Wow, what an amazing day it has been. Although I was out fairly late last night, I’ve been up since 7:30 am — riveted to the news coverage of today’s Inauguration. I did not venture out to the Mall for the Inauguration Ceremony nor the Parade primarily due to the frigid weather and the mass of people.
As noted earlier, I’ve been to many Super Bowls, Olympics and NBA All-Star Weekends — which also have massive crowds. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want to be slammed around … and would prefer the comfort of my home. Plus, I wanted to intently be able to focus on hearing President Obama’s speech as well as the news commentary. And, I was still getting a feel for the Inaugural Celebration via the many activities at night.
One of the primary reasons I’m excited about President Obama and the change coming is that I can relate where he came from since I’m also from a mixed-race background. I’m half Japanese / half Irish-American. Although I lived on American military bases when growing up in Japan, I was always in the minority there since I’m half-Caucasian. Then, when I moved to the DC area when I was 16, I was again in the minority since I’m half-Asian.
I’m not complaining about being from a mixed background, but I didn’t really start to “get it” and “appreciate” until my junior year at AU when one of my classmates from NY told me how lucky and fortunate I am to be from two distinct cultural backgrounds. The light bulb went off … and I embraced the idea of being proud to be both Japanese and Irish-American.
Tiger Woods says something similar — to quote him directly …”I am the product of two great cultures. On my father’s side I am African American. On my mother’s side, I am Thai. My parents taught me to always be proud of my ethnic background. That will always be the case, past, present, and future. I feel very fortunate and equally proud to be both African American and Asian.”
I can totally relate to those feelings … and so does President Obama. He’s proud of his mixed-race background. And, these past few days, I’ve met even more and more people of mixed races. The times are indeed changing. In fact, the Hispanic, African-American and Asian demographics are continuing to increase … which will continue to lead to more mixed-race children.
So, change can be good. And, along with so many, many others … not just in the US, but throughout the world, I’m going to embrace this change and continue to do what I / we can to create a more level playing field and to help any and all. Peace.