While history records some of the most important achievements of humanity right here in Massachusetts, our Commonwealth is stained in more than its fair share of repugnant historical footnotes that can never be forgotten. Be it school bussing in Boston or revealing riots that took place in New Bedford, there are certain things the Commonwealth can never forget. However, I question "have we learned?" I like what I see.
Whatever happens on Tuesday, there's something remarkable that's going to take place. Two candidates are going to be weighed, judged and earn a lot of votes. Both candidates have earned my admiration and support. One happens to be African American and the other Latino. Both have a chance to win; one is favored to win.
Yet, that's not the remarkable part. What's remarkable is that it doesn't seem to be an issue. Sure, there was a periphery question at a debate, but the answer given was especially poignant and revealing: outliers of society aren't going to determine this election. Have we finally reached the point in time where, at least for the most part, people aren't thinking of race?
Clearly, there is more progress to be made. Years ago, when I was an adviser to the Board of Education, I had a role in addressing the MCAS test. While I was not in support of the test, I was pragmatic: I wanted to make it became more relevant and give people a better chance to pass. In studying the issue, I realized the media had it wrong: the MCAS wasn't some huge success story. While people were passing it in larger number, the gap between minorities and Caucasians actually grew. Clearly, the differences in socio-economic levels and opportunity have not leveled in Massachusetts - but at least, for once, the political situation seems to be a somewhat accurate dipiction, with two minority candidates poised to win statewide offices.
On Tuesday, I expect a Deval Patrick victory. It can happen and it will happen. Supporters are going to work hard to make sure Massachusetts has a politician who can inspire us from the Corner Office. Bonifaz faces a tougher challenge, but it isn't because of race. It's because he's facing an entrenched incumbent who has been reticent to respect democracy and debate. However, there's still the chance to upset and at the very least make his presense heard.
No matter Tuesday's outcome, I hope both candidates continue to fight for Massachusetts. Both have already dramatically altered the political landscape of the Commonwealth for the better. I've never been so reassured about the future. I've never felt so much hope that things can be better. We can and we will get there. I'm proud to have blogged these races and I'm most certainly proud to be from Massachusetts.
Thank you John Bonifaz and Deval Patrick. For the first time in my life, I know what it's like to be inspired by political leaders.