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Citizen Voices

Several weeks ago, I decided to call my African American friends across the country -- some of whom I hadn't seen in years.  I was shocked to learn how many of them, especially those old enough to remember 1968 , were very concerned for Obama's well being. Since I had not lived their lives, I knew my arguments held very little weight with them, and I sensed they were figuratively "patting me on the head as a well meaning but basically naïve little liberal."  They feared he would be asked to pay too great a price and they let pragmatism bury their optimism. Perhaps Obama's acceptance speech last night has put their fears to rest, and they are able to embrace the hope that I feel.

My heritage is English, French, Scotch-Irish, Danish and German.  I doubt that there is a drop of Black blood flowing in my veins, but in my heart I am so thrilled, so thrilled...for what this country has done.   Yes I'm also a woman of Hillary's generation and I am gratified that she was an oh so serious contender.   The next time I truly believe it will be a no-brainer -- a woman can and will be a candidate.  A woman can and will be President.

But, here we are, and just look at the changes Obama's candidacy has already wrought.  I don't mean to sound presumptuous to say I sense a soul-deep pride among blacks of all ages. I see evidence all around me- at my swimming pool, at my gym, in my church, in a predominately conservative town...(really...I know we have 2,500 registered Democrats in Coronado, but I drove up and down every street and it's true...we actually DO have the only Obama yard sign in town.)   But yesterday, I noticed a young African American working out at the Community Center. He was the only one of his race among a sea of white, but he carried himself with such dignity, the epitome of self-containment.  His time has indeed come .   

Barb from Minneapolis
September 02, 2008 at 08:56 PM
I was shocked when, five words into his acceptance speech, I burst into tears. Never, ever in my 60 years did I think I'd see a black man in this position, poised to become president of the USA. I was so proud and, like your friends, I'm worried for him. Still, I was intellectually riveted and emotionally uplifted for the full 50-minute oration. His words rang true for me, and I'm encouraged that they did for you as well.

Ben Grage from San Diego, CA
September 03, 2008 at 04:07 AM
I too was riveted by the greatest political speech I have ever heard. I had virtually written off this convention and was wondering how the Democratic Party was going to blow this election, even though after eight long years with the completely incompetent Bush Administration, McCain remains neck and neck with Obama. I feel heartened after this speech which not only directly attacked the Republicans and the Bush Administration for its results, but also laid out what an Obama Administration would accomplish in its four or eight years. However, I do not think any thinking person in America should downplay the strong residue of racial animosity in this country. Our only hope, I believe, is that the Democratic Party has to attack this racial prejudice head-on and at least shame the racists among us to either vote for a black man for President, or (and this is maybe the best we can hope for), the racists will stay home and not vote.

Josh from SoCal
September 03, 2008 at 04:52 AM
It is great that we have a real diversity of people to support and cheer for the nest President of the United States of America. I really detest most politics and politicians as it seems to me that they are self serving and want to stay in the job forever. We are at a place in time in America where have a woman who ran for nomination for President but a younger man won. I do not like to refer to a person by the color of their skin. And besides, how can we call him black when his mother was white. Black and white make gray. We are all the same spirits but in different bodies. Another is a senior citizen who endured the terrible punishment as a POW. And another woman who will stand up and wrong the rights that need fixing and doesn't owe "favors" to any member of Congress. It is too bad that we can't have all of them with no losers 'cause they are all winners.

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