Proud of My Country, Celebrating My President
It’s taken me a while to get my thoughts out, and not for a lack of trying, but I haven’t had many moments of free time recently. Tuesday evening my family and I went out to vote…we felt a little uneasy, but mostly hopeful that our country would pull one out for us. They didn’t let us down.
On Tuesday, just after midnight, President Re-Elect Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech. We listened and all of our fears and raging political debates melted away. We just reveled in it…WE WON.
Not “we” as in Democrats or Obama supporters, but “we” as in AMERICANS. The last two years we have become more divided than ever. We’ve let race, religion and other distractions divide us with little results to show for all the wasted energy. Hate never wins.
Watching Americans re-elect our president and block out all politicking, gimmicks and political dogma has truly opened my eyes to how far we have come.
I know I’m not alone when I say that deep down, I have wondered if Obama’s election was a fluke. If, as many articles claim, electing Obama was white folks’ way of telling themselves, “See…I’m not racist”.
The reality is that this country was built on a system of racial privilege and that’s not going to go away overnight. We have a long road ahead of us. But this election gives me some hope…especially in our young voters. They have made such a pivotal impact on the forward movement of this nation. They will be the ones to make things different…I have hope.
Having President Obama in the White House has already made a mighty and irreversible impact on our nation’s youth…on all of us. We no longer see our limitations as inevitable…they can be overcome. That’s BIG.
So many kids in this country grow up not knowing their possibilities. That needs to END.
I stand with our president, not because he is black or biracial, but because he understands the sense of inevitability that so many people in this country face and he strives everyday to put control into their hands, whether that be through education, jobs, healthcare or simply by elevating their voices.
He’s a man who roots for the underdog, a man who sees the path to change, a man with moral conviction…and I admire that so much.
I leave you with this excerpt from President Obama’s acceptance speech:
“That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.
That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.
But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers.
A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.
We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.
We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known.
But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being. We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag.
To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner.
To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president — that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go — forward.
That’s where we need to go.”
-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Watch Obama’s Full Acceptance Speech
© 2012, Chantilly Patiño. All rights reserved.