That Time We Elected a Black President

This midterm election was historic in so many ways. Young voters went out in record smashing numbers, the house is democratic majority (the air suddenly smells like peach… im-peach-ment!), there were DOZENS of firsts for POC and non cis white men elected, and honestly I cried tears of joy this morning. If you’re a young person, or a POC, or a female, or just a person happy about diversity, this election was a #Win. Even though states like Texas “let us down,” democrats, liberals, and young people were out in full force. Texas liberals lost the battle, but it’s in no way over for them.

This morning I got in a small spat on twitter because someone claimed that celebrating these firsts was tokenism and his exact words were “Tokenism at an all time high it seems. Shame none of these women could get there  for their records, their principles, their expertise, etc, instead all you celebrate is the colour of their skin, or which made up ideology they believe in.” To which I say: BOOOOOOOOOO!! First off: I am celebrating the color of their skin because it is a hurdle that is unrightfully placed on POC and any success for one POC is a success for all POC. Secondly, to say they were only elected because of what they are and not what they do is a huge god damn insult. These men and women work hard to get where they want to be, it’s an insult to voters and the elected to say that they are not qualified to be in office. He then went on to say that POC vote for POC just because they’re POC too… bitch that’s the same thing white people do? That’s literally why we have a cheeto puff president? Anyways, you can look at the full rant on my twitter here but that’s the jist of it. Also you should follow me on Twitter while you’re at, kk thnx.

ANYWAYS

In honor of this midterm I wanted to take a trip back and talk about how I felt when Obama was elected. The first mother fucking black president.

Image result for obama gif

The year is 2008, I was in 7th grade. As a lil 7th grade biracial baby, I didn’t really understand racism? I obviously knew it was a thing, but I don’t think it clicked in my head. I was probably the only black kid in my class, but I wasn’t really aware of it? I didn’t think about it ever. I also never really thought about how our entire history of presidents was white as fuck. But when Obama was officially on the ticket, I knew it was different. I couldn’t form into words why I knew it was different, and I still don’t think I can fully articulate my thoughts, but I’ll try.

I remember the day of the election, my mom asked my dad if he had voted the second he got home from work. And then I remember my dad coming home and his younger sister calling and asking if he voted. I couldn’t hear my aunt on the other line, but I heard my dad say, “of course I voted for Obama!” And then I remember staying up all night waiting for the votes to come in, and eventually falling asleep on the couch.

I don’t even think it hit me that November day, I don’t think it hit me until his inauguration. We watched it at school. They corralled all of the middle school into the auditorium and we watched it on the big screen. And I sat there amazed. I don’t think anyone else felt the same way I did. I kept thinking about my grandparents, my dad’s parents. Who lived through Jim Crow. Who went to the March On Washington. Who had to work 10 times harder than a white person to get where they needed to be. I knew they were smiling watching a black man get sworn in as a president in the same spot where Martin Luther King Jr gave his I Have a Dream Speech (well not the same exact spot, but close enough).

Was Obama the best president we’ve ever had? No, I don’t think so. Did he change the course of history and tell millions of Americans, “yes we can?” Hell yeah he did. He lowered the hurdle for black men and women, for POC, for anyone that isn’t a white man. And with this midterm election, that hurdle was lowered even more.

Every time a POC or LGBTQ+ person gets elected into office, a white man loses his wings.

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