Okay, now I can talk about the election. The momentous and history making election of the first African American president of the United States of America. Or should I say the first non-white dude-in-chief. It would have been just as momentous and historic if it had been an Asian or Hispanic or Eskimo or Native American person.
I am also VERY happy that this man is so eloquent. I have grown so tired of listening to President Bush sound like a bumpkin. Sound like bully. There must be certain entities at Yale that cringe every time the man in on TV or radio. I don’t buy that it made him seem more approachable, more REAL. The person in charge of this nation should rise to the status that the position bestows, in all aspects of their demeanor, including how they address the country, how they conduct themselves privately and publicly. That person is the ultimate representative of us. I listen to Obama speak, I see him with his family, and I am motivated, I am inspired, I am proud of him and this country.
I heard on NPR students from a historically Black university debating what his achievement means to the Black community. One male student said he felt it DID make a difference, because now young people have a new role model to live up to. They don’t just have rappers and gangsters but a PRESIDENT to identify with and be inspired by. And I loved that. There have been other positive African American role models to be sure, but this time this one was elected, both by the popular vote and the electoral college to the highest position in the land. That is something to look up to.
I was born in 1964 to parents who were products of the 50’s. To their credit, I never heard racism or classism or any sort of discriminatory statements come out of their mouths growing up. They made sure I had a safe and healthy environment to grow up in, and when I made friends with people from different religions and ethnicities, they took it in stride. I never thought I shouldn’t be friends with someone because of their color or their belief system.
I experienced desegration. Students were bussed to my elementary schools. I didn’t understand why this was necessary, and was saddened by the answer. Then we moved just before high school to a suburb of Cleveland. I went to school the first day and said “where are the Black people, where are the Asian and Hispanic people?” We had one Black family in town. They had three sons, one of whom was in my class. I remember him talking in a class about how he would never date a girl from our high school because while he felt welcome in the community, he knew people would not be cool with that. He would never want to put a girl in that position, so he always dated girls from other cities who were also Black. That made me so sad, for him and us as a community.
I am happy to say that we seem to have at minimum turned a corner. And the dialogue is fabulous. As a country we are talking about this, and for the most we are celebrating it. Some will have a hard time accepting this, and may even try to ruin this moment. I hope for all of our sakes that no one succeeds in those efforts. I hope that Obama and his administration are given the oppportunity and support to truly make a difference, to bring about the change that we need, literally and figuratively. We all need this, Black, White, Hispanic etc. We all need to move forward, feel renewed and hopeful and truly feel that there are no boundaries based on race, gender or religion. That anything is possible.