In case you missed it, the U.S. elected Barack Obama to the office of the presidency on Tuesday.
It didn't really surprise anybody. Even Karl Rove predicted he would win in a landslide.
Obama is African-American, and if you're not up on your U.S. history, please leave right now, go to the library, and educate yourself.
During the primary season, it became clear that the Democratic Party was going to make some history. It was either going to put a woman at the top of the ticket, or it was going to put an African-American at the top of the ticket.
Some people – including some close to me – said that they would vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary because they were worried there were people in the country who would vote for the Republican candidate (we later found out that would be John McCain) solely because they wouldn't vote for Obama because of his race.
My response? These people wouldn't vote for Clinton because of her sex. Also, they would probably vote Republican even if John McCain were the Democratic candidate.
Once Obama and McCain were nominated by their respective parties, race became all but a non-issue. McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, certainly couldn't use race as an issue, at least not overtly. Same for the mainstream media, even if they were to endorse McCain/Palin (which very few of them did).
But once Obama got elected, people all over the world – including in the U.S. – started reacting positively at the fact we had elected a black man to the presidency.
Black voters interviewed by members of the press – particularly older ones, who had lived through depression-era segregation all the way up through the civil rights movement of the 1960s and '70s – celebrated. Some said
McCain, in his concession speech, brought race into the picture.
Media pundits declared the
It feels like this election was never about race, but the reason for that is we have an economic crisis and two wars on our hands. Mitch reminds us that Obama's victory
There's still a lot of work to do, and it's not only racism that needs eradicating in the U.S.
Several states added constitutional amendments making gay marriage illegal. One state added an amendment – presumably aimed at gay couples – making it illegal for unmarried couples to adopt children.
Women still make less money than men for equal work – I've seen numbers that say women's salaries come in about 75% to 84% of men's salaries.
Some reading for you:
» The Housewife of the Revolution asks, "
» Keep it Trill wants to know how people in California could say Yes We Can to Obama, but
» Here's one I found most illuminating, though: Jasmyne Cannick, a black lesbian, was out campaigning in force in California, but didn't feel the need to talk about Prop 8 at all, feeling a struggle she felt personally