FOX News just called Ohio for Barack Obama.
I’m in Parma, Ohio—where I have been for a month—with people from California and Tennessee and New York and Illinois and Georgia and Virginia and Washington. With people in high school, college, grad school, professional school. With people who own small businesses and who work for big business.
There are fifty people here screaming, toasting, hugging.
And I and two friends—women who participated in the civil rights movement, who grew up and live on the South Side of Chicago, one black, one white—cried.
Katy said it for us as we knelt on the cement outside hugging each other: We did it. We did it. We changed the world.
And we did. But not in the way that the network pundits are saying.
For Barack Obama, for his appeal to the best in all of us, for his conviction that the best we can do is extraordinary, we pounded pavement and doors and data and phone numbers. We worked ourselves haggard.
And what he’s done—what we’ve done—
What we’ve done with our work hasn’t changed America.
We didn’t change how Americans think. We showed them that it’s all right, that it’s necessary, to express what they think.
We didn’t make people in Ohio think about whether or not race really mattered in the end. We showed them that they already believed it didn’t.
What we’ve done—what Barack Obama made us believe we could do, and what we went out and did—was to convince Americans that they’re truly free. That what they believe can change their lives, their country, their world.
That the strength of their belief and the power of their hope is the most important thing Americans have.
That what Americans really believe, really hope is worth hours in cold and rain and power outages. Worth saying.
Worth a resonating, overwhelming cry of We believe.
That what America is designed to be, what we’ve dreamed of being—
Is what we really are.
At last. At last. At last.
11/05/2008 at 14:41
Parma, Ohio: November 4th, 10:24 PM
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