My nephews

It’s 12:50 AM on Election Day, and before I head off for bed I wanted to make what will likely be my final pre-election thought.

I have two nephews, Jordan, 8, and Isaiah, 4 1/2, whom I love dearly. They are the offspring of my wife’s sister, and in myriad ways I consider them to be no different than my very own kids. Because their father is African-American, both boys would, racially speaking, be classified in this country as “black.” Their skin is the color of light coffee; their hair dark and curly; their eyes brown.

Until recently, the idea of either of them ever seriously dreaming of one day becoming the president of the United States would be considered silly, if not laughable.

No longer.

I want Barack Obama to become president because I share many of his ideals, because we clearly need a new direction and because I love the way he seems to inspire people to aim higher; to shoot for better. But what I also love is what an Obama presidency would do for my nephews. Too many black kids in this country grow up thinking that certain careers are off limits; that dreams may well turn reality, but only if the dreams come in certain packages. Black kids can dream to be Kobe Bryant; to be Usher; to be T.I.; to be Chris Rock.

But with a political system long dominated by white men and—more recently—white women, the goal of one day serving in the Senate or House seemed ludicrous. Why shoot for the impossible?

No longer. Think of the message an Obama presidency sends to young black boys and girls; to young white girls and boys. That we live in a nation where anyone can accomplish anything. That skin color and religion may not matter quite as much as we think. 

The the impossible is, come day’s end, possible.

 

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