This past year the citizens of the world have witnessed an evolutionary advance in the nation of the United States of America. My life span of 58 years has emcompassed the desegregation of the public school systems across the nation. I was a student in the Dade County, FL, school system before the state of Florida was forced to rewrite their constitution in 1968. I was bussed 20 miles one-way every day to the "white school" even though the "black school" was only five miles away. With my family, I traveled the US301/I-95 corridor and saw the "blacks only" restrooms (usually a dipsty dumpster behind the service station). My father was transfered to Langley, VA, before my senior year of high school at McLean High School where I ran track with the "token negro" (I am pictured with Woody Woolery in the 1968 Highlander yearbook at track practice). I attended VPI in 1969-69 as a member of the Corp of Cadets and had one of the first black students (Garfield Cross) as a roommate. When I was an enlisted electronic technician in the US Navy, I stood watch on nuclear submarines with a black sailor equivalent in every way to myself. As a member of the Command Training Team on the USS Ulysses S Grant I helped write the ship’s first Affirmatinve Action Plan.
Since that time I have moved from the East to the West Coast where I am now a Longshoreman at the Port of Seattle invloved with the labor movement and work with all ethnicities, races, and religions on an equal footing. I operate the gatekeeper50hotmail channel on youtube and have posted several videos supporting Barack Obama and other democrats during the past campaign season. I consider myself an independent, progressive liberal and although my first choice for president was Sen. Chris Dodd based on his experience, my wife turned me on to Barack Obama after she read his books: THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, and DREAMS FROM MY FATHER. After his win in South Carolina it was inevitable that he would win the nomination of the Democratic Party, but his speech on race relations, which I posted on my youtube channel, was the final push I needed to gain my full support.
My youngest sister, Helen, was born in an old civil war era hospital in Leesburg, VA, in 1957. She now lives in Manassas, VA, and I would love to visit her with my wife (who has never been to the East Coast) and there witness the inauguration of the first black man elected by the citizens of the United States of America in the most legitimate election for presidnet since 1996.