News & Politics

For the First Time in My Adult Life, I am Really, Really (Really) Proud of My Country

Yes We Did.

They call me "Mister President"

Terrorist this, bitchez.

Eight years ago, the man who lost this election last night lost his party's nomination in South Carolina because the man he wanted so desperately to succeed this year ran a campaign in a southern state that accused his adopted Bangladeshi daughter of being the product of a liaison with a black prostitute. Twelve years ago, Harvey Gantt lost a Senate race in North Carolina because his opponent, Jesse Helms ran a last-minute ad showing white hands crumpling a piece of paper and a voiceover saying "You really needed that job, but you didn't get it because they had to hire a minority." Twenty years ago Michael Dukakis, the last nominee with a funny name, was knocked out of the race by a man named Willie Horton, exploited by the father of the current president. This year, John McCain's media people ran ads with subtexts like "How dare this black man be so disrespectful of a white woman" and with the word "black" subliminally highlighted.

This is a country where Sikhs are still being attacked and harassed in parts of the country that ought to know better because their turbans and dark skin make idiots think they are somehow aligned with Osama bin Laden.

This is a country that for eight years has been governed by the double-headed hydra of Fear and Loathing. We have tolerated the worst kind of atrocities by our leadership in our enslavement to that fear and loathing. And last night we elected a man who is the son of a black Kenyan man and a white woman from Kansas, and who is named Barack Hussein Obama, to lead us out of the mess left us by a white son of privilege from Kennebunkport and Yale. We chose a man who understands struggle. We chose a man who rose above the kind of background that would have turned a lesser man into just another street kid with a chip on his shoulder. We chose a man who appealed to our better natures. We chose a man who is so relentlessly calm in the face of crisis that he makes us believe that he can go down to the engine room of this Titanic of a country and fix the breaches in all five watertight compartments using nothing but a butter knife and a pack of Bazooka bubblegum. All by himself. Wearing a tuxedo.

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Jill Hussein C. blogs at Brilliant at Breakfast.