America’s Getting Tan, but We’ve Still Got A Long Way To Go Until We’re All Represented

Let me preface this by saying I’m usually behind the ball, no always.  But I caught the end of VH1’s “The Tanning of America” last night and couldn’t help but go a little googly-eyed. The mini-series is just what you think it is: a look at hip-hop culture and how it’s created the world we live in today: where (as they so aptly display) in a matter of 40 years the black man has gone from “drinking at separate water stations to running the country”.

The full episodes are here:

The Tanning of America

What I loved about the commentary was one extremely important point: it wasn’t that a black man was elected president, but that a generation of single mothers, women, Hispanics, Blacks, young voters, and minorities voted him into office. They frequently turned to clips of Fox News commentators stating ridiculous things like, “the white man is no longer the majority”.


You’ve got to be kidding me.

This is a legitimate fear for the white upper-class.

You can imagine where we can go on this topic, that this is a ridiculous sentiment, that America is the melting pot, that there shouldn’t be concern if the white man is not in charge. But I want to leave that bag-of-worms alone for now, and talk about the issue of representation in this country. Because if Obama’s election proved anything, it’s that the majority of this country is a much different demographic than what we’re led to believe.

Let’s first consider this…what does the typical American Family look like?

We could go into stats, but the best (and one that Early Childhood Education/Head Start latched onto years ago and considers best practice–always ahead of the curve!) and most important definition of a family is:

a grouping of people, working to support each other in a nurturing and caring environment 

That looks very different from the Leave It to Beaver image of yesteryear:

Dad brings home the bacon, Mom cares for the house, and children are smiling and polished.

Families in America look different: “parents” are single moms or dads, moms and dads, moms and moms, dads and dads, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster, adoptive, common-law,  step, co-parenting, and any deviation of that. Children are being raised in households that change the mold. They don’t have a mold, other than what we hope is love.

Households in America look different: the  household is now made up of roommates, best friends, couples, singles, independents, and families.

Relationships in America look different: people come together in marriage, partnerships, relationships, and forms of acceptance of one another. The key to relationships is support and love and the “rules” conventional religion and law gives us just doesn’t apply to the fact that you behave as a family unit, no matter what you’re definition is.

Now that the face of America has changed (and probably not that drastically, we’re just finally able to see the representation of different cultures) it’s time for the face of our leadership to change. 

Do you know of any legislator, on the federal level who has a live-in significant other? Please, leave it in the comments, because I want to know.

Do you know of anyone in the majority who professes an alternative religion or belief system? Again, please leave it in the comments, I need to know.

If, as a nation of the “minority” we elected someone to represent us, tell me why Obama still fits the mold: married, uncontrollably in love, two kids, dogs, and Christian.

Even in our progressiveness we still fit into this mold. Remember when one of the arguments  against his election was that he was a Muslim? BTW—I’ve been to his church, it’s a really great Christian church.

Remember how Mit Romney’s biggest downfall was his allegiance to the Mormon Church?

So, my fellow Americans, I have a dream, that one day our President will be a single mom (or maybe someone without kids?!), who co-parents their adoptive/inseminated/surrogate-born children with her ex-partner, and current girlfriend is a great step-parent. Of course, her race is a beautiful blend we can’t begin to describe (did you see her skin!?) and her children, those blue/green/black/hazel eyes, black/red/blonde hair, and white/brown/red/yellow skin color…dang! 

Maybe then, in these great United States, we might pass some legislation that takes religion out of the equation, that rights will just be available, regardless of familial /relational/religious/economic status.

Maybe then, in these great United States, something might get done. 


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