It's been over a week since President Obama won re-election and some Republicans are still unable to accept the win with honor and respect. They're apparently suffering from post election shock and have resorted themselves to unpatriotic, racists tantrums.
Since my candidate won, I thought that I would be spending the following days happy for our victory. While I had moments of joy and excitement at Obama's win, and the progress we can now make these next four years, I find myself increasingly saddened by what I have witnessed from my fellow Americans.
Within minutes after President Obama was declared a winner on election night, angry Facebook posts and tweets starting flying through social media streams. Statements varied from subtly racist to downright racist and then just completely ignorant. People were fast to react as "friends" unfriended each other and ugly tweets were retweeted by the tens of thousands.
The ugliness did not limit itself to social media, however. A dispute amongst students broke out at the University of Mississippi that started after students began making racists statements. Where I live in Duval county, a key battle ground county in Florida, the air felt awkward and tense all around me. I heard several remarks here and there but what probably upset me the most was what one of my friends told me on Wednesday evening. A teacher at our children's school told her elementary grade class Wednesday morning that she was "sad for our country and would pray for America." While she is free to have her own opinion, she is certainly not free to spread her message to young, impressionable children.
I truly hope that statements like that of the teacher, and others, do not reflect who we really are as a nation. At a time when we should use this opportunity to focus on working together, some people are choosing to divide us further. Right now, we should be celebrating that a record number of citizens exercised their right to vote and a victory for a winner was declared.
To everyone spending this week hating, angry, or upset, I encourage them to take a moment to reflect upon their own actions and upon what Mitt Romney said during his concession speech:
This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the President will be successful in guiding our nation. [...] At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.
Let's stop the bickering and posturing, America, and let's move forward these next four years.
Image via Becky F/Flickr