Even though I was born and have lived in the United States for almost all of my life, I never felt truly American until Barack Obama’s historic run for the Presidency in 2008. Until that point I always felt like the other. When asked my nationality, I would instinctively answer, Dominican. I would never even say Dominican-American.
I think I speak for most people, especially people of color, when I state that before Barack Obama, the idea of a Black President was not a notion that many took serious. Barack Obama made me a believer, not just in the concept of a Black President but on the idea that I was an American. That even though racism was still a real and ugly presence in America, it was no longer a barrier in the way that it had been for those that came before us. That this was my country too and my voice, and my vote, was important. It was also the first time that I became an active participant in the political process. Barack Obama was not the first vote I cast but it was the first vote I cast with real meaning attached to it. It was also the first time I donated to a politician. I know many people across this great country that feel the same way. Barack made us all believers.
With that said, we NEED to give Barack Obama another 4 years in office to finish what he started. The economy is already showing signs of recovery, but let’s be honest, it takes more than 4 years to rebuild after the disastrous 8 years of Bush and Republican rule. The same kind of disaster, if not worse, we are courting with a Romney Presidency. There are no new ideas coming from that side, it is the same old tired nonsense about tax cuts for the rich, small government and a bellicose foreign policy. We may not have a country we recognize in 4 years if Romney is elected.
Barack Obama has saved the country from another Great Depression, has rescued the American Auto industry, and has made us safer by ridding the world of Osama Bin Laden as well as ending the war in Iraq. Obamacare will give millions of Americans access to healthcare. Not to mention, what his brave stance on marriage equality means to so many of Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. Obama has moved this country forward and we simply cannot afford to move backwards. Obama is the reason that I am proud to call myself an American today. Thanks Barack for changing the way I view this country and my place in it. I, and millions of people like myself, have your back!
Pa’Lante Siempre Pa’Lante