Race Matters

Living in a mostly black neighborhood, I've seen firsthand the pride
that Obama's victory has engendered. It's really quite moving to
behold. The president-elect may have touched the nerve of a wide
swath of Americans, but it is the African-Americans who seem to have
been the most spirited in claiming him as theirs. (Remember when
there was talk that this wouldn't happen because Obama wasn't "black
enough"?) And in his breakthrough victory, black people have rejoiced
in their own breakthrough.

The fact of the matter is that race still matters. Most people who
voted for Obama did not vote for him because of his race, and most
people who voted against him did so not because of his race. But race
still matters. We can celebrate this election as a milestone in race
in America. And we can agree that we still have a long way to go,
personally and corporately. We can talk about race, celebrate how far
we've come, lament where we're still in the wrong, give the topic its
proper place in practically any discussion we could possibly have.
And that's a good thing. It's what makes our nation unique, what
makes us special in the world. Let's not be ashamed to say so.

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