Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I did not vote for Barack Obama because of the color of his skin. I voted for Barack Obama because I am a Democrat, and his ideology most closely matched mine in this election. Because he has a singular blend of superior intellect, insight, and charisma that give him leadership skills this nation sorely needs. Because I believe that "change" means something much deeper than simply putting a different body in the Oval Office. And probably some other reasons, too.

But last night: last night my tears of joy were because of the color of his skin.

Last night my tears of joy were for the millions of people in this nation who have never felt part of the national dialogue, who have been marginalized and disenfranchised and ignored by a country which only occasionally has a painfully honest discussion about race. The people who finally felt like they are valued threads in the fabric of our history, our democracy. People who have been hurt, and whose hurt has left them, and me, feeling powerless. But last night our country banded together to fight the pain.

I am not naive. I do not for a moment believe that this rights all wrongs, real or perceived, or that there will be no more wrongs. Nor do I believe that Obama is any sort of saviour or revolutionary. And of course there is still a nation to be governed, with wars and crises and many dysfuctional groups of various skin colors, various socioeconomic classes, various religious beliefs. The sheen will wear off this humbling election and the very real work will remain.

But last night, the world shifted just a bit.

Late last night I awoke Jensen to tell him that Obama had won. Through a sleepy, satisfied smile he murmured, "America elected its first brown president."

Yes, baby. Yes we did.


  1. Teresa, I concur! I just got goosebumps. I feel so very proud to live here, I would have felt more proud to have been able to express my opinion by deftly marking that little ballot with an X beside Barak Obama's name. Small thing, that little piece of paper, but the sound of millions of people voting for change resulted in a increasing roar. I can hear it. And I feel so happy, and so proud of this country. What a great day this is!!

  2. Beautifully written. And I for one an glad I can now share with my child how our country has changed ever so slightly, and what a wonderful and inspiring thing that is.

  3. Very nice. I actually was solo last night, Jer is traveling of course, so I let Will stay up and watch everything with me. He crashed about 9:45 but when I woke him up I told him Obama won and he said "He did? Did he shake lots of hands?". Funny what he picked up on . . .


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