So much emotion went in there. As I watched Barry, Michelle, Sasha and Malia take the stage – the entire family looking so radiant and proud – and listening to the roars of the audience. And thinking, “What an historic moment. I will remember this. This is where I was when the country’s first Black President was elected.”
And I teared up and looked at my coworkers and said, “This is wonderful. This is incredible. Look at this.” And so many of us were just proud, but we had to remain silent because we were instructed to remain professional as the night unfolded.
And we did it. In the face of injustice and lies and hardships, we overcame this to meet victory. Those of us in red states who knew our fighting chances were difficult went out and voted our conscience anyway – and while some of us carried McCain, others saw the need for change in leadership.
I voted for someone I believe in. And it isn’t because of razzle-dazzle or spin or perfect choice of words. I have read his proposals. I have read his book. I have watched his biographies. I have seen where he stands on issues I find of utmost importance. I believe in him, and I believe he will work for all of us.
Hopefully this will mean the end of a time when we take on the attitude that we’re on our own, that we’re responsible for ourselves. We have a responsibility to one another. We all share this world.
And yet there are still many battles to face. As long as people don’t have the right to marry the ones they love. As long as orphaned children are denied loving homes because that loving home doesn’t involve a “traditional marriage,” and as long as there are still laws and regulations in place that enfringe on human rights, we have a long battle ahead of us. As long as a McCain supporter hangs a raccoon in front of his house, we have a long battle ahead of us.
But I’m ready to take many of those battles head-on. I am ready for the racism and prejudice to come out of the woodwork. I am ready to challenge bigotry with kindness, and ready to move forward into the future.
This election is not about Barack Obama. It’s about us. Let’s get our country back. Let’s take the time to care about our communities. Let’s not forget how hard so many of us have fought for this.
Today, I am proud of us in so many ways. But I know we still have work to do. Let’s get out there and do it.