Change is Here 2008
Barack Obama, the next President of the United States
By: Clarese Alexander
It has been nearly 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was passed, which gave Black people their freedom, over forty years since the Voting Rights Act gave Blacks a voice in America, and now we've have achieved something that never in a lifetime would we have thought to see, a man of color, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. It was a day we will always remember, November 4, 2008, a day where countries all over the world had their eyes on the future of America.
Bowie State University students gathered in the Wiseman game room to attend the Watch Party with the Iotas at precisely 8 p.m. Students were lined outside of the game room by the dozens, all anticipating watching the news to follow up on the race for the next 2008 president. At first glimpse ,in the beginning of the race, it looked as though McCain was going to be leading the race. However, in a landslide victory, Obama received 349 electoral votes, which was 79 more than what was needed to win the presidency. He dominated the popular vote by capturing a significant amount of battleground states. Elected the 44th President of the United States, Obama has won appeal from voters in small town to large cities.
After Barack was announced the 2008 President, many students at BSU gathered outside to celebrate. Everyone was shouting "Barack" with their decked-out Barack Obama apparel. To many onlookers, it seemed like a parade with rice being thrown into the air, people shouting ,and some crying because they were so elated. All cross the television, you could see people dancing in the street, honking their horns, or marching with their fist up, all in celebration of this historical night. I even talked to my friend who was in study-abroad in China ,who was celebrating the election night.
All over the United States, record high numbers of young people, especially African Americans came out to vote. From young to old, many voters stood in lines for hours, determined to cast their vote. Showing true passion for change, Drew Engel, a junior at BSU said, "I waited in line for two hours and it was worth the wait." In efforts to not wait in the lines, many people decided to cast their ballot early including students at BSU. Transfer student, Antonio Fant cast his vote early since he is from California.
Obama used many methods in his campaign to bring in votes such as, using mobile advertising to target youth and other voters in battleground states, creating a thirty minute commercial which was shown on all network television stations, and by visiting campuses, including Bowie State University in 2006, when he first began campaigning. The Senator from Illinois now has a great responsibility on his hands, bearing the burdens of an entire nation with major issues such as the war and the devastating condition of the economy. Brittney Ellis, a freshman believes that "health insurance, taxes and rebuilding the economy," will be the biggest issues to tackle.
On another note, as a result of the votes, Maryland has two new amendments that have been approved. One approves the legalizing of 15, 000 slot machines in order to provide money for the education system in Maryland. This comes as a surprise because it has been four decades since gambling machines have been banned in this state. The other amendment supports the right for early voting in Maryland.
Looking over the course of everything that has happened during the past couple of weeks, we have already witnessed a lot of changes including lower gas prices, which seemed to be a major problem. When looking back on things, just remember what you did to help promote change whether in your school, community, or a home. Jide Beckley, a junior says, "I feel as if I did everything in my power to support (change) because I did vote and I encouraged people to vote." Let your voices echo all across the world, and let no obstacle get the advantage over you because change is here. Yes we can, yes we did!