A visibly moved Juan Williams reacted to the news that Barack Obama was elected President of the United States shortly after the race was called on Fox News Tuesday. Williams called it "stunning," noting that African Americans were barely able to vote until just 43 years ago, and saying, "I don't care how you feel about him politically, on some level you have to say this is America at its grandest."
His full comments:
It's a stunning sight. It's incomprehensible. Even a year ago, I wouldn't have thought this was possible. That an African American man could be elected President of the United States. When I think of it from a historical point of view, and you go back and think of people, that fact that black people didn't have the right to vote in this country. There were only black men until 1870. In 1870, black men got the right to vote and of course it didn't mean much until going forward until 1965 and the Voting Rights Act. And at that point, Linden Johnson said the Democrat Party lost the South forever and there was no possibility really of full enfranchisement that said black people could somehow be the leader of the United States of America. This is truly an incredible moment of American history. I can't think of another country in the world where you could have a significant minority that was once so maligned and so oppressed finally have one of its sons rise to this level. This is ah... I don't care how you feel about him politically, on some level you have to say this is America at its grandest, the potential, the possibility, and what it says for our children. Black and white, the image of Barack Obama and those little girls in the Rose Garden in these years to come. I think it's just stunning.
Read more about Election 2008 coverage here.