For me the greatest impact of Barak Obama’s historic victory yesterday is the generational shift that it enables. I’m not talking about his generation, although there’s clearly a passing of the baton from the 60’s generation (people born in the 40’s) to the 80’s generation (people born in the 60’s).

I’m talking about his kids (and your kids and my kids) generation.  About the millions of children who woke up this morning with real possibility – with the realization that there are truly no limitations on their ambitions. 

I’m talking about the son of my best friend – about as aryan looking as one can be – who now likes to wear white shirts because he thinks they make his skin look darker and who laments that his blond, straight hair isn’t black and curly "like Barak’s". Or my own daughter whose eyes light up when she talks about she and Barak Obama having the same skin color.

Barak Obama ran a campaign of hope and change.  But really it was a campaign of possibility.  For us. For our kids. For the world. Whatever your politics, I hope you’ll stop to think about the amazing impact the events of the last 24 hours will have on generations of Americans who will follow us.

  • Brandon

    No doubt it was an exciting election, but do you really believe that all is right in the world now? I find it hard to believe that Republicans = No Hope, No Possibility and Democrats = Sunshine, Hope, etc… That's just absurd. I don't think the country will show tangible improvement until we put politics aside. And changing your appearance to look more like the popular party is only a few degrees away from Germany in the 40's. Are the kids really aware of what Obama (or McCain for that matter) stand for, or are they reflecting what they see from their parents?

    Hopefully this kool-aid hangover will pass soon and we will start taking a realistic inventory of what lies ahead.

    • sethlevine

      brandon – where in my post am i saying that all is right in the world right now? or for that matter, what in my post was political? at a time in our country when we've just survived 8 years of the most selfish, me me me, administration; in a country with a not so distant history of slavery and jim crowe i think it's appropriate to take stock and reflect not just on how historic a day this tuesday was, but also on the message it sends to the people of this country. looking up to a black man – who is now our president elect – is not just a “few degrees away from Germany in the 40's” – it's 180 degrees away. that our kids (white and black) have someone like Obama to look up to, who they will see every day on television and in the news, and who is the leader of our country isn't a reflection of their politics (or their parent's politics) – it's historic.

  • Seth – I was not an Obama supporter (or McCain for that matter). I won't digress down that political path and try to hold respect for the content of your article with political beliefs aside.

    I see it in my children. For the first time have I watched as people see others as people. Not white people, black people, tan people, or otherwise. Just people. When my middle son says “that brown man” it is a description to help me identify the individual he is speaking of, not the race of the person.

    Barack Obama, if nothing else,proved that a man can rise to the highest office in the land on hard work and determination. No need for affirmative action or special attention because of race, creed, or color…just hard work and determination.

    Now, hopefully, we will be just Americans (not Irish-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, etc). As our children view others as simply people with different traits, hopefully the barriers of inferiority or superiority complexes will erode and we all truly be treated as equal like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr talked about.

  • sethlevine

    chase – i appreciate your taking the post in the light it was intended (not a political commentary but a social one). there's a great article in today's NY Times about the history of black visitors to the white house (and how in the not very distant past presidents asking black visitors to attend an event there created an uproar). obviously this election was about many things other than just race, but as someone who struggles daily with race (as i reference above, one of my daughters is black), having someone of obama's stature to point to can not be understated in its importance (just this morning my daughter pointed to the newspaper and said to me: “that's barak obama. he has brown skin just like me.”)