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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Change Has Come To America"

Whether the outcome of this year's presidential election reflected your vote or biggest fear realized, no one can ignore the sheer historical value it represents. Throughout the campaign, I heard questions like "why does it have to be about race?" and again while watching the crowds of African Americans celebrating with tears flowing from their eyes. This campaign was always going to be about race, from the first moment that our new president entered the race. Had Barack Obama lost the election, we probably would have seen an even greater divide among races than we still face today, even in the wake of this unparalleled display of acceptance. Accusations of racism would have spread nationwide, for there were many people who openly expressed their choice to vote for McCain simply for him being white; a clear indication of the level of ignorance involved with racism.

I was overcome with immense pride upon seeing the results unfold before me, seeing history being made and hoping that this gesture would mark the beginning of the end of racism. I realize that, just like terrorism, racism is something that may never go away completely. We can only hope that over time the collection of people who continue their ignorant views will become small enough to be entirely insignificant. Hearing Obama talk about an elderly black woman he met during his campaign really made me realize the impact of his victory. She is more than one hundred years old and recalls a time when looking a white person in the eye could be considered dangerous for her. She remembers the time when she was not allowed to vote, because she was a woman but furthermore because she was black. People like her can remind us of just how far we've come, along with the vision of Reverend Jesse Jackson standing in the crowd in Chicago with tears in his eyes, probably remembering the day that his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was shot down one floor above the parking lot where he stood.

Inexperience was widely documented as the main concern and a key factor in the decision to vote against Obama by many. I find that to be a ridiculous topic because no one has experience at running our country until they're in office. A long career in Congress may give you more political knowledge, but does not guarantee a more fit candidate for the most powerful seat in the nation, if not the world. Only time will tell, and no one can say what will happen or how long it will take, so the best thing we can do is to stand behind the clear decision to put Barack Obama in command for the next four years.

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