Racial barrier crumbled Tuesday night

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 6, 2008

Guess what? The sun rose Wednesday morning just like always. The birds chirped and the grass grew.

That reality may have shocked some voters whose candidates didn’t win Tuesday, on the culminating day of an amazingly long and sometimes bitter campaign to select our nation’s leader.

But now everyone — from both sides of the election — needs to take a deep breath and let the campaign wounds heal. The race is over and the best man won. And, the best man made history, too.

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On Tuesday night, the nation’s largest remaining color barrier was smashed to bits as Americans chose their first black president.

Ultimately, history will judge Barack Obama on his performance, not his skin color.

But Obama’s election is an important milestone. Seeing the “first” in anything is great and worth celebrating. But won’t it be nice when our nation sees our citizens not by what separates us and makes us different, but by the things we share.

That dream may take years, but eventually it will happen.

America has always been a melting pot of cultures and we should embrace our differences, not use them to divide us further.

As Obama said in his gracious, conciliatory acceptance speech on Wednesday night: “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

Well said, Mr. President (elect).