Last night was unbelievable. For the first time in my life, I actually feel all patriotic and proud of my country and shit. Weird. I admit, I shed some tears during Obama’s acceptance speech. How could I not? Then Brian Williams at NBC held up a poster with pictures of all the past presidents and pointed out how they were all white men with white hair. And now Obama’s face will be up there! Its so historic! Dammit Brian Williams, you made me cry again. I felt a little bad for McCain, I thought his speech was very gracious. I hated how people booed every time he mentioned Obama’s name. I loved that I lived to see such an event take place. I love that Obama’s family is multi-racial and reaches across continents and how this represents a changing demographic in America, because I consider Manny and his family part of my own family and I love how this is reflected in Obama’s victory. Diversity is beautiful, people! Embrace it. I hope that I also get to see a woman president in my lifetime. I think its possible, thanks to Hillary. (Just, please gods, not Palin. Or any republican for that matter. Thanks.)
Over the weekend I went to see an interview with Junot Diaz and Lenoard Lopate of WNYC at the Brooklyn Library. A young Dominican girl had just commented how his books were the only thing that she could relate too. After reading his books, for the first time, she could say, “this is what I am. An American and a Dominican.” Diaz responded, saying that in folklore and mythology, people who do not have a reflection in the mirror are ghosts. If you don’t have a reflection, you don’t exist. He told us to think about how it was for him, and so many other immigrant children and minority children growing up and never seeing a reflection of their life and their reality through TV, movies, music, radio, newspapers, novels, everything. Or, the only reflections they see of themselves are negative. How lonely and discouraging that would be for these kids. And now? These kids are seeing their reflection, they see a positive example in Obama on what is possible in this country. In the spirit of being all sappy and patriotic, I saw this sign on TV – “Rosa sat, so Martin could walk, so Obama could run, so our children could fly”
I am still registered to vote at my grandmother’s address. It took me an hour to get there on the subway, but I went to vote. There were two people in line, me and an elderly Russian lady who had to be at least 95 years old, who once she was behind the curtain of the voting machine, kept yelling and complaining how the names were too small and how was anyone supposed to see what they were doing. I went up to sign to my name on the roll, and the name right above mine was my grandmother’s. She passed away last November. I signed my name under the copy of her signature, I had not seen her handwriting in so long. She had beautiful, curvy, elegant script, a lot like mine. Two years ago when this campaign began she announced she was voting for Hillary Clinton. She was so excited to see a woman as a presidential front runner. I know she would have been equally excited about Obama’s amazing victory. Unlike most of my extended family, who actually told me that Obama couldn’t be president because of his name (!), she never judge people based on race or religion, she was loving and accepting and honest. She is always my example on how to be a better person.