This weekend it struck me:
My daughter, who is just a year old, will never know a world where there hasn’t been a woman in the White House. And until the age of 41, I’ve never known a world where there has.
My kids will never live in a country where there hasn’t been a Black man as our President – my oldest son was born in the Obama years. The idea that a man or a woman (and not only a white person!) can hold the highest offices of the land will be part of their background worldview.
Whatever your politics are, this is really something.
Our country has a lot of work to do around race, that’s for sure. But when my parents were kids, schools were still legally segregated. As a child I couldn’t imagine segregation being legal. It seemed impossible that the world was ever that way.
As much as I couldn’t imagine legalized segregation, as a child I also never questioned why every occupant of the White House – for the entire history of our country – has been a white man. It didn’t seem odd to me as a kid – it just seemed like a fact. Like it’s a fact that we breathe oxygen. It’s just the way things were.
It didn’t occur to me to question why that was; not until I was much older.
But for our kids, it will be different.
As they grow up, they won’t question whether it’s possible for a woman or a Black person to be in the Oval office. By the time they are adults, it might not seem notable that the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants could be Vice President of the United States.
In fact, it will probably seem strange to them that such a thing wasn’t always a possibility.
Our country has so many problems plaguing it. Those problems, too, will be a backdrop to childhood for my young kids. But the other backdrop will be one of increasing opportunities, and of broken glass ceilings.
And that’s a backdrop I’m grateful for.
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