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Nothing Is Impossible

Did that just happen? Did we really just elect the nation’s first black president? And in a landslide, no less?

Yes We Did.

I grew up in the color-blind world of Sesame Street, where being different was not a barrier to doing anything you wanted to. As I grew older, I came to recognize the racial disparity that existed in this country and the long way we had to go before real equality was reached. Cynicism in our capacity for progress came as easy as falling off a log, but I never lost the basic belief that my childhood instinct was the right one and that, someday, we would get there. A black president? I thought it was inevitable. But I thought I would be an old man before it happened, if I was around at all. And even when it did happen, it would not mean by default that racial inequality no longer existed. But it would open the doors of opportunity and invite people to step through, reassuring them that all things might be possible, no matter the color of your skin. It would change the face of our culture and the way we look at the world and ourselves. It wouldn’t fix everything itself, but it would be gigantic first step. For mankind, as it were.

Yesterday, to my profound relief and pride, America took that step.

After eight years of bitter division under the Bush administration, after the poison fear that the attacks of 9/11 instilled, a black Democrat named Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States of America. There’s no way I would have taken that bet two years ago, even after the Democrats’ mid-term successes of ’06. Over the course of this campaign, after careful study of his character and positions, I came to feel that Obama should win, but that’s irrelevant. I believed Obama could win, but it was a far cry from knowing it. There were too many unknowns, too many chances that we hadn’t come as far as we often give ourselves credit for.

Yesterday, I felt the need to know the measure of this country, to know just how far we have come. Today, I know. Nothing is impossible. Highly unlikely perhaps; enormously difficult and fraught with challenges, certainly. But not impossible.

Thanks, America.

– Michael Turner