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.