I must admit, last night was a very satisfying night for me. And a somewhat emotional time. I am very happy Obama is our new president-elect.
There is no way, as a middle class white guy, that I can even imagine the feelings that many African-Americans must be feeling today. When I grew up in the south, I went to "the white school" in our town while the African-American kids went to "the black school". We finally brought the two together when I was in the seventh grade. We went home for Christmas break and returned to find half the kids from each school had swapped places. It was unsettling to be missing some friends, but I surely never understood why all our parents were so upset about it. I couldn't understand then - and I can't imagine now - how anyone thought it could be a bad thing for all the kids to be going to school together. But they did think that. I grew up with that.
And I grew up with places that had separate bathrooms and separate water fountains for "colored men" and "whites" and "colored women" and "whites".
I lived in Alabama, less than a hundred miles from Selma when they walked over that bridge. But at my young age, I didn't even know it was happening.
I lived in it. In racism and misunderstanding. And many still live in those places today.
Last night was an honor. I'm glad I saw the first African-American elected president. And I'm confident that my feelings are only a glimmer of what the African-American community must be feeling today. The relief and satisfaction of finally seeing our country make that choice. And the hope that this really can be a change for the better in our country.