Tuesday was a monumental day. President Barack Obama was re-elected as President of the United States. A black president makes it for another term...whhhaaaat!?!? Four years ago, when he was first elected, I was celebrating on U St. with friends and strangers into the wee hours of the morning. This year, I am a little older, and a little more sophisticated. I was with most of the same friend but instead of shutting down an intersection we were informed of President Obama's victory while listening to NPR on the way home. I couldn't even stay up for the concession speech much less the victory speech. I was worn out from a long day of work, too strong of drinks. and well, me just being older.
As a result of the election this year I have been able to observe a few things. First, I LOVE POLITICS. I have always loved politics for as long as I can remember. In fact, I remember year after year trying to run for class president or the SGA only to come up short. For many years I even wanted to become the first black female President. However, while I no longer have the same passion to run for office, I still love politics. I realized that I need to be involved in some way even if if it means volunteering for a local campaign. So in two years I am in, this is my promise to myself.
My other observation is how much we are divided as a country. I mean this on two levels. In Maryland, Question 6 which allowed for the legalization of gay marriage was passed. I have had so many gay and lesbian friends growing up. My support for gay marriage was never an issue. But as a result of this referendum I have really gotten to know the opinions of others, including those who I call friends. I am still amazed that the lengths that people will go to prevent other people's happiness. Regardless of how you feel about homosexuality do you believe that is it is your right dictate who can marry who?
Post election I have seen racist, sexist and homophobic rants on Facebook. I have read articles online and have heard reports on tv. I don't know whether to be scared or happy. Scared because of all this bubbling deep seated hatred, or happy because people's hate is out in the open instead of behind closed doors. I have seen people assume because one is a democrat that they are on welfare, have multiple kids, and are unemployed. Or on the other side that Republicans are racist, sexist, red neck idiots. States have threatened to secede. People have threatened to move. Are people unhappy about the person who is president or the color of his skin? In a society were Caucasians are becoming the minority I feel like it is time that we start having some serious conversations about race in America. Our country no longer looks the way it did when it was founded. we are truly become a melting pot of colors and ideas. No one is really moving to Canada so we need to start getting to know each other and learning to work with each other and no against each other regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race, class or whatever.
As for four more years.... I hope that President Obama pushes up his sleeves, stops being the nice guy, and get to work! We have a lot of issues going on this country and we have no time for rest. And we, the people who elected him (or didn't), need to make sure to hold him accountable and to back him up if he needs it. Let's make this a fantastic four more years!