Sometimes I forget that I live in Arkansas, but election years always remind me. I wish I could say, like the proud voters in Florida and Ohio, that my state flipped for Obama, that my red state turned blue. It's especially hard on me having moved here from California, where I could always count on my neighbors to do the right thing (well, almost always).
The voters of the state of Arkansas overwhelmingly voted McCain. They also voted to ban unmarried couples from being foster or adoptive parents, a thinly veiled assault on gay couples that ultimately hurts only children in need. Nice one, Arkansas.
I am elated at the election of Barack Obama for so many reasons, a big one being that we all wondered if our country was still, let's face it, too racist to elect a black president. I believe that people who voted for Obama did so because of what was inside the man, not the color of the skin that encased it. I also believe there were people who voted against Obama solely for the reverse, but finally and definitively, those people were drowned out by the wave of goodwill and hope inspired by our president-elect.
I was deeply moved by the emotion of The View's Sherri Shepherd as she related telling her son that he now had "no limitations" on what he could do or who he could become. All my life I have argued, out of hope rather than certitude, that racism in America was shrinking steadily, and that soon it would be powerless to squash the dreams or halt the achievements of great Americans of every color. Seeing the proof of it standing at the podium in Grant Park on Tuesday night was soul-satisfying.
It has been a very long time since I have felt proud of this country, but that changed Tuesday night when we as a nation told our African-American children to dream as big as they want. But, please, let us remember that the fight for equality is not over, not until we can give that happy pronouncement to our daughters.