Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Changing Face of the United States

As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, for the past five months I have been heavily involved with my co-editors and co-authors in the writing and editing of five books – two self-help books and three textbooks. I am delighted to tell you that all publishers’ deadlines have been met thus far and four of the five books should be out and available within the next four to six weeks. As soon as they are, I will be sure to let you know.

Unfortunately, my non-teaching time has been understandably devoted to these five books and thus I have been somewhat remiss and behind on posting Posts on my blog. Nonetheless, as soon as these four of my five books are out the door and off my plate, I again will return to posting Posts on a regular weekly basis. This past week, however, I had a powerful, personal experience that I had not predicted and quickly want to share it with you.

On numerous occasions this past Tuesday night as I was watching the election results (way into the night), I had tears in my eyes. The results and especially the speeches by Senator Obama and Senator McCain ushered back many memories – I vividly recall when an African-American woman, Rosa Parks, wasn’t allowed on a city bus, the landmark Brown versus the Board of Education case, Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 Lincoln Memorial speech, and among other galvanizing recollections seeing helmeted Chicago police officers on horseback hitting demonstrating citizens at the 1968 Democratic Convention with their nightsticks. Then it struck me – cognitively as well as emotionally: the face of United States is no longer that of an economically comfortable Caucasian male with graying hair… the face of the United States is a collage of young and old, male and female, white-, African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans (among others) struggling to make ends meet.

Personally, I embrace and welcome and am genuinely excited by this change; moreover, I am enjoying a strong sense of optimism regarding our future. And while the light at the end of the tunnel may be a while in coming, I also believe that as a society we will slowly move from our somewhat still existent, self-centered “me-ism” and collectively demonstrate a genuine sense of “we-ism” – all of which will further reveal the melting-pot essence of our country.

Question: What do you think and how do you feel about the changing face of the United States?



Anonymous said...

Dear Bill,

I believe you articulated very well what the country is feeling and thus the results of this election.

No longer can we exist and prosper with the attitude of the past administration and for the most part that of the Republican Party. The cowboy, hard headed, bar none approach that the Bush Administration has taken over the last 8 years, what looked like a McCann Administration would have taken and the turmoil of what Sarah Palin is spewing in hopes of being the 2012 Republican candidate, has to end.

I believe as I think you do that electing Obama has more to do with his intellect, his ability to govern under pressure and keep a positive attitude, rather than Obama being a black man. The fact that he is black is like saying Kennedy was Catholic. In the end it doesn’t matter, what matters is the vision and the ability to move this country forward, working with all world leaders.


Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hello Doug,

Thank you for your Comment and sharing your experiences and thoughts. And while intended my Post to address socio/economic-cultural change issues (vis-à-vis political issues), I have to admit that I tend to agree with your observations.

I have been around long enough to vividly recall what was going on in our country during the Kennedy years – in many ways, John Kennedy was the kind of leader our country needed at that time, and for many of the reasons you surface I believe that Barack Obama is the kind of leader our country needs now. I have numerous friends who feel very uncomfortable with (and to some extend threatened by) the socio-cultural changes that have occurred over the past few years and the changes that probably will occur over the next few. Nonetheless, as I said in my Post, I welcome and embrace them – we will be a stronger nation for them. “Our strength is in our differences…”

Otra vez, nuevamente… gracias mi amigo,


Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that there are still many skeptics that expect Obama to fail just because of his skin color. The wonderful thing is that he has an opportunity to prove them wrong and truly validate the fact that all of us are truly equal. A few years ago, we Macon, GA elected our first black mayor in history. It could have been a very positive thing for race relations in Middle Georgia. Unfortunately, he was a terrible mayor whose term was lired in scandal and corruption and allowed the skeptics to say "we told you so".

I think Barack Obama will do the opposite. I think he will not only be a good President but will unite our country in a way few others could. He will do some wonderful things as well as make mistakes. As long as we do not exagerate either end of the spectrum, our country will be the better for it.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hello again Maconole – always glad to have you visit and offer your typical insightful observations and considerations.

As I had said to Doug yesterday, my goal was not to make a political statement. Yet I suspect that it is hard to offer the observations I offered in my Post without surfacing the political aspects of recent events.

Since the election, in person I have heard numerous comments such as yours. As we look back over our shoulders, it is easy to put a spin on anything that has occurred. No President can ever avoid making some mistakes – it’s the size and impact of them that matters. I trust, nonetheless, that in his role as our President, Barack Obama will make mistakes that will not cost us billions of dollars and many lives in our military.

Logic also will to play some role as time ensues and our next President’s performance is reported. For example, correlational data and cause-effect data are two separate things – some people will attribute “good things” to our Presidents (be it Busch or Obama) and others will attribute “bad things” to our Presidents (be it Busch or Obama). Nonetheless, I totally agree with a staunch Republican friend of mine at my gym who said to me last night, “While I didn’t vote for Obama, I will do whatever I can to support him and I truly hope he is an excellent President and does great things – he’ll be my president, and I and my country will be the benefactors of what he accomplishes or doesn’t accomplish.”

All of that said, I for sure agree with you that our country needs coalescing and that Barak Obama will unite us in ways few other could. I also hope, moreover, that uniting us will be only one of his many accomplishments.

Thanks again for the visit!


Mostly Happy Thoughts said...

From a Canadian perspective, I do not know anyone that is not happy with the election results. I think people were more excited about the US election than our own federal election last month.... Everyone I know was cheering on Obama!!! I believe this is a very positive step forward...

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hello MHT,

Glad to see you... it's been awhile.

Thanks so much for sharing the Canadian perspective, and "Yes, it was a very important election -- and not only for the United States."

In two months, Barack Obama will be our new President, and he indeed has many daunting challenges facing him. It is comforting, nonetheless, to know that he is being seen in a favorable (and as you say "exciting") light in the eyes of our friends to the north.

Thanks again, MHT, and I hope down the road Americans and Canadians can jointly rejoice in many accomplishments beginning in January!


DH said...

This is difficult for me. I did not support Barack Obama in the election process. I do not share his beliefs. However, as I watched the results come touched my heart, because of how significant the results are in history. I had tears in my eyes as I realized the struggle that people go through as a result of prejudice and discrimination. I had to weigh the good and bad. Even though I think his beliefs may lead to disaster in many ways...I believe it is more important to have "everyone on board" and as citizens of our country, I do not want anyone to feel oppressed. Unity among us is so much more important... DH

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hello DH – great to hear from you.

I hear you – he indeed was a candidate with whom many people had difficulty feeling comfortable. I also sense that there’s no one and only solution to the multitude of problems we are facing, but if we can at least work together and reduce some of the divisiveness among us we certainly will have a much better chance of getting through our troubling times.

Thanks again… you know you’re welcomed back any time!


Harley Davidson said...

Well..nice blog!... thanx for sharing... very informative...

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Thank you!