Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PostHeaderIcon Red, White and Rainbow Hued

One of the words that gets thrown around a great deal about the Obama nomination is "history" -- and this is true.

CNN happened to have some of their convention statistics on the screen -- namely the percentage of LGBT delegates -- when Michelle Obama said:

"It's the story of men and women gathered in churches and union halls and high school gyms -- people who stood up and marched and risked everything they had -- refusing to settle, determined to mold our future into the shape of our ideals.
It is because of their will and determination that this week, we celebrate two anniversaries: the 88th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, and the 45th anniversary of that hot summer day when Dr. King lifted our sights and our hearts with his dream for our nation."

I had to think about whether or not these convention-goers would know about or remember the contributions of Bayard Rustin, an openly gay black man in an extremely homophobic time -- without whom, the "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington might never have happened.

I also wondered if they gave any thought to who wrote the lyrics to "America the Beautiful" -- namely, Katherine Lee Bates -- a Wellesley College professor who lived with her "Wellesley wife" as "one soul together" for more than 25 years.

It's nice to know that the current sweep of political history has more than a bit of rainbow hue to it.

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