A New World

November 5, 2008 by Ellen Stimson in Politics

It is a transformational moment. We are being asked to pay attention. Barack Obama stands today as a beacon of hope against the tides of racism and division of the last eight years. Will we remember this one gentle moment as the day that everything changed? Sometimes great change is heralded by days and weeks and years of loud protest. The sixties brought noisy change for civil rights and for peace. And sometimes a quiet person walks on the moon or invents email, or makes a speech against a lousy war and the whole world gets smaller and better in one fast second.

The presence of this good man on our national stage whose father was an African with three wives and whose single mom was a white woman from Kansas, changes everything for all of our children. My thirteen year old will not remember a time when black people weren’t on the news or running companies. Our children’s frame of reference will be very different than ours.

We are being asked to pay attention. The market woes will not be so easily solved. Neither will the wretched business in Iraq. But one thing changed overnight. African Americans have no glass ceiling in this country anymore. Black kids can dream as big as anybody. White people settled this election and that crabby old racist uncle in the corner will no longer be tolerated. Today is a day of glory and celebration for civil rights and for our standing around the world. Imagine that kindly family in our nation’s rose garden. It is a different world today than it was only yesterday.

Thank you Mr President Elect and thanks to your smart wife and adorable kids too. You wandered up and down a million rope lines and ate a lot of bad fair food for us in states you might never have wanted to go and where plenty of folks didn’t want you to come. Thank you sir. Now go do a bunch of right things, end torture maybe, hire some smart Republicans, start transitioning Iraq back to Iraq, help every single American find affordable heathcare, surprise us. Good luck sir.. Traveling mercies….


  • library lady

    I have been so weary of all things political the last two months that I stopped listening to speeches and political pronouncements–even from the candidates I approved of. But in listening to Barack Obama’s speech last night, and watching the faces of the people in the audience, I was moved to tears. And I’ve been thinking a lot about MLK and the mountains, and I pray that this good man will be allowed to govern and thrive and bring us all back together on the journey.

  • nellie

    I can’t stop crying. I am of mixed race too. I cannot express how enormous this day is for me and my family. It’s true. Only everything is different today than it was yesterday

  • Kate

    I couldn’t stay up last night to watch it, but I gave it my best girlscout try. So this morning, I woke up early and turned on the internet and watched him speak and it was as if the sun finally peeked out from behind the clouds. I haven’t felt this proud of my country for a long, long time.

  • Katrina

    Happy Birthday Eli. What a cool celebration you all shared

  • jamie

    You’re right–this changes everything. And I am so excited to see how it changes the course of the rest of my life.

  • Jennifer

    Oh, amen. This is so big. Maybe bigger than we, in the moment, can even comprehend.

    But, do you know. This is the third time today that “pay attention” has been a theme in either something I’ve read, or in a conversation I’ve had. In three different contexts…or, maybe…it’s all tied together. Hmmm.

  • Mel

    I can finally breathe

  • Casdok

    Lovely post 🙂

  • drew

    Traveling mercies indeed. We could all use those these days

  • painted maypole

    beautiful post. i’m crying again. who would have thought that a presidential election would turn me into a mushy mess.

  • Kellan

    Yes – surprise us!!! I told my girls that I believe he is our hope and I hope I am right! I hope he is our light and he guides us out of the darkness. I think he has every potential to be just that!

    Great post, E. Have a good weekend there in Vermont! Kellan

  • Trannyhead

    Poor Mr. Obama.

    I know that sounds odd considering the fact that he won the election, but really. There’s NO way that he can possibly live up to all of the expectation placed on him both domestically and abroad. He’s only human even if he is a rock star. He’s sure to make mistakes.

    And yet I feel hopeful and saved my “I voted” sticker so that I can show it to my kids one day and tell them that I voted for the first black president.

  • starrlife

    A Happy birthday to the whole family!

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