Will This Be a Watermark, or Are the Tides of Change Still Rising

Words can't fully capture the feelings I'm experiencing due to Obama winning the election. It's truly incredible. Like much of the world, I wasn't sure if I would ever see a man of color become president in my lifetime. Most importantly, I feel the right man has been elected to the most powerful job in America. I'm excited to have a brilliant man in this position.

I've said this many times in talks, I'm not sure if I mentioned it here, but I may have voted for McCain if he ran against a different opponent. I wish he would have stood his ground on the positions he had in the 2000 primaries when he was running against Bush. I believe there was a significant change in McCain's character during the latest primaries when his chances were dwindling. Had he not fallen into line with the way Republicans run fear campaigns... Perhaps the race would have been much closer.

On Monday I wore my Obama/Biden shirt and I had a number of people approach me that I never met before and say nothing but positive things and just wanting to share their excitement for the day to come. If it had been self-cleaning, I would have worn that shirt every day. Oddly enough, there were more people wearing Obama gear today. Maybe they just felt more comfortable sharing their opinions with other Texans now that it was over. My younger sisters were afraid to share their views with people at school because of the vicious attacks they would hear from their peers. I haven't talked to them yet, but I'm curious as to how these folks reacted knowing that Obama had one.

In one of my classes today, a vocal supporter of McCain said, "I'm glad [Obama] won. Now it shows that racism doesn't exist and people can stop complaining about it." I wish he could have realized just how hypocritical he sounded. This is an enormous step for minorities everywhere, but racism is not dead. If you look at much of the voting results, rural areas were the areas that McCain won easily. The same areas where, as Dem. John Murtha said, people "cling to their guns and religion." I overheard many white Americans during the primaries stating that they would never vote for a black president. Many of the people that appeared the Republican rallies vocalized their distrust in those that practice Islam. There is still a bias that exists in many of these people's minds. Honestly, I have racist thoughts that pop into my head from time to time, but I realize the error in my thinking quickly after that. I don't hang on to those thoughts and feelings to mask fear. If anything, this was a signal that minorities are now the majority. White Americans are still there larger percentage, but the rest are catching up.

I have a great-aunt that passed away a few years ago and, unfortunately, I had not learned about her life until after she passed. One of the most things that I was surprised that I had been unaware of was her contributions to the Civil Rights movement. She was an active supporter in the Chicago area and even traveled to the South with others to promote the cause. She was an amazing woman and although she wasn't able to join the thousands of people who gathered in Grant Park for the celebration, she was there in spirit. Along with the millions that had dreamed about this day, but were unable to experience it first hand.

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