Before I begin, I would just like to say that I sincerely hope that every single one of my American friends voted yesterday. (You did, right? Yes?)
On one of the listserves I read, there has been talk this morning regarding the outcome of yesterday's election, and someone said that she was glad she could now say to children that they could grow up to be whatever they wanted and it would be true. Someone else responded by asking if they would still say that to a little girl if McCain had won, and the answer was an immediate yes -- that a female VP was still a crack in the glass ceiling.
Regardless of how anyone voted yesterday (I am not going to use this posting to spout politics -- there's already been enough of that), or how anyone may feel about either of the candidates, yesterday truly was history in the making. For the first time in US history, the country will have as her leader someone of African descent. No matter of how you may feel of Obama, it is wonderfully amazing to see that we, as Americans have come this far in racial equality. That we can elect someone whose race had been for centuries considered second class or worse says a lot about where we have come as a people. We have come an incredibly long way since 1619, when the first group of African slaves set foot on American soil. On behalf of Crispus Attucks, Dred Scott, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Bessie Coleman, Marian Anderson, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr and so many many others I am feeling very proud to be an American today.
But I'm proud for another reason too, and it goes back to the listserve comments. A female VP is still a crack in the glass ceiling. If McCain had won last night, we would have had, for the first time in US history, a female vice president (and yes, if I had been old enough to care about politics 24 years ago, I would have said the same thing). We would have had as First Mate someone whose gender had been for centuries considered second class or worse, and the fact that we came as close as we did to electing one also says a lot about where we as Americans have come as a people. Sarah Palin (regardless of how you feel about her) has proven that we have come a long way regarding gender equality since the first women of European descent came to America, and on behalf of Virginia Dare, Pocahontas, Abigail Adams, Sacagewea, Mary Lincoln, Elizabeth Blackwell, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Bloomer, and many many others, I am feeling wonderfully proud and inspired to be an American woman today.
I'd also like to second a lot of the sentiments that were being expressed last night. This is all America, and we are all Americans. So let's put aside our differences and be proud of our country. Because, as President Bush said (I have never really been a fan of the man, but he has expressed the main idea of this posting admirably, and I don't want to get into a debate regarding him or his administration right now because he's still the President for the next two months), "No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday."
And now (thankfully) the election is over.