Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We did it!

We turned Florida blue! We elected "that one!"

America's new first family.

I'm so proud to have been a part of it all. To have been part of such a positive and inclusive campaign for change!

Barrack Obama is our nation's first Biracial President. And as someone who is also biracial, I have felt a personal connection and drive to elect someone, not who I want to have a beer with, or who's "like me", but someone first and foremost qualified AND knows what it's like to be me. Someone who looks out not just for their own, but will look out for all of us. It is my belief and hope that we have elected(no pun intended again) that one. In my conversations with fellow children who are products of mixed marriages, the topic that comes up so often is our sometimes feeling of invisibility. We can either be one or the other ethnicity, not both. I have always felt like an American and have always loved my country with the devotion of a veteran's daughter who pretty much grew up on a military base. But always within a culture that tells you to check the box, are you white or Asian? You can't be both. I always felt like I was never enough of one or the other for either culture. I sometimes describe myself as a chameleon,fitting in everywhere and no where, but doing my best to create my own identity while at the same time embracing and celebrating both parts of myself. And identity is something that many biracial kids in my generation still struggle with. I could never be white enough to be considered white or Asian enough to be considered Asian; living in a "check the box" culture. We begin to feel invisible sometimes because up until maybe a few years ago, there was no "box" for people like us. I've heard the word Hapa, used to describe people like me with mixed Asian backgrounds, someone even wrote a book featuring us a few years back. I picked up that book and saw my face on every page. In 2004 I watched a self described,"skinny kid with a funny name," speak to America and something in my heart burst. I was not only, no longer invisible, but I was now a "skinny kid with a funny name" too. Living in such a red state and having had the words "unAmerican" pressed upon people like me with unapologetic liberal leanings, listening to this unknown state senator speak about America and Americans with inclusion as the defining message, I felt like someone had given my beloved flag back to me when Karl Rove-ian divisive politics tried to take it away from me and bully me. So while we're celebrating America's first African American President, many of us "hapas" feel some small ownership in celebrating a bi-ethnic President who struggled with identity in a similar way we did. We are happy for our African American brothers and sisters, and we can celebrate ourselves as well. Because an African American President named Barack Hussein Obama can possibly open the doors for us too. I cried like one of my own had won last night. Because he is one of our own in a really special way that all of us who are of mixed heritage can claim.

And by the way I just want to call it- I told everyone I knew after that beautiful 2004 key note speech that someday he was going to be president. Most people said,"WHOOO? What the hell kind of name is that, sounds weird!" And now anyone who remembers me saying that are eating their words. So I just had to brag about that too and rub it in- oh I love being right. :O)

I canvassed til an hour before the polls closed last night. I felt like I contributed to my country just by participating. I said to myself, whatever the outcome, I will never have to say that I didn't do my best so if my party doesn't win, I would at least not have any regrets. When I attended my first meeting back in June and heard our county coordinator talk numbers and say that we could really turn Florida blue, I thought,"Yeah right. Ok." But I hoped. And we did! And I was part of it! So tonight at our party I want to relish in that. But I look forward to working with my new found blue friends in finding some small ways to be purple because everyone who I spoke with when I phonebanked and canvassed: Republican, Democrat, Green, Independents said the same thing. That they were sick and tired of the divided atmosphere we're living in.


thailandchani said...

I think we're all feeling a lot of relief.. and as though barriers have been overcome that existed for too many years.

Thank you so much for all the work you did to make this happen. You were a part of making history. :)


seventh sister said...

I just want to say thanks for all of the hard work you did. I think we have turned a corner and that there is no going back.

I hope you are getting some rest today.


Maurey said...

You played a big role - it was the ground game that won, esp. in states like FL. Mwah!

Defiantmuse said...

word, dude. and thank you for getting out there and helping to make this happen. it begins with us and hopefully we, as a country, will be able to continue moving forward.

Anonymous said...

YOU turned Florida blue. You are total rock star.

I think I knew in 2004 that Obama was one day going to be President. I had no idea then that it would be so soon.

I have NEVER been more proud of my country. NEVER.

Aimee said...

Congrats! Your hard work paid off.

Mariposa said...

I was smiling so big when I got the news...I was remembering you! And I keep telling people LittlePea, someone I met in the blogland is helping his campaign! :)

Madge said...

thank you, canvasser extraordinaire - a little pea that made a HUGE difference!
florida is blue!

(you are right - a damn shame about 2 passing. but with all of this renewed hope and enthusiasm, i am confident it too can be undone.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms Pea,

I'm sure you know about these but just in case you can order a Yes We Did sticker. The web address is:

Thanks for working so hard!


heartinsanfrancisco said...

You did great work and it paid off!

There are so many reasons to like Barack Obama, but his mixed ancestry perfectly symbolizes the kind of blended society that benefits everyone.

Suddenly, the "United" in our country's name actually means something.