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Obama's win proves U.S. is land of opportunity

By Donnae Wahl
On November 7, 2008

On Tuesday night, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States of America. This historic moment is not only felt by Americans, but it was celebrated around the world as a sign that America truly is the land of opportunity for all.

The election of the first black man to the presidency is not just a moment for those who supported him; this is a moment for all Americans to be proud that our country can truly be a place where all human beings are created equal. It is a moment of pride for all Americans, and the world is not only celebrating this moment with us, they are again seeing our country as an example of freedom, prosperity and opportunity.

In his concession speech, Sen. John McCain noted the importance of that moment, stating that "we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship." These words are a testament to the character of McCain, and although many did not agree with some of the divisive tactics he used in this election, his speech offered a glimpse into what I hope is the bridging of some of the partisan gaps in American politics.

President Obama's election will not fix many of the divides, racial or ideological, that this country faces. We still have a long way to go before bigotry and hate are a thing of the past. We are still a long way from overcoming racism and violence. What this election means at this very moment is that we are a little bit closer to overcoming our past.

Obama supporters have been wearing T-shirts and buttons with the slogan "yes we did," I would encourage everyone regardless of political affiliation to take pride in this moment, and in the words of McCain, "let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth." Even if you don't agree with Obama's policies, you can still take pride in your country.

- Donnae Wahl is a senior political science major and women's studies minor. She has worked on grassroots campaigns for John Kerry, Barack Obama and the Denver Rape Crises Center.

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