Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proud to Be an American... Kind Of

I stayed up all night watching the election coverage on In case you've been in a cave in Afghanistan for the last week, Barack Obama is our 44th President of the United States of America! It even looks as though North Carolina will go for Obama by around 13,000 votes. Unfortunately, that is a far smaller margin that Bev Perdue's victory for the governorship, or Kay Hagan's senatorial victory over Elizabeth Dole. That means that alot of democratic voters in my state either chose McCain for President or simply abstained from voting for President, all together.

This really pisses me off! I suppose I expected that North Carolina had come farther than it really has with regard to race. Don't get me wrong: I'm no paragon of racial equality. I still get nervous if I'm surrounded by blacks on a Saturday night at Waffle House. And I'm still prone to call a black person "nigger" under my breath if they cut me off in traffic or come to a stoplight with their car stereo blasting so loud that MY car shakes.

Barack Obama, though, is so much greater than that. He exemplifies the very best that America has to offer, regardless of race or gender. Obama inspires our brightest angels rather than appealing to our darkest demons. He makes people want to be their best. This is what I've been wanting out of a leader my entire life. But now that we finally have that, I can't enjoy it fully thanks to all the damn rednecks!

I found out that my friends from algebra class voted for McCain. That's not what bothered me. The fact that they used words like terrorist and Muslim to describe Barack Obama, and claimed that he would work against Israel is what bothered me. I expected better of them. This sort of thing makes them seem less intelligent and less informed than I would have thought. I know it is elitist of me to say this, but I guess I expect better of anyone who is going to college. Still, they are both freshman, so perhaps they will learn with time, but I somehow doubt it.

I've never been more proud of America than I am now that Obama is our President-elect, but I'm not nearly as proud of America as I would like to be. Until we figure out a way to exorcise ourselves of those for whom racial stereotypes of ALL varieties are borne, I fear that we will always be held back as a society. We are capable of so much more than what history has given witness. At least, that's what I'd like to think.

Have fun, and keep living life... It's getting better all the time!

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