Not the President... Yet!

Oh, what a historic day!

Barack Obama gave his amazing acceptance speech tonight and I watched the whole thing with my sons. They're used to me being a hot sobbing mess during Obama's speeches so they don't pay too much attention anymore to my tears. I only get the occasional, "Uh, is mom crying again?" looks.

They don't understand that when I was their age, the only time I saw black people on TV was during Soul Train. They don't get what a big deal it was to see a movie like "Do The Right Thing" in a movie theater. They definitely don't get that having this amazing man who happens to be black as a Presidential nominee is a really big historical, social and emotional deal. To them it's a given that Obama should be President of the United States of America. Instead of crying like I do, they dance and jump around cheering, "Barack Obama's the President! Barack Obama's the President!"

Unfortunately, I had the nerve to interject myself into their celebratory dance. "No guys, Obama's not the President. This is just him accepting his official nomination."

I might as well have tossed an entire bucket of ice cold kool-aid on them. "Whaddaya mean he's not the President???"

They tend to get really indignant when I tell them that Obama might not win. They want to know why and, although I always want to say, "Because he's black," I usually tell them, "Oh, because people might disagree with what he wants to do with the country."

Tonight though, I flat out told them how for some people it doesn't matter what Barack Obama says or does, they won't like him because of his skin color. My eldest really understands that since he's already been teased at school for his skin color. But goodness, even though I know that there are people in this country who'd rather get a hand chopped off than vote for a black man, I know it's less than when I was little, less than when my mom was a girl, and certainly less than when my grandmother was born. She passed away ten years ago next month and how I wish she could have been alive to see a black man accept a nomination for President of the United States.

Yes, I feel so hopeful tonight. It's a tough road to travel but goodness, we're stepping closer and closer to racial unity. I walk around my mostly Latino neighborhood and see Obama signs up everywhere and then I think, "So much for the myth that Latinos won't vote for a black man."

And, if you don't believe in the power of change, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan actually said Obama's speech was the best convention speech he'd seen in 48 years! I choked on my glass of water! The man was gushing!

And then, a few minutes later, Keith Olbermann mentions that eight years ago Barack Obama couldn't even get an admission badge to attend the 2000 Democratic Convention! Four years after that, Obama gave the amazing speech that vaulted him into the national spotlight. Four years after that, he's the Democratic Nominee for President! It gave me hope because gosh, if someone else's life can change like that in eight years, each of ours can too. Why can't our world change for the better in eight years? I really believe it can.

In the meantime, my sons are hatching a plot to marry Obama's daughters. "So then we can be related to Barack Obama and move to the White House."

I don't want nunchuks thrown at my head, so I won't discourage their plotting, but, ahem, as historic as his nomination is, the man isn't the President. At least, not yet.


Miriam said…
hm hm hm. I have to find a way to hear this speech. I know he give pretty rivoting speechings.
1969 said…
Amazing. Simply amazing. I just blogged about it too.

I was watching CNN last night so I didn't see Pat Buchanan gushing :)
Thanks for a clip that made my morning.

thailandchani said…
I also thought his speech was very good. (I don't know about the "best" in 48 years because, well, there was Mario Cuomo) - but it was still very good. Now if he can just get elected, maybe there will be some positive change! I hope so.

Jen said…
For Miriam - go to the DNC site - it will have it.

I thought it was a fabulous speech in large part because there were relatively few bells and whistles. Barack Obama was told he needed to present the meat of his ideas and he did. The comparison between him and McCain is crystal clear now.

I think this man is enormously talented. Probably the best chance we've had for a TRUE leader in decades.

One of the things I've loved this week is learning more about Barack Obama the man, the husband, the father and learning those things about Joe Biden as well.

I was not excited about Biden. I'm feeling much more so now.

I'm down with stomach flu and things I MUST catch up on today, but my first stop tomorrow is going to be to our local Obama headquarters to get involved with voter registration. I've been donating so far, but it's clear it's time to put my time where my heart has been.
Jen said…
Man, after reading my comments I'm not sure I speak English any more. Hopefully, you'll get the gist of what I was trying to say.
Unknown said…
WOW! I too was moved...SURPRISE!
Like you said, "not yet" but boy I sure hope no one steals this election away from him. We can not be complacent ~ and kudos to Gore for coming out and saying it.

I agree with Jen of a2eatwrite, if you are able get moving! We can't afford to let one vote slip away!

Obama even won us feminists over last night ~ I am finally on fire...and you had it all along Los Angelista! It sure does feel good!
Anonymous said…
History was made last night! It was AMAZING and wonderful and the fulfillment of many people's hopes and dreams!

as though we weren't already steeped in historic moments - McCain picked a WOMAN!!!! I don't like much about him, but this is an interesting turn of events....

I can tell you that very little will stop me from going to the polls on the 4th of November!
Liz Dwyer said…
AAGH! I hate when I'm almost all finished replying to comments and then Firefox CRASHES! It's just WRONG!


Jen (commenting down below) says it's on the DNC website. Hope you get to check it out. It's really moving.

Yup! I hope Pat doesn't try to backtrack today. His heart was touched. It really was!

I vaguely remember Mario Cuomo's speech. It's nice to know there are those who still can touch the heart (instead of merely being snarky and causing pain) through words.

Thanks for the hint about where to find the speech! I think you're right. It had such a purity, such a sincerity to it and I loved that. Registering people to vote is a great thing because however they decide to vote, it's such a sacred obligation. Everybody should do it! Feel better soon. We've got runny noses over here -- time for more garlic!

It does feel good! It's all about mobilizing people! Complacency could be the nail in the coffin, so I am praying folks decide to read up and search their hearts so that they're able to make educated, prejudice free and insightful voting decisions.

I've never been more excited to vote! McCain picking Palin is a VERY interesting turn of events. I figured he would pick a woman, but goodness, this pick is, uh... yeah, "interesting" is a nice way to put it.
Unknown said…
Great comments. Our mutual friend, Sundry, sent it to me. My own 3 year old knows all about Obama and whenever he sees Obama on the TV, he'll ask me, "Is he president yet?"
Shiona said…
I saw the speech too! All I have to say is WOW! at the Buchanan comments. Here's hoping I have a great story to tell my son when he gets older :)
The nomination of Barack Obama is one of the biggest events of my life, too.

I've been thinking a lot about how I did voter registration in Harlem in the 60's, going door to door to sign up black people to vote because many of them were not registered. Although the right to vote was granted soon after the Civil War, brutally unfair poll taxes were quickly put into effect that made it impossible for many people to exercise their constitutional rights until about 1964, when the last of them was abolished.

How amazing and wonderful it is that after so many years of struggle, we finally have a person of color running for president of our country. And while we all know this day should have come a lot sooner, we can celebrate that it has come now, in our time. I am absolutely thrilled to witness this glorious event. It gives me hope for all of us.

And your sons don't have to marry Malia and Sasha, although they are beautiful little girls. They will grow up knowing that they, too, can become anything they want to be, even President of the United States, and that is BIG.
Liz Dwyer said…
I'm so glad Sundry sent you my way! Isn't it funny to see how kids just soak up all of this stuff these days? I know when I was little I had no idea about anything having to do with politics. All I knew was that the donkey and the elephant didn't like each other. And I pronounced GOP as "gohp".

Yeah, Buchanan caught the fever there for a minute. I can't believe they cut him off to let someone else talk!

You have done so many amazing and truly noble things in your life! I love that you did voter registration in Harlem. That's a beautiful thing. Yes, my boys could be president if they want to. It seems so possible now. But goodness, they have gone totally girl crazy this summer. The little one says he has 69 girlfriends. It's out of control!
69 girlfriends?!!!

Oh, lady, you are in biiiiig trouble.
Liz Dwyer said…
The real comedy is when I ask him what the names of those 69 women are. There's a whole lot of hemming and hawing and then he says, "I forget but I STILL HAVE THEM!"

I pray it wears off by the time puberty hits.
Karen said…
Barack's speech was awesome. There were jokes in law school about how he was going to be President one day. Looks like he's on the right path. (All appendages crossed over here. . .)

I hadn't seen the Buchanan love-fest. Wow. Maybe hell has frozen over. Anyone check?

BTW, early in the primary season I heard Michelle speak to a smaller group (along with Barack) of folks. She blew him out of the water that day. I walked out of ther wanting HER to be President.
Anonymous said…
I am trying so hard not to be filled with despair. I don't think it's just race (although of course that will play into it) - this will be another battle where a few issues (choice, for instance) will be hammered at by the fear-mongering religius right.
Liz Dwyer said…
How amazing that folks in law school with Obama felt like he'd end up as president, but I'm with you on feeling that way about Michelle Obama. I think she's just a supremely phenomenal woman.

I hope people can see all of the issues instead of the crazy insanity that has been swirling over the past five days. I don't think our country can make it if all we get is yet another pro-life/choice election. Enough already!
the last noel said…
Um, I think if your sons want to marry the Obama girls, it would make things easier if their mother was a famous novelist! Write your novel so your sons can go to the white house.

Popular Posts