Congratulations President Barack Obama!

November 5th, 2008

Wow. We did it. We really did it. For African Americans, this is the single greatest moment in our history because it is a near culmination of all our struggles from Slavery to the Civil Rights Movement. It is by far not the end of all of the ills we still face, however, this moment proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this country belongs to African Americans as much as anyone else. For America in general and the people of all races who voted for President Obama, we have shown the world (literally) that we can choose hope over fear. From trying to prove Obama was a terrorist to robocalls on election day in Florida saying that President Fidel Castro endorsed Obama, we have shown the world that we are moving towards hope.

Today is a new day. Not only did President Obama win this election handily, but senators and governors across the country from the Democratic party have taken over, showing that America has chosen to drive towards unity rather than the “Joe the Plumber,” “real America” politics of divisiveness. Just looking at Grant Park in Chicago, every representative of this country was represented in large numbers. Asian men were out there wearing Obama shirts. White women dressed like the statue of liberty. This election is a testimony to our tenacity as a nation. Furthermore, the election of President Obama shows that one can be intellectual and succeed in a nation of instant television stardom from reality shows, sex tapes, negative music, and even more negative politics.

CNN’s Gloria Borger often speaks of how this nation has a self-corrective nature. The corrections may come after a great deal of agonizing time, but they do come. Furthermore, we must also understand the importance of underestimation. Those on the Republican side laughed at President Obama’s experience as a community organizer and now they are confused. They failed to realize that community organizers are the people who changed the world from King and Ghandi to Mother Theresa and Mandela. We must always remember that when we turn away from our communities, we turn away from ourselves. Though Obama raised millions of dollars, it is important to remember that he came from nothing economically compared to many of his presidential rivals. This was a campaign rooted in the community that expanded worldwide.

Lastly, I have to end this with a comment on our children. My daughters will grow up seeing the first Black President. He will live down the street from me. I shook his hand at the gym we used to work out at. He’s an ordinary man who did the extraordinary and it is an example for all of us. Ordinary Asian, Latino, Native and Black children will now grow up believing that they will have the opportunity to be the leader of the free world. As the First Lady, Michelle Obama will set a new standard for beauty for America. President Obama and Michelle have shattered the ultimate glass ceiling. President Obama has officially proven that this country belongs to everyone, not just wealthy White Americans. When I was a teenager, I always used to tell the kids I mentored that they should not want to grow up hoping to be the first Black President. I told them we shouldn’t have to wait that long and that they should grow up wanting to be the next one and for that Mr. President, I love you and I thank you.

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