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Voices of Trinity: Obama Election Part V


A few additional comments from members of the Trinity community offering observations on last week’s election.

View some video comments on the election by clicking on this link:


Dr. Diane Forbes-Berthoud of the Communication Program urges everyone in the Trinity community to read about Nelson Mandela’s 8 Lessons of Leadership published in Time magazine.

Paromila P. Gailan is a graduate student in the Early Childhood Education Program:

“I’m an Indian citizen residing in the U.S. for 6 years now. I never voted because I simply can’t. When I went home from school last night, I turned on the T.V. and watched ABC News. I wanted to find out the election results. I stayed until 11 pm because I wanted to see for myself who will win. When Charles Gibson announced that Barrack Obama is the 44th president, I felt bad because I felt I didn’t make any difference. I felt so excluded because what I’ve noticed in the past elections was that Asian votes didn’t matter They only talk about the white, black and latino votes. But what about Asians? Don’t we have a voice? Is Barrack Obama a president only for the black community? I was so dissapointed when Hillary Clinton didn’t get the nomination because she’s the only one I can identify with being the only woman in the race. When I watched the primaries, I came to conclude that America doesn’t want a woman to succeed. I was dissapointed that she was a victim of sexism and I felt her pain. When will the time come when I will win this election? When will the time come that my voice will be heard? Congratulations to Mr. Obama and I hope that everything will change for the better. To Sen. McCain, he ran a great campaign. He placed the country first in times of need and he has scars to prove it. I wish him luck. For once, I cried over the election results.”

Samuel Aronson of Enrollment Services offers this perspective on other dimensions of the November 4 election:

“All of America and all Americans deserve to widely celebrate the election of Senator Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.  This election is truly historic; the elevation of Senator Obama to the Presidency heralds a new age of tolerance.  Our pride is deserved because, in the space of 50 years, America has moved from a nation with legalized segregation and Jim Crow to a nation where an African-American has just been elected president.  That is historic.  What was not historic was when this election, replete with hope and promise for a new hate-free America, also saw three more states overwhelmingly affirm bigotry and discrimination in the form of anti-GLBT ballot initiatives.

“Alabama, in a measure overtly aimed at gay couples, has barred unmarried people from adopting children.  Florida and California, both states that voted for Obama, passed measures to prevent same-sex couples from marrying one-another.  In California, 6.2 million Americans voted for Barack Obama.  That accounted for 61% of the California electorate.  52.2% of Californian’s also voted in favor of a Constitutional Amendment discriminating against the 18,000 same-sex couples who have already married, and the countless gay Californian’s who want nothing more then the right to visit their sick partners in the hospital, adopt children, and publically proclaim their love for one another.

“I live in Northern Virginia and commute to Trinity every day.  Forty-one years ago, two Virginians fell in love with one another and were married in the District of Columbia.  They exchanged vows in DC not because they wanted a lavish ceremony at the St. Regis; no, Mildred and Richard Loving were married in a humble civil ceremony in DC because Mildred was black and Richard was white and Virginia legally prohibited inter-racial couples from getting married.  Mr. & Mrs. Loving eventually sued the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court unanimously decided that interracial marriage did not threaten the sanctity of marriage, it would not destroy American families and it would not threaten anyone else’s family.  Forty-one years ago, that decision was not very popular in much of Virginia or the score of other states that prohibited inter-racial marriage.  Today, we take for granted the right that Mildred and Richard Loving had to fight for.  We take it so much for granted that we are willing to enact the exact same bigoted laws, supported by the same bigoted arguments, targeted at a new group.

“I was honored to donate to, campaign for and vote for Senator Barack Obama, which is why I feel so confused right now.  I enthusiastically celebrated Tuesday’s victory, and mournfully lamented Wednesday’s defeat in California.  I am not surprised that Alabama voted to bar loving, willing men and women from adopting children, providing them with a good home and reducing the burden on the State’s foster care system.  However, I am shocked and saddened by the millions of men and women in California and Florida who, imbued with a sense of history, inspiration and American potential, chose to cast one vote for freedom, hope and unity, and another vote for bigotry, discrimination and division.

“I am confident that Mildred Loving would have been filled with pride knowing that an African-American has been elected President, only 41 years after her own victory for civil rights.  I am equally confident that she would be terribly disappointed to know that marriage discrimination is still alive and well in America, 41 years after she won the right to marry the man of her dreams in all 50 states.  I hope that right will, one day, be granted to me.”

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: