Because I'm kind of speechless. Wow.

I've always felt like it was kind of a blessing to be born into the world at the time I was, to be present during this time in history (to see these last dayz). But to actually bear witness and have had a hand in the election of the first American of African descent in history to the Presidency of the United States, that's something.

I will gladly eat some crow on this one (though I won't be running thru downtown Philly au natural) because I admit I did not think it was possible. I thought the influence of this nation's past was still to strong on it's psyche to handle seeing a black man as POTUS. Still to much prejudice and racism, overt and hidden. But obviously I was wrong. This nation is capable of much more than I thought. Perhaps it's finally living up to it's declared belief that all men are created equal.

I voted early, last week so I approached today with a matter-of-fact type of attitude (partly because I still did not really believe that Obama would win). I was kind of looking forward to the evening's media watch of the election results but even so it was more for the "watch how hype the media is" aspect of it rather than the "ooohh I hope he wins" viewpoint. But when I saw the lead and then heard that McCain had actually conceded, that feeling was undeniable. I had the same feeling the morning of 9/11 when I woke up to the image of a smoking tower on the tv screen in my bedroom. That feeling that everything is about to be different now and that this very moment is a turning point in history.

I saw and read a wide variety of reactions tonight. There was a brother at a gas station I stopped at who when he saw me quickly raised a fist and hollered "Obama!", then promptly hounded me for change. The overheard phone conversation of a co-worker about a friend who had declared that they were "ready to move out of the country" and expressions of shock at their "racist" attitude. Two young boys who probably were under sixteen walking the street at 3:00am yelling "Fuck McCain! We got Obama nigga, we got a Black president! Fuck whitey!". Popping by my parents house after McCain conceded and seeing them glued to the tv (unusual behavior for them) and actually seeing the hint of a tear in my father's eye. All of this to me is mind blowing. Truly whether you voted for Obama or not I bet this will be one of those days you won't ever forget.

Don't get me totally twisted. This doesn't all of the sudden make every thing right in the world. There's still Iraq and the economy and health care and other major issues for the president-elect to address. And let's be real the real powers that be don't sit in the Oval Office, they just pull the strings there. But for a majority of the population of this country to suddenly be able to cast aside it's problems and differences to pull together to make a mark like this in history is something beautiful.

Well I'm going to get some sleep, after all today really is a new day right?


Anonymous said...

As a white guy who voted for Obama (and who usually votes Republican, and who would have voted multiple times for McCain eight years ago), I think the only important thing I can say about Obama being elected president is that I didn't vote for him because he was black. I didn't think he was the hip, sexy choice. Oprah didn't sway me (if she did, I'd best return my dude card). Hell, he even overcame my predisposition to more conservative candidates.

I voted for him because I thought he was smart, well spoken (relative to our current president), and was capable of inspiring a nation that's in desperate need of inspiration. Quite simply, I thought he was the better man for the job.

Jeff at green-bay-packer.com

ruffian96 said...

Thanks for the comment anonymous, for the insight and the time it took to post. Just reinforces my suspicion that I may have underestimated the charachter of a great number of people.

Anonymous said...

Heh - I'm not trying to be anonymous (I think you know my blog - see sig at bottom) - just don't have a relevant Blogger account and am too lazy to set one up.

As for underestimating my character...wait a sec. Did I just get punched in the nose?

Jeff @ green-bay-packer.com