Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Audacity of Hope

"I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those that came before me, and that, in no other country on earth is my story even possible."

~President Barack Obama

Fever. Electrifying. Momentous. These are words that have been used to describe the events that happened today. Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. I am overwhelmed. This is utterly incredible. I am not in shock because I believed this day would come. I was not sure when it would come but I knew that one day in my lifetime a person of color would rise to the highest office in this land. It is completely surreal but yet it is real. As I sat watching the votes come in on CNN and the ensuing commentary I knew that this was "the day." When the votes came in for Pennsylvania and Ohio I knew history had been made. I knew I would look back on November 4, 2008 with not only nostalgia but pride.

I am truly happy for Barack Obama for he does deserve his success. He will need a hefty dose of courage because the journey ahead is going to be long and arduous. In his own words, the nation is fighting two wars, the planet is in peril, and we are facing the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Hence, President Elect Obama is going to need the best minds surrounding him at this time because the challenges ahead are great. And while our greatest days are still ahead, to get to those great days we will have mountains to climb. The next eight years are going to define the course of history and I am securing the best seat in the house to watch the future of our world unfold. I do not say this passively. I will secure the best seat and wear my thinking cap.

I am also truly pleased for Michelle Obama; the "rock" of the Obama family. She does deserve to be in the White House and has earned the right to be the next First Lady of the United States. Born to working class parents, the Robinson children were not complacent and refused to accept the status quo. They did not let their status limit them but instead pursued Ivy League educations at some of the finest institutions in the world. Michelle Obama deserves her success and I am so happy for. As much as I celebrate Obama's success I revel in Michelle's because she is as much a part of this great moment in the history of this great country as her spouse is.

As an immigrant in the United States my heart is truly enlarged. I am overtaken by mirth. Far from being puffed up, I am deeply humbled at the turn of events. I am convinced more than ever in the power of a dream and in the audacity a young boy had to hope that he could one day be President. Today's events are just as monumental as that of several years ago, when Nelson Mandela won the popular vote in South Africa after years of incarceration and apartheid. Dare we hope that one day the Iraqi people or Afghanistan will have a functioning democracy. To that I say "yes we can, si se puede."

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