When we went to see Obama speak in Austin in January, our little group was next to this woman and her son. He was maybe three or four years old, and of course couldn't see, so people around her took turns holding him up. It was way past his bedtime when Obama finally took the stage, I'm sure.
There was a lot going on that night, and I wasn't watching him for most of it, but when Obama first came out and his mother picked him up, the little boy looked at the stage, got a confused look, and asked his mom a question: "Is he white or brown?"
"He's brown," his mom replied. "Like you."
For me, that may have been the most powerful moment of this campaign. The thought that that little boy can grow up in a world where he will believe that anything is possible for his life has just overwhelmed me. He will grow up in a world where the formal discrimination that governed his grandparents' lives, and the implicit racism that affected his parents' will lose some of its power. All because of this election.
I did not believe that we would see an African-American elected president in my lifetime. That it happened now, in an era when we still have a former Klansman in the Senate and when being openly racist is still socially acceptable in large swathes of the countryside, is amazing.
I don't believe that race is a good reason to vote for or against a candidate. Issues, character, and judgment are much more significant.
But, wow, am I glad to be in a country in which that little boy's life will be full of the infinite possibility I've gotten to live.