Election, cont.

The election is still running around in my head. The magic moment when CNN declared it over still makes my throat catch--even worse than it is due to this nagging, lingering cold.

Why? Well, watching the entire crowd of 100,000 plus in Grant Park jump up and down as if their team had won the World Series was quite something. Since when has a politician caused that much excitement?

I thought to myself: This is how we do revolutions in this country. Then I thought about how similar the scene in Grant Park was to the scenes in Eastern Europe in 1989. Complete, unbridled joy in the public square is a precious and rare thing.

But then the camera shot of Jesse Jackson standing solemnly with tears streaming down his face. Like him or hate him, that was special.

The moment highlighted something for me: For a long while, the prevailing attitude has seemed to be that you black people are equal, what more do you want? Quit your complaining and get to work! If you get to work, good things will happen. Don't you see that there are no barriers?

Well, it became clear to me last night that there were still huge barriers. The fact that John Lewis, a congressman, said he never, ever thought in his lifetime he would see a black president; that Colin Powell said he never in his wildest dreams thought he would see a black president; that so many others, including all the 98-year old grandmas were so very, very happy and proud and in tears--that said that last night was something very special.

The nation can only benefit from having people who previously felt completely out of the loop feel included. It is merely a psychological difference, but it is huge. And it was necessary.

Those of us who are whiter than snow and have enjoyed the privileges of being in the majority can never know how it feels to not have hope that you, or somebody like you, could be president. Think about it. The lack of such a hope is something I have never endured. I have always believed that I could be president!