This screenshot from Oregonlive.com juxtaposing those celebrating and those protesting based on the election results is telling.

I am a man who looks white. I am I guess. My father isn't. My mother isn't really either. My Grandmother on my mother's side was Chippewa, Assiniboine and Cree from Montana. She grew up in a dirt floor house in a time when it wasn't popular to be Native American. She was very fair skin and could pass as white. When she married a Norwegian carpenter from North Dakota her children all looked like any other average white american.

My father looks like a man of color. He has curly black hair and brown skin. His father was from the Phillippines. My grandfather on my father's side immigrated to Washington state in the 1940s after serving for the Navy in WW2. He joined the Navy as a cook after Japanese soldiers burned down his village. When he was working in Yakima as a field hand his dirt floor house was lit on fire and when he ran outside to escape the flames a crowd of white men threw rocks at him. He married a white woman of English and French heritage and their children all had beautiful black hair and tan skin. Their children could not pass as white. They have each in turn been discriminated against in big and small fashions their entire lives.

I look white. When people look at me they have no idea who I am. Where I come from. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. People assume things about everyone. Wether intentionally or not. I have had horrible things said in front of me as though I were a co-conspirator or a fellow believer of some rascisct or sexist belief. When I was younger I got into fist fights over rascism not even directed toward me. It was foolish. But I cannot stand to hear someone confidently deride someone over the color of their skin.

We each in turn are sharing the burden of life. Of work. Of family. Of worry for the future. To assume anything about anyone solely by the color of their skin is in my mind a relic of a terrible past. We are lucky now to live in a time when a man of color has held office of President of the United States. The frame work for equality has been built and we are pushing towards what I can only hope will be a truly colorblind future. Rascism and sexism are however an ongoing problem. I'm not saying that Hillary Clinton was the right choice for democratic presidential nominee, but I wonder how many votes were influenced not by political stance but by sex. There are people out there who do not trust a woman to be president. I know this because I had someone say something to me casually and in jest about her ability to maintain emotionally level despite being a woman. This happened here in Portland.

Racism and sexism are and most likely will continue to be problems but the solution is not to retaliate against each other as that will only further divide an already tumultuous people. What we need is mutual respect. To allow each other to try and live their lives in dignity as they explore their own potential without interference from an outside party.

We have come so very far, but we still have a long way to go.

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