Since that evening, during the most awkward moments of national racial division, Black Presidents and flying cars seemed a cruel taunt.
And, yet, during moments of racial unity, the phrase was no more helpful. Black Presidents still seemed like — well, they would have to wait for flying cars.
A friend of mine once taught me:
People, meaning well, say to me, "I never see you as a Black person."
I know they mean, "I just see you as a person."
But, when I hear this, I think: "C'mon. Stop kidding yourself. And don't try to kid me. You don't see that I'm a Black person? Look closer. I am a Black person. That's a core aspect of who I am — how the world sees me, and how I see the world. Please don't try to bleach me nor blind yourself."
- An Engaged Generation? I hope the experience of this election has inspired young people — and all for whom this was a first experience voting, volunteering and working in politics (on all sides of the political spectrum) — to embrace a lifetime of civic action. So much of my generation (including me) has been so disengaged, as if politics were for someone else. I feel honored to have been led by young people: on the street, in campaign offices, in their apartments, on the phone, via the web.
Wait. Suddenly, for the first time, I am older than the President-elect.
- Homelessness In America. I stood and sat for 14 hours on the street beside a downtown church (where a poll was housed). This church feeds the homeless. I met and learned from a few people who are more than "homeless."
- Race in America. I'm not yet able to understand how this moment transcends our past, moving us into our future. This moment offers tremendous opportunity for healing and growth. I am eager for much conversation, meditation and action.
- The Whole World Is Watching. During my day at an ordinary downtown polling location, I was interviewed by France 24 television and Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper. We enjoyed long visits with teams from BBC radio and BBC television. And, at the end of the day, we were interviewed by two members (one German, one Kazakh) of the OSCE's Office For Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
It was a long, anxious day,
May our nation's leaders guide us to renewed prosperity, meaning and peace — for you, your neighbors, your country, the world.