OH WHAT A NIGHT!!!
I have agonized over the election this year because of my personal economic situation, and my total disillusionment with Republican administrations during the past thirty years, from Reagan to Bush to Bush!
When Al Gore lost to George Bush in 2000, I was devastated, and the past eight years of “George W reign” has justified my worries a hundred-fold – the loss of our civil rights, the loss of our respect on a global basis, the unjust war in Iraq, the blurring of lines between executive, legislative & judicial branches which has damaged the checks & balances system of our government, and now, the economic meltdown.
I also must admit - and I don’t think it is a bad characteristic – when I first heard Obama speak at the 2004 Democratic Convention and was so totally inspired by him, I didn’t “see” his color. In general, I don’t see people “in color”, which is probably unusual when I grew up in a town that was known as a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) community. As I learned more about Obama, I respected his intelligence, depth of thought, calm demeanor, and empathy for the common people of this world. I wanted him to be our President. I don’t think the fact that Obama was an African-American really became important to me until he won the primary. Then I began to worry that the inherent racism in this country might cause him to lose the election.
It was about at the same time that I began to think what a wonderful role model he would be for the African-American youth of our country, who often see no real opportunities in their futures. But, still, I didn’t “get it”. I didn’t realize what a powerful event his election would be for our citizens of color.
Last night I was watching avidly for election results, my nerves on edge, but it became a much more emotional night than I had expected. Watching the crowds and listening to the interviews, I was awed by the tremendous jubilation of his supporters, especially African-Americans. As I saw Jesse Jackson standing in the Chicago crowd with tears streaming down his face, and listened to the incredulous joy of generations of African-Americans, I finally realized that this victory was not just a victory of Democrat over Republican; it was finally a validation that we are all created equal and that there is now opportunity in this country for the tiniest little child of African-American or Arab or Asian or Hispanic descent to reach the loftiest heights that at one time were open only to white males. Oh what gates have been opened --
May God Bless America and our newly elected President and Vice-President!!