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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Audacity of Hope


I am still stumbling around in a haze of bliss, joy, and amazement. We did it! All this time I've been trying not to want this so much because I knew how much it would hurt if Obama didn't win. Don't get me wrong -- obviously I still did my part for the campaign. And I still really, really wanted this. Last night when the election was called I released an insane amount of pent-up emotion. I don't think I'll be able to function normally for a few days.

Let me tell you what this means to me, why I wanted it so much. In Obama I saw someone who is intellectually curious, seeking, decisive but in a reflective way, self aware, wise beyond his years, even tempered, strategic, idealistic but practical, well spoken. Well spoken, people!!! He has been thinking about the art of governing since his childhood. He is the leader we need right now.

On a very personal, emotional level, Obama's victory has another meaning for me. As a Mexican American who grew up playing with blonde dolls, watching Disney princess movies, wished for blond hair and blue eyes, cringed when my parents spoke Spanish, and always felt an outsider in my mostly-Anglo neighborhood, this is huge. It took me a long time to love my brown self. It wasn't until I was in college that I finally saw my difference as something beautiful.

So to see the Obama family* on stage in Chicago last night, the family that will occupy the White House and represent out country to the world, to see a mixed-race man rise to the highest office in the country -- I just can't tell you how much my heart is swelling right now. And I can only imagine how this makes millions of other Americans of color feel as well. I think this will change the way a lot of people feel about themselves.

This post is woefully inarticulate. But I'm so freaking happy today! And I'm wishing you all a fantastic, hope-filled day!

* Michelle Obama is our new First Lady! Don't get me started on how awesome I think she is, too! And I don't care if it's shallow to say this -- Michelle Obama's dress rocks.

11 comments:

Paul O'Brian said...

Amen, amen, amen!

Margo said...

Amen to everything except Michelle Obama's dress. It looks like a lady bug crawled onto her body and died. Such a bad look! Flattens her and widens her in all the wrong places. Sorry to be so shallow. It really is a great day.

Music-loving Mom said...

It was certainly fun to join in your excitement yesterday Adriana. And I too am thrilled that skilled rhetoric has returned to American politics! Congrats!

Hevansrich said...

Yes, I think that President-elect Obama will be good for America nationally, and especially internationally. I wasn't surprised but I was happy when he won.

And the dress. First let me say how much I love having a young family in the White House, with young children. My kids are super interested in the Obama children and I really like that. I remember going through something similar when Amy Carter was in the white house, she and I are almost the exact age. I love that the first thing Mr. Obama did today was take his daughters to school. Love that.

I also really admire Michelle Obama as well, I think she will be a fantastic first lady. And I love her style, but I will admit the first thought that came to mind when seeing her last night was that she had put on Mrs. Lovett's dress after she had just finished making a (bloody) meat pie with Sweeney Todd.

(ps my spell check keeps highlighting "Obama" - I"ll bet that won't last long!!!)

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Love this post! Adriana, this is the day so many have long been waiting for. Next up? A woman president. Then one day, maybe a gay, partnered president (a lesbian can dream, right?) President-elect Obama has gracefully, skillfully broken a barrier that can never be turned back. We will be a better nation because this man is our president.

God bless him. And God bless his wife, our new First Lady!

Adriana Velez said...

Oh, Margo, harsh! Well, I don't know that the cardigan worked, but I just really liked the bold choice. It's not a typical first lady dress. Anyway, I loved this defense of the dress: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/verena-von-pfetten/michelle-obamas-dress-a-d_b_141477.html

Not the most important thing, but I am so looking forward to 4-8 years of great Michelle Obama outfits!

Luisa Giugliano said...

You are so right about everything.


(but the dress)

suburban dyke said...

Let’s fight back on Proposition 8. Let’s boycott California wines, produce and travel. Let’s publicize it. Let’s embarrass them. It worked a few years ago in Colorado. What do say?

Swizzies said...

For me, Barack Obama represents the grown-up mature adult that America, kicking and screaming and confused and utterlystrungout by their prolooooonged adolescence, needs to become. We need it so badly, and we simply lack the self-awareness to know it. It required someone who wasn't able to simply go through life with a sense of entitlement, who thus matured and became a grownup, and who could communicate that place, that language, to the rest of us. Who need it. Who are already there. Who don't want to go there. Who hate him. Who love him.

He speaks the language of our future. I can't hear enough of it.

- Di

Swizzies said...

PS -- Michelle Obama's dress ROCKS MY WORLD.

Cele said...

ey Adriana excellent post, provocative, and open...well except when I saw Michelle Obama walk out on stage Tuesday night wearing that dress, all I could think of..."What was she thinking? She's so going to regret that dress." She's beautiful and it made her look as wide as my butt. Not that wide women can't be beautiful, but she's not wide...at all.

I try hard to put myself in another's place, and the things I've read since Tuesday night have made me realize how woefully off base my attempts were. I try to be fair, I try to treat others how I'd want to be treated, I thought my world was fair.

Now instead of me being a white, baby boomer American wanting our society to be a barrierless oneness, it will be. I hope; I pray that Tuesday night was the turning point in American society where equality is more than just a hyperbole of dashed hopes, wishes, and dialogues, but was instead the first step paved to one America of solid equality.