A Vote for Brown, Brains, and Change!
Nov 4 2008

I haven’t written about politics on my blog for a variety of reasons but mostly because I think everyone has a right to their own opinion and my blog is primarily about business and parenting…not politics.

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However, given that a historic, unprecedented event has just happened in our lifetime, I felt compelled to write this post.  I am SO excited that Barack Obama was elected to be the next president of the United States!  Not just because I agree with much of his political philosophy, but also because he’s brown, has brains, and has the potential to heal wounds created throughout the world.

If you are someone who has not grown up with brown skin, this might not make sense to you but in my opinion this is a huge affirmation of the American dream.  My uncle, a geography professor, was turned away from a restaurant while visiting Virginia New Mexico because of the color of his skin.  When I was 8 or 9 years old, a blonde little boy turned to me in the walkways outside my elementary school and yelled at me calling me the ‘n’ word.  I had never heard that word before, yet I felt the hate emanating from this young boy, and I still remember the fear I felt standing there all alone wondering why this boy hated me so much. 

I’m not even Black (I’m South Asian), but I (and other members of my family) were lumped into the non-White category.  When I lived in West Texas, the difference was even more pronounced.  I grew up self conscious of my skin color and even now I have moments where I wonder if I truly fit in…despite being married to a White man!   Women and Black men have had to consistently work twice as hard and be twice as good to be recognized at the same level as White men in this country. 

Time will tell if Obama was the right pick, but the fact that he was picked in this country in 2008 means to me that we’ve reached a turning point in our history.  People who are not White and not even men (thanks to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin) now have a living breathing example of how it can be done.

Obama, to me, epitomizes working hard (no riding daddy’s coattails), focusing on education, prioritizing family values, and taking a thoughtful analytic (that man is smart!) approach before acting.  As an added bonus, he appears to know how to speak proper English! :-)

Not only has he broken color barriers, he has broken social media barriers.  He has run the biggest, first, and most effective political campaign that has ever been run (oh what money can buy)!  By his campaign’s avid use of twitter, YouTube, blogs, MySpace, email campaigns, etc., he has single handedly affirmed an entire new industry and demonstrated how using the Internet and social media can have a huge impact on the success of campaigns, businesses, and causes.  If there was any doubt by individuals and big companies as to the efficacy of social media, it has now been shattered!   

I was 3 when I came to the United States with my parents, and we landed in Pennsylvania.  I was 21 when I became a naturalized citizen in New Mexico.  I am now many years older, live in Texas, and tonight I saw the window of opportunity open wider for my light brown kids…

God Bless America!

Author: | Filed under: competition, diversity, parenting, social media, success, success story, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

32 Comments on “A Vote for Brown, Brains, and Change!”

  1. 1 Duane-PreppyDude said at 11:02 PM on November 4th, 2008:

    Great post!
    One look at the crowds cheering on TV can only make you hopeful as a human and American. People of every age and color shouting Obama.

    This is the year of the woman, black/brown/every color in-between person and for change

    Duane-PreppyDudes last blog post..Tele-tubbies and Looney Tunes for Obama (the ethnic ones)

  2. 2 Dayngr said at 11:19 PM on November 4th, 2008:

    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this experience through your eyes.

    Dayngrs last blog post..Voting In Hialeah, FL at Precinct 329/379

  3. 3 Aruni said at 11:35 PM on November 4th, 2008:

    @Duane – It was great to see such diversity in the crowd…hope for the future!

    @Dayngr – thanks for taking time to read my story. :-)

  4. 4 buffi said at 11:35 PM on November 4th, 2008:

    Aruni, this is so well written & I can respect your views. I do see where you are coming from.

    But I still am very dismayed at the choice that our country has made toward socialism and big, HUGE government. Skin color has never had any bearing at all in my voting preferences. I’m more about policy, security, and values. And this man holds very few of those that I agree with. I’m really afraid that the only “change ” we will see is the 37 cents that will be left in our pockets after they have “spread our wealth.”

    I am however, choosing to be cautiously optomistic. I’m hoping for the best. I can see that this man could really surprise me and be a wonderful president who does good things for our country. I’ll let you know in a few years, though.

    buffis last blog post..Our most precious, amazing right….

  5. 5 Jeff Namnum said at 11:37 PM on November 4th, 2008:

    Here is a post I can relate to and appreciate. Thanks for being so honest with such a personal thing. I remember when I was 6 or 7, another kid (white kid) danced around me singing about all the evils of niggers. I’m 36 and I’ve never forgotten that.

    It is a beautiful thing that this man could be elected president. He is not the candidate I chose, but I pray that he governs well.

    Jeff Namnums last blog post..tweets on 2008-04-01

  6. 6 Aruni said at 11:56 PM on November 4th, 2008:

    Hi buffi – All anyone can ask for is a chance. I don’t think he’s espousing socialism and more crazy spending like that which has happened in the last 8 years. I also don’t think he’s ‘spreading the wealth.’ As you probably know Gates and Buffet and several wealthy individuals supported Obama.

    I hope that all the campaign rhetoric and fear mongering that has gone on will settle down. And just like in any job interview, we won’t know how anyone will do until they get to work! :-) I’m glad you are giving him a chance. He’s brought a lot of hope to many people. He’s smart and thoughtful and I’m optimistic he can begin to heal wounds and reach across the aisle!

  7. 7 Aruni said at 11:57 PM on November 4th, 2008:

    Hi Jeff – thank you. It is interesting what memories we have from our youth and how they affect us. I hope all of kids don’t have to hear such hate from other kids or grown up in the not to distant future!

  8. 8 Aronado said at 12:18 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    This is truly an amazing time indeed. I wonder, If Barack Obama (all other things being equal) was in fact white, would he have still won? Maybe, maybe not….

    I do agree that he ran a brilliant campaign and used SM/SN leverage to capture votes that would/could have been missed.

    I am proud of The United States of America, and hope it was the right choice.

    Aronados last blog post..~Amrita Chandra TinkuGallery.com social media art Queen!

  9. 9 Bryan Person said at 12:19 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    I’m also full of hope for the nation tonight. Thank you for your post, Aruni.

  10. 10 Karthick said at 1:29 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    I loved this post Aruni! Reaffirming the fact that those values you mentioned at the end of day take precedence of color. I can only imagine the level of elation you and all of us non whites must be feeling in the States.

    Karthicks last blog post..Barack Obama : 44th President of the United States.

  11. 11 Kelby said at 6:56 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    Wow Aruni! This is such a moving post that it has me in tears. I have never in my life felt so excited about someone being elected to any office, and felt such a huge sense of relief. But you bring up a great point. Whether Obama is a wonderful president or not, the simple fact that a black man was elected president is absolutely monumental. I am impressed with our country. If you’d asked me a year ago, I probably would have guessed it couldn’t happen. I am so glad it did!

    Kelbys last blog post..Sustainable Kitchen Project Challenges

  12. 12 Aruni said at 7:37 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    @Aronado – We may never know if he would have won if he was White, but with his personality and brains, I would think so. I’m proud too!

    @Bryan – Hope is a great thing to have!

    @Karthick – It’s a great feeling. I’m most impressed that he is smart and has strong family values. The fact that he’s brown is an added bonus!

    @Kelby – Thanks! I’m so glad we all were a part of changing history!

  13. 13 Khürt said at 7:51 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    Awesome post. Barack Obama last night spoke to me as an American ( I am naturalized ). He made me cry. He had the audacity to hope and took us all along with him. Let’s help this man do the work that needs to be done to show the world we are all Americans.

    Khürts last blog post..TheAppleBlog

  14. 14 Barbara C. Phillips, NP said at 7:55 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    I can so relate to what you have written.

    I am bi-racial. I recall the days when JFK and the MLK were killed. I grew up knowning that the marriage of my parents was not legal in many states until I was a teen. And I recall my father telling me that I could be the President of the US if I wanted to (I didn’t want that job, thank you!). Today, another bi-racail kid has that honor.

    My next wish…please get rid of the boxes where you are suppose to “check one” (race).

  15. 15 Mariana said at 7:58 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    Great post, Aruni! So heartfelt! It brought back all the emotions I was feeling last night, thank you :)

    Marianas last blog post..Almost Flipped my lid

  16. 16 Susan Payton, The Marketing Eggspert said at 8:02 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    Yaaay Aruni! I’m not going to get any work done today bc I keep reading emails and posts about the election and getting all emotional.

    Things are changing. I can feel it.

    Susan Payton, The Marketing Eggsperts last blog post..How to Network

  17. 17 Jenny, Bloggess said at 8:04 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    Amen. It’s the first election that gave me chills.

    Jenny, Bloggesss last blog post..This is not a real post.

  18. 18 Aruni said at 8:11 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    @Khurt – It’s so great to have someone who can inspire so many people at the helm. I hope he can continue the momentum when he’s in office!

    @Barbara – I wouldn’t want to be president of the US either! It’s got to be the hardest job on the planet, but I’m sure glad that for all people who want it, it’s an option. Yeah, I always pick “other” in those boxes. :-)

    @Mariana – Thank you. Emotions can often be cathartic.

  19. 19 francine hardaway said at 8:22 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    Aruni, thank you for making me also understand the special feelings of bi-racial Americans. You and I think so much alike:-) “Out of many, we are one.”

    francine hardaways last blog post..McCains Go to the Polls

  20. 20 Mary McD said at 9:00 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    Hi Aruni,

    Thank you so much for posting this blog – and for twittering about it, @aruni! I really enjoyed reading your perspective. In many ways, this was a ‘no-lose’ election as I respected both candidates. I was also pleased at the “relative” lack of dirty campaigning exhibited, and thought that we, as a nation, have matured a bit as we progressed through this long process. I feel hope for the first time in a long time today – simply because so many people got involved directly. Let’s continue to keep that level of involvement active as we go forward!

    Regards,
    Mary
    twitter: @marymcd

  21. 21 Andy said at 9:51 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    You said it all. Great senitments and it is the dawn of a new era.

  22. 22 Maria said at 11:02 AM on November 5th, 2008:

    Thanks for sharing your perspective, Aruni. I grew up in a Cuban/Caribbean culture here in South Florida still mired in old colonial attitudes about race. Humanity may never be perfect, but the day will come when that’s a thing of the past.

  23. 23 Gini Appu said at 2:45 PM on November 5th, 2008:

    The best thing about Obama’s win is that ‘The Man’ is dead. America has been overhauled by over 63 million voters. No longer can African American males not take responsibility for themselves and their children.

    Gini Appus last blog post..Appu News Network: McCain eats Parippu

  24. 24 Aruni said at 4:35 PM on November 5th, 2008:

    @francine – I’m honored that you think we think alike!

    @Mary – I heard somewhere that even though ads started to get negative that this was probably one of the more cleanest presidential campaigns run in modern history.

    @Andy – yes, a daw of a new era!

    @Maria – we have taken one step closer to judgments on race being a thing of the past.

    @Gini – Yes, African American males now have a great family values role model!

  25. 25 Suki Fuller said at 5:50 PM on November 5th, 2008:

    Aruni, beautiful post, just beautiful.

  26. 26 Nicole said at 7:46 AM on November 6th, 2008:

    I teared up reading your post. I am an avid Democrat so truthfully, unless the candidate was really horrible and the Republican candidate was really great, I would have likely voted Democrat, regardless.

    However, Obama inspired me to be excited about him as a candidate. It isn’t the fact that he is biracial. He is very inspiring and promotes unity and that’s what we need. I, being biracial myself and part African-American, would not vote for a candidate simply because he is a minority (look at Jesse Jackson who tried to run many years ago) and I am confident that had he been White, he would have still won the election, maybe even by a higher margin! :)

    I won’t get into the fact that progressive taxation is not socialism and is certainly not a new or radical concept as many want to believe as I’m sure you don’t want a political debate on your blog. :)

    Nicoles last blog post..Baby Sleeps, You Date – Sleep Quick Tip

  27. 27 Scott T. Reese said at 11:15 AM on November 6th, 2008:

    Aruni,
    As you’ve already been told so many times, very well written. With so many reactions to this bog, it obvious you hit a nerve. The same is true for me. I was very moved by your personal story. Thank you very much for having the courage to put yourself out there for everyone.

    I’m proud of you … and I’m proud to know and now be able to share your story.
    Thank you,
    Scott

  28. 28 Aruni said at 10:19 PM on November 6th, 2008:

    @Suki – :-)

    @Nicole – You are so right! He’s inspiring because he’s smart, worked hard, and is capable. I could not vote for someone just because of the color of their skin. As you mentioned, I could not get behind Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton because I didn’t like their tactics and I didn’t believe they could galvanize our country. It’s a bonus that Obama has brown skin!

    @Scott – Thank you for affirming my courage!

  29. 29 Nicole Dean said at 10:09 PM on November 12th, 2008:

    I’m VERY excited to see what this amazing, brilliant man brings to our country.

    God Bless him and inspire him to rally great change — and God Bless the USA.

    Nicole Deans last blog post..FREE: Blog Traffic Guide

  30. 30 Mommy Niri said at 6:33 PM on November 21st, 2008:

    Your comments of color touched me as I recall growing up in South Africa how color was always an issue. Though due to apartheid Indians were pushed in a separate area. I feel extra proud of being here and witnessing Obama become president, just like I felt immensely proud of voting in the first democratic elections in SOuth AFrica to elect Mandela president!

    Mommy Niris last blog post..USA President And World Leader!

  31. 31 Aruni said at 8:26 PM on November 23rd, 2008:

    @Nicole – My sentiments exactly!

    @Mommy Niri – wow, how great it was that you were there to vote in the elections that elected Mandela! Two history making moments for you. :-)

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