Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I fully admit that up until today, I had not been overly "connected" to this election, what it may mean for the country, or what it means to me personally. Don't get me wrong - I excitedly cast my vote in November for Obama, I hoped and prayed that he would win, and I have waited eight long years for that twit to return to Texas. I have been appalled by the ignorance and hubris displayed by this last administration, I have suffered along with friends and family in this dismal economy, and I have felt endless frustration with the nonsensical cries of "patriotism" as countless men, women, and children of all stripes have been blown to bits in a ridiculous war.

What I hadn't felt, until today, was proud.

Most of you know that I am bi-racial, the daughter of a Swamp Yankee white mom and an African-America father. Most of you can probably guess that throughout my life I have felt, at varying times, disenfranchised, outcast, threatened, grateful, conflicted, and completely at peace with my racial makeup and everything that comes with it. But it wasn't until this past year, at the age of 40, that I have felt, truly and deeply, that some people just plain old don't like me based on nothing more than the color of my skin, and what it represents to them. This year I took the most important job of my life in a place that I thought would feel familiar to me, only to find that I have had to deal with anger, hatred, rudeness, threatened job security, and even the word "nigger" scrawled in Sharpie on my place of employment, and shouted by patrons at other patrons of color (twice!). To say it's been hard is an understatement.

So maybe that's why, today, as I watched Aretha sing and Obama solemnly swear, I got a little teary-eyed. I was proud that this country elected as President an intelligent, thoughtful, and well-spoken man, a man who happens to be bi-racial, just like me. After months of feeling like I relocated to Alabama and not a beach community in the far Northeast, and a lifetime of feeling like I'm not like anyone else (even though, cognitively, I know that's not true), it was just what I needed.

Congratulations, President Obama!


Megan said...

Yay for Obama, for intelligence, for thoughtfulness and amazing oratory skills (with substance behind them), and for where we might go from here! I'm hopeful...

SUEB0B said...

Woo hoo! I think he will be good for this country in so many ways. I cried for 2 days, and sang the national anthem at the top of my lungs for the first time in my life.

Suzanne said...

I just read his memoir, Dreams from My Father, and thought it was an amazing exploration of his feelings on many of the issues that you raised. I don't know if you've read it yet, but I found its themes to be meaningful in so many ways.