One of the undeniable benefits of Barack Obama's election is the statement it makes regarding race relations.
I've worked in the area of equal opportunity for years, graduated from what was once called the Defense Race Relations Institute, and have seen the good and the bad associated with efforts to root out discrimination. Nothing, however, has been more powerful than childhood memories of traveling through the South and seeing "Whites Only" and "Colored Only" signs.
We have indeed made enormous progress; in fact, a number of years ago this nation reached the point in which a black man could be elected president. [That is often not acknowledged in some parts of the world where journalists seem to learn American race relations via repeated viewings of "In the Heat of the Night."]
Candidate Barack Obama was, even to reporters who covered him, a mystery. President Obama will fill in the gaps as he proposes legislation, makes appointments, enacts policy, and represents the nation. We will learn his definition of "change."
All best wishes go to him, his family, and his team. His administration deserves a sizable honeymoon period with genuine good will. The nation needs it.