Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Black President

I am so excited.

First, let me say that I did not vote for Barack Obama because he is black. I voted for him because I thought he was the better candidate, and will make the better president. I think he will help how the rest of the world sees the United States. I don't think he is the Messiah and I'm sure I will be disappointed in him at times during the next 4 (or 8) years. However, I think this is the right direction for America to go in and I am thrilled because of the person we have elected, while still being unbelieving.


While a lot of me wants to rant about how I can be a Christian and still be a Democrat, how liberal is not a bad word, how pro-life should be for the duration of life and not just and how I don't understand why McCain was seen as the Christian candidate by so many when he's the one of the two who had an affair, got divorced, and doesn't claim to go to church... I'm not going to right now. I want to talk about how excited I am to have a black president.

Yes, I know he is half white. But it wasn't black people who initiated the one drop rule. It was white people and black people suffered for it in a lot of ways. I for one, am totally happy to say that we have our first black president.

But how happy I am for my own self is nothing compared to how happy I am for all the kids I have worked with. For eight years I worked with primarily black students who were resigned to the fact that presidents would always be old white men. As a white person, I could tell them that they could be anything that they want to be - even the president! - but it's really hard to believe that something is possible when you've never seen it. These kids finally have an example.

When I got to Oakland, I didn't think racism was still as alive and well as it is. It may not be as obvious as it has been in the past but it is still entrenched. If you don't believe me, feel free to leave a comment and say so and I'll dedicate a post just to examples of entrenched racism but I'm not going to do that now.

I'm just going to say that I will never have to hear again that an eight year old thought they "they just didn't let black people be president." And for these kids, that is huge. It's a barrier that needed to be broken.