When this race started, I was not a big fan of Obama or his Pakistan-bashing statements. I voted for Hillary and still would if it were between him and her. However, once she was out of the race, I started paying more attention to him and started seeing the impact he had on people. The frequency of his voice, the stature of his hands, the posture in which he stands, the words he selects and the sincerity in his eyes, which are all refreshing and infectious. Plus I would support him anyway because he is democratic and the better choice between him and McCain.
A lot of political commentators say that Obama seems like a boring man behind closed doors, away from the crowds, despite his charisma and public pull but he seems to be a man of sensitivity, intelligence, goodness (as much as a Politician can) and realism.
Yesterday, I was at the Pasadena Hilton with 800 people in the room screaming at the top of their lungs. They cried, laughed, yelled, danced, sang. They were white, black, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, women, men, children, old, young, gay, straight, Republican, Democrat…all colors, all shapes, all sizes and all dates…and they were happy, surprised and jubilant.
It was overwhelming and I couldn’t stop my tears from streaming, my heart from beating fast and my hands from trembling. I had an internal smile. Quiet. Just observing, just taking it all in. Just grasping it all to relay to my generations beyond.
What was especially interesting was the renewed confidence I saw in every black person I saw in the room. It was personal to them, it was a “Now, talk to me!” sort of confidence. I had mixed feelings about that simply because I do not think Obama represents the African American sensibility of most African Americans who have the history of slavery on the back of their minds. He is half black and that too African more than African American (since his father was African). Yes he is American by his generation but the way he looks at Black America I feel, is slightly different from the African American friends and colleagues I know. So instead of making this just a win of race, let’s make it a win of his person and his values and morals.
When we walked out of the hotel party, there were five African American men, drunk and dressed in a thug-like manner, personalizing his victory which again got me a little confused. Obama is up there because he is him and because he is not like you, I felt like saying. Being Black is just one of his characteristics and I hope that his being up there inspires you to be more like him or more like a lot of educated, polished, well-behaved black people I know of. I felt like saying that but of course, race is sensitive of an issue. Being a colored person myself, I do understand that and being Muslim and being discriminated against, I understand that a lot. Trust me…
Of course we cannot overlook the race aspect but today I wish we could congratulate Obama on his win not because of “the skin of his color but because of the content of his character”. Let’s not make this a personal victory over just race but over morality, viewpoint and hope.