone please tell me...What is the difference between lynching a black man or aborting one? Do not both leave us with a black man? Please work to end the genocide against blacks by working to end abortion on demand, or what progress we've made in the political office, does little to help the fate of millions of black men yet unborn.

From the heart of Christ


call it something else, NOT MARRIAGE cause it just aint!!
USB made it to the diccionary, so think up of another word that specifies a same sex union, and not try to camoflague it, i mean if you want to get out of the closet do it, get out, but dont hide behind marriage =)



Try contacting and looking into weather a nonprofit organization, such as the ACLU whose blog your on, can provide your son with legal help for free or at a reduced price. It seems to be a clear-cut case: he was the only black employee, was called a racial slur by upper management, and is likely to be fired soon after it. He may also be legally protected against various types of discrimination in the workplace based on his race. Smart managers would discriminate more subtly and thus be a lot harder to fight. Don't let them get away with this. That said, the company will be looking for any excuse to fire your son based on something else, so he should probably start looking for another job.

Kenneth R Calfo Sr

take me off your list,
i dont want to read any more about fags, being husban & wife. they are just dam queers,

Lorrayne Donnell

I rate Pes Obama F- for his achievements

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