"My Midnight Dream": A student reflection on the Obama election.
OPINION by Lauren Marie Bell '10
I wake up, and it's a new start for everyone.
"I'm not watching the election, I'm too scared." That's the last thing I heard about the election before I went to sleep the night of November 4, 2008. That night I asked my mom if she was going to watch the election results, and she gave me the shocking answer of "no." My mother explained to me that she felt as if Barack Obama was a brother to her, and she was scared that he wouldn't win. I could understand that. I wanted Obama to win, and I was also nervous about the outcome. That night, I prayed so hard that Barack Obama would win this 2008 election. Finally, I fell asleep.
Twelve o'clock that night, I woke up to Obama giving his acceptance speech on the radio station that I listen to every night. I had never watched or heard an acceptance speech before -- I've never been so into an election, so I didn't know what it was. The next thing I heard was Obama congratulating Senator John McCain on a well done campaign. I just hung my head, because I thought McCain had won. My stomach dropped. I felt as though everything -- from wearing the Obama buttons on shirts at school to his entire campaign throughout the whole country -- was a waste of time.
Then I heard the most inspiring words: Barack Obama introduced his wife as America's next first lady. I remember it was so cold in my house that night, but I jumped up so fast and ran to my mom's room. I didn't want to scare her so I called her name first. She sat up and asked me what was wrong. I said "Mama, Obama won!" She asked me how I knew. I told her. She turned on the TV, and then cried.
When my mom cried that night, I didn't understand why, unless they were tears of joy. But now that I think about it, and have talked about it with my mom, I understand. When my mom was growing up in Mississippi, her school was integrated while she was in the eleventh grade. As this was happening, all the white kids left and they took all the good textbooks with them, because they didn't want to be in the same school with African-Americans. My mom, and many other men and women, who have gone through any amount of oppression or harsh unfair treatment due to racism, feel as though we are now moving ahead toward our goal of being completely equal. They never thought that in their lifetime of being treated differently because of the color of their skin, that they would see a black president. This touched me more than I thought it would. I am fortunate enough not to have had the problem of racism directed towards me, and have only learned about it through my mom and dad's words and through textbooks. But it touched me because I feel like it's a new start, and now my children can tell me that they can do whatever they want, and I can tell them "Yes you can."
Lauren Bell is a student in United States and the World, taught by Michael Pozniak.
By Bishop McNamara HS |
January 17, 2009; 10:24 PM ET
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