I have no illusions about an Obama presidency. I dislike the bulk of his policies. I cringe at the thought of a united Democrat-controlled government. I think the already impossible expectations of any president have been amplified for him and he is thus almost guaranteed to fail--perhaps miserably. I will be unrelenting in my criticism of his administration and its allies in Congress when they attempt to go beyond their constitutional bounds--and they almost certainly will.All that said, when he approached the podium last night to give his victory speech, I wept.
I wept because I've heard countless blatantly racist diatribes, jokes, comments, and sub-human comparisons over the course of my life. I wept because of the pain my older family members endured and all the struggles they faced that I can't even fathom. I wept because, on several occasions, I've been told I can't date someone because her parents wouldn't approve of my race; that in spite of my intelligence, my responsibility, my diction, my future prospects, my talents and my everything else that makes me a good person--and even the fact that I look white--I'm different. It didn't matter whether the parents were liberal or conservative; or whether they were college educated or not: being black made me not good enough.
I wept because the America I just described--even my home state of Indiana which hasn't gone for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson--voted for a black man to be President of the United States. And, nationally, it wasn't even close.
I could not be prouder of Barack Obama. And I am so very proud of my country.
- Jonathan Blanks
- is a writer and researcher in Washington, DC. He graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Political Science, where he concentrated on American politics, Russian foreign policy, African-American studies, and classical history. He has been published in the Indiana Daily Student, Indianapolis Star, Washington Post, and the print and online editions of Reason Magazine. None of the opinions written herein reflect these publications or any institutions with which he may be affiliated.