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Whether or not you like Obama’s politics, or whether or not you think he’s a socialist or a godless liberal, or whether or not you suspect he may be a deep-cover Muslim renegade out to destroy the very fabric of the United States, I hope we can all at least be proud of what his election means.
He’s not the Messiah. He’s not going to fix the economy and the war and healthcare overnight. He’s not going to suddenly make the U.S. look good in the world’s eyes again. He’s not going to end racism or heal our social problems. Like any president, he’s going to disappoint and frustrate us in a lot of ways. But his election is symbolic and hopeful and indicates (I hope) that we’re starting something new in our nation’s history. That we’ve turned a corner from some of the ugly streets in our past. That the world my kids are waking up in this morning is a better one from when they went to bed in last night. That we’ve all put our hands on “the arc of history and bend it once more to the hope of a better day.”
I’m proud to have been a part of this election. I’m proud that this was the first election my kids were interested in. I’m proud that they went with us to the voting booth, and I hope my daughter remembers that, though it was her daddy who voted, she got to push the button for the historic 44th President of the United States.
That said, I’m going to steal something from Christopher Beam and Chris Wilson over at Slate’s The Root. Because it’s funny. And true.
Five Things White People Shouldn’t Do Now That Obama Has Won
1. Don’t personally congratulate all your black friends.
Black people are not a sports team, and Obama did not win the Super Bowl.
2. Don’t declare that you “never thought you’d see the day.”
You never thought you’d see the day?
3. Don’t start crossing the street in order to walk next to a black person.
President Obama is glad you support racial reconciliation, but he takes a hard line against jaywalking.
4. Don’t name drop “Dr. King.”
If you absolutely must make some comment about how this is a victory for civil rights, pick a marginally less obvious figurehead.
5. Don’t use the phrase “white people” in any way that suggests it doesn’t include you.
Contrary to popular belief, having voted for Obama does not make you even “semi-down.” Sorry if there was any confusion there.
I will not jaywalk or quote Dr. King. I am proud, but not semi-down. I hope Obama is as good a President as we need right now.
If not, there’s always Palin 2012.