What can I say about Barack Obama being elected president? A million things. I cannot begin to tell you how overwhelmed I felt when I heard CNN call it. I sat there speechless. Actually, I said "Holy crap Dan, they just called it." Amazing. I stayed up to watch McCain's concession speech, which I thought was very well put. If he would have sounded like this throughout his entire campaign and hadn't picked Palin, his chances of becoming president would have been greater. The outcome probably would have been different. I was very disappointed in how the crowd was booing, but that's a result of the negative campaigning McCain/Palin ran.
I stayed up to watch Obama's speech. Mind you, I woke up at 4:30 am to vote and he didn't begin his speech until midnight. You could imagine how delirious I was at that point being awake for 20 hours and knowing that I had to wake up at 5:30 am. Anyway, back to the speech. I saw people crying, laughing, cheering, and shocked in that crowd he was standing in front of. Jesse Jackson was standing there crying. I'm not a big fan of his, but watching him moved me. I couldn't stop crying either. Obama's speech was perfect.
I have to tell you a little story about where I voted. The place I voted at is one of the grammar schools I attended. I went to this school for half of 1st grade through part of 3rd grade. Back when I went to school there, hispanic kids were definitely the minority. Not so much now because the area I live in is probably 90% hispanic. I wasn't treated horrible, but there are few instances that stick to my head.
One of my teachers would always call me stupid and slow. If this was because of my ethnicity, I'm not sure. Needless to say, this teacher wasn't nice. I was put in a speech class for my "S." You know we hispanics tend to pronounce our S very hard. This teacher would make us read on our own. I was always done first. I read very fast. I could read very fast in English or in Spanish. Apparently, the teacher didn't believe so. She would call me a liar and make me reread and reread until the other kids in the class were done. I sometimes would sit there and cry while reading the same story four to five times.
Last but not least, I was put in a low reading group. Why? Well, I guess because my S was thick and I obviously couldn't read. God forbid anyone would ever ask me to read out loud. I hated that school. So when my parents decided to move to another town, I was happy. Guess what happened at the new school? I never had to take a speech class (I guess my S was fine) and a week after being in the low reading group, I was placed in the high reading group for the duration of my elementary years in that school. A WEEK!! Imagine that?
I can only tell you that when I walked into that school at 6:15 am I was beaming ear to ear. The irony of stepping into this school twenty-five years later to vote for an African American to be our president is beyond me. It's priceless. Listen, I'm sure this school is great now and those horrible teachers aren't there anymore or if they are they've changed their ways. I also don't hold grudges. These lessons I learned early on in my young life have shaped me in ways I never expected. What I hope that comes from this historic time that my son won't have to face discrimination like I or anybody else has. Being called a spic or made fun of because of my strange name or told that I'm lucky for being hispanic because I get to go to college for free (yah, I'm still paying my student loans) or countless of other things I've been told, won't be told to my son. It's been a long time coming.