I have never been so proud to be an American than today when not only did we elect the first black man to the White House but his opponent took time to mention how far we have come from the night Booker T. Washington was invited to eat dinner at the White house amidst racist outrage. Jesse Jackson, the first black man to win a primary and who many of us expected to be the nod for VP that year, cried heartfelt tears in the audience. White, black, Asian, and Latin@ people hugged and cheered. Pundits were choked up, quoting Martin Luther King Jr. And Barack Obama gave a speech in which he acknowledged not only the historical struggle of black people but also women. It is a moment in our collective history that can never be taken away.
As a girl who once put her little sister in a ditch to hide her from drunken klan, not knowing if I would live through the night to find her again; who was told to drink from the “fountain for n-s” long after those fountains should have been done away with; and who was threatened by klan riding the bus home from one of her first classes in undergrad, I, like many other N. Americans, know that this world is a very different one than it was yesterday. And even tho I also know that this is not the end of racism in N. America, I am still proudest of those among us who had to overcome racial prejudice to cast the deciding votes.
Though my mind is still on prop 8, prop 2, and all the others like it tonight, I cannot help but dance.
So dance with me y’all; now is our time:
Thank you PRESIDENT Obama for inspiring a nation and daring us to hope for a better country and a better world. And thank you FIRST LADY Obama for personally inspiring me to be a better woman in the face of the twin oppressions of racism and sexism that have typified this campaign. We are all made better by your joint willingness to risk everything and dare us to dream.
Yes, We Can!