Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A More Perfect Union

It's hard for me to hold back tears right now. Philosophically, I am a conservative and a Republican, so some level it is sad to see the GOP lose so dramatically.

But I am also an African American. My father grew up in the Jim Crow South, and I've faced my share of racism and discrimination. Tonight, as my partner Daniel and I heard now President-elect Obama speak, I started to shed tears and that says a lot, since I don't cry that often.

I'm crying because something unimagninable happened tonight. Something I had never dream would happen anytime in the near future. A man that has skin like mine, was elected the President of a country that only a generation ago gave its former slaves full civil rights.

Maybe the most telling thing tonight as I watched the returns come in was to see when Iowa was called for Obama. The news person circled the statistic that revealed the percentage of African Americans living in the state that started Obama down this road: 2 percent. A state with 2 percent of African Americans was able to vote decisively for an African American. We may still have a long way to go, but we have really come a mighty long way.

In the coming weeks and months, the task of governing will begin. President-elect Obama will face a nation with a lot of troubles and the GOP has to begin the hard task of rebuilding again.

But for tonight, I will celebrate and wish Obama the best. I will also thank God to live in a country where a skinny kid with a funny name can become President.

And I will probably shed a few more tears.

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