I'm not going to say anything about the politics of the situation because I know my political views are different from others. Politics aside I'm looking at the big picture. Sister Morgan summed it up best with her Facebook status:
"Sharon Morgan is crying because she saw race riots in person, and now for the first time in 38 years, she feels proud of her country again."
"Yes We Can."
"Yes We Did."
"Change has come to America."
All of these phrases marked tonight, which I would say is one of the more historic moments in the history that I have witnessed. Though it's not saying much it still says something. In my lifetime I have witnessed things like the Tuesday morning of Sept. 11, 2001. I remember coming in through the door after seminary, and shock as I stood next to my dad, eyes glued to the TV as the last of the twin towers fell to the ground, thousands of pounds of concrete peeling downwards. I knew then that the world would end. All chaos was about to be unleashed upon the nations of the world because people out there were evil enough to throw planes into buildings. And for what? What a contrast today is to that day. Two different Tuesdays.
I'm Canadian. Though American politics is fun to watch and follow, it really is like watching a sport to me. I follow it the same way I would follow a favorite sports team--slightly detached and rooting for a team that really doesn't mean much. That's not to say the issues aren't important, but they don't affect me directly because I'm not American. Sad truth though is that having spent the last five years in America, I know more about what's going on here than back at home. The issues here have more relevance (if not relative importance) to the issues at home.
Today, I saw a million people gather in a place that was the site of racial riots 40 years ago to support a new President. I saw in the smiles of the anonymous million waiting for President Obama to make his acceptance speech, the shadow of hundreds of years of civil rights atrocities and injustices lift from the face of America. I saw in the hugs of jubilation that differences can bring us together: history doesn't have to dictate the future. I saw in their tears the visual expression of the hope that I felt.
I'm not a very optimistic person. I'm a person that loses faith in humanity more and more as I get older, but tonight it was different. In those people's expressions I felt hope, I felt hope in humanity because I knew that America had gone a long way to overcome it's own past. America elected an African-American man to be its president.
I don't know how long this hope I feel will last, but I know that at for at least one night, I can be proud of the human race again.