Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pride in my Country

I have been meaning to blog for the last two weeks. Finally, here I am. Almost two weeks ago, I sat in my living room and watched the results of the 2008 Presidential Election. Little bursts of excitement occurred within me with every gain for Obama. I knew that the polls said that he would win, but I never like to get myself too excited until it's official. I really wanted him to win. I had never been that excited about voting before, even though I've been doing it for the last six years. 

And then it was official...Barack Obama became the 44th president of the USA. I was so happy, so thrilled, so proud to be an American. I know it is horrible to say, but I honestly had not been proud of my American citizenship in a long time. Being abroad and informing others that you are an American is not always received positively. 

All of a sudden, the election took on a whole new meaning for me. I voted for Obama for several reasons, but none of them had to do with the fact that he is black. The realization that America elected a black president, only 40 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Amendment, caught me off guard.  I honestly thought that there were too many Americans who would not vote for a black president, which thoroughly disgusted me. I have been to the South several times and I have seen racism that I did not believe still existed to a large degree. Heck, I've seen it in my own community in the Midwest. Americans went out it huge numbers, many for the first time, to vote for a man who made history. Pride. I had so much pride in my country. It made me cry. I didn't expect it. It made me happy...I'm still in a good mood because of it :) I have a newfound respect for America and what it stands for. That does not change the fact that I want to live in France, but it does change the fact that I am proud of my country. What would  Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, or Martin Luther King, Jr. say if they were here to witness the election of 2008? Equality. I know we still have a long way to go, but this is definitely a huge hurdle. Awesome. 

1 comment:

erika said...

so true and it was amazing experiencing this election while living in chicagoland. my relatives in sweden said they were talking about it there and they are so happy for America. They even commented that "They like America now". Crazy how it affects more than just us!