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Wednesday, 05 November 2008


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Thanks Thalia - it is very exciting (and unusual for me to have hope!). I'm just so glad it's over, the country isn't going further into hell and we can actual move forward without fear of menacing the rest of the world!


My husband said last night "In spite of having lived in the US and being married to an American I just don't get it [it being American race relations]."

"It's in our DNA." I said. "It's just...it's our uniquely American history. You just breathe it in growing up."

"That's what I mean." He said. "I've an American wife and American children and I'll just never get it."

It's true. Whatever this means for the rest of the world, it's impossible to say what it means to those of us with that cultural DNA.

Lisa Later

you've echoed my sentiments really well (as a fellow non-american)

i was so moved to see jesse jackson too and martin luther king's sister weeping

and although i was for hillary originally, i'm not sure she could have captured the imaginations in the same way (although i am sure she would have won)

obama has the advantage of being a 'blank slate' - hillary already has baggage (although that is also a possible advantage because she knows the tough choices ahead)

but still: HURRAH! and congrats!


This is the first time in a long time that I've woken up proud of my country.


Ever well-spoken, I'm here to say, yeah, what Serenity said!


Thrilled here, absolutely thrilled. There are just so many wonderful layers to this victory.


I'm just so glad Sarah Palin isn't a heartbeat away from the presidency. She scares the ever-living-crap out of me.


I'm with serenity. I think what also cannot be underestimated about Obama's campaign was its sheer comprehensiveness and the amazing numbers of supporters it generated, supporters who raised the money, and took the time, and who now have such a sense of investment in democracy, and in the direction of the country. Yesterday I worked as a poll watcher, and I was amazed at my location to see three out-of-state lawyers who flew to my swing state just to help make sure the election went smoothly. That kind of commitment was really heartening.


Same as Serenity--this is the first time in a long time that I've felt so proud to be American, and I feel doubly proud that both my sons will grow up in a country that has finally decided to take action and make changes.

motel manager

The legacy of slavery here has been much more destructive and lingering than oppression of women (which has, obviously, existed). Reading the stories yesterday of African-American men and women in, like, their 80s, 90s, and even 100s voting for the first time had me in tears. And, ultimately, I caucused for Obama back in Iowa and voted for him now in California because there are going to be some tough decisions and sacrifices that have to be made (it's even worse than I thought back in January), and someone who can inspire is exactly what we need.

I don't know if Hillary would have won -- I sure hope so. But her campaign had some of the same tendencies as McCain's -- like losing sight of the big picture and getting in tactical/win-the-news-day sorts of battles. And if Hillary had been the Democratic nominee, I'm sure that McCain would NOT have picked Palin, who ended up being quite a boon to Democrats!

Anyway, as someone whose family on both sides has been in the US for at least seven generations, and whose family on one side had slaves and then sharecroppers, I can't even describe well what last night felt like. It was tempered by disappointment over odious proposition 8 in California -- another civil rights battle that will have to go on.


No Hillary would not have gotten this kind of support. Obama's calm unflappable exterior even during attacks from the other camp was inspiring.

Somewhat Ordinary

It is nice to see that the World seems to be pleased with us again! What a wonderful time to be an American!


Dear Thalia, I agree that Hillary would not have had this kind of support. She struck many people as a technocrat rather than an inspiring figure. I would have certainly voted for her if she had been the Democratic nominee, but I doubt very much I would have ended up crying with happiness like I did...

Slavery is still a terrible, festering wound, much deeper and much longer-term for most Americans than the disenfranchisement of women was (and is).


Hillary may have one, but she would have run a nasty, bitter, mean-spirited campaign much like McCain's and it wouldn't have felt nearly so much like the tone in the country was finally changing. Obama is a cool cucumber and I hope that after 8 years of Hothead Bush, his own temperment will rub off on the psyche of the country.
I am still in shock that we pulled this off and very excited and grateful, but I have to say after watching him deliver his acceptance speech behind bullet proof glass, I'm scared for him.


Oops- I meant "won" not "one."

Betty M

I have been surprised at how emotional I have found this election. I had my i/phone by my bed and checked it all through the night finally deciding at about 5am that he was OK and there would be no election stealing. A superb result. Congratulations.


As a naturalized citizen, I have always been proud to be an American, especially on election day (even in those elections when the choice was between bad and worse).

But after yesterday I feel like I can proudly say to the rest of the world, "see we have our faults, we have our setbacks but look at what we can do" and have them actually understand what I mean.


An interesting post. I too am mostly thrilled at Obama's victory, and the only reason I'm not perfectly thrilled is that I'm worried that my "side" now has to deal with a lot of messes that got started while the other "side" was in charge.

As an American interested in social inequalities, it's interesting how much has changed (here) for women over the past 40 years, and how relatively little for blacks. This is "in the aggregate" and "on average;" ironically, I'm not sure that a(ny) woman could be elected president even today ... whereas now, a black man has. But if you compare 40 years ago to today in terms of the "average" African American (man or woman) and the "average" white woman (comparing the average person's status "then" and "now" within each group, not across groups), in terms of education and financial status (as an individual), the changes for white women have been much bigger and reached much farther across the population than is true for African Americans.

The thing (I think) is ... we all have women in our families (at the risk of very slight overstatement ... but surely the vast, vast majority of us do). Once women going to university and such became ... not weird ... all families wanted their daughters to do it, and if sons went to Ivy League schools, then daughters should, too. In contrast, many, many families here remain "all black" or (perhaps moreso, since "black" in America is actually almost always "mixed race," though perhaps generations back) "all white," and this latter category perhaps especially in the upper (education/income) strata. So persistent personal (individual) prejudice on the basis of race has been maintained far longer and more uniformly (IMO) even in the past 40 years when much institutionalized discrimination was finally abolished than was true for gender, once we finally got to the idea of "equal rights for women."

Obviously I'm grossly oversimplifying complex issues, starting with neglecting the fact that race and gender intersect. But while I do think the institutionalization of both slavery and, even after abolition, racial discrimination are a big part of it, I think, too, that the way (many) families have embraced change for their female members in recent years is also part of the difference between race and sex discrimination.


Thank you, Thalia. I'm looking forward to the future now...suddenly, I am proud to be an American again.


I just hope and prey Obama won't get killed... So many nutcases out there, so much hatred, so many guns...


"From my perspective as a non-black, non-American, the oppression of women over the centuries and the continued inequalities in the world today are just as bad, if quite different."

I don't think the injustices are at all comparable. Women were not tied up in chains and whipped on a daily basis. This imagery is burned into every school aged child. There is serious, egregious blood on our hands in this country and that is why this victory is so intense.

Overwhelmed With Joy

It is an amazing thing, we're so glad that Barack Obama was elected and history is being made!

My 3 1/2 year old son amazed me tonight when we were in the grocery store. We were waiting to check out and he looked over and saw a People magazine on the rack. He said, "There's Barack Obama, like on t.v.!" I guess all the election coverage that we watched made an impression on him. :)

Girl Detective

I don't see it as a question of slavery earning more guilt or sympathy than oppression of women, but as a man being more likely to be elected than a woman.

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