Last night the world watched as Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States, and its first black president. For me it was a very emotional and special moment. I watched as a man who has inspired me, who I identify with and who I voted for was lifted into one of the most important positions in the country. What blew me away about this moment was the beauty of seeing all these people come together, united as one, to celebrate a man who gave them hope.
Being Hispanic and growing up in a white household, the issue of race was not important, but it was always there. Throughout my life I have been labeled as “Mexican” because of my skin or “White” because of where I grew up. The truth is I am neither and I am both at the same time. I am Latino, white, black, Asian, German, Jewish as well as a host of other races and cultures which is a reflection of the people I call friends and family. In Obama I see myself. Someone caught between racial identities but at the same time represents the very best parts of what it means to be American.
What struck me the most about last night was all the faces of the people in crowd. White, Black, Latino, young and old all came together to celebrate this historic moment. You could see the hope in their eyes and the admiration they had for our new president. People like Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey who are leaders in their own right last night were humbled to tears. Last night they were not famous celebrities, they were just one of the crowd.
This is where history is made. These are the moments we learned about in school. The moments that Obama himself talked about in his speech. Moments like when women got the right to vote or when Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech. This must have been what it was like to be inspired by JFK. To be a part of it, to experience it for oneself is truly remarkable.
I feel I have to say congratulations to John McCain for putting up a real fight. While I don’t agree with his politics, his devotion to America is unquestionable. His concession speech was classy, well spoken and sincere. Where was that John McCain during the campaign? Where was the John McCain from SNL? Last night he too rose above his parties politics and acknowledged the significance the moment with honor and respect.
To me this victory meant the realization of MLK’s dream and the dream of millions of Americans who gave everything to make this world a better place. It represents the American dream and the ideal that anything is possible if we work hard. Last night wasn’t about black or white, Republican or Democrat. It was about people coming together. People celebrating the possibility of change and the power of hope. It is a moment that represents the very best of America and a moment that I will not soon forget. Today I am proud to say I am an American.
Congratulations Barack Obama, our 44Th president of the United States of America.