As I watched Obama speak tonight, I cried. For the hope of progress and change that such a landslide brings to me, this country, and the rest of the world. As I walked across the street from Steve & Kristan's, my phone dinged its little email notification letting me know that my friend Joseph had tagged me in a Facebook note. I couldn't have articulated this better:
I cried tonight.
I cried watching Obama speak in Chicago.
I watched the speech at my downstairs neighbor's house. I've never been inside, but I heard his TV and asked if I could come in.
I sat there surrounded by four black guys and we sat speechless, watching the families of our next president and vice president, white and black, hug each other.
An hour ago I called my dad. He picked up the phone with: "You won. What else do you want to talk about?"
My dad voted for McCain.
Tonight as I watched Obama talk about hope and change, as I watched him talk about leading this nation into a spirit of service––into a spirit of consciousness of ourselves as members of a larger world order––I cried a little.
I cried because something inside me felt like we get to be proud to be American again.
I cried because I knew somehow that the society I'm going to work for, the America I'm going to live in and build for my kids and the kids of my neighbors, doesn't have to be the land my parents and my friends parents understand.
I cried because, on a personal note, my love for all people regardless of race and my anger at the atmosphere of hatred that I grew up around in Republican Orange County, was somehow validated.
I cried because I watched our beautiful new first lady and her beautiful black daughter stand in front of the world as loving family members of the new most powerful man in America.
Let me underline my optimism with reality.
Because Obama is president, this country will not cease to be veined with racism.
Because Obama is president, the wars in Afganistan and Iraq will not magically cease and leave healed countries in their wake.
Because Obama is president, Los Angeles will not cease to have almost 90,000 homeless people sleeping on the street tonight and for many nights to come.
Because Obama is president, the economy will not cease to be in disarray.
Because Obama is president, injustice will not dissolve.
Because Obama is president, there is still no guarantee that gay people will be treated equally. That struggle will continue. Even Obama does not support gay marriage in principle, and there is a good chance that prop 8 will pass tonight. For that, this victory is bittersweet.
Because Obama is president, I can say that the country I believe in (in principle) does not prohibit someone from being in charge just because of their skin color.
Because Obama is president, I can be assured that while our goals might not be fulfilled, at least they are validated and aimed in the right direction.
Because Obama is president, I now believe there is a chance that we might begin to act as servants of the world and its people rather than a hegemonic, money-hungry juggernaut.
Because Obama is president, I no longer have to be ashamed to be American.
Because Obama is president, I have watched one of the most remarkable political victories in America manifested in front of my eyes.
Our generation has spoken.
If you were tagged in this note, it's because you were there alongside me and helped me care about the political process of this country.
Special props and love to my mom Kat and her wife Lynnette. I love you both and nothing can ever take away the love you have for one another. I will continue to fight for justice.
Thanks for reading,