24 11 2008

As I was walking home from the library this evening, I had a brief flashback to the giddiness that I felt the day after Barack Obama was elected President. I actually wrote this post the night after the American elections. And even though a few weeks have passed, I think it might still be worth posting. obama-hope

I’m feeling hopeful for the future. Even though I’m not American it feels good to see my face reflected in their world leader. In a world where being Black often feels like a burden or a stigma. And after hearing “No you can’t.” for too long to my ambitions and aspirations, as well as being looked down on with pity from those with seemingly good intentions, yet painfully obvious and transparent with how they really feel. It feels good to finally hear, “Yes you can!” That’s what the election felt like to me.

America has surpassed Canada. Daring to meet at the table of race relations, when Canada hasn’t even opened the door to the room, preferring to pretend out of ignorance, discomfort or just plain guilt that race is an issue that no longer exists.

“Yes we can.”

Yes it is an an issue. After listening to a speech that was so hopeful and optimistic for the future, it brought tears to my eyes to see people so excited and full of optimism for what is yet to come. It was also a day for the first time in my lifetime that I got to see a democratic election the way it was meant to be.

People were actually excited about electing a leader, rather than just going through the motions the way us Canadians have with our election. After re-electing Stephen Harper, even after his lacklustre and unimaginative campaigning, it seems like we’re the ones who aren’t ready for change. After 8 years of feeling smug, it looks like the shoe is on the other foot.