It really did say something about our country when we elected a black president, especially one with Hussain as a middle name in the midst of a war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I feel like it says just as much, if not more, that we reelected him. It wasn't without hardship, controversy and a still severely divided nation - and yes, still plenty of racism - but enough of the country believed in his actions and policies to give him the votes he needed to be president again.
And that's awesome. I haven't forgotten the hate and disgust so many people felt when President Bush was in office and although I see very little of the hate and disgust towards President Obama I do know it exists, and it's strong. But I also have a feeling a lot of that is unfounded racism and prejudice and has little to do with his actions as a leader.
But there is a little extra symbolism in Obama's inauguration today: today we inaugurated a black president in his second term on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. More than 50 years ago Martin Luther King Jr campaigned tirelessly for equal rights for people of all types and on the day we honor his efforts we celebrate the reelection of our first black president. Pretty awesome. (Obama's inauguration today wasn't the first time a presidential inauguration landed on MLK day... Clinton's second inauguration also did.)
You can watch his official inauguration and his speech. Now that elections are out of the way I really hope we'll see even more progress on some of the most important things he campaigned for in the last 4 years. I'm specifically hoping for more environmental reform and equal rights for all types of people.