Much of the post-election analysis overflowing the airwaves, newspapers and internet has to do with how the demographics of the United States have shifted. The change away from decisive political dominance by white people was underway long before the first Obama election in 2008. Since, it has accelerated. All signs are that the change will continue. Still, it is hard for many to accept, as a fact of evolving democracy, the shifting makeup of the population in our free land of immigrants and their descendants. I thought about that as I read, watched and listened to the news and the pundits and remembered an anecdote posted on Rifftides four years ago. It may still have relevance. I wish that it had less.
After The Election
November 5, 2008 By Doug Ramsey
When I was in college and involved in the jazz community in Seattle, I helped to arrange a concert in my home town. Some of the musicians who traveled to the interior of the state to perform in that conservative agricultural community were black. One of my closest childhood friends came to the concert. Afterward, I took him to a party for the musicians. In the course of the socializing, I danced with a newer friend, the pianist Patti Bown. When I returned to the table, my old buddy told me, with considerable heat, that he was ashamed I had touched a black woman, although that was not the term he used to describe her.
I had not thought about that evening in decades. It came back to me last night as I listened to the next president of the United States speak to the world. I hope that my friend was watching, too.