Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our 44th President

Let me start by saying that I'm not an overly political person. I have my opinions, and I generally keep them to myself because people often go a little crazy when it comes to politics. But I did, and do support Barak Obama and was thrilled today to see him take the oath of office. The last 8 years have been full of ups and downs and I truly believe that the country needs this change.

On that note I have been annoyed today by the negative reactions from some people about the inauguration. I actually heard people say today that "this is no different than any other inauguration". Really people? How many other black presidents have we had? Oh yeah....NONE. And you know what, if the other side had won we would have watched that too because it would have also been a historic moment.

It was not to many years ago that a black man wasn't allowed to eat in the same restaurant as a white man. Black students were not allowed to attend schools with white students. It was illegal for a black man to marry a white woman. The nation was quite literally divided by race. And today, this amazing country saw a black man become the President! We have gone from a nation that had separate water fountains for blacks and whites, to a nation that could look beyond race to elect a young senator from Illinois to the highest possible office. The crowds in D.C. today were enormous and full of people of every race, and you know what...there were NO reported arrests. People who were there have commented that they saw no fighting. It was truly a giant celebration. During a time when the news is full of depressing reports on war and the economy isn't it nice to have something to celebrate?

My niece is from China so the idea of discrimination based on race is a real concern to me. I don't want her to grow up in a nation where the color of your skin can dictate the job you can hold. I want her to know that anyone, regardless of race, can achieve anything if they work hard at it. And I want her to know that the freedom this country provides allows me to celebrate today, and for others to complain.

So if you're happy today then I celebrate with you. If you're not happy today then I'd ask that you at least have the presence of mind to acknowledge that today history happened on the steps of the Capitol Building.

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