As excruciatingly messy as it might be sometimes, democracy is still preferable to autocracy. Each person speaking his and her own voice is still preferable to one voice speaking for all.
The difference between the RNC and the DNC is stark. Last night, apart from the megawatt speeches delivered by Michelle Obama, Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, there were equally moving speeches delivered by ordinary folks like Cheryl Lankford. She was one of many trumped by the man himself when she enrolled in Trump University to the tune of $35,000.
I understood Lankford’s embarrassment at feeling she was the fool for being duped. I understood her inability to tell anyone about how dumb she felt. I understood how as a woman, we are primed to think it’s our fault if we’re stupid enough to get “taken to the cleaners.” Especially up against billionaire Donald Trump. Who would believe Cheryl Lankford if she spoke up against a man of his celebrated, moneyed stature?
Today, I was moved to tears by the story of Na’ilah Amaru.
“I was born on a dirt floor to a woman whose name I will never know. What I do know is that she loved me enough to give me up, so I could live the life she wanted for me. A life without hunger or despair, filled with hope, education, and opportunity.
As a baby, bundled up in the hopes and dreams of my mother, I began a new life in a faraway land called America. I was raised by two women, and learned early on about intolerance and hatred. But I also learned about the power of love, faith and hope.
The first time I saw Hillary, she was on TV addressing a panel of men with such confidence and ownership of self. Her poise and presence fundamentally changed how I would claim my own space in the world. I was 11.
Seven years later, my belief in America inspired me to raise my hand and solemnly swear to defend her ideals with my life. I joined the army as an ammunition specialist and gave the best of myself to a country that had given me so much. I returned from Iraq deeply committed to restoring the faith of America’s Promise—for everyone.
Tonight, in the birthplace of our nation, I renew our commitment to democracy with an historic step toward gender equality. Reflected in broken shards of glass, and Hillary herself, we can see the dreams of our daughters. This is America’s promise.
Along my journey, I have called California, Texas, Georgia, and New York home. And I know that what connects us runs far deeper than what divides us.
So, if you can hear my voice tonight, join me and everyone in this hall, by texting HILLARY to 47246—as we move forward, together.
As an immigrant, a combat veteran, a woman of color, and my mother’s daughter, I am American. My story is our story. The story of America.”
Ordinary women standing up FOR…
…an exceptionally, extraordinary woman.