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What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
-Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred? The emergence of Senator Barack Obama as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for President brought to mind, for me, this question made famous by Langston Hughes. Irrespective of party affiliation, this story of triumph and hope will be translated in classrooms around the world as the realization of a dream. The 2008 Presidential Election peaked the interest of millions of Americans because of the merits and unique characteristics of strong contenders. An African American man and a woman were formidable candidates for President, and while these are unalienable traits that should be considered part of the package as opposed to the appeal of the package, history was made. For generations, parents have told their children that one day they too can become the President of the United States of America

June 17, 2008 - Posted by Brandi Colander in Democracy

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Our era can be defined by our means of communication. In an age where people spend more time communicating through computers as opposed to in person, one can only imagine the impact of this new found form of contact. As millions of people create online profiles, participate in blogs similar in form to the one that you are reading, and transcend emails at unprecedented levels on the World Wide Web, one must question whether or not these new found methods of connecting will transform our expectations of one another. As generations expose their every thought, photograph and friend on networks like facebook, are they aware of how accountable they may be for their communications in the future? Do they care or will a new level of tolerance be reached to complement this new transparent generation? Or will this transparency, shared by all generations, be shunned by hypocrisy when viewed by a critical mass? In light of recent scandals where the trust bestowed in public figures has been grossly breached, many of these questions are starting to be answered. Within hours of the former Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer's scandal coming to light, information about the young prostitute was derived and posted from her MySpace profile. Never before have we been in a position to do our own research and judge, for ourselves, based on our access to the internet and savviness in navigating the World Wide Web. When a government investigation is launched to determine how government credit cards are putting tax dollars to use, we are able to surf eBay, ourselves, and find F-14 equipment on sale to the highest bidder. If you missed one of the 20 plus and counting, 2008 United States Democratic presidential candidate debates, you can watch it on YouTube in the confines of your own cubical or living room and judge, for yourself, who would best serve your country. These are a few choice examples of how the power of information is transforming our society. So what, you may be saying to yourself. What does it all really mean? Well, for starters, it means that while we can all stay informed and create our own judgments, we can also more accurately judge our own level of hypocrisy. Public figures have experienced this more intensely, and have been forced to acknowledge their faults as a result of this increased transparency. Hillary Clinton has endlessly been forced to revisit and make light of her trip to Bosnia where she originally recalled dodging snipers during her visit. Barack Obama has recently emphasized his love for his country after many questioned his level of patriotism to the good old United States of America when he declined to wear a flag pin on his lapel. John McCain has sought atonement for his initial opposition to observing Martin Luther King Jr. as a federal holiday. Lest we quickly forget that not even having served two full days in office did Spitzer

April 28, 2008 - Posted by Brandi Colander in Democracy

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