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Editorial: Americans should vote based on qualifications, not race


Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 12, 2012 13:11

I feel more confused than ever.

Last Tuesday, the presidential election may have provided some of the most discouraging, underlying truths about our country that seemed almost nonexistent four years prior.

I am a 21-year-old senior student-athlete, with a love for sports journalism and a knack for fashion.

What I’m not is a political expert, and I won’t try to act like one.

Barack Obama will be our President for a second four-year term. During the campaign, there was plenty said by many people.

This was supposed to be an election about jobs and the economy, among other issues like gay marriage and foreign policy.

However, what I saw was an election focused on race.

Granted, there are many educated folks who chose their vote by considering the issues they saw as improving or damaging the nation. In contrast, a lot of people in my generation (college/high school-aged students) voiced their opinions for the wrong reasons.

Being from the Piper area of Kansas City, Kan., I have met and had some good relationships with people from all walks of life, so I thought I felt somewhat aware of how different people thought.

As an African American, from the outside looking in, I was less than thrilled at what I saw.

There’s nothing wrong with being happy the person you voted for won, but when you see black people gloating and cursing the other candidate because “their” black President won, it’s hard not to question the competence in why they voted for and supported him.

On the flip side, those who didn’t support Obama were calling him every slur in the book, combined with how doomed the country will be moving forward.

All-around, it was a shameful sight. It’s not fair, and it’s not what I grew up believing. I thought we had come much further in regards to race relations.

We may have a black President, but we have much more growing to do.

The last time there was a presidential election that did not involve Obama, I was 13 years old.

There was no Twitter, Facebook had just started and people were still reeling from Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction.

It’s hard to look back and say whether the spectrum of people’s love and hate between George Bush and John Kerry was as divisive as what I saw during this election…but I don’t believe it was.

You have to sit back and wonder how people would act if Obama had been white? Asian? Hispanic?

How many of these sudden voting enthusiasts will even care in 2016, when it will likely be two white candidates again?

It’s hard to look too far in the future and predict anything with accuracy, so we can only focus on the here-and-now.

Election night, President Obama provided what may be one of the most empowering images in American history.

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