Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thought's on President-Elect Obama.

Obama won. In some ways I was expecting it. It's still very exciting.

I spent most of election day in Gary Indiana knocking on doors to get out the vote. Gary is predominately Black, and the town is very economically poor. Every single block had at least one house that was foreclosed. Very much Obama territory. I was out there the weekend before with SEIU, HERE and USW members, and everyone we talked to planned on voting for Obama. On election day, everyone we talked to in Gary had already voted for Obama.

We drove back to Chicago and I joined the Congress Strike picket line. It was 7 pm and already there was a huge crowd gathering downtown for the Obama rally. Obama's rise to power was very exciting for the Congress Strikers. Obama had walked the picket line twice, once before he was a Senator, and again during the Democratic primary. When Obama walked the picket line during the primary, he promised that he would walk the picket line as president. You can read more about Obama's support for the Congress Hotel Strike Here.

I had a ticket to the Grant Park rally, and went in with some friends. The crowd was enormous, and electric. As each state reported its results, the crowd cheered, or jeered, depending on which way the results went. When Obama was announced the winner, I jumped up and down. I was excited for a lot of reasons. One of the things that really made me excited was the thought of what we could accomplish in the next four years: stronger unions, environmental justice, gay marriage, universal health care. That was more exciting that the actual victory.

It is exciting to have a Black president. However, it's important to remember all that remains to be done. I saw a Crimethinc flier that said “One Black Man Might be President, One Million Black Men Are in Prison.” Something to truly ponder. While Obama's victory is a huge step forward for all anti-racists in the US, it is just that, a step, not the end of a journey.

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