I know there are people in this country who are upset about the results of Tuesday's election, but for the life of me I can't bring myself to worry about them. I think it's because of the amazing unity I feel with my fellow Americans, the inspiration I feel for us to all be better people, for us to be better citizens of the world, because of the HOPE that our new President stands for and believes in--I can see us all coming together, and yes, we can.
I stayed up late on Tuesday night waiting for the results, and then watching John McCain's gracious concession speech and Barack Obama's moving victory speech. I have never felt so proud to be an American, to be part of a country that has overcome such a hateful past and reached a point where this man has become our president because he represents what we want for our future, not because of his ethnic heritage. The majority of us have judged him as Martin Luther King hoped we would--not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. The United States is a beautiful place.
I'm grateful not to have grown up in the times of segregation or the civil rights movement. My generation has heard stories of the injustices committed against non-white Americans, but we were fortunate enough for those things to already be part of history, to be born in a time where progress and acceptance are the agenda of the day. For much of my life, I've heard people of all colors say that those old prejudices aren't gone, that we have not reached equality, and many times I've agreed. But Tuesday night, something amazing happened. A door was opened that can never be closed. Anyone can be anything, there are truly no limits to the American Dream.
Last night, I went with two girlfriends to see The Secret Life of Bees. It was a timely movie to see. It takes place in South Carolina in 1964. While it's not the focus of the movie, the Civil Rights Act is passed in the course of the movie. The black characters in the story are beaten and arrested as they attempt to go register to vote. One black young man is taken out of the movie theater and beaten for being with a white girl. This movie is fiction, but these things certainly happened during that time. Thinking of the battle fought by African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement has brought me to tears on numerous occasions, but last night those tears were different. They were tears of happiness that we have come so far in the past 45 years. We have a long way to go, but I'm so proud to be part of a time in history where we are truly moving forward towards unity. Towards togetherness.
We did it, America. And we can do so much more.