I knew that North Carolina would go for Sen. Barack Obama early Tuesday morning when I was sitting in my sister’s car about to leave the garage in the Charlotte suburb of Harrisburg, just next to the Lowes Motor Speedway, and a realtor drove up to the house across the street.
My sister is a realtor too and in fact she had mentored this particular renter. So she strolled across the street to chat. I then noticed that a couple had pulled up behind the broker to view the spacious house.
He was black and they were white.
I mentioned this to her when she came back and she said, “most of my clients are white.”
We then drove to my hometown of Statesville, where my brother-in-law is the first black chairman of the county commissioners. He’s a Republican (one of only 23 black Republican elected officials in the country), but he said many of his supporters had voted for Obama.
It gives a real meaning to the slogan “yes, we can.” The senator was savvy enough to believe the people on the ground in North Carolina and Virginia who told him that blacks and whites had moved beyond the past to be able to have a dialogue about policies and issues.
It was most meaningful to be with my mother on Election night as she recovered from a stroke in a skilled nursing facility at the age of 83 to be able to see history happen just 40 years after I had desegregated a junior high school in my hometown.
As folks analyze the election, they should start from the ground up, instead of from the top down. American politics was increasingly out of touch with growing integration of society. American business has yet to recognize it either.
As we face unbelievable challenges, that diversity will be our saving grace.