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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Symbolism of Obama’s victory transcends party lines

    Much has been said about today’s significance. In a country whose aging civil rights warriors, both for and against, still preside over positions of substantial influence, a new era of tolerance and understanding has broken through the dam of discrimination and prejudice of generations past.

    Maybe the whole moment has some added mystique because of the situation in which it is occurring. With an economy on life support, ballooning deficits, and two wars raging, the circumstances almost dictate ideological opposites to come together. Because of this unprecedented set of challenges, to say nothing of the ones that are bound to arise, President (as of noon today) Barack Obama may very well be benefitting from a rare environment where the overall mood is one of political reconciliation.

    That said, there will be no denying the meaning of the moment when the first African-American president-elect, from the land of Lincoln, raises his right hand and places his left on Lincoln’s own Bible to take the oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States.

    Not unlike other social struggles of this country’s history, this one was also fought and won in large part by campuses around the nation – like this one. President-elect Obama will no doubt have his lion’s share of supporters on this campus, but regardless of one’s ideology, it seems difficult not to appreciate the symbolism, at least, of his ascension to the presidency. It gives a tangible example of the progress of race relations in the United States. While this by no means indicates that race is no longer an issue in America, it allows those who argue that no progress has been made in the front of racial tolerance to be painted with the same brush of naiveté. That is something worth celebrating.

    -ÿJavier Espitia is a philosophy and political science sophomore.

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