On November 4, 2008, we elected Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States.

Barack Obama! Black, mixed-race, the son of an immigrant. PRESIDENT.

To all the racists, bigots, isolationists, reactionaries, and haters: Your chokehold on our nation has been broken. America belongs to all its people, and you can no longer tell us that we don’t belong.

For the first time in my life, I can sing a line like “this land is my land,” and feel like I’m allowed to mean it. I’m going to enjoy the feeling for as long as I can.

Of course, as I write this, California Proposition 8 — an amendment to ban gay marriage — is passing by a slim margin, so it looks like the haters aren’t going to go away quietly.

There’s still a long road ahead, but for once, it feels like we’re traveling in the right lane.