Two things I want to share with you:
When it was widely announced that Barack Obama is the president elect, for the first time in my life I can honestly say I am proud to live in The States. America. USA. For once my faith in humanity isn't self-propelled and isn't deflated. It was restored. My phone, email, and facebook were flooded with calls and texts from friends and family all around the world. I could hardly believe that some of them were awake (that's you guys in Spain, the UK, and Sweden) and cared so much. (Thank you) Some of those calls and text messages were from friends in Chicago's Grant Park. One of whom is one of my closest and dearest friends Maria. She put together some pictures of the historic Obama rally, and in viewing them I got chills, and I smiled, and cried. Again.
click here for the rest of Maria's rally pictures
Second, I don't know if I'm allowed to do this, but this is a note from a friend of an acquaintance that I found rather touching:
a note on this election from my die hard conservative republican friend....
"It's not a secret to those of you who know me -- in real life, that is, and not just through these emails -- that I'm a generally conservative person, both in my politics and in my personal choices. I've voted Republican more often than not, and helped cause lot of conversations to deteriorate into invective and argument. If I examine individual issues, I probably disagree with President Obama on more things than not.
But today I spent about fourteen hours in Englewood, where as part of my duties with the Attorney General's Office, I had to monitor polling places to prevent voter intimidation and fraud, and ensure that everyone who wanted to cast a ballot had the opportunity to do so (for those of you who don't live in Chicago, you should know that Englewood is inner-city, incredibly poor, and overwhelmingly African American). Toward the end of the day, with about fifteen minutes left before the polls closed, an old man, in very bad shape, was carried in by his family. He couldn't walk on his own, and needed a lot of assistance -- someone carried his walker for him, another helped him read the ballot, and another held his colostomy bag. He was probably around eighty-five years old.
Sitting there, watching this occur, it dawned on me: This voter was a man who spent his entire childhood, and much of his adult life, living in a segregated society where he was looked down upon, physically intimated, and treated as less than human. But today -- in that same lifetime -- he was casting a ballot to help elect an African American to the highest, most prestigious, most awe-inspiring office in the world. That's no small thing.
Today our country elected a man who 150 years ago could've only come to these shores in chains; we elected a man who grew up well outside the traditional corridors of power and influence; we elected a man, who by dint of nothing but hard work and ambition, rose from a broken family and ordinary existence to earn the greatest laurels we as a society can offer. Again, that's no small thing.
There's a little over four years until the next presidential election -- about 1600 days. I have no doubt that I'll probably spend 1599 of those days disagreeing with Obama. But for today, at least, I'm just goddamned proud to call him our President."
**There are other things to fight still, like Proposition 8. But I do not want to take away from this happiness, so I am writing separate posts. xx