Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama


I have no illusions about an Obama presidency. I dislike the bulk of his policies. I cringe at the thought of a united Democrat-controlled government. I think the already impossible expectations of any president have been amplified for him and he is thus almost guaranteed to fail--perhaps miserably. I will be unrelenting in my criticism of his administration and its allies in Congress when they attempt to go beyond their constitutional bounds--and they almost certainly will.

All that said, when he approached the podium last night to give his victory speech, I wept.

I wept because I've heard countless blatantly racist diatribes, jokes, comments, and sub-human comparisons over the course of my life. I wept because of the pain my older family members endured and all the struggles they faced that I can't even fathom. I wept because, on several occasions, I've been told I can't date someone because her parents wouldn't approve of my race; that in spite of my intelligence, my responsibility, my diction, my future prospects, my talents and my everything else that makes me a good person--and even the fact that I look white--I'm different. It didn't matter whether the parents were liberal or conservative; or whether they were college educated or not: being black made me not good enough.

I wept because the America I just described--even my home state of Indiana which hasn't gone for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson--voted for a black man to be President of the United States. And, nationally, it wasn't even close.

I could not be prouder of Barack Obama. And I am so very proud of my country.



10 comments:

jenn said...

well said, jpb. i wept, too, for reasons that are similar, yet different.

i'm also glad that i will no longer have to turn the radio off when a presidential sound byte is played. that'll be nice.

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you because you do not just vote color. I just wish it could of been someone like you instead. Someone whose ideals and values match my own and some one who has feelings. Of Obama I'm not sure!

Anonymous said...

Stolen Joke:

You really can't understand what kind of job GWB has done since 9/11 until you realize that the American public has just elected President a black man with a Islamic name...

Walter Olson said...

That was a very fine post. Thanks.

voluntaryservant said...

I wish that I could understand. I've had a lot of racial tension throughout my whole life. As a "white boy" in the South I heard these insults my whole life.
I hate it for anyone to have to deal with it. I hate it for someone to be forced to have ANY negative feelings regarding their genetics. That's just stupid.
However, I have no particular feelings for some empty suit who aspires the seat of Stalin or Mao to appeal to the guilt or sympathies of the masses to garner support for their cause.
The "however" in your post seems to imply that.

Hannah said...

My humble musical letter to President Obama:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4bZw9FmXZ4

Love,
Hannah Friedman

Matt said...

Even as a white libertarian, I was happy, not so much for Obama, but for black Americans and for humanity as a whole. It is hard for me to appreciate there are older black people walking around who have endured a level of abusive bullshit that I can barely imagine. And even today, some research indicates we can subconsciously maintain racial prejudices that we would repudiate on an intellectual level. This is a milestone whatever one thinks of Obama's policies.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this refreshing and candid blog. :-)

Prashant said...

This was a really difficult Election for me. I hate McCain, but I really hate Obama's policies(with McCain its more personal, because once you flip-flop so many times, I can't really say I hate his policies).

But on the other hand, I really understand what Obama's presidency means to blacks in America.

Whatever is it, its time to kick Obama in nuts the moment he tries to take our guns, curb our speech(fairness doctrine), or tries to take our country in left direction in any way(spreading the wealth around).

But honestly I so wish that we had a right wing nut job as the first black President.

Ride Fast said...

People are amazing in their complexity, as are you, sir.

To be completely opposed to the man politically and proud of him at the same time is something too few people can pull off.

Good on you.

Found my way here via Radley, btw.