Did we really just elect Barack Obama as our president? Really? Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th president of the United States of America? As much as I see it on the internet and on the covers of newspapers, it’s still a little hard to believe.
I’ll try not to ramble on about this for too long, because everywhere you look there is some form of analysis regarding what just took place.
I woke up on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 with a good feeling in my heart. Figuring, “Today is the day that America names Barack Obama the next president of our country,” I walked across the street to my polling place and waited in line for about 40 minutes. After what took place that evening, the importance of that 40 minutes cannot be measured, though many will try to relay their feelings on to others.
Two beautiful things happened while I waited to vote. Both cases showed the magnitude of this election, as well as how much this day meant to so many people. The majority banded together for a common cause, feeling what was at stake, weight on our shoulders like a child during a lengthy parade. There was excitement in the air, but it was visible too.
A father stood in line with his son, who I guessed based on his looks to be just 18, and they waited patiently. The father grabbed his cell phone and began a conversation. Meanwhile, another young man walked out of the gymnasium of the school, passing the line of anticipating voters. The two men, recognizing one another, greeted each other with words and hugs. The one who was exiting the facility told the other to tag along with im, to which the father immediately whipped around and said, “No! Get back in this line! This ain’t that kind of party! Get over here, you’re voting!” The son disappointed, complied with his father, hood up and lip poked out.
The other thing that took place was a woman standing a couple spots in front of me grew weary of the wait and began to get antsy. She voiced her displeasure and made a gesture as though she was soon to leave without voting. At that moment, a volunteer looked her in the face and pleaded, “Please don’t get out of that line. Whatever you do, do not leave here without voting.” The man showed anguish and a great need for a call to action.
November 4, 2008 started off as a day of desperation for millions of Americans. The American justice system and electoral system has let so many of us down it seemed as though all hope was lost. That Tuesday was the day for all of us to prove ourselves wrong. And we did!
This past Election Day was more than electing the first African-American the president of the U.S.A. Obama’s election shows the change and progress that has taken place in this country for all people of this nation. All parents can look their children in the eyes and say to them proudly without feeling like they’re telling them a half truth, “When you grow up you can be whatever you want.”
Hope. Change. Progress. Vision. Yes we can. Yes we did.