Oh happy day! (**Warning for children or the easily offended: Image at the end has bad language**)

I am humbled by Tuesday's victory. I was frequently overwhelmed with emotion that night, as I thought about all of the things Obama's election means to me.

First, a long awaited win for my party. Obama is the first Presidential candidate that I voted for who won. I believe in the ideals of the democratic party -- reducing inequality, increasing the safety net for all Americans, government-funded research (okay, that's a selfish one), change, hope, prosperity, progress, peace.

Second, a confirmation of the American Dream. I know the dream doesn't exist for everyone. For people born into poverty with limited opportunity, the Dream may not exist. For poor black children in urban ghettos, poor white children hidden in suburban neighborhoods, single mothers working hard to raise a family, women, young black men, Latina girls, rural kids, Native American boys...the list goes on and on...the Dream can be elusive. But what Obama's election means is that it's possible. Yes, Obama's story is a little different -- Harvard educated, raised by his white grandparents and his mom, he had opportunities that not everyone gets. But just the fact that he was elected means progress to me.

Third, change. I'm sick and tired of this administration, and I'm ready as hell for a new one. Let's take care of ourselves, build our reputation back up with foreign relations, and see what we can do about Iraq. I don't pretend to know the answers, but I'm ready for new attempts at solutions. Einstein defined crazy as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Let's try some new stuff.

Fourth, progress in race relations, and bringing race and gender back into the national conversation. We are still a racist nation. There are generations of people still alive who were socialized differently than those of us who are younger. They were socialized to believe that black Americans (and minorities) were inferior, that they cause trouble (and bring it onto themselves), and that they're generally part of the problem. I'm not making excuses for racism, but it's clear to me that my peers have a hugely different approach to race then our elders. We were raised in a different, more tolerant society. Enough so that we were able to elect a black President with the utmost confidence.

This final point is what often brought tears to my eyes. After weeks of watching the replayed footage from Selma, the Detroit riots, and Dr. King, we've come a long way from setting dogs and hoses on black people who stand up for themselves. Dr. King's dream is beginning to be realized. What an incredible thing.

I feel so heartened by what an inspiration Obama can be for young kids everywhere. This year on Halloween, we had two young black boys in suits come to the door. I asked them what they were. One said, "I'm the President!" and the other said he was Barack Obama. I bet that hasn't happened much before.

We still have plenty of progress to make. We still need to do something about the isolating racial segregation we see in urban areas. We still need to make sure black children can live in a place where they have the opportunity to get a good education. We still need to make sure that black and minority children aren't living in substandard housing, made to be the primary victims of environmental contamination, and have choices about what they want to be when they grow up. We still need to change the fact that blacks are much more likely to be poor, uneducated, and incarcerated. We still need to change the system so that black children and youth are given the opportunity to succeed as much as white children are.

I think were getting closer. Can we do it? Yes we can.

My mom said she felt bad for Obama cause so many people are expecting so much of him. And she's absolutely right. He's gonna have to do not just a good job but a fantastic job, both because he's biracial and in spite of it. Some will wait for him to fail so they can say "I told you so." But he does need to do a good job, because that's what we expect when we elect him. We're all counting on it. But if he fails, it's not because he's black. Maybe it'll be because he has less experience. Or maybe, it'll be because it's a helluva hard job to do. I wouldn't want it for anything.

There's a lot of pressure, yes, but I think he's up to it. This guy is fo' real. He's serious, unflappable, humble. We've got four years to find out, and it'll probably take four years just to fix this messed up country.

And now, please pardon the French, but I think this sums it up:


3 Responses on "Oh happy day! (**Warning for children or the easily offended: Image at the end has bad language**)"

  1. Lindsay says:

    Heck yeah, sister! He's ready for the job...he's been training his whole life. I'm glad we're giving him the opportunity. GOBAMA!

    Right on, Sis! And I love the picture, too!
    Chrsi