A New America

By Megan Izen Jun 04, 2008

I’m a realist, not to be confused with a pessimist. I’m not sitting around hoping and waiting for bad things to happen, they do. Millions of kids of color don’t have health care and suffer disproportionately from diseases like diabetes or childhood obesity. They don’t have books to read in school or pens and paper to write with. Millions of Black and Brown men and women sit in jail cells because of decades of the “war on drugs.” Thousands upon thousands of immigrants are ripped from their homes , jobs and even places of worship every year, destroying countless families, all in the name of the “war on terror.” This is the society both Democratic nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain have promised to repair. So to the millions of voters who came out to make history in myriad ways, I can only hope that we recognize the fight for racial justice is far from over. I, too, was compelled by the message of a different future, by hope. But hope won’t guarantee a regime change will make good on its promises. It’s time to hold politicians accountable to the communities. Keep their phones ringing, mailboxes and email accounts full, with our demands. We won’t wait any longer for this country’s children have health care and a quality education. We can’t afford to watch in silence as families are torn apart by inhumane criminal justice and immigration systems. Now is the time for this so-called Generation Change to act. These primaries have engaged millions of new voters. We need to mobilize the multiracial constituency that voted for hope, voted for change, to ensure that this development actually leads to real gains in racial equity for all. If we don’t, we can expect more of the same for the next four years. No matter who is in the White House come January, I’m ready for a new America, are you?