It’s official. My mom was right.

I’m just never happy.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – S. and I did a joyous dance in the living room last as we watched Granholm cruise to victory – high fives and hugs and kisses all around.  More of the same as we watched the House (and maybe…maybe…the Senate) grow more blue than red.  Nancy Pelosi’s new position thrills us, and Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation? Why, we called one another at work, and co-workers shouted the wondrous news down hallways. Finally, finally, we democrats managed to get off our collective asses and Make!A!Difference!

And all of that is good. It’s very, very good. But perhaps (just in case you think I’m complaining unjustifiably) you missed the fact that residents of Michigan voted overwhelmingly in favor of banning affirmative action in the state.  And voted in favor of banning the hunting of doves.

As two women put it in the ride up the elevator this morning, “folks in this state care more about birds than if you and I have a job.”  Michigan is already one of the most racially divided states in the country, and in voting to ban affirmative action residents have proven to the rest of the world just how backwards and unintelligent we can be.  We move farther and farther away from Detroit, driving longer and longer commutes just so we don’t have to share a city with black people.  We argue that the whole reason we don’t get jobs, or into the university of our choice, or small business loans, is because black people are receiving them instead, disregarding the fact Oakland County is the 4th wealthiest county in the country and our particular woes stem from bad management by the unions.  Meanwhile, we build bigger and bigger houses further and further away from our city base, taking up valuable land (in some cases, wetlands) and grow all self-riteous over protecting the mourning dove from those evil hunters, even though the dove population is over-plentiful. 

Don’t get me wrong. So much of the elections last night turned out beautifully, and I am so thankful Granholm and the great people of Michigan bitch-slapped that arrogant, hideous west-side cretin, but I still find it hard to believe I live in a state that is actively banning affirmative action, refusing to pass money for the shoddy school systems and worries about doves more than wetlands.  If it weren’t for such beautiful posts by Emily  and Bloglily, discussing their different religious beliefs,  I would feel like fleeing.  But Emily pointed out a beautiful point on her blog (this regarding church), stating that she and her husband will stay with their church despite its ban on gay marriage because the institution demands people like them stay and fight for change. I know it’s silly, but I’m drawing a parallel between her experience and mine…there’s no point is being any more dramatic about this ban. There’s no point in claimign embarrassment and disallusionment. What I need to do, as a resident of the state I care about, is join the fight the University of Michigan has already sworn will be waged, and work as an instrument of change against an amendment I don’t believe in.

But. Before I get all quiet and determined, let me say this:

If I hear anymore whiny white boys claim they didn’t get into college, or get the job they want, because a woman/black person/Indian got the job instead, I might have pull a Granholm on you.  You didn’t get into the University of Michigan because you simply weren’t competitive enough. You didn’t get the job you wanted because you simply weren’t competitive enough.  While affirmative action may give some races and our gender a small advantage, it’s not the *only* thing. And you should know better. And no, we haven’t made up for slavery yet, by they way. We probably never will.

Okay. Dignified, quiet, conduit of change Courtney is officially in effect. Although, she’ll be out of town at a literary conference for the next few days, so posting will resume on Sunday. And hopefully, she’ll be done talking about herself in the third person by then, too.

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10 Responses to It’s official. My mom was right.

  1. Dorothy W. says:

    Nothing wrong with having high expectations and hoping that your state will make the right decision about what you believe in!

  2. Sorry to hear you’re disappointed with that vote, but, from over the pond, I’m sharing your jubiliation that the Democrats have swept the board. Things need to get better, certainly from an international perspective anyway. Enjoy your conference!

  3. bloglily says:

    Have a great time at that conference.

    I didn’t know about the doves; who’d a thunk it?

    As for the anti-affirmative action measure, that happened here in California a while back. It’s not great, but it did cause the universities to come up with ways other than race as a way to ensure that admissions went to a students with a lot of different experiences. And it does seem to have led to some questioning about how well standardized tests predict future performance. All is not lost, is what I mean by this babbling comment.

  4. Emily says:

    Thataway, stay and fight. Of course, I’m all in favor on the ban on dove hunting, too, but we had a big discussion tonight about how to be “Clintonesque (Bill, not Hillary),” and it boilled down to the notion (since you work in a hospital, you should understand this) of triage. You have to handle the most important battles first, and the others can follow. Civil Rights, disgrimination, bigotry have to come before the doves. We live in a centrist country. To go too far in either direction (as Bush is finally learning) doesn’t work.

  5. litlove says:

    Why would anybody shoot doves in the first place? Anyhow, Emily is right- you will do far more good by staying put and standing up for what you believe in. Your side of the debate requires eloquent fighters to put the case across. And that’s you, my dear!

  6. Katie says:

    Keep up the fight, honey! 😉

    As you already know, a huge amen on the affirmitive action from me– from someone who’s no longer a loyal republican yet not a democrat either.
    I love asking the question– what issues SHOULD I be most passionate about? What matters most, and, on the flip side, what are the little battles that are just going to alientate people if I make them too heated?

  7. Courtney says:

    Dorothy – you are always so supportive! I will always have high expectations, I think.

    Charlotte – I’m feeling jubilant over here, too – which I probably didn’t express enough. It’s a great, great week in America, that’s for sure!

    Bloglily – I do think it’s important to rework the way people are admitted into schools, and if this had just been about schools I might have found myself more readily agreeing with the ban, but it’s across the board, not just education, and Michigan is incredibly racially divided as a state. Of course, maybe it’s like that everywhere…

    Emily – I think the idea of triage is an excellent one . Now I just have to decide what my emergency is. I’m almost hesitant to put civil rights before the environment…how screwed up is that? I’ll need to think more on this and, imagine, do some reading about it!

    Litlove – well, it’s more of a hunters’ rights issue here in Michigan, because the group that proposed the ban hopes to make bird-dogs illegal in the next election, but in general, here in Michigan, people like to hunt anything they can. If you ever come over we’ll go to my uncles and dine on bear 🙂

    Katie, I think it can be very overwhelming to decide which issues are the most important, and in general you have to go with your gut. As I noted above, this perhaps might not even be *my* issue – I need to think seriously about it for a while. I can only go with what my gut tells me at any given time…

  8. Emily says:

    A HUGE argument can be made for the environment being your most important issue, because it’s about much more than just humans. Ruin it, and everything goes (including all the humans).

  9. KJ says:

    Yes…up here, in Northern Michigan, people were especially concerned with the dove hunting. Not much concern about affirmative action. And several people wanted Dicky D. to bring his great changes to Michigan. But I was glad that J.G. got another shot at it.

    As always, glad to see you’re still at it. Banging away at the keys.

    Thinking of you…

  10. LK says:

    I’m originally from St. Louis, so I totally understand where you’re coming from on the whole flight-from-the-city issue that Detroit has.

    At least, with the Dems in, we’re restoring some balance and oversight. Though, obviously, the country is still in a conservative mode.

    But the winds of change are blowing, even if they feel right now as a mere faint breeze.

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