I am a 33 year-old white woman, wife and mother. I was born in South Africa and moved to Virginia when I was 15 years old. I was raised in a culture that many people have frowned upon and fought against for many, many years. For me, it was just how life was.
During my sophomore year in high school, I experienced a form of reverse racism. I was friendly with a young black girl until one day she stopped speaking to me. It wasn't until the end of our senior year that she opening apologized and admitted to assuming that I was racist because of where I was born.
Last night, I proudly cheered when Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States. I am now hopeful that my daughter will grow up in a country where the color of someone's skin is seen as something beautiful rather than used as a tool of discrimination.
Many may still disagree, but this country needs Barack Obama.
It's about time. It's about change. It's about acceptance. It's about moving forward. I am not so ignorant to assume that any president can or will deliver all that he or she promises. I do believe, however, that Barack Obama can move us. When I decided to support Obama in his bid to become the next president, I told my husband my reasons for doing so. I became more interested in politics this year than any year passed but it wasn't all politics that led me to my decision. Taxes are inevitable. Health care is expensive. War will happen. I don't stop to think that those issues can just be solved overnight, in the next four years or even the next 20 years. But I do believe that we have before us a man who truly believes in the power of the people - and that is a mighty force.
It's now up to all of us - those of us who voted for Obama, those who voted for John McCain. All of us. If we retreat to our corners (mourning the Republican loss or cheering the Democratic win), we'll be in the same place in four years as we were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. Let each of us bring our strengths and let us all help Barack Obama be the best President and lead our country to greatness.