Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did

I realize that I should’ve posted yesterday, as probably every blogger on the face of this planet probably did. It was a historic moment for everyone and undoubtedly is a defining moment for our country. By the time I got home last night, after driving up to L.A. to vote, waiting anxiously to hear the results and the speeches that followed, and then making it back to San Diego, all I had energy for was to crawl in my bed and give in to the exhaustion. But I fell asleep with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart. I am ecstatic. And while I have felt for a long time that this particular election was special and that I had a more personal investment in the outcome than ever before in my short time as a voting citizen in this country, I didn’t fully realize how emotional I would really feel.

I understand that what happens in our country and the progress we make in the next four years is yet to be seen. Right now I simply content in the hope that I feel and I am proud of this country for electing a man to become president who a little over 40 years ago barely earned the right to vote for that office. That makes me extremely proud of us and how far we have come. Even the millions of people who voted for a different outcome should be able to appreciate that progress and acknowledge the significance it holds for all of us. And now that he is our president and the person the majority of America has decided should be our leader, I would hope that everyone would give the man a chance and be optimistic about our future and try our best to be united as Americans. I mean, if Elisabeth Hasselback can support this man and be proud of what our country has accomplished, surely anyone can! (Oh, and Sherri made me cry)

P.S. I enjoy reading and experiencing what other people are feeling and thinking at this time. I didn't make this blog too long because I felt like it was still hard for me to articulate all that I feel...but I read other people's words and I want to just scream "ditto!" So if you feel like adding your two cents...please do so!


Wayne said...

It's surreal! I just want everyone to remember that this was just Phase 1! He cannot do this alone and shouldn't have to! "We the People..." must do our part (no matter how small) to help transform President Obama's vision for change into a reality! With that said...I'm feelin' mighty fine right now...mighty fine!

Shannon said...

It is ironic that on the same day America elects an African-American President, Californians voted to take away the rights of certain people. As a Californian and a liberal Democrat, yesterday was bittersweet. However, nothing can take away the pride I have in being a part of such a historic and momentous occasion for our country. January 20, 2009 cannot come soon enough.

Bianca said...

I'm going to steal Jasmine's lop-sided sentiment and say, "today I woke up and I was happy."

Zzz said...

On this historic day, I am so proud of both my country and our people. To break through the stigma of racism and distrust and finally show the world that, "All men are created equal” is the greatest sign of hope for our society. It’s now up to us to help our president elect succeed for the good all of us. God Bless America!

Nikkie T said...

Now I'm gonna have to watch that entire View episode online.

What a day! What a day! What a day!! So many fought and prayed and died for this day- for day where we can feel that the "American Dream" can too be ours. I keep seeing images in my head of the civil rights movement and signs that read "I Am A Man" and I just want to rejoice. And to be able to share this energy, this EXACT feeling with so many others around the world... it's incredible.

brit_brat said...

I don't know what it is about me and everything that's been going on recently but I'm not that moved right now. I know I should be, being part african american, or just a minority in general, but if I'm being totally honest....I'm just not that moved. I was probably one of the few who wasn't really into the election or the politics overall... in fact I didn't even vote. Going to school and making dinner for my family was more important to me.
I know this election and its outcome effects me, effects my children but it still doesn't make me too interested. Perhaps it's because race, gender, religion or even sexual preference hasn't been too big on my priority list to feel strongly one way or the other about. I don't walk around feeling "black" or feel people see me as just that. Sure I've had my fair share of racism, stereotypes and sexist bigotry but its never made me change my thought processes of just being a human being. I'm not blind, I know Obama is black, but if I'm not one to focus on the race and ethnicity's of individuals, why should him being the first black president matter to me? He's our new president, period. He'll be a good or bad president for the individual that he is, not for his color, religion or gender. That's just how I feel. I don't know if I'm wrong for feeling it, but just wanted to be honest.
On the other hand, it could just be that I have other things going on in my life that I feel are far more important and that effect my life more directly...who knows. Bash me if you must, but it probably won't make too much of a difference.

Brianna said...

err...ummm...ok, I guess I'll try and answer.

I know you feel this way...which is why my endless effort to get you to vote this time around had no effect. I almost voted for you...went back with a new outfit on...except I didn't want to get arrested or anything and have my vote not count. :) Anyway, it really makes no sense to me. I think part of it has to do with the household you live in and I guess I didn't counterbalance that enough.

The thing about it is, you could have felt the opposite of me, and maybe had thoughtful reasons for doing so, and I could respect that. Maybe not completely understand...but respect. I know it's hard when you don't always understand the positions and sides of the candidates and what things you should care about, and what things would directly effect you, and how much weight you put on your personal values and morals versus what might be best for the country, etc. I know that I didn't vote as soon as I turned 18 because I didn't really understand or comprehend enough to feel compelled to do I get that part of it. (Not saying that is right of me either) But the age you are now, the state of our country at this point in time, the issues that have got to be important to you based on what you deal with in your life, the information that has been available to us easier than ever before...saying that you didn't really care enough to vote is unimaginable to me.

How can something that effects you, as well as your children NOT be of interest? The reason that all those things you listed might not seem important to you, is because of all the people who fought on your behalf to make things better for US. And to not acknowledge any of that, to not understand that you get to live the life that you do, free from racial prejudice for starters, and be free to walk around and simply feel like a "human being" is because of all of them, is sad.

Somehow you aren't understanding that whether or not you wanted Obama to be president, the fact that he is allows you to be able to tell your OWN children that they have the ability to be anything they want in this world. ANYTHING. And maybe if Dad was around he could explain to you perhaps better than I could how much this should mean to ALL black people (including you), since when he was young black people couldn't vote period! So how could he realistically tell his children that a black person being president or being able to dream and believe that anything was possible, was a real possibility, a dream that they should have? That the "American Dream" for all children was the same? And now in a lifetime we have a black president and it allows you to tell your children that and truly mean it from the bottom of your heart. I really think that should matter to you Brit. You should feel proud of at least that.

Would anyone else like to give it a shot?

Anonymous said...

The household she lives in? I believe what may of come out of that was the ability to think for yourself and stand up for what you believe in, whether it's the popular way to go or not, to express yourself (as you most wonderfully do). Race was not an issue, only that people were people, good or bad or whatever in their own right. Politics goes beyond race and this election was about more than race. Not only was a black man running for office, but also 2 women, that in itself is also quite a feat, and other good men. Hopefully Obama won this election because of who he is and what he is perceived to be able to do for our country, not merely because of the color of his skin and wanting to make a point. Voting is a right we all have, and should use if we so desire, and if we desire not to, or don't feel inclined to stand in a long line while they're already announcing winners, that is a right we have as well. Whether Obama won this election or not we can still tell children of all backgrounds and races that they can become anything they desire, God has control over those things for whatever his reasons are over time. You don't have to be black to appreciate the great things black people have accomplished, and I'm kinda thinking that bringing the father thing into it was a low blow, just my opinion. To have his input into the many things she has going on in her life right now is probably something she wishes for everyday, but about so much more than being black.

Brianna said...

Well I think you answered my "household she lives in" comment in your post...that's why I said it. It has nothing to do with whom she may have voted for, had she decided to vote, as I do believe that many great, forward thinking, smart individuals probably voted on both sides of the ticket. It has more to do with the thinking that regardless of who you did vote for, still being able to see the significance and appreciate what our country was able to do. I think that's what is missing and I think that it is unfortunate.

People don't need to vote for Obama because they're black and he's black. That's silly. But when you come to the conclusion that he is the best, most qualified canidate we have, you are most definitely able to recognize and appreciate the fact that HE'S A BLACK MAN, and celebrate it. And if you don't come to that conclusion and you vote for the other guy based on what you believe to be better qualifications for the job at hand, I still believe America as a country should take pride in the fact that we elected a Black man to the highest office in the country based on qualifications! Because that is progress. It does make a point and I think it's extremely disheartening if people miss that point or don't acknowledge it all, as if the strides our country has made don't deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated by all of us. I realize that I myself might live a priviliged life and not have too many worries out here in Southern California where racism may not be that big of a deal, but I am still fully aware that there are citizens of our country still alive today that fought, marched, sat, and died so that would be possible for me. So at the very least I owe it to them to care that I don't drink out of a seperate water fountain or stand in the back of the bus as they did. So no, I hope we did not vote to make a point, but I do hope that our vote made one.

Bringing Dad (which please remember he is mine as well) into the equation was not meant to be a low blow in any way--and sorry Brit if it came off like that. But I honestly did think of him and wish he could have experienced this. If Obama hadn't have won, sure we could have still celebrated how far he had come and the difference he had made, but it still wouldn't have been the same. I remember when I first heard he was running and I didn't know much about him...before I decided he would have my vote. I thought that it was a good thing--this smart, educated, black man with what seemed like a lot of good ideas for this country--running for president. But I didn't really think he would have a chance at winning. Not at first. It's good that he would try, and it's great that he might get pretty far in the process, and he might actually be the best candidate we have, but he wouldn't really get elected. So if I'm thinking that this country wouldn't elect him, I am also telling myself that I don't think it would elect ME. That the majority of America would not be ok with that. And so when I realized that this country will and did elect him, of course that gives me a sense of pride as well, because that statement is huge. And of course it's not just important to black people because I do believe that our generation wants to be able to say the color of your skin simply doesn't matter, as much as we have wanted to feel like it really doesn't, but saying that's the case and it being a reality is two totally different things. And this was a step in the direction of reality.

Anonymous said...

Obama has duped you all! He is not the man you are all making him out to be. Every single word out of his mouth was written for him by a Madison Avenue advertising agency. He is merely a puppet, a creation, a mouth piece for those that created him. The guy can deliver a pre-prepared speech with the best of them. By the above people's stong desire to have change, you are accepting a pig in blackface. Rub off the blackface all you have is a pig reading words written to feed you what you want to hear.


Brianna said...

sorry...i thought he was gone. i guess comment moderation will be back on. i would delete it but somehow blogger has taken away that function??? Medoblado, NONE of your comments are welcome. thanks.

Dana said...

@ Medoblado - I am happy to be duped if change and hope rather than doom, gloom, and more wars are the things being "marketed" to me for this country. I'm sorry you're bitter that your choice for candidate did not win, but losing happens. It's unfortunate for you that being petty by calling President - Elect Obama names and giving jib jabs isn't going to change the situation for you. I wish you the best in finding solace for your obvious disappointment.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine on MS posted this and I could not agree more. this election was a momentus moment and I don't think I have ever felt more proud to be African American then today.
I am a biracial child and have always identified myself as black b/c the first thing you see is a black woman when you look at me. when reading this I got chills and wanted to just scream about how great it is to be American in 2008.
M.D. San Diego

My friends post: As a woman with a BA in African Studies with a focus on African, Caribbean and African American History, I am well aware of the adversities that have been place before people of African descent.

But we need to stop making excuses and dream big! Nothing can stop us; no one can hold us back. People may say they have no role models well we now have Barack Obama. A black man who is not ashamed or afraid to show love for his black wife and children or people in general. A black man that has crossed and overcome racial barriers. He has created a path for success on his own terms.

Yes WE can, Yes YOU can.

Nothing is impossible YOU just need to dream big and put effort into making possibilities a reality!





PEACE!!!!! (DUCES)!!!!!

brit_brat said...

Personally, if we were where we(as people) needed to be, then looking at Obama as the 44th president and not the first BLACK president would be the case. You honestly think our ancestors fought for their/our rights to have "first black" infront of their titles? I don't believe so. I believe they wanted to be considered as equals, as human beings, as the same. Black people scream for equality, no color lines and progress...well then stop categorizing yourself as just black. Like saying "I'm a strong black man" or "I'm a black woman with a good education" No. You're a strong man, and an educated woman. Being black doesn't make you any better or anymore special. Just take pride in being an American, not an African American. So many people are so focused on the African part of that statement which only separates you from the second part, being an american. Don't be proud to be black in america today, be a proud american. No one will ever see blacks as the same as your fellow man if we keep emphasizing and demanding achievements be made more accomplished or special because it involves someone of color or minority. To me, getting rid of the labels and the skin colors is true progress, is the america I want my kids to grow up in. It wouldn't matter to me if we ever had a president that was similar to what my kids were, I'd still tell them they could be anything they wanted to be. And mean it! If my daughter wanted to be something no other female has ever been, I wouldn't discourage it until a female had. What kind of crap is that? You're telling me blacks in america needed a black president to become motivated to do better, to be better? Be self motivated.
And Bri, Dad being here wouldn't have made me think any differently. Infact, its because of him that I think this way today. Him, along with our mother taught us to be ourselves, not the color of our skin and to speak our minds regardless of what the words are. You may identify yourself as 'black' and feel more passionate about things pertaining to it, but I've always marked down 'other'.

Brianna said...

You don't make sense. "If we were where we were supposed to be as people...". Nobody said this was the finish line!!! Like now we all just sit back in our lounge chairs and act as if there is nothing else to be achieved. I think the biggest thing is you just don't know history. You talk of what America should be without even bothering to understand what it is and what it's been. You honestly don't seem to "get" just what our ancestors fought for or dreamed of and think that perhaps it's possible that the rest of the world sees things as you might in your bubble of the world. You crawl before you walk Brit. It's a long road to come from being considered 3/5ths of a person to president. A hell of a long road. It's not the end of the road but it's headed in the right direction.

But seriously, I'm not even going to try and have it make sense to you because you obviously have your own ideas that in no way mirror mine so it is what it is. I understand we have the same parents but this idea of just being "other" is not something I ever learned so your on your own with that one. Really...what is other??? Mark two boxes if it makes you feel better.

k. carli said...

You know Bri, I kind of appreciate Medo's comments. Let me elaborate (before you say Kinta, are you serious). Consider the comments as a measurement of sorts as to the presence of ignorance that still exists within our country. As we celebrate the strides that we as a people have made over the years we can also appreciate that the same tricks, the same unmerited comments regarding the successes and value of African-Americans are still being thrown at us. Essentially, we as a people have gained so much ground yet ignorance still trails us with the same old tactics. As long as we keep it moving, we will always remain a driving force to be reckoned with and a vital and much needed part of these United States of America.

The election of Barack Obama proves in an extraordinary manner that we are truly uniting as a country and that we can come together as a unit and make decisions which ultimately govern the greater good of the whole. Regardless of what anyone thinks or how they feel about this moment, it can now be written in the history books that an African-American will be sworn in as Commander-in-Chief of a country that once did not recognize his ancestors as humans but rather the lesser of that. To go even deeper, we will now have a bi-racial President whose mixed heritage includes the once forbidden combination of a White-American mother and an African father. He and his family will be living in a house, the White House, where at one point not that long ago in fact, select blacks were only allowed to enter (through the back entrance) in service or to be of a service. Now who’s being served? The measure of this is absolutely phenomenal.

I admonish you all to keep the first family as well as Vice-President elect Biden’s family covered in prayer and let’s watch history continue to unfold before our very eyes. It’s going to take some time to turn things around, but at least we have the HOPE of actually turning now.


Jon Lustig said...

I already commented on the election in your post from last Friday, but I thought you might enjoy this if you hadn't heard it already. You know something historic has happened when people all over the world start taking credit for it in their own small way. Here in Ontario, we're taking credit for David Axelrod (Obama's campaign manager) since he was our Premier's (Governor's) image consultant when he was elected to his first term five years ago.
Bri, you should know better. 3/5ths was never meant to be a description of African-Americans. It was a compromise the founders made with the southern states that allowed the passage of the constitution, while still punishing the southern states for slavery by denying them their full representation by population in the Congress. I'm not a big fan of it either, but the least we can do is be honest about what it was and acknowledge that there were at least some good intentions behind it.

brit_brat said...

Our ancestors weren't just black Brianna. We have white ancestors that fought and died for us to have the things we have today also. You seem to forget that. It wasn't just black people that had to struggle. Mom has probably had to live through a tougher life with more struggle than we will ever know...yet she's white. You have narrow vision for someone who claims to see the broader picture of things....
but this is just something that will continue to circle around and around so lets just drop it...

and I mark other because in most circumstances you're only allowed to mark one.

Brianna said...

@ kinta...i hear you and i almost agree...except his is a different kind of case.

@ john...i do know better. and i know that the 3/5ths "compromise" still helped the slave states keep power the majority of the time by allowing them to count black people as citizens but not treat them as such. but the point is the country AS A WHOLE still was able to pass such a compromise dealing with full human beings, yet saying somehow we can fraction them up to serve our purpose.

@ brit...there is no way you can possibly compare the struggle of a person with the struggle of a people. That is apple's and oranges. How am i the one with a narrow vision when all you can talk about is what you know instead of acknowedging anything else that has gone on in this country. Yes, it is an American struggle...and different people played different roles.

I'm done.

brit_brat said...

I know history. Mine and that of others...its just affects my life differently than yours. Difference is I'm ok with that. You just need me to feel the same way as you for you to be ok with it. You've always been that way. I still love you though. Always will.

Anonymous said...

With all do respect, I can sympathize with the comment about not having any vesting feelings in this election. Both candidates did not really evoke a strong desire for me to back up. On one hand you have Mr. Obama who is extremely liberal in his beliefs, while profession to be a Christian believes firmly in gay marriage and the right to kill unborn children. On the other you have a potential VP who does not even know that Africa is a Continent, not a country...WTF? I am appalled and sickened by many people voting merely based upon race, because Mr. Obama is black. That is racist to me. You vote based upon issues, and many people know nothing or don't care about Obama's issues. Also the comment about having "no excuses now" is retarded. What has held back so many people in life is laziness...we have all the possibilities in the world...being a minority myself who has worked so hard to put MYSELF through school by hard work. We have endless opportunities as Americans. I will support Mr. Obama as my President and pray that God leads and guides him and gives him wisdom. But tisk tisk for those who votes based on race.