I’ve spent much of my life thinking about race. As a Korean American, I grew up learning the balance between this curious clash of cultures that don’t often agree. While there is plenty that can be said about this, one thing on my mind presently is that the next president of the United States of America is an Kenyan American. He embodies the spirit of multiculturalism with which so many Americans identify. While I believed I’d see this day within my lifetime, back in the 90s when I thought Colin Powell might become the first African American president, I never knew I’d see it so soon.
I think it has taken a generation of voting Americans — to grow up in a world where bigotry is not overtly tolerated, to grow up in neighborhoods that are not segregated, to have never have seen racism so intimately first hand — to look far beyond race and address the question of whom we believe would be the best representative and leader of our nation.
I remember how I felt on 9/11. As an American, I felt vulnerable for the first time. But today, as such a large number of Americans went to voice their opinion and participate in the most democratic act of civic responsibility, I am incredibly proud and grateful to be in this country.
We are not finished. There are gender, racial, and several other inequalities that are orthogonal to humanity that need to be addressed, but the outcome tonight suggests to me that there is a great desire for progress. It is up to all of us to act!