This celebratory post is a day late. I awoke yesterday morning to the news that Obama is our new president and from there, it was like I’d ingested ten espressos. I was high. Friends called me. We cried. We laughed. We told our stories of the moment we learned the news.
“I watched his acceptance speech with tears in my eyes,” I said. I had never been more proud of my country. A long time in coming.
Four years ago when I dragged my then four-year-old son to an anti-Bush demonstration I had such hope that we could change the country. That this would be the defining year of change, despite not really like John Kerry.
Well, today I can say that I am actually glad we waited. The reward is all the more sweeter. I mean, people, we have a black man in the white house. And even though I did not live through the Civil Rights movement, I have seen the footage a hundred times and listened to the call of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I still have chills. I still have tears in my eyes. What’s more, I believe that in having elected Obama, our reputation as a great nation may be yet untarnished with the rest of the world. That we have our dignity back. That our country has come to the point of having created close to a miracle.
And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land.
And yet within this promise of hope there is a wariness that Obama will be able to accomplish the tasks necessary to change this country. That he will fulfill the vision of so many that believe in him. What an enormous task. Yet, one that I am proud to know Obama has and not McCain.
I’ll end with The Onion, which had a hilarious article yesterday on the results of the election. So much for making all that progress and breaking the racial barrier!
WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, “It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can’t catch a break.”