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Jessica Olien Headshot

Shame On You, New York Times

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Early this morning, still in my "Joe Biden: A Clean Articulate Guy" t-shirt, I stumble down four flights of stairs and go next door to the deli to pick up a copy of the newspaper that I will save to show my children. The New York Times is my local paper and I am generally very proud of this. Today, however, I look down at my Gray Lady sadly. "OBAMA," it reads in bold, then below "Racial Barrier Falls in Decisive Victory." Why would the Times choose that for a headline this important? Is there really nothing better to say about the culmination of the most important election in memory? How about, "Effective Grassroots Campaign Wins Election" or "Really Smart Guy Elected President." If they wanted to keep the same structure, I'd also be okay with, "Stupidity Barrier Falls in Decisive Victory"

Even now, as I'm writing this, someone on CNN is blathering on about how Obama did among white voters. Um, I think we know the answer to that. Actually, I think we know how he did with basically all voters. Pretty. Damn. Good. Why must the media bring race into it now, after he won?

People voted for Barack Obama because we believe in him and we see ourselves in him. Not in the way people saw themselves in Bush--We don't want to drink a beer with Obama, as the old litmus test went. In Obama we see the potential of our better self. We see the power of good and the beginning of new America, one we want to stand up for because it will finally stand up for us. So don't insult us with race. Don't make Americans out to be racists and bigots and stereotypes of our own ethnic and social groups. I don't want to hear the pundits spit out their sterilized garbage about what I think according to my age, race, education and income.

If we really have begun a time which is post-race, I can only hope that when my grandchildren ask me about Barack Obama, and I pull from a box a copy of The New York Times, yellowed and fragile, from November 5th 2008, that it will seem to them very dated indeed.