The closest I’ve come to President-Elect Obama was last fall, when I pretended to shake this cardboard cut-out version’s hand in Union Square.
It’s incredibly surreal, being able to look forward to a progressive president who I actually care about. I have a huge grin on my face because a few hours ago I was told that in less than ten days, I’ll be in D.C. (my first time) for inauguration weekend!!! I’ll be working with my colleagues to cover many aspects of the ceremony and related events.
My role will be as an additional shooter and digital producer. It’s going to be an amazing, historic event and I am thrilled to be a part of it in any capacity. I was working through election day in November and missed out on celebrating in the streets with my friends. This more than makes up for that.
When I was in elementary school, I remember one of my teachers saying there will never be a black president. This was the same teacher who skipped over the Martin Luther King, Jr. chapter in our history book. This was the same teacher who spoke glowingly about manifest destiny and ridiculed me for daring to challenge that. This was the same teacher who made me dress up as an indian for our Thanksgiving project and wondered why I was offended. I wonder, what is she telling the students now?
It’s tiny actions that alter world views. My mother owning her own business altered my world view (based on everything I was exposed to) that Latina women were property and not supposed to be independent. Obama deciding he would ignore negativity and not give up has changed history. Obama’s candidacy inspired my long-standing Republican step dad Larry to change parties, just so he could vote for Obama. Tiny actions change the world.
I am hoping while I am in D.C. that maybe – just maybe – I’ll get the chance to shake Obama’s hand.
It may not happen, but still. Even the idea that it could be possible blows my mind.
ps: My initials are D.C.