I feel oh-so-proud today. Last night our nation elected the first ever African-American president. No matter where we all fall on the political spectrum, one thing we can all agree on is that this result is monumental.
My eyes filled with tears when, at exactly 8pm PST, CNN declared Obama our next president-elect. Although it seemed inevitable, I would not allow myself to believe it could be possible until it in fact was not only possible but reality.
I’ve continued to tear up all day today whenever I hear bits of Obama’s speech played on NPR. I cry because I am inspired by his words. I cry because I can not remember being inspired by a president’s words in my lifetime. And more than anything I cry because his election to the presidency immediately transformed the world’s view of our nation. The New York Times put it so well this morning:
From far away, this is how it looks: There is a country out there where tens of millions of white Christians, voting freely, select as their leader a black man of modest origin, the son of a Muslim. There is a place on earth – call it America – where such a thing happens. (Read more…)
Obama identifies with so many parts of the world it’s crazy. Son of a Kenyan – Africa calls him one of their own. Step-son to an Indonesian and a resident for part of his childhood – much of Asia can consider him one of them. Son to a white mother of midwest roots – he connects with the Bible belt (although he didn’t win his mother’s home state of Kansas last night). Son of a Muslim – the Muslim community can be proud. Married to an African-American woman and a resident of a largely African-American city – the black community loves him. A believing, faithful Christian man – so many citizens of his country share his faith.
All of this diversity embodied in one man is significant because, as his campaign showed, he can draw people from any and every background together. No, Obama’s political platform isn’t for everyone. But each and every one of us, in some way, can find a piece of ourselves in him and recognize that America has entered a new era. That is something we can all agree on.