I’m watching/listening to MSNBC as they reflect on the fact that Obama appears to be the president elect. I heard John McCain’s concession speech – and I found it good. I couldn’t support him in his run for the presidency, but I believe him to be a good man.
I’m hearing the black men with shaking voices — almost in disbelief. It’s moving to see Jesse Jackson with tears in his eyes. My eyes are opened to what this means to many people in this country.
As I reflect on it, I see something more. Obama is being designated as “african american.” Interesting, as it seems to me that he is more a “multi-ethnic american.” A Kenyan father, a caucasian mother from Kansas. Raised partly in HawaiiÂ (I’ve lived in Honolulu – it’s the only place where I remember being offered a menu of [Korean] kim-che, Polish sausage and Japanese beer by a smiling Samoan).Â Despite being a product of civil rights era Alabama, I find that I am often “color-blind.” I don’t think race ever entered into my decision process.
I remember hearing Obama speak at the Democratic Convention 4 years ago, and thinking – “This is a future US president.” The “something more” I see in this election is that Mr. Obama has been able to offer hope and a vision. I hear a touch of JFK. The “something more” is possibly that the US electorate responded to that hope and vision – and broke with the white, male mold that has generally embodied our leadership.
I feel privileged to be alive and a registered voter in a year that saw an election seriously contested by women and a man of color. It’s been a long time coming.