Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reflections on the Opening Night of the DNC!

By Shonda Renee

 This evening, after a week of the RNC, I felt like I had returned home from a week-long trip abroad in some foreign land where nobody spoke to me. At home, tonight, people spoke to me. Cory Booker spoke to me, Lilly Ledbetter spoke to me, Deval Patrick spoke to me, Julian Castro spoke to me, and Michelle Obama spoke to me and many more. Not to mention, watching the sea of American faces of all colors in the audience, made me shout out loud “Now THAT’s the America I know!”

Tonight we heard a mother’s testimony to the benefits of ObamaCare that is helping her provide medical care for her sick child. Fortunate for me, all of my children are healthy and I’ve never had to deal with any long-term illness problems with them. But as a mom, my heart goes out to her for having to go through that, and a few dollars from my taxes that could help in anyway is no skin off my back.

We also heard from the spectacular Lilly Ledbetter, who brought home the fact that, here in America, women are still seen as being of less value than men. This is evidenced by the fact that women make $.77 for every dollar a man makes, and if you are African American, as I am, or Hispanic, it’s even worse. I know I’ve been a victim of this practice, and I am glad that the first piece of legislation President Obama signed into order was the Lilly Ledbetter Act which improved the ability for women to pursue legal recourse by extending the time allowed to file charges against offending employers.

We heard great speakers make the case for reelecting President Obama in order to continue moving forward as a country. The Twittersphere was ablaze with praise for the firey Deval Patrick and we were humbled and touched by Julian Castro’s story of true American exceptionalism through adversity and never forgetting from whence one came. He talked of the core reason I favor the Democratic party, the fact that we all do not have access to the same resources. Mitt Romney’s and the GOP's platform was made clear when Castro spoke about Romney’s advice to a group of Ohio University students: “’Start a business,’ he said. But how? ‘Borrow money if you have to from your parents,’ he told them. Gee -- why didn't I think of that?” It was a dig at Romney, yeah, but it was a dig with a truth stick. Mitt Romney is just plain out of touch.

The most exciting part of the evening, was our First Lady, Michelle Obama. The FLOTUS eloquently spoke of her family and their life before the white house. She spoke of her love for her husband and her realization that “Being President does not change who you are but reveals who you are.” She was as brilliant and beautiful as always.

I may be euphoric at the moment, but I am tempering myself by realizing that we have 61 days till election day.  Those days include two more days of this stunning convention along with the much anticipated debates in the next few weeks ahead. It is going to be a wild ride to November 6th, but I’m ready for it, and will often return to my memories of this evening, when Republican rhetoric start to weigh too heavily on my soul.

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