First, I did not vote for Obama. In fact, I voted for Ralph Nader. I voted for national health care. I voted for campaign finance reform. I voted for the end of war. I voted on issues that were important to me that I did not believe that Obama was addressing adequately.
That being said, I hoped that Obama would win. In fact, I felt pretty comfortable that he would, so my vote for Nader was not an act of courage.
And when Obama won…
I got caught up in the history of the moment.
I thought about my son, mostly. My son is black, and though I’m an idealist and I really believe that Tekoa can be anything he wants to be, adherance to my science forces me to be realistic. I know the challenges that still remain for black children today. I am sensitive to the veiled racism that became such a disheartening part of this campaign. As a sociologist I’m aware that a subtle subtext of racism is often more pernicious than the overt.
But now I can raise my son in a world that has a black president…and that is something.
This morning, when I woke the kids up, I told the children that there was a new president. Tekoa, who is almost seven, looked up from his bowl of Cheerios and said, “Barack Obama?”
I said, “Yes. Barack Obama is our new president.”
Tekoa smiled and responded, “He’s brown…like me.”
I choked back tears and said, “Yes. He’s brown like you.”
My son, Tekoa