Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can, And Yes We Did

So what would today be without the obligatory Barrack Obama post? Well here is my version which I wrote for Global Comment.

Like many people across the globe I sat on the edge of my seat and watched the election results roll in. Though I have always felt that Obama is a centrist who will govern along that line, with the occasional lean left, I really wanted to see him win the White House.

As the night went on, with more and more states called in his favour, I dared to hope. Then it happened… The words I never thought that I would hear, “CNN calls the election for president elect Barack Obama.” Though I did not expect it, the tears streamed down my face and I knew a sense of joy that I was completely unprepared for.

I am not an American and yet when the announcement came, I found that I had more emotionally invested in the election than I realized.

In my mind I saw a vision of the middle passage. I saw my ancestors chained together, surviving on menstrual blood and feces. I heard the cruel cry of the whip as it sailed through air, permanently scaring the bodies of my ancestors. I heard the weeping of my foremothers as they watched powerlessly as their children were sold away from them. On this night I saw the culmination of all of that suffering for millions of Americans and beyond, for all of us.

The true history of the moment overwhelmed me and I was humbled by the patience, the will to survive, and the grace of my people.    Finish Reading here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Holy Shit. Look at this slideshow of people around the world celebrating. I have never seen anything like this in my almost-50 years:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
(The World Reacts slideshow)

And my wonderful city of Philadelphia is included! My neighborhood exploded last night in joyous celebration and copious amounts of champagne were consumed.

I will savor this moment, and have never been so proud of my country (yes!), and once our hangover wears off, the really hard part begins - holding ourselves and PRESIDENT Barack HUSSEIN (I am loving that!) Obama accountable to deliver the real change we need, and not fall back on politics as usual, business as usual, war and imperialism and exploitation as usual, and hate as usual, both in these United States and in the world.

Charles said...

I'm glad Obama won, though I'm not a big fan of his. And it's gratifying to watch the Republican party go down in flames, given what they've done to the country I live in. But we shouldn't forget that while this election was something of a victory for many of us, it was also a terrible defeat. The several anti-gay marriage ballot proposals which passed were a terrible blow to equality and freedom.

In particular, the likely success of prop 8 in California is a disaster. Acceptance of gay marriage in that state would have a huge impact an the national level over the next ten to twenty years. This is going to set things back by at least that long.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Charles. While I am savoring this moment, we should not forget that, while women-hating anti-choice measures went down in flames, the passing of Prop. 8 and others were a huge, huge stain on this election. Also, the return to office of some of the biggest haters in the Republican Party, like Chambliss, Bachman and McConnell (at least Dole was fired in NC, and the state went blue, which was unexpected). Like I said above, after the victory hangover ends, the hard part begins, starting here at home.

And a huge reason I am savoring this moment is not so much because I am a big fan of Obama, but us giving the Republican party a collective "fuck you, you're fired (sort of)." I also have my worries about what an Obama presidency can deliver, and his selection of Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff does not bode well for a change in politics as usual.

Sandalstraps said...

Charles,

I didn't want to be the wet blanket, but I couldn't agree with you more. While this is a day for celebration, it is also a day for mourning, as once again far too many Americans were told once again that they are "other," "less than," second-class citizens unfit to enjoy the full range of civil and human rights.

Kelley said...

I'm American, and I'm white and I went absolutely nuts when the announcement was made. I cried, I screamed, I hugged and kissed total strangers. Although he is not as left-leaning as I would like, nonetheless, I think he is the first step in redeeming the dream of democracy that was the United States in the past. I supported his campaign, and I will support his presidency. Thank you Barack Obama! Yes we did!

That said, thank you Renee for this blog. I read it every day and it's opened up vast horizons for me in critical thinking.

Queers United said...

It is an amazing testament to the civil rights movement and race relations in America. It is a beautiful day but we still have A LOT of work to do because this country is still very racist.