I started this post a few days after Obama’s election and never posted it. I’m finishing it now because I’m sitting at my friend’s house for a Quaker Oatmeal Obama Inauguration blog party (really!) and it just seemed appropriate. This is an awesome day to spend with fellow bloggers and fellow Americans who are as excited as I am.
Oh and just an aside, to those conservatives out there who feel the need to remind liberals that Obama isn’t God and won’t fix everything…no duh! The great thing about equality is that now even Barack Obama can be “The Man”. Isn’t it great!?
So here goes.
Emotion #1) Elation
Elated that a country I had come to almost pity over the last 12 year (yes, I extend that pity into the Clinton years thanks to his impeachment and highly questionable personal choices that taint the office) had the courage to elect a black man, a progressive thinker, and someone intelligent (!) for president. A little disappointed that it came at the exact same time as the first really viable female candidate, but there you have it. The enormity of the moment Barack gave his acceptance speech was profound. I was completely struck watching this black family walk on stage and thinking “this is my first family”!? I soaked up the scenes from around the world of others cheering on the same courage I recognized in my fellow Americans – it was a truly awesome moment.
Emotion #2) Shame
When Obama was finally announced as the winner, the shots in the park in Chicago of African Americans crying and cheering brought something back to me that I had thought about only fleetingly listening to a radio program interviewing black voters. I had vastly underestimated how important it is to have examples of “someone like you” in positions of power to make one believe it is possible. That even though blacks have had the right to vote for over a century (at least black men) there has still been a sense of disenfranchisement, a sense that their vote really didn’t count. They were always casting the vote for an outsider, for someone who was going someplace they could never be. I didn’t realize that fully until election night, and I’m ashamed it took me so long to figure it out.
Emotion #3) Pride
So post-election we’re all very excited. The kids are excited mostly because we are but that’s where their election knowledge ends. My son, on the way home from school one day asks me why this election is “historic”; presumably he’s heard this in school. Well, I say it’s historic because this is the first black president that’s ever been elected to the US. His response, “Why does that matter, black or white, it shouldn’t make a difference.”
I was floored; his response was so clearly right. And he was telling me this like I was the one making it a big deal! It doesn’t matter, but I didn’t realize that it was so obvious to my son, maybe all kids his age…maybe they’re just smarter! I’m sure it’s just my amazing parenting abilities…right 😉 but seriously, I was proud. There was nothing else I could say in way of explanation to him. Anything else would sound like I was trying to make it a big deal – when he already knew the truth.
and the fellow bloggers are….
Katie of Happy Katie
Kara of What Would Jane Austen Do?