President Obama said in his inaugural speech:
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled.
President Obama acknowledged (highlighted passage above) his race and how important this step is for American's with a minority background. As an American Indian, Alaska Native, I feel that his presidency is a huge step forward and that it marks what will no longer be unheard-of; that those individuals of a minority race will seek and achieve positions where their voices will be heard and respected. We now have a new mentor, a new hero for our youth, and been inspired by the powers of grassroots organization to be the force of change. This one huge step can only remain so if we continue walking. Now is the time to work even harder for equal rights for all citizens regardless of race, gender or sexual identity. Join the Fight for Equality!
photo credit: Obama taking the presidential oath of office, picture from here.