So now, they have some hope.
And it’s real, or at least, it seems real to this green Canadian who watched the early returns while painting her nails pink, the color of Easter and spring, and went to bed once Ohio was called, knowing it was all done except the counting.
I watched his speech this morning, and even my jaded Canadian eyes teared up and snivelled, thinking how wonderful it is that finally, a GOOD person was elected. A person who appears to have the best interests of a nation at heart, a nation he so obviously loved.
I could be cynical. I could be afraid for the next four years, for the battles he’s in for, the utter tragic mess he’s left with. But I refuse to be.
Instead, I want to think about my daughters, and the world they’ll now grow up in. To them, a black man as a leader will not be strange, will not be limited to the Jesse Jackson’s and Al Sharpton’s of the world. To them it will be normal, like a united Germany. I remember the Wall coming down, and even at 11 or 12, it was a heady moment, a moment full of hope and change and the promise fulfilled-the promise that eventually, someone will do the right thing.
It feels like Obama is that promise. And perhaps he’s just change-new pants we’re happy with but will tire with soon enough. But it’s change-and I believe with all my heart that change is only good. Change is needed, in the stagnant corners of a country that showed itself willing to stand in lines for hours to exercise their right! (Never in Canada would this happen. Never. We have the Chia Pet’s for candidates most years and frankly, we’re not the US) Change is wanted, so strongly that most Americans VOTED. Change is wanted.
I watched his speech, and teared up when I would see the face of a child, a child who will know looks at his or her skin and realize it truly doesn’t matter. A child who will now come of age in a world that has shifted slightly, and without the wounds of the 60’s. A child who will trace MLK and Malcolm X and Rosa Parks and the millions of others who fought for equality to this moment, and many others to come. A child who will understand that this is what America stands for, what even Canada stands for.
A place where we’re all in it together, and that somethings, they just don’t matter, be it skin color or hair length or who your Aunt is.
A place that lets a little boy stare up at the President, and for the first time, see himself.
(And can we talk about, for a minute, how AWESOME it was that he said GAY and not “same sex” or “alternative”-this guy, he has the awesome. )