11/05/2008

Believe in the Promise

We've just witnessed an historic transformation, one of those singular moments in our history that we'll all remember for the rest of our lives.

In this new day, all our children can dare to believe in the promise of the American ideal, the principle that their horizons are limited only by the reach of their aspirations, not by the color of their skin.

Around the world, people everywhere are seeing a new face of America, one that is more tolerant and more just. This is a credit to the sacrifices and the determination of millions of people who have worked so hard to make equality in our country more than just a dream. As President-elect Obama said to his supporters last night, "This is your victory."

This election, of course, can never erase the ugly stain of slavery and cannot reverse overnight its terrible, enduring legacy of poverty, discrimination and bigotry.

Nor does it mark the end of overt hate and racism. The campaign exposed deep hostility and even rage among some white Americans who cannot yet accept the idea of a black man as our nation's leader. And many white supremacists believe this election will rally white people to their cause, especially when our economy is teetering on the edge of an abyss.

I hope and believe that they are wrong, that the growing number of Americans who cherish justice and tolerance will drown out the fear and bigotry that have held our country back for too long.

For now, let's all celebrate the promise of a new era. Tomorrow, let's get back to work to make that promise a reality.