We…are the “somehow”.
The hope and change we want takes time to achieve. We need look no further than my parents’ generation to remind myself how long.
A recent decision by the California Democratic Party to upend a local Delegate Election is something that barely made the papers in town, much less America. But it came with an awful reminder, to a local group of people, of where they stand in some politicians’ eyes.
The locale I was talking about is Glendale, California, and the group are Armenian-Americans.
In 2012, as local Armenian-Americans showed up at the polls to vote, they found a goodly number, all with Armenian sounding surnames, having the validity of their registrations challenged at the ballot box. This was not happening at the whim of a Republican, but at the hands of a member of their own party, their elected Assemblyman Mike Gatto.
A lot of Armenian-Americans have never forgiven Mr. Gatto for this tactic. I can’t say that I blame them.
He made things worse, by making sure it happened again in 2015. This time as a slate of mostly Armenian-American Delegates had their election overturned under questionable circumstances by Mr. Gatto’s friends in the State Party.
I was one of those delegates. I’m not Armenian-American, I’m African-American. And I know exactly how they feel.
After the party had told us our fate, one of my compatriots said something to me that has stuck all these weeks later.
“I’m just so sick of being treated like a second class citizen”.
Lord did that strike a chord.
There was a mixture of pain, sadness, and anger in her voice, but…the fury was muted. It wasn’t so much a cry for vengeance, as it was a sad realization.
“We have to go through this again?”
That hurt. It hurt me, and I wasn’t living that moment the same way she was.
But I remember.
One of Martin Luther King’s most famous quotes is “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” The quote is from a speech Dr. King gave in 1965 right here in town at Temple Israel of Hollywood. What’s…