When I found out that Barack Obama officially won the presidency I was curious to see the reaction of my peers. I logged onto Facebook and read the statuses of various people. I wasn't surprised by many of their reactions. I attend a very conservative school, naturally I have conservative friends. Many of them were upset with the outcome of the election. This is understandable, but as I scrolled through the many different sentiments of my friends I read something that troubled me. A friend of mine complained that the media should stop talking about the importance of electing a black president, instead we should start focusing on issues.
I thought deeply about this comment and have concluded how I feel about the statement.
Yesterday was the day to celebrate the first African American president elect of the United States of America. There will be plenty of time to battle out issues and policy, but yesterday was historic.
Fifty years ago this country was conflicted with the issue of civil rights. Blacks and whites were not considered equal in the eyes of much of the country. Just fifty years ago African Americans were lynched, shoved to the back of busses, forced to attend different schools, use different drinking fountains, restrooms, etc, etc. This wasn't too long ago.
After yesterday I can say that our country has officially come a long way. We elected the first African American president in the history of our grand country. It was a proud day for man kind. Barack Obama stands for something more than just the president of The United States but also as symbol to all those who came before him; for those who died, were beaten, persecuted, who stood up for a cause of equality. He is a symbol for all of them.
I believe that President Obama is a righteous and competent man. I believe that in these next four years he will steer this country in the direction it so desperately needs to head. I am grateful to live in a time where my fellow Americans looked past color and race, but rather judged by character and competence. Today I am proud to be an American.