Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Afterglow

While my head is still spinning that I went to bed on election night and actually knew who my next president will be and while I am still relieved, elated, and inspired that it was Obama, I just wanted to get a few thoughts down.

I thought McCain gave a wonderful concession speech and it was good that Palin didn't talk at all though she appeared to be struggling to hold it together. It was the McCain that I saw tonight that as an independent voter I think would have been a strong contender for my vote had he not made such a troubling and bewildering choice in his running mate. Cest la vie, it is done and I'm elated with America's choice.

Now there are no more excuses. The man isn't keeping us down, he's not pulling strings we can't mount defenses against, whatever we fail to achieve as Americans, as blacks, as women, we have to own those failures as our own. Are there obstacles? People who deliberately advance agendas contrary to individuals and groups? Absolutely. But as much as I didn't cast my vote today to elect a black president, I am so ridiculously proud that my country did and showed that the primary consideration for the majority of Americans was who they thought was most qualified to lead our nation. Every single black person in America could have voted for Obama and that would not have won him the White House. I appreciate more than I or anyone of any color can convey what this means to our ambitions, hopes, dreams, and love for our country, but I'm not a fan of the race-centric discussions. Let him be our President first, a man of color second.

I also wanted to share how in love with my nation I am tonight. How in love with the thought that Americans and the world will get to know a black family that I identify with, that is not a caricature of black packaged and sold the world over. I am proud that they will be the ambassadors of both my ethnicity and my citizenry for this country and for the world. They inspire me to be a better public servant, and a more civic minded American. I am proud to work for the government and the challenge he has issued to roll up our collective sleeves and get to work inspires me to raise the bar on how I discharge the duties I've been trusted with. I told my mom earlier tonight, long before any projections were made that the thought of an Obama presidency made me want to work in Washington and work in the seat of government to facilitate the realization of the vision in 'Yes We Can.' It feels like a calling-so strange after the apathy of my adult voting life never feeling connected to the person who led our country, casting whimsical and arbitrary votes for a particular candidate because it was how my breakfast settled in my stomach on that particular day. It never felt like my vote mattered. I never felt I had an active role in shaping the future of my country. And now the work begins.

And on a slightly frivolous parting note, I'm happy that America will get to know a black woman. If Michelle starts an end-run on educated black women as desirous company and mates, that will be enough for me. I will finally get some play. I don't care if it's a fad. I'll finally be on the right side of one.


IP said...

I will comment also that this youtube video is from yesterday in Manassas, VA--a few miles from where I used to live. It's not like he didn't come to Philly but I still feel like I missed out somehow.

Good-Grace said...

I love this man. I have always been interested and somewhat involved in the political process, but I feel like this time things are fundamentally different. That this man is absolutely genuine. He is not some "figure head" for any other group of individuals (read: Bush). He has lived his life in service to others.

When I cast my early vote, I was honestly very near tears - I was so damned proud to have this choice to make - not just for me, but for my children. I can't put it to words - but there's hope, and the motivation to make a difference, to become more involved, to care about our "brothers and sisters", and to actually pull on our boots and get "down and dirty" in order to fix the mess we're in. I'm fired up - and ready to go.

Good-Grace said...

Oh yes... I loved your last paragraph about Michelle Obama!! Your time has come, girl! :)

Good-Grace said...

And I agree with your comment on McCain's concession speech. Wonderful. It moved me in the way that many of Obama's speeches do.